7 Smart Ways to Stop Cravings at Night
You know the feeling. It's late, but your cravings just won't quit. These ways to stop cravings at night will save you from guilt later on!
One of the biggest mistakes people make when dieting is late-night snacking. You exercise regularly, and each day, you choose healthy options from breakfast to dinner. But then comes the rumbling tummy, and the sudden snack attack, and there goes all your hard work. Thankfully, there are super accessible ways to stop cravings at night.
One of the easiest ways to stop cravings at night is to hydrate! When you feel the urge to sneak into the pantry and pull out the chips, try drinking two or more cups of water. Another great option is to make a cup of herbal tea, which can relax you enough to forget about food altogether.
According to research, just eight ounces of water can be effective enough to fill up the stomach and turn you off from food, all while consuming zero calories. You can also try these 5 Simple Detox Water Recipes to Boost Metabolism. They flavor water with healthy ingredients like lemon juice and fruit.
2. Distract yourself
Boredom can be a big reason you suddenly feel hungry. If you’re not tired, but it’s too late to snack, simply distract yourself! Often times, a strange craving for chips or cookies is merely psychological, and not your body telling you it’s time to eat.
As weird as it may sound, doing something unappetizing, like cleaning your toilet, or taking out the cat litter, can be a great distraction. You can also try distracting yourself with an evening walk around the block. One study found that walking briskly for 15 minutes reduced cravings for chocolate.
You can even try distracting yourself by meditating. which lowers levels of stress. Stress boosts the hormone cortisol, which triggers the urge to eat unhealthy foods high in fat and sugar. Check out these other ways daily meditation can help you lose weight.
3. Suck on hard candy
Most hard candy is low in calories and gives you the satisfaction of just having something tasty in your mouth. Make your hard candy one with peppermint. One study found that when inhaling peppermint scent every two hours, participants reported feeling significantly less hungry and that they ate 1,800 fewer calories than normal. The researchers also found that the peppermint scent reduced cravings, and reduced the intake of fat and sugar.
4. Stop binge-watching TV
As hard as it might be to hear that your race through all 14 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy is working against your waistline, it’s time you take a break from the TV. Research has found that staying up late to stay up-to-date on your favorite show throws off your circadian clock. Forcing yourself to stay up when you’re exhausted results in an increase in hunger and cravings too. If you stop the TV binging and still find your sleep is out of whack, you might want to consider these 5 Things That Are Killing Your Sleep Schedule.
5. Have dessert
It might seem counterintuitive, but allowing yourself dessert truly is one of the best ways to stop cravings at night. Having an early dinner and then avoiding dessert when it sounds so good can work against your weight loss or weight maintenance goals, because you might find deprivation causing you to binge. It doesn’t even have to be big. Allow yourself a square of dark chocolate to avoid scarfing down a whole sleeve of Oreos. Check out these other 6 Desserts You Can Enjoy while Losing Weight.
6. Brush your teeth
Keeping a routine is one of the easiest ways to stop cravings at night. Make brushing your teeth after dinner or dessert a must. The work you put into polishing your pearly whites will have you questioning your craving for a late-night treat, because who wants to go through the trouble of brushing twice?
Besides, food doesn’t taste nearly as good after you’ve rinsed your mouth with mouthwash or brushed. You’ve learned that mistake many times before! Make this DIY Natural Teeth Whitener which will both distract you from your snack craving and deter you from messing with your fresh teeth with a treat.
7. Upgrade your night craving food
Sometimes you can do all of the ways to stop cravings at night above, and still feel your tummy grumbling and your brain telling you a bite is right. That’s okay. But be careful what you choose.
If you choose to snack on a couple crackers or cookies, you know the chances that you’ll stop at two is extremely rare. It’s too easy to get distracted by the sweet or salty taste.
If you just have to snack, make it the healthiest it can be. Try an apple with peanut butter. Hummus with veggies. A handful of dried fruit. If you need something creamy, try yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon and a few cacao nibs. These snacks won’t make you feel guilty in the morning, while getting your craving off your mind. Just be sure you keep your portion size in check.
If it’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep because all you can think about is that dessert you didn’t allow yourself, give yourself the sweet if you must, but approach it mindfully. Put it on a plate, and savor each bite. You might be surprised to find just one or two bite does the trick. And if it keeps happening, learn your lesson and allow yourself a small but sweet bite after dinner to keep from middle of the night cravings. There are plenty of healthy desserts you can enjoy that are guilt-free, like these 12 Healthy Desserts Under 150 Calories.
When you have cravings, ask yourself if you’re depriving yourself too much. If you’ve chosen to adopt a healthier lifestyle, you might miss chips. Add in healthier options like homemade sweet potato chips sprinkled with sea salt. Give yourself the option of dessert with healthier options.