Every person most likely has dealt with late night hunger pangs. Whether it be in front of the tv late or when returning home from a long night out, hunger seems to strike in the early morning hours with full force. This can be annoying as it is not only during these hours that we seem to lose all self-control and indulge in anything within reaching distance, but also because this food typically doesn’t have time to digest and therefore can pack on the pounds very fast. Here are Healthy in Chicago’s tips for avoiding late-night pig out sessions.
- Load up on protein at dinner. Protein keeps you full longer, so will help to starve off those cravings. Protein will satisfy the appetite, so those that are of age and will be drinking alcohol at night will be less likely to munch later on at night. Also, contrary to popular belief, loading up on lean meats instead of carbohydrates before a night out drinking alcohol is better for your stomach and digestive system.
- Set up a healthy snacks .If you know you will be hungry when you come home from studying or a night out, make a plate beforehand with what you are “allowed” to eat. The portion sizes are what can get lost when snacking late at night; so setting up a proportional snack beforehand can be beneficial.
- Drink water. A lot of the time you are getting “hunger pangs” they are actually for water. This would make sense for those indulging in alcohol that is depleting their bodies of water. So, drink a glass of water or a sport drink and then reevaluate to see if your hunger is still there.
- Make a sign for your fridge. Better yet, lock it. If possible, buy an easy lock and, if your late night eating is a serious problem, lock it up. This may seem a bit extreme, but sometimes, you just need to be reminded to not late night eat.
- Leave the money at home. If there is a “late-night” place you like to stop at after getting drinks with friends or on the way home from a late night at the office, avoid stopping there by simply leaving your money that you would spend there at home.
- Don’t feel too guilty. If you do happen to over-indulge late at night, don’t beat yourself up about it. There is a reason your body is craving food, whether it be from the calories burned on the dance floor or the brain power utilized while working. As long as it is not a regular occurrence, your body will not be affected by this one late night eating session.