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The Skinny on Eating Later at Night

Uncategorized May 14, 2020

If you've ever wonder why you mindlessly munch later at night, you are not alone.  Experts say this is not uncommon occurrence, and may not be driven off hunger alone.  And this is limited to late evening, but can occur throughout the day.

Snacking more at night can also be due to other factors, such as what you did during the day. 

  • If you are dehydrated throughout the day, your body could result in feeling hungry.  In this case, it is best to have a glass of water to first address your body's desire to refill itself.  And by drinking water, you will not only rehydrate, but your body will naturally feel more full.  
  • If you had a calorie deprivation, meaning you did not eat enough, your body may be calling for more calories.  Remember, your body doesn't immediately register your calories, so by going on a restricted amount for extended time, this can lead to your body eating more than it needs.
  • Stress.  If you have had a stressful day, your body naturally wants to find that balance and seeks out feelings of relaxation.  This is a reason why we end up craving expansive, blissful foods like sweets or alcohol when we are doing too many stress inducing activities. Your body may actually be seeking balance and when you look at your cravings this way, it’s possible that your body really just wants to relax.

I recently sat down with Anna Slaback from Essential Habits of Wellness to discuss.  She points out, "We have foods that are called bliss foods- these are things like sugar, alcohol, caffeine, dairy and some fruits; these foods make us feel light, relaxed, happy- blissful!  Then you have the opposite. These are called contracted tension foods- foods like red meat, eggs, salt. These foods put “meat on your bones” make you feel grounded, focused, aggressive. So how does this create cravings for sugar or foods? Well, if we eat too much of one food throughout the day, we will crave the other. For example, have you ever sat down and eaten some salty potato chips and then when you were finished just HAD to have something sweet? That is this concept at play."

If you have not had enough exercise, going for a light walk after dinner to calm those mental sensors and give you that relaxation will help reduce the desire to reach for those bliss foods.

Maybe power off devices earlier, take a nice magnesium bath, use some essential oils for aromatherapy, make sure you are adequately hydrated, participate in some deep breathing and gratitude practices- this will help balance that stress and can help reduce cravings!

Some other ways to ensure that you can feel balanced is to first, you want to get regular exercise in your routine.  Avoid too much walking or cardio, as you can end up eating more.  Instead, focus on effective exercise that stimulates your muscles and gets your body functioning the way it should.  This will help lower your cortisol levels and make you feel relaxed and help you sleep better.   


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