It’s 9:27 p.m and you are watching TV. There comes a fast food commercial and WHAM!!! It hits you. An appalling, insidious and almost irresistible craving for junk. This is not even your average hunger pang. It appears like it is a command from an unseen force to make you rise from your chair, jump into the car and find the nearest shop or maybe rummage your cupboard for anything to eat. Sometimes, the urge to grab junk late at night is easily attributable to the power of advertising. Other times, it’s not that simple. There are times when you are paying up bills or making reports when suddenly your brain takes an explicable turn towards Oreos and milk. You may stand from an insomniac toss-and-turn session and head straight to the kitchen for a big tub of ice cream. Not only nocturnal munching is the culprit behind many stubborn weight problems, it also has a way of sabotaging one’s self-esteem.
Late-night snacking are complex and various. There are various weird reasons that could be behind munching at night:
You’re actually hungry: Maybe you didn’t have an afternoon snack or you had lunch hours and hours ago, this is why you are feeling hungry and having an irresistible urge to eat something late night.
The researchers also believe that seeing any images of food would trigger increased brain activities late at night. Somehow, night after night one cookie or handful of snacks usually turn into two and then the bag comes out. First, we consume too much of the unhealthy food, then we regret later. We end up feeling guilty, embarrassed, and out of control. We drift off to sleep berating ourselves for having caved into temptation once again. We also swear that tomorrow will be entirely different. If you really want to stop your unhealthy cravings at night, first you must call your conscience for an honest chat. Do a little journaling session with yourself.
Your recovery on your hands
Now, it’s time to reprogram yourself. Snacking late at nights is in many ways akin to an addiction. It has two components both psychological as well as physiological that work together to help ourselves in quitting the battle of the wills between the conscious mind and your snacking alter ego. The good news is that if you are adamant enough, it will only take a week to break this habit. Things will be great after that. When your urges and cravings are most likely to make you crazy, it is better to distract yourself to self-lectures or new-age rituals. It will help you get through your weakest hours and you will be able to get a few nights of success under your belt.
Once you’ve gone a few nights without snacking, ultimately you will feel yourself coming out of the forest of junk with a new sense of pride. All you have to do is get through one tough week, so buckle up!!!
You need to watch out for some demons that come late at night and push you to go to the refrigerator:
- Loneliness: Being home alone can easily predispose a solitary person to munch. You feel like calling out for a company in the form of a tub of ice cream or a hot fudge sundae, just because your body feels lonely. It’s better to take a warm bath instead to suppress your craving.
- Boredom/Insomnia: Some people like to snack out of restlessness or insomnia as well. Others end up watching TV to kill time, while others start eating just because they are watching TV. An advice will be that if you are bored or restless, try a herbal tea. It will help you in dozing off.
There are various other factors also that induce the late night cravings in you like nutritional imbalance, frustration, self-sabotage, self-denial, loneliness, procrastination etc.
Alternatives you can opt to suppress your late night cravings
We suggest some alternatives that make you get rid of self-destructive snacking:
- Self Talk: It might sound lame but you can just stand in front of the mirror and talk to yourself loud about what you plan to eat and why.
- Cleaning: You can do some dusting, wiping. You can wash the floor, clean out your closet, iron shirts, sort some socks and many more. It will distract you from grabbing some junk and also make your house cleaner.
- Water: Sometimes when you are thirsty, then also you might feel hungry or want to eat something. You can try hot water with lemon, ginger, It’s warming, cleansing and also stimulating enough to your taste buds to kill a lot of cravings.