Are You a Late-Night Snacker?
Whilst training and talking to so many women on the daily basis, I realised that most of us struggle with the same problems.
How many times do you catch yourself saying after dinner, “I just want something sweet…” I used to…almost every night!
Snacking can be a great thing to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, and avoid going for too long without food and overeating later. However, unnecessary snacking after meals, can easily add up to extra calories we simply don’t use up, therefore it gets stored as fat.
A good question to ask is why are we unsatisfied after a meal?
One of the main reasons why we can be left unsatisfied after a meal is that we eat too quickly in a rushed state, therefore we don’t allow our brain to process what is happening. I’m sure you have heard that it takes the brain 20 minutes to register that you are actually full, however it is really easy to overeat even in the matter of minutes, especially if you have large amounts of food in front of you.
Eating in a relaxed state and chewing each bite of food 20-30 times is important for healthy digestion, as digestion starts in the mouth, not in the stomach. Eating when we are stressed or on the run can contribute to digestive issues, because we don’t chew our food enough and don’t secrete enough digestive enzymes that help break down the food into digestible particles.
My top 10 tips to avoid late-night snacking:
- Taking time to chew each bite 20-30 times, no kidding! – You will feel more satisfied after the meal if you chewed it and consumed it slowly.
- Putting fork and knife down in between bites.
- Consume Fermented vegetables – when there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, the gastrointestinal tract becomes a perfect breeding ground for fungal infections such as Candida. This can easily be linked to sugar cravings, as bad bacteria in the gut thrives on sugar, therefore your body is craving sugar. Cultured foods such as home-made kefir, sauerkraut, miso, and other fermented vegetables can help replace beneficial bacteria in the gut and restore balanced gut flora.
- Drinking plenty of water (around 2L) throughout the day – When dehydrated, the body signals the brain to consume a substance it can absorb liquid from to rehydrate, but this signal for thirst often gets mistaken for hunger.
- Turning the teli and computer off while eating and simply enjoy the meal.
- Sharing the meal with someone
- Sipping on a flavourful herbal tea after meal with cinnamon and stevia to sweeten.
- Going for a quick walk – even light exercise can reduce desire to eat, plus you can burn a few extra calories instead of consuming them
- Brushing and flossing your teeth – Who would want to spoil their clean mouth?
- Wait 20 minutes to make sure you are not hungry, and if you still are, grab a handful of a healthy, sugar-free snack such as a home-made trail mix of cashews, pepitas and cacao nibs. Cashews are actually a fruit. Cashews are high in essential nutrients such as magnesium, tryptophan and phosphorus as well as Omega 3 fats, which can provide you with a feeling of satiety and also very healthy for you.
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