Banish Nighttime Cravings – Winter Park

I hear about this common eating pattern all the time from my clients. Nighttime snacking is a major issue for most dieters. We crave foods for a number of reasons: One, environmental factors and sensory stimulation — the smell of french fries outside a fast-food restaurant, for example, or the sight of a cheesy pizza in a TV ad — can trigger cravings. Two, hormonal fluctuations caused by stress, sleep deprivation, or a woman’s menstrual cycle can drive us to seek nutrient-dense, fatty, and sugary foods. And finally, cravings can arise because of learned behaviors and experiences. If you always go for cookies, chocolate, or ice cream when you’re feeling stressed, you come to expect these things — and thereby develop a food habit that is very hard to break. These temptations are especially strong at night because the evening is often our first chance to relax after a long, structured, and taxing day. The urge to reward ourselves for making it through the day can trigger irresistible cravings for unhealthy comfort foods.

Have no fear, though! There are many effective strategies for crushing late-night urges. Chiefly, there’s the obvious one: Don’t keep any tempting treats in the house. Just don’t buy them! I admit that this isn’t a foolproof strategy — I’ve heard stories about people who drove to the nearest gas station at 11 pm to get a bag of chips, a box of doughnuts, or some other treat they were craving. But it works most of the time.

Also, eating a fiber-rich dinner will help keep you feeling full long into the evening hours, and it will keep your blood sugar on an even keel so hunger doesn’t come screaming back two hours after dinner. While we’re on the subject of dinner, consider pushing your evening meal an hour later. If you typically eat dinner at 6 pm, try moving it to 7. This will leave you with less time after dinner for snacking before bed.

My last tip is to keep at the ready a list of distracting activities that can get your mind off food when cravings strike. There are loads of things that will work. Here are just a few:

Go for a walk
Play solitaire on your computer
Write a letter to a longtime friend
Do a jigsaw puzzle
Work on a scrapbook
Upload and label the pictures from your digital camera
Play a board game with the family
Do some crunches or push-ups
Roll up your loose change
Take a bubble bath
Call your mother or mother-in-law
Clean your closet
Do a load of laundry
Read your favorite blogs
Organize your purse
Polish your nails
Help your kids with their homework

Call Four Seasons Acupuncture in Winter Park today for a complimentary consultation to see how natural medicine can help curb cravings. We service the residents of Winter Park, Orlando, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Kissimmee. 321-662-4871

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185 N Lakemont Ave. Winter Park, Florida 32792