So, you stuck to a perfect meal plan all day. You feel wonderful, body feels great, and you are proud of yourself for keeping your choices on track all day. However, all of a sudden you begin to get cravings right before bedtime…
“Just one” cookie or chip has all of a sudden turned into 500+ calories that your body doesn’t need to go to sleep with. I think we have all been in this situation from time to time.
I know how frustrating the aftermath can be when you realize what you have done to your perfect day. It’s easy to push it aside and blame it on your self-control, but there may be underlying issues causing this.
This could be caused by a variety of different things. Here’s a few common ones:
- Deficiencies in key minerals
- Lacking proper sleep
- Hormonal imbalance
- Sensory stimulation / availability
- Or very commonly, you have just always had a snack before going to bed and it has turned into a
Cravings can be tempting at night. Maybe you feel like you deserve it. I mean, it’s usually the first time you get to relax after a long day, and tiredness or emotion make it harder to say no to temptations.
Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t BAD to have snack before bed. However, it easily can be detrimental to your health and fitness goals if they aren’t thought out, healthy, and nutritional options.
When choosing your bed time snack, opt for whole foods that are nutrient dense and contain protein so that your body can use that to build and/or preserve muscle mass during sleep. Sleep is when our bodies are recovering broken down muscles and recovering from a hard workout or long day at work. This is why it’s so important to give yourself healthy options for your body to work with while sleeping.
If you often find yourself struggling with bad choices at night, try these:
- Push your dinner time back even just 30 min to 1 hour to see if that helps.
- Plan your healthy evening snacks early in the week so that there are no surprises when it comes time and you are in more control.
- Throw away tempting unhealthy options so that they aren’t even an option.
- Set a specific time that you will brush your teeth at night so there will be no more eating
- Drink a large glass of water. Sometimes our bodies mistake thirst for hunger.
- Buddy up – find someone to keep you accountable! Maybe it’s your living partner, co-worker, or family/friend. No matter who it is, let them know what you need from them. We are much more likely to reach our goals and stay disciplined in our actions when we have support from others to keep us on track.
Bed time snacks can either set you up for success or failure. Keep in mind what will keep you on track and pushing towards the goals you are striving for!
Not one of us is perfect, but we’re all in this together and here to keep each other accountable towards a healthier lifestyle!