I hear this from people a lot – “I need something to snack on at night” or especially “I need something sweet” or “I need something crunchy.” These are all habits that develop because you have been used to eating crap/junk food OR you are not eating enough real,WHOLE food during the day. I am going to list a few ways you can fix this habit – but as usual, YOU have to be disciplined, recognize the problem, accept responsibility for your actions and decide you want to stop. I can’t do that part for you.
- You haven’t eaten enough during the day. This used to be me. Years ago when I first started eating clean, I still wasn’t eating enough throughout the day so I would find myself wanting to snack after dinner (keep in mind everyone is different – I eat A LOT now because I am extremely active and kill myself at the gym daily). I have since resolved this problem. I also believe it’s because I wasn’t eating enough healthy fats throughout the day. Analyze your daily food intake. Sit down and count your protein, carbs, and fats (and yes, include soda/juice/candy – if you are eating it – which you should cut out immediately). Chances are, you are either not eating enough OR you are eating too much of the wrong food. Are you eating cereal? That is essentially sugar. Dairy is also a HUGE problem as it’s as addictive as sugar is – google it or read about that here. But anyway, back to this topic of you need to load up on more healthy fat! I love to include 1/2 avocado with lunch, coconut oil with coffee/breakfast in the morning, almond butter on rice cakes, almond butter with apples, etc. Make sure you eat enough healthy fat and I promise this will help you stay and feel full.
- You’ve been eating too much sugar. If you are still sneaking sugary foods into your diet, you are only cheating and hurting yourself. Once again, sit down and take a good look at what you ingest every single day. COUNT your sugar intake. It might scare you. If you are consuming too much sugar your taste buds will continuously crave it – so after dinner if you are used to having ice cream (dairy + sugar = addict nightmare) or a sweet treat you will CONTINUE to want that – until you STOP 100% for a while. You will stop craving sugar if you stop eating it. Break the cycle of addiction or continue to hate yourself – it’s your choice.
- You are simply in the habit of snacking after dinner. Similar to consuming sugar, if you are in this habit of snacking after dinner it’s nothing more than that – it’s a habit. You probably aren’t even hungry. You have to develop some discipline and stop eating after dinner and let your food digest before you go to sleep. It’s not good for you at all to eat and continue to eat before you go to sleep! Having a full stomach and laying down = digestion nightmare. Break this habit, make some hot tea after dinner, and stop thinking about food. I also recommend eating more healthy fat throughout the day, once again, as well as include avocado with dinner, because then you won’t want to eat/snack after dinner (or at least you shouldn’t)
- You need to drink more water. This is probably the biggest offender. Most people who claim to still be hungry after any meal are simply dehydrated. The majority of people in this country do not drink enough water and for some reason it is such a struggle and I don’t understand it! I wake up in the morning and immediately drink 20+ ounces of water. I then carry a 32 ounce bottle around with me everywhere I go and continue to drink water. I drink at least 128 ounces a day, which is a gallon. If you would start to focus on drinking more water and counting how many ounces you drink to AT LEAST get 100 ounces, you would be AMAZED at how good you feel. Once again, though, I cannot force you to do this or drink the water for you. You have to do it for yourself and learn to drink more water and learn to love water if you don’t already. You will be surprised at how full you will feel from upping your water intake.
If you must snack, eat raw organic veggies like baby carrots or celery or sliced organic cucumber. Aim to get 7 veggie/fruit servings (at the very least, 5 servings) per day and this should help you! Also, make some hot tea! Go make hot tea and sit in a hot bath with epsom salt and lavender oil and soak. Chug some water and sip apple cider vinegar. Tell yourself you DON’T need to eat and have the discipline to follow through with this. Discipline takes practice…overeating is terrible for you and your digestive system.
I hope these tips are helpful and I hope you can analyze what you are eating and take control of your life!