Late-night snacking is an issue for many people, but it is a habit we have the power to change. Here’s how:
Eat regular meals. Not eating enough throughout the day sets the stage for nighttime bingeing.
Pick a cutoff time. It should be about three hours before bedtime, giving you enough time to digest your dinner but not so long that you are likely to get hungry again.
Wait and re-evaluate. If you are craving food at night, wait 15 minutes. The craving might pass, you might find yourself distracted by another activity or you might ultimately decide to eat something, after all. Regardless, it will be a more mindful decision.
Plan an evening snack. If you regularly find yourself hungry at night, plan a small, healthy snack — some fruit and yogurt, a cup of soup or avocado toast, for example. The idea is to snack strategically to manage your hunger rather than letting your appetite leave you vulnerable to random munching.
Set ground rules. Eating while watching TV has practically become a national pastime, but it’s a routine that leaves you open to mindless overeating. When you choose to eat something, any time of day but especially at night, sit at a table away from the television and fully enjoy your food. When you are done, you can return to your regularly scheduled programming, better off than before.