It is common that as the days get shorter, darker and colder, we find ourselves at home settling in earlier in the evening. As a result, many people notice they find themselves in front of the fridge and cupboards more often munching mindlessly on excessive calories. It’s easy to see why people tend to carry additional ‘winter’ weight.
So if you’d like to avoid extra layers this fall and winter, here’s some tips to keep you in great shape right into spring and summer.
- Set a rule that you will not eat a substantial meal 3 hours before bedtime. If you have planned your meals correctly throughout the day, you shouldn’t need to eat anything right before bed. Often the calories that are consumed after dinner are those that are eaten not because you are hungry and need the energy but because of habitual patterns or boredom. Think of it this way – you are just going to bed. How much energy do you really need? If you find yourself needing to eat late at night, choose something that is low in calories just to get you by until morning.
- To help avoid mindless, late-night eating, brush your teeth after dinner, chew gum or pop a breath mint or breath strip. This will send a signal to the brain that you are done eating.
- Make a list of substitute activities that you can do in the evening. They must be activities that compete with the action of eating – ie. it’s difficult to eat while doing the activity.
- Game night with family/friends, schedule an after dinner walk with neighbors, sign-up to learn a new sport or activity like rockclimbing, or ball-room dancing, visit your neighbors/friends, write in a journal, give yourself a manicure, read a magazine/book, plan your next vacation, Relaxation/breathing exercises, walk/jog/swim/bike ride/go to gym/exercise video/dance to some upbeat music, take a bubble bath, get a massage, listen to music, prayer, meditation, housework, pay bills, balance your check book, complete a home improvement project, rearrange your furniture, clean out closets/drawers, run errands, floss, play video games
If you have a tip for avoiding late-night eating, please share with the rest of the group. You might help someone avoid 5-10 pounds or more of extra body fat!
Yours in health and fitness,