Midnight Munchies: Healthy Ways to Handle Those Late Night Hungries
Having the late night munchies is like the plot to a midnight cable horror movie. There’s a slow buildup of fluff and then it’s bad news for the victims. In the case of stuffing your face with your favorite late night snacks, your stomach is the eventual victim. Luckily, there’s a healthier road, one which does not lead to stomach pains.
The Right Amount of Sleep
Most need eight hours of sleep and get to bed at a reasonable hour. Staying up late, eating dinner at midnight, and waking early is not healthy. Regarding habits, some bad decisions lead to others; for example, you watch television while awake at night and you have a tendency to eat when you watch television. The right amount of sleep places you on a schedule and makes it less likely you’ll be tempted to eat at odd hours.
A Decreased Number of Television Hours
As mentioned, one’s tendency to eat may be the result of other behaviors. If you have a tendency to eat while watching television, you must limit the number of viewing hours. Disrupt routines related to midnight munchies and identify smaller behaviors. Watching television may involve slouching one’s back, ongoing snacking, and a neglect of chores. Related results include an achy back, increased weight, and frequent arguments with roommates about chores. Analyze such routines and modify related behaviors.
A Full Schedule
Some eat because they’re bored. Fill the time with other pastimes besides eating: reading, exercising, or writing in a journal. Just as we eat out of habit, we can adopt other activities and forget about eating. In related cases, some people eat because they are anxious or depressed. Talk with a professional if late night or overeating may be related to emotional issues.
A Full Glass of Water
Professionals debate on the suggested intake of water per day. Yet, it’s agreed consuming several glasses is a good start. If you feel hungry at night, opt for a glass of water rather than a snack. Maybe you’re just thirsty. The body is thirsty often yet it’s common to forget to drink enough water.
A Balanced Diet
Don’t dismiss a “balanced diet” as health fodder. It’s not just healthy to balance your diet; it’s practical and makes it less likely you’ll feel hungry. Be sure your diet consists of appropriate portions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Spread your portions of protein throughout the day and don’t skip meals. Get healthy meal ideas from PaleoHacks.
A Healthy Group of Friends
Close friends and family members have influence. They influence music preferences, movie choices, and eating habits. Hanging out with a friend who loves to kayak and play tennis has a different impact on your physical shape versus spending time with a friend who enjoys eating and watching television. Keep this in mind when alone; you may find that good (and bad) habits of friends become your choices too.
An Empty Refrigerator
One way to cure the midnight munchies is to make it impossible. Keep your refrigerator free of late night food including wings, pizza, cold cuts, cheese, etc. Keep the bare essentials in the fridge and buy what you need each day. You can’t act upon the munchies if you don’t have any food to eat. Alternatively, have veggies and fruits available to encourage healthier choices.
A Food Diary
A food diary tracks the what, when, and amount of food. Moreover, it relates details about urges, feelings, and thoughts for reflection and modifying one’s diet. Keep a food diary, tracking how many calories are associated to late night choices. You may change your behavior based on the raw data. Chocolate cake sounds sweet but it’s sour to see the scale tip due to brief moments of food pleasure.
An Ongoing Discipline of Diet and Exercise
Some say it’s okay to act upon the midnight munchies (within reason) if you counter with diet and exercise. Eating at midnight does not seem so bad if a person is mostly disciplined as to what they eat and drink. Read books, watch documentaries, and listen to podcasts about healthy eating and nutrition. Eating healthy is not a fad but a lifestyle. Learn to think about being healthy and then act upon the heightened awareness.
An Exercise Bicycle
Increasing one’s metabolism is a way to combat the late night munchies. An exercise bike is low impact, convenient, and storable. Burn calories, increase your metabolism, and get a cardiovascular workout. Bikes are priced reasonably and require minor maintenance. Biking and running outside involves extreme temperatures, unsafe conditions, and inclement weather, but an exercise bike is a go-to for those who want to enjoy a consistent and convenient cardiovascular exercise.