Replace late night snacking with these healthy habits

-Sep 11, Hannah Hargrave, Nutrition -

When temptation is drawing you to the fridge post 8pm it can be difficult to walk away. But by busying yourself in the evenings you can not only crush those cravings but improve your physical and mental wellbeing in the process.

Many of us are well aware of the familiar whispers from the kitchen cupboards late at night tempting you in for a comforting chocolate snack or a cheeky nightcap.
But we are also acutely aware that eating after 8pm isn’t very good for you. It can not only lead you to gain weight but upset your circadian rhythm and completely mess with your beauty sleep and your overall wellbeing.
Suddenly that cookie doesn’t sound so good!
So instead of sitting there desperately trying to resist the urge to eat better yourself and your body by using that time way more wisely.

Related: What is your circadian rhythm and how can you support it?

Exercise

Not that you should work out too close to your bedtime, but if you get tempted by a glass of wine or two, and you can get a sweat in the evening rather than the morning, it can definitely help steer you away from temptation. If you’re not truly motivated to head out for a run or walk by yourself, join a class – and pay up front – or get a friend to join you and encourage each other to go.
By the time you get home won’t want to undo all that good work and you’ll shower and hit the hay instead.

Walk

Walking is great for the mind, body and soul and it doesn’t have to be a vigorous power walk. Once dinner has settled get up and out for some fresh air and low impact exercise. Take in your surroundings, appreciate the outdoors and hopefully snacking will be the last thing on your mind.

Read a book

How often do you actually sit down and read a book now-a-days?. For many people the TV is the first port of call when they want to relax in an evening, but reading shouldn’t be saved for holidays.
Rather than plug into a television show – because you know those cooking programmes can bring on hunger pangs like nobody’s business – get into a good page turner instead.
It won’t just help divert your attention away from your tummy but it’ll benefit your body clock too. It’s important to switch off blue light emitting devices an hour or two before you sleep anyway, so reading a book will solve that problem as well.

Related: What does blue light do to your skin?

Call a friend

Social media means less and less time is spent properly catching up with loved ones and since loneliness is officially a health threatening epidemic it’s vital to maintain friendships.
Pick up the phone or FaceTime someone in the evening. It’s a very social way of stopping you thinking about food.

Join a club

Having a hobby or learning something new keeps you young – and away from the snack cupboard. Boredom is often the reason you turn to food, so fill your evenings with something else you enjoy. Whether it’s a gardening club, book club, walking club or art class, find something you love and make a regular evening date of it.

If you found this article helpful then you might be interested in the surprising benefits of an evening workout and discover everything you need to know about time restricting diets.

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