If you’re trying to lose weight, you know night-time, with the TV and the movies and the chores to be done, can be a real diet-killer. If you’re wondering how not to eat at night, I can help. I am a (nearly) totally reformed snack addict, someone who used to nibble all night, and I’m happy to share the secrets of my success. Her are 8 little ways to prevent yourself from eating at night.
1. Brush Your Teeth
This may sound incredibly silly, but one of the best ways not to eat at night is to brush your teeth. I mean, have you ever had orange sherbet after a minty toothpaste? It’s disgusting, enough perhaps to dissuade you from that late-night snack. Besides, it will make your dentist happy.
2. Clear the Pantry
Hey, if you don’t have the snacks on hand, you’re going to be a lot less likely to eat them right? You’re not going to want to drag yourself off the couch, put your bra and shoes back on, and go to the store just for chips, right? Clear the fridge and pantry of all the junk food that tempts you, and you’re not going to be wondering how not to eat at night — you’re going to wonder why you never knew cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks were so yummy with an episode of Revenge before!
3. Turn off the TV
We all have our habits. I can’t eat a bowl of cereal without reading a book. My mother can’t watch TV without a bowl of popcorn. What’s your night-time food habit? Find out, then change it up a little. Watch TV while running on the treadmill or using the elliptical, instead of while sitting on the couch with a bag of chips or a bowl of ice cream. Or better yet, turn off the TV at night, and only watch your shows on the weekend, during the day.
4. Do Something Active
As I mentioned above, sometimes just realizing you have a food-related habit is all you’ll need to break out of it. But for some who are wondering how not to eat at night, this isn’t enough. You’ll need to bring out the big guns, like the after-dinner walk or the bedtime make-out session with your significant other. Get physical, and you’ll be a lot less inclined to be snack-y.
5. Develop a Mantra
When I’m lying in bed, desperately trying to summon the motivation to get up and run, or when I’m on my last half-mile and I’m gasping for air, I have a mantra, a phrase I repeat to get me, or keep me, going. It’s silly, so I won’t share it, but find one of your own, and repeat it, over and over again, when you’re feeling like you’ll never figure out how not to eat at night. Or any other time. Like “bikini season” or “loads of calories” or “just don’t do it.”
6. Get out of the House
If you didn’t clear your pantry, and the thing is stocked with the snacks you know you won’t be able to resist, leave. That’s right, leave! Get out of the house. Go for a walk, or a bike ride, or a run. Go play outside with the kids, wash the car, do some gardening. Get away from those dreadful snacks! This is my favorite way not to eat at night, and I get so much done outside!
7. Phone a Friend
Oh, the temptation! If going outside and turning off the TV didn’t help, maybe it’s time to phone a friend. I’m sure she’ll know how not to eat at night. And if she doesn’t, she can still encourage you to put down the Pringles and maybe you can even watch Grey’s with her on the phone… at least until you feel stronger.
8. Picture This
I keep a photo of myself taped inside the pantry door. It’s not vanity; it’s a fat photo. A photo of me pre-diet, with an unsightly roll of fat that makes “muffin top” sound too forgiving. When I’m at a loss on how not to eat at night, I open the pantry to grab the Cheez-Its, and stop dead in my tracks. I’ve worked hard to get away from that chunky-monkey bod. The Cheez-Its are so not worth it!
Now that you’ve read my list of ways not to eat at night, are you feeling a little better able to forgo the tempting treats, and find something else to do? I know the mantra and the gardening work wonders for me… but what about you? Which of these tricks taught you how not to eat at night? Or do you have another idea to share?
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