If nighttime usually leads to unhealthy snacking for you, try a few simple tricks to lower your appetite that I've found to be very effective. It isn’t easy to turn down high fat and high sugar foods at night when you’re relaxed, it’s dark out, you’re tired and stressed from the day, and all you want is something to comfort you, regardless of how many calories it has. I get it, and I’ve been there! It is even harder to turn down food when you’re starving and famished from dieting all day, or not eating the right foods. That’s why these tricks to lower your appetite are so amazing. I promise in no time, you’ll be on your way to waking up each morning without feeling guilty from your nightly raids anymore. All these tips come from two years of solid experimentation and are ones I still use everyday.
1. Eat Bigger Meals during the Day
This may sound counterintuitive as one of the best tricks to lower your appetite, but here’s why it works. At breakfast, lunch and dinner, double the volume of your food, but do it from leafy greens and veggies. How? Well, for starters, in the morning, if you’re having a smoothie, add in 2-3 cups of spinach instead of just fruit. You won’t taste it, and it prevents you from craving sugar and more food in general. It’s also healthy for you! At lunch, have a huge salad full of leafy greens like sweet romaine, roasted veggies, chopped raw celery, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes, and double the size of what looks like a normal salad. For me, this is about 5-6 cups. Add one protein of your choice. For dinner, do the same. This keeps you eating lots of volume to keep you full, but lowers your appetite and your calorie content. By the time bedtime rolls around, you’ll be much fuller on better foods.
2. Quit Eating Sugar
No matter how much you eat, eating sugar makes you think you’re still hungry - period. It trains the brain to constantly want more, no matter how much you eat. This is why they say sugar is a drug, because it leaves you craving more and more and more. To combat this, just quit buying it! Eat naturally sweet fruits, and veggies that taste sweet like carrots, raw grape tomatoes and eat more natural foods instead of processed ones. This will train your body to be able to turn down that junk food once bedtime hits.
3. Don’t Keep Your Temptation Foods around
If there was two foods that I couldn’t quit eating at night it was nut butter and cereal. So, I just don’t buy them. Sure I miss them from time to time, but I don’t miss not being able to turn down multiple servings of them at night and then wake up feeling sick in the morning. It is fine to treat yourself occasionally, but whatever foods you can’t turn down at night, then quit buying them. Once you’ve mastered the night time eating monster, you can add them back in. I also found a way around this that keeps me from going overboard. I now buy the portioned packs of nut butter instead of the whole jars and eat them with my lunch. This way, when night time rolls around, I know I’ve already had my nut butter and I won’t go back to open another pack if I know it’s waiting for me the next day.
4. Make a Healthy Dessert
I love this trick more than anything. Sometimes, you just want to eat at night anyway, and that’s okay! I make what I call a raw brownie bowl that is delicious! It tastes like cake batter, yet has no sugar, halts my appetite and I just love it. I take 1 scoop of vanilla or chocolate raw Sunwarrior protein, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk, 2 tbsp. coconut flour, stevia and 1 tbsp. dark cocoa powder. I stir all this together until it mixes like a pudding. It is so creamy and filling, plus it tastes like a dream! I love that it is low in sugar, but high in protein. The protein helps regulate my appetite while the chocolate satisfies my craving. I highly suggest you try it! I buy the ingredients here: iherb.com.
5. Try Rooibos Tea
Have you ever had rooibos tea? It is delicious! Rooibos tea is caffeine-free, naturally sweet without sugar, and rich in antioxidants. It also lowers your blood sugar, and tricks your sweet tooth. I do recommend adding a touch of stevia if you’re like me and have a super strong sweet tooth! I brew rooibos every night in my coffee maker before bed and drink a couple cups after dinner. As a bonus, it is very hydrating to the body, clears acne, and promotes good digestion. You can find my favorite brand here: iherb.com.
6. Double Your Protein at Dinner
Another tip I have for you is to double the amount of protein you’re eating, preferably plant protein. I find that eating more protein at night along with healthy produce takes away my appetite to eat more. I'm not saying to eat two steaks or anything crazy like that, but don't skimp in the protein department either. Protein ensures the body is getting enough amino acids. Amino acids enhance the performance of neurotransmitters in the brain that are needed to think clearly, give you focus and lower anxiety to prevent you from eating out of stress.The amino acids also trigger serotonin production, the hormone produced after eating foods high in the amino acid tryptophan,which is found in all protein rich foods.This keeps your mood elevated and calms you at the same time.
7. Try Apple Cider Vinegar
I’m not going to ask you to turn back a bottle of this stuff and drink it with dinner, so don’t worry! What I will tell you is that apple cider vinegar is great for lowering the appetite and the blood sugar. Dilute just 1 tbsp. of it in your hot tea at bedtime, or in a glass of water with lemon before dinner. It will steady your blood sugar and help prevent your body from craving sugar, or the need to eat more. You shouldn’t do this in replacement to dinner though, or it won’t work. This works especially well by lowering the insulin in the body when you eat your dinner. It helps food to move slower through the digestive tract, which lowers the glucose in your blood. When your glucose is steady, cravings naturally subside.
Do you have any tricks that help you from eating too much at night? Share your tips with me and feel free to find more of mine here: soulfulspoon.com.