By Kayla Adams
Cravings: we all experience them. The question is, do you give in or do you push past them? An OHSU study suggests that your body’s internal clock promotes increased hunger and cravings for sweet, starchy and salty foods in the evenings. With a natural urge to eat unhealthy foods late at night, it can be difficult to fight those nagging cravings. So, what do you do? Let’s explore a few tips that will be helpful in pushing past those nagging nighttime cravings.
When your stomach rumbles at night signaling hunger, your first instinct may be to grab a snack and eat until you’re content or no longer hungry—not the greatest idea. Have you tried simply drinking a few glasses of water to settle your hunger? Scientists believe that about 17 oz. of water is sufficient to stretch the stomach enough to send signals of fullness to the brain. In other words, even if you are hungry, all you may need is to consume some water and you’ll begin to feel relief. Try drinking one glass before you lay down at night and keeping an extra glass on your nightstand in case those cravings creep up.
You may notice your cravings more at night because you’ve winded down and don’t have as many distractions as you do during your busy day. Being unsettled and restless at night contributes to the intensity of your cravings and the root of your restlessness is likely to be stress-related. To relax and resist your cravings, create a nighttime routine that relaxes your mind so that you can settle into bed. Journaling, soaking in the tub, and listening to relaxing melodies are all great options for your bedtime routine. In doing these things, you’re able to relax more easily and focus on getting to sleep sooner.
Not so fast! Indulge with caution and set parameters, of course. If you’ve drunk your water and destressed before bed but your stomach won’t stop nagging, then consider responsibly indulging in a healthy snack. Designate a set of snacks that won’t compromise your goals but will allow you to fill up enough to comfortably get to bed. Have one serving of your favorite health-conscious snacks such as pistachios, banana with almond butter, a tropical fruit, trail mix, or your TLS Nutrition Shake. Be sure to stick to serving sizes to ensure that you aren’t over-eating just before bed.
If you practice any of these three tips, you may begin to notice a major difference in the intensity of your nighttime cravings, and you may even notice that they’ll go away altogether. Before you make the decision to eat something before bed that’ll make you feel terrible, drink some water, destress, and indulge (if you must) in some healthier options.