7 Ways to Put an End to Your Late-Night Snacking Habits

If the evening hours tend to be your healthy-eating downfall, follow this simple guide to just say no.

how to stop nighttime snacking

How is it that just a few hours can ruin an entire day's worth of good-for-you habits? If you're like most women, nighttime is tough. And your biology might be partly to blame: Appetite often peaks around 8 p.m., a small March 2013 study in the journal Obesity suggests. And then there's my own theory — the evening is when you can finally let out a sigh of relief that you've made it through the day... and that can lead to excessive eating.

Whether the cause is physiological or psychological, there's no question that the post-dinner period can be disastrous. Instead of munching on heart-healthy foods, you tend to fill up on salty or sweet treats that make you feel good in the short-term but not so great in the long run.

The result is more than a few extra pounds — think elevated blood pressure and blood sugar spikes. The good news: In seven easy steps, you can turn around your p.m. routine and wake up feeling lean and energized.

From: WomansDay
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1 Power Up at Dinner

Make sure your meal includes fiber (found in vegetables and whole grains) and protein (lean meat, beans, and dairy), two nutrients that help you feel full and satisfied. The duo also works to steady blood sugar, bolstering your willpower to fight the call of cookies and cake.

2 Delay Dessert

It's OK to enjoy a sweet or salty treat — like a scoop of fro-yo or a few cups of popcorn — but try to push it to at least an hour or two after your main meal. Essentially, the longer you put off dessert or a munchie, the fewer awake hours you'll have to resist those urges.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

3 Plan Tomorrow's Breakfast

Think about what you'll eat in the morning. This might sound counterintuitive if you're already fixated on food, but knowing there's another meal around the corner might help quash the immediate urge to eat.

4 Close the Kitchen

Once you're done with dinner and dessert, make it a point to formally shut down your kitchen. Pack up and store all food, empty the sink, load the dishwasher, turn off the lights, and leave the room to signify the end of eating for the day.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

5 Brew a Cup of Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea

It's soothing and warm, so it takes awhile to

6 Distract Yourself

Find an absorbing activity that doesn't involve eating: Read a few chapters in a book or take a walk.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

7 Take a Deep Breath

A minute or two of breathing (close your eyes!) helps you slow down so you don't grab the snacks.

More from Dr Oz The Good Life: