If you’re in front of the fridge light when your nightlights are on, you need to change your behavior.
GREENSBORO, NC — Be honest: Are you a nighttime snacker? Maybe cookies, some pretzels, ice cream, a piece of fruit? Well, you’re not alone. Well over half of us confess to nibbling at night.
As Consumer Reports explains, all those snacks before bedtime can have an impact on your health. Studies suggest that nighttime eating can lead to higher cholesterol and blood glucose levels, as well as weight gain.
If you find yourself standing in front of the fridge light instead of a night light, Consumer Reports has some simple tips to ease out of evening eating.
“Our bodies do certain things better at different times of the day. In the morning, it does a better job controlling blood sugar after a meal than it does later in the day,” said Amy Keating, Consumer Reports Nutritionist.
A recent study indicates that people who eat an early-morning breakfast have better blood sugar control, which could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And getting a majority of your calories during the day should help you stave off nighttime snacking.
Shine a light on your nighttime nibbling by keeping a food journal. Keeping a log of what you eat can be an effective tool to help you lose weight and alter your behavior.
“A lack of sleep has been linked to overeating. Going to bed an hour earlier means you’ll have more time to sleep and less time to snack,” said Keating.
A higher-protein diet has been linked to reduced hunger. Keep full with small servings of chicken, fish, or legumes, with colorful veggies for meals and protein-filled snacks like yogurt or nuts.
Keep your hands busy. Playing cards, folding laundry while you watch TV, or doing a puzzle at night can help keep you from snacking.
One more CR tip: If you have the urge to snack, do it mindfully by sitting at a table and using a fork or spoon. You’ll be less likely to overeat than if you just grabbed something straight out of a bag.