Late Night Junk Food Junkie

Enjoying some ice cream at a special event is one thing, but the calling of the late time munchies can be a killer!  It’s 10pm, you’re about to go to sleep, but then it hits you.   A TV show you’ve been meaning to watch is on and you start to crave that Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream.  The fridge is calling your name and you’re not running there to eat the broccoli!  You open the refrigerator door.  The next thing you know, you’ve got a tub of ice cream in one arm, a spoon in your hand, and Hershey’s syrup smeared all over your face.  Your next thoughts might be, “ I did it again!”  Your emotional progression is as follows: relief followed closely by defeat and then anger for giving in once again.  Or you might begin to rationalize and think, “Well, it was just this one time.  It won’t happen again.”

Does this scenario sound all too familiar?  I bet that at the moment you took your first spoonful, a moving train could not have derailed you!  Both biochemical and lifestyle imbalances contribute to a scenario just like this one. Dr. Nirvana Zarabi-Smith explains,

“Our brain manages our emotional reactions and plays a major part in food     addictions, as well as mood and anxiety disorders. These reactions affect our appetite and often result in ‘Emotional Eating’. A portion of the hypothalamus, which is called the paraventricular hypothalamus,actually tells you more specifically what foods you need, and seems to be responsible for many of our ‘cravings’.”

Addressing both these imbalances through proper supplementation and positive behavioral changes is essential to kicking those cravings for good.

While doing yoga on the beach yesterday, I was reminded of a particularly appropriate truism, ” Surrender is not a weakness, it’s simply accepting what is at the current moment”.  Surrendering to the reality that you don’t have control is the first step.  Once you accept this reality, the world is your oyster.  So here are my top 5 tips for staving off those late night cravings:

1.] Brush your teeth.  At the end of each meal; clean up, brush your teeth with something minty or with baking soda to get them smooth and clean. Once your mouth and teeth feel clean your less apt to want eat anything.

2.] Get intimate with yourself.  Turn the TV ‘off’ and find something that really turns you ‘on’ – a hobby, a passion, something non-sedentary.  “TV is an extended form of the dream. It therefore reduces thought, memory, and feeling (as in the dream). This reduction in bodily feeling/sensation is the real reason for overeating while viewing television.” See: http://radicalacademy.com/studentrefphilfmd11.htm

3.] Drink some cinnamon tea to stave off the sweet cravings.

4.] Write in your food journal reminding yourself of what you ate today.  A recent study by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that dieters who tracked their food intake in a “food diary” lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t track their food.  See: http://www.kpchr.org/research/public/news.aspx?newsid=3

5.] Get some sleep – you probably need it!  The average adult needs 7-8 hours of sleep a night especially during the hours of 10pm and 2am. Researchers say that how much you sleep and the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite.  See: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/lose-weight-while-sleeping

Here’s a fun video I found about late night eating, enjoy!

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