The Trouble with Late Night- the Cravings

Full disclosure: every night this week I’ve had some sweets. But I was having such a good, healthy day! I did everything right, woke up early for workouts, healthy breakfast, snacks and lunch, came for from a long day at work to a nutritious breakfast. Then I go and ruin it all by having sweet dry cereal, peanut butter, raisins, and or candy. What the heck?? A full day’s work, ruined.

I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, it happens right? The problem is this happens far too often in the evening and late nights, they are the worst times for me and food. It’s difficult, sometimes damn near impossible, to resist the urge to eat something. My home is not clear of breads, juices, processed foods or candy because the rest of my family still eats that. So when I’m home there goes my will power; down the drain along with my pride.

It’s about the solution, not the problem. I’m not here to grip though. I don’t want to complain, I’m trying to figure out how to solve this dilemma. After some thought I have observed some possible culprits in my daily routine that could be the root of my healthy eating sabotage. Primarily that I eat the majority of the food in my meal plan by 4 pm and I got to sleep around 10-11 pm. That food includes breakfast, lunch, and all my allotted mid-meal snacks by 4 pm leaving a 6-7 hour gap where I usually have my dinner then have about 4 hours before I go to sleep. I also have the majority of my daily activities early in the morning to early evening then I set the rest of my day as ‘relax’ time when I wind down. The problem with my food and daily activity is that it feel very lopsided leaving my evenings to idle, get bored and turn to food to keep me busy.

The key is balance. So it seems a disproportional routing is the root of my problem. Now the goal is fixing it. The food part seems pretty straightforward. I need to spread out my meals so I’m giving myself 3-4 hours rather than 2-3 to eat spread out my food intake more evenly. Part of why I might be eating most of my food early is because I still confuse hunger for thirst and instead of drinking I turn to eating. “Oh I’m eating what’s on my meal plan so I’m good.” WRONG! I still have an issue with drinking enough water. Increasing my intake of water should help my eating habits as well. It’s a tricky thing, I always need to be conscious of it.

Next would be to deal with the evening inactivity. Lately my nights consist of sitting and watching TV. Nothing goes better with that mindless activity than eating. That needs to stop. I need to look for other things to keep my busy after work. Preferably something that has me moving. So my goal is to find one activity that has me standing and moving for at least 30 minutes each evening. Candidates include: cleaning my house, prepping my next day’s meals, walking my dogs, quick fitness challenges.  I’m not asking for much either, it doesn’t have to be another workout, although that can only help.

Lastly is getting sleep: 11 pm is way too late to sleep, especially since I wake up at 4:30 am to get to my morning workouts. Sleeping that late usually means I’ll be late to my class as well. There’s several articles that give tips on getting a good night’s sleep and one of them includes establishing a bedtime ritual. So the new goal it so start my bedtime routine at 9:30 to get some sleep early. Earlier would be better but let’s take it a step at at time.

So the plan is simple:

-Eat well and balanced throughout the day

-Stay active, even in the evenings

-Drink lots of water

-Get a good night’s sleep

Now that I wrote it out this all seems like a very straightforward plan I should have been following this whole time. Duh! The formula is simple:

0001eatclean

See, this is why I write. Sometimes I just need to put pen to paper/ keystroke to blog to get the right answer.

If anyone has suggestions for curbing late night cravings I’d be happy to get them.

Until next time,

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