Stop Late-Night Snacking with These 5 Tips!

Picture it, it’s after dinner, but you keep wandering into the kitchen and wanting to eat. Why is that? I saw a funny meme going around social media that had locks on the refrigerator and pantry at 7 o’clock at night, and the caption said, I hardly eat all day, so I have to lock up my kitchen at night, or I’ll eat everything in it!

This is funny because it’s true, but what it’s doing to our health is no laughing matter. 

Let’s gain Godly wisdom to stop our bad habits in their tracks! Maybe you’ve tried brushing your teeth, drinking hot tea, or you've even taken up a new project at night to keep you busy, but the desire is still there. What do you do? 

Let’s turn to wisdom! Here are 5 things to evaluate when it comes to this sneaky health sabotager…

Are you eating enough during the day?

Skimping on calories throughout the day backfires at night. And excess calories at night lead to weight gain. Calorie restriction all day leads to binge eating at night. Your body is hungry, and it needs nutrition.

Here is how a Strong. Confident. His. Sister in Christ can fix that: Pray for wisdom and evaluate if you’re eating during the day. Whether it’s three meals you choose, five mini-meals, or three meals and two snacks, whatever method of eating you choose, stick to it so your body is taking in enough calories and you’re not starving at night.

Are you getting enough protein, good fats, and fiber? 

Evaluate what you’re eating. When you eat enough of these foods, you will feel full longer, but you get cravings when you don’t get the nutrition your bodies need.

Here’s an example: instead of just eating fruit for breakfast, have an omelet with spinach, mushroom, and some oatmeal. 

For lunch, instead of having a protein bar, have Salmon, avocado, and kale, trade that candy bar or chips in for greek yogurt, apple slices, and walnuts, and for dinner, skip the drive-through and have a healthy burrito bowl with ground chicken, brown rice, black beans, and salsa. 

Choose God-made foods over man-made processed foods because if you’re eating empty calories, your body will still be hungry and crave the nutrition it needs.

What time do you go to bed? 

How much sleep are you getting? Do you need to go to be earlier? Girls we need to put ourselves so bed like we do with our kids. Mama does not need to be up at 1 in the morning watching her fav show and folding laundry.

Did you know, that the more sleep you get before midnight, the better? I was looking for stats for you, and I found this, Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan is a sleep expert, and she says we need to get to sleep way before midnight, and here’s why: “The 90-minute phase before midnight is one of the most powerful phases of sleep because it's the period where the body is replenished.”

Ramlakhan explains that sleeping before midnight is also important for setting the rhythm of sleep throughout the night and can enrich our physical and mental health. "The pre-midnight sleep seems to bring about the most powerful repair to the brain and body," she says. "It sets the body into a good rhythm thereafter. In my experience, people who go to bed before midnight tend to have better daytime routines and are more likely to eat healthily and exercise regularly." 

Going to bed after midnight "can lead to chronic exhaustion and fatigue and even thyroid problems and burnout, "Studies show that even a single night of sleep deprivation changes the levels of our hunger and appetite hormones, leading to increased hunger. Our appetites are regulated by the hormones ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin helps to stimulate hunger cravings, allowing your body to know when it’s time to eat, and leptin acts as an appetite suppressor, promoting feelings of fullness and satiety. 

However, if you don’t get enough sleep, it can interfere with the balance of these hormones, increasing your levels of ghrelin and your susceptibility to cravings. Like Pizza, chips, hamburgers, and donuts, we crave junk when we feel exhausted. If you're tempted to keep snacking after a balanced dinner, that may be a sign that your body needs more sleep.

Here is how a Strong. Confident. His. Sister in Christ can fix that: create a sleep-wake routine. Getting to bed earlier will help you sleep better and longer, reduce cravings, balance hormones, and so much more, and better skin, and sharper mental acuity. I can't say enough about it. I put myself to sleep early every night.

Are you stressed, bored, sad, lonely, or angry?

Acknowledge your emotions, talk to God, search for scriptures, write in your journal, and/or talk to a friend. A recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants who felt stressed saw their levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin rise in the evening. At the same time, their bodies produced less peptide YY, a hormone that contributes to feelings of fullness. So if you’re like many who often find themselves feeling overwhelmed and exhausted after a long day, your hormones may be to blame for overeating.

Here is how a Strong. Confident. His. Sister in Christ can fix that: How are you dealing with your emotions, stress, or loneliness? Do you meditate on the Word of God, or do you practice deep breathing? Because of my hormones and all the changes I’ve gone through in the last few years, I’ve had to learn how to destress. Practicing deep breathing while I pray has been so helpful; my cortisol is low!

Food isn’t our answer unless we’re hungry; it just masks the feeling we’re trying not to feel, but they are still there. Search your heart, friend. The Holy Spirit will reveal it to you.

Have you made a habit of nighttime eating?

Maybe you’re used to treating yourself. The day is done, you’ve worked hard, the kids are asleep, and you put on your favorite show and want to snack. If so, plan for it. Get the healthiest version of what you want, portion it out, and enjoy some of it.

Here is how a Strong. Confident. His. Sister in Christ can fix that: If you’re not hungry and this is sabotaging your health goals, choose a day of the week you’re going to eat this snack, preferably during the day and not before bed when your body doesn’t need the excess calories, think of calories as energy, you don’t need them to sleep. 

We can make or break habits, so create habits that design the life you really want to live. I don’t teach dieting. I don’t believe in it because the Bible didn’t create it the world did, so a healthy relationship with food is my prayer for you. One without guilt that leads you to your very best mental, emotional, and physical health.

Faith fuel:

“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16

Dear God,

Help us be honest with ourselves and pinpoint what is making us want to eat. Help us manage the bodies you gave us here on this earth with excellence. Prompt us through the Holy Spirit to spot the traps of the enemy, the food lust that leaves us in self-loathing, and when we do indulge, give us the grace to move on free of guilt and make the next choice a God-made one. Help us always know that striving for perfection is worldly and only you are perfect, but we can live free from guilt, shame, and the bondage of dieting and perfectionism. Help us be our best for you, Father.

In Jesus’ name, amen!

You can kick this habit, friend! You are Strong. Confident. His!

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