If I had to name my biggest struggle when it comes to my nutrition, it would be the late-night munchies.
I’ve got a better handle on things now–thanks to the tips I share later on in this post!–but it used to be a foregone conclusion that I would have some kind of treat after my evening meal which almost always turned dinner into one continuous meal.
It was so hard to curb the urge because I felt entitled to it: I’d come home from a long, stressful day, and all I wanted to do was relax.
For me, eating was synonymous with relaxing. In fact, the idea of relaxing without food gave me anxiety!
Even though I was very well-aware that my night time indulgences were keeping me from achieving my goals, I just couldn’t stop.
Maybe you can relate?
If you often find yourself coming home from work like me–exhausted, spent, and stressed the F out!–food often feels like the only thing that’ll make all that feel better.
I remember telling myself “You deserve this” as a way to try and convince the part of me that wasn’t so sure. If I ever faltered, I’d just remind myself of how healthy I ate all day.
My harried lifestyle often left little time for regular meals, so I’d skip them, thinking that this was doing me a favor (it wasn’t). Naturally, I’d come home ravenous and struggle to keep my cravings and appetite in check.
I hear from so many women who can relate to this feeling! We are so good at depriving ourselves throughout the day; pushing down our cravings; and setting ourselves up to make a choice we know we’ll regret.
But this doesn’t have to be our MO! We can unlearn these habits and set ourselves up for success by using the following simple (not easy!) strategies to avoid that feeling of “food entitlement”.
I’ll walk you through this using my RESET Protocol, which stands for:
- Resist the urge to skip meals
- Eat more (but wisely!) throughout the day
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise less
- Tame your stress
Resist the urge to skip meals
When we miss meals, there is a biochemical response: cortisol (stress) levels rise because our body isn’t being fed, so hunger hormones increase to cue us to eat for energy. Many dieters eat “virtuously” all day and so low-cal that hunger (and cravings) INCREASE and we eat that continuous meal from dinner through bedtime.
By staying on top of our hunger, we balance our hormones more effectively and are better equipped to handle the temptation to eat more and worse stuff later because we’ve “been so good” and deserve it.
Eat more (but wisely!) throughout the day
Balance your hormones by NOT skimping on meals and snacks throughout the day.
Make the best choice you can (lean protein and some fiber at every meal is a good place to start!) and avoid walking in the door hungry.
Keeping tasty, portable options in your bag (protein bars, mixed nuts, high-fiber fruits) help quell that desire to eat endlessly.
I recommend 4 liters per day (115ish ounces, or 4 Nalgene bottles-full).
There is such a thing as exercise-induced hunger, and it’s what makes it that much harder to resist a big “celebratory” meal post-workout.
Exercising less, but with weights and increased intensity helps keep the hunger hormones at bay, and turns on our fat-burning furnaces!
Tame your stress
It is normal to feel stress from a hard day at work. It’s also normal (aka not just you!) to feel entitled to indulge as a result, or feel like a failure for letting yourself get to this point yet again.
To help you avoid overindulging at night, try to incorporate more stress-reducing activities like a long, slow leisure walk (preferably in nature) or a bath.
If you’re struggling with:
- How to quit the “endless evening meal” habit;
- Wondering where o’ where your motivation has gone; or
- Just need some clarity about what to do to actually get results for good ’cause what you’re doing (or not doing!) just isn’t working anymore,
You’re in luck!
I just opened the cart for enrollment into my women-only online group coaching club, the Bonafide Fit Babes!
If you’re looking for inspiration, motivation, accountability, and empowerment to take action towards the results you truly desire, look no further!