We all know that eating lots of food right before bedtime is a Really Bad Idea! But just knowing that intellectually doesn’t necessarily stop us from doing it. There’s a huge difference between knowing what to do – and actually following through. So here are 11 ways to start moving away from the rut of mindless night time eating.
1 – Re-position
Do you always sit in the same spot while watching TV? Move to another spot! Grab a pillow and lie on the floor, or move from the recliner to one side of the sofa. This will move you out of your customary routine so you don’t feel as tempted to munch mindlessly.
2 – Quiet cravings beforehand
Before you even sit down to watch television, sit in a quiet place for 10 minutes, breathing deeply and letting go of any tension and anxiety. This helps center you and make you less likely to eat for emotional reasons.
3 – Breathe deeply
Speaking of breathing deeply, you can continue doing so as you watch television. Do it especially if you start feeling tempted to eat and you aren’t hungry. Imagine breathing in peace and well-being, and expelling cravings with each exhale.
4 – Keep your hands busy
Take up an activity that you can perform while watching television like knitting, needlework, or even shuffling a deck of cards.
6 – Chew gum
Snacking and chewing gum are never done at the same time, so keep your jaws busy and a fresh minty flavor (or any flavor you choose) tickling your taste buds. (You can also brush your teeth before you begin watching TV if you don’t like gum.)
7 – Drink water
Sip on ice cold water while you watch TV – or even crunch on ice cubes to keep your mouth busy.
8 – Munch healthy
You can also make a small platter of crunchy, healthy vegetables to munch on while watching. Good choices are low-calorie options like celery and cucumbers. If you’d like to break the habit of eating in front of the TV altogether, eat a low-calorie snack right before you tune in to watch.
9 – Chew on a straw
Chewing on a straw can also be effective because it gives your mouth and hands something to do but has zero calories.
10 – Doodle
Grab a notepad and start doodling during commercial breaks. Draw funny little pictures of the scenes you are watching on TV, or draw caricatures of your favorite actors.
11 – Fidget
Fidgeting can also be helpful – just start shaking your foot or tapping your fingers and keep it going. Do this especially if you start feeling tempted to visit the kitchen – shake and tap to get rid of nervous tension.