I can eat healthy in the day – no problem. But as soon as the sun sets, I turn into a food frenzied Vampire who sucks back cookies… crackers… ice cream – you name it. And it turns out I’m not the only one. A study in the Journal Obesity found that we may be pre-programmed to binge on bad-for-you foods after dark. Blame our dang internal clock (the circadian system), which prompts us to eat sweet, starchy and salty foods in the p.m., especially around 8pm. Still, I’m determined not to let evolution win, so I’ve devised a plan to avoid bedtime binging…
1. Drink caffeine-free tea – It’s easy to confuse thirst for hunger, especially when you live in the dessert. Sipping on tea works two fold: it hydrates and can keep you from mindless eating. I usually opt for a vanilla or caramel flavor. My current favorite is actually an herbal coffee that comes in a tea bag: Teeccino Vanilla Nut Herbal Coffee Tee Bags – delish!
2. Paint your nails – My friend Mandy taught me this trick and it works! Instead of eating in front of the TV, which leads to mindless noshing, paint your nails. It keeps my hands busy and it’s calorie-free! So tonight, when I’m watching the Bachelorette finale, I’ll be painting my nails.
3. Do not buy junk – I used to buy chocolate chips and store them in the freezer. Then, come night time (and Vampire mode), I’d grab random handfuls to eat while watching trashy TV. Well, all those chocolate chips add up… and can add to you ass. So I stopped buying them. See no evil, eat no evil.
4. Snack on frozen fruit – Instead of reaching for chocolate chips, I now reach for frozen strawberries and mango. They’re the perfect post-dinner treat: they calm my sweet cravings and you’re forced to eat them slowly because they’re, well, frozen. Think of it as built-in pigout control.
5. Allow yourself a square of dark chocolate – Please note that I said dark chocolate. Not because dark chocolate is healthier (although it is), but because the bitter taste just doesn’t lend itself to overeating (for me, at least). I’ll savor a single square with a cup of vanilla tea and feel totally satisfied.
6. Brush your teeth – I love, love, love the feeling of clean teeth, and the last thing I want to do after brushing my pearly whites is binge on junk. My fave toothbrush: Oral-B Professional Healthy Clean + Floss Action Electric Toothbrush with SmartGuide. It gives me that fresh-out-of-the-dentist clean feel and keeps me from late-night noshing.