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5 Tips To Stop Food Craving At Night

5 Tips To Stop Food Craving At Night

Have you ever felt like your stomach was satisfied but your mouth was still hungry? This confusing feeling is due to the cephalic phase digestive response. “Cephalic” is just a fancy word for “head,” so think of this like digestion for your brain. If you eat food while you’re distracted or in a big hurry, you won’t notice the qualities of your food (things like aroma, taste, and texture). Your brain doesn’t notice these things by itself, so if you don’t pay attention to the qualities of your food, your brain won’t notice that you are full. Consequently, you might find yourself binge eating in the kitchen right before bed, because your mouth is screaming FEED ME even though your stomach is content. Why does this happen? Your brain craves pleasure like it craves water. If you want to stop your food cravings at night, you need to slow down and nourish your body.

1. Give yourself 5 extra minutes to eat.

How long do you usually take to eat breakfast? If you take 5 minutes to eat every morning, give yourself 10 minutes tomorrow. Keep that up for a week and then add another 5 minutes to make it a total of 15. Eating slowly will feel funny at first, so let’s start slow to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Repeat this strategy with lunch and dinner too. Continue to slowly add time to all of your meals and bask in the eating experience.

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2. Put your fork down between every bite.

If you have a hard time slowing down at the dinner table, try this: put your fork down after each and every bite. Chew slowly and focus on the taste, texture, and aroma of your food. You could make a fun game out of this by trying to guess all of the ingredients that were used in your dish. It takes 15-20 minutes for your body to signal that it is satisfied by a meal. Slowing down will help you become more satisfied with less food, resulting in fewer calories consumed and pounds lost.

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3. Do not eat in front of the TV or computer.

Eating is to be done at the kitchen table and nowhere else. If you eat while you are distracted, you won’t notice the qualities of your food (so your brain’s needs for pleasure won’t be fulfilled) and you will miss out on your body’s hunger signal (so you will eat more calories than you really need). Stop looking at eating like it is just a thing you have to do. Eating should not be considered an inconvenience, but rather, a joyous occasion. Stop depriving your body of the quality food (and time) it deserves. Start nourishing it instead.

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4. Eat more healthy fats, fiber, and protein.

These nutrients will help your body feel more full and satisfied without a whole lot of calories required. Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, grass-fed steak, free range eggs, butter, olive oil, avocado, and fish. You can find fiber in oatmeal, raspberries, oranges, brown rice, hummus, and vegetables. High protein foods include lean meats, yogurt, beans/legumes, and milk.

5. Drink a big glass of ice water first.

The feelings of hunger and thirst are often confused. It doesn’t help that most of us spend our days in an eternal state of dehydration. Feeling hungry? Before you take a single bite, pour yourself a big glass of ice water and drink that. Wait for about 15-20 minutes. If you’re still hungry at that point, dig in (but make a positive choice!). 

Do you have any extra tips to stop food craving at night? If you struggle with cravings, do you have any questions? What kinds of foods do you get hungry for especially? 

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More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2019

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

6. Give for the Joy of Giving

When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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