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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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Daniel Wallen

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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