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Avoiding late night eating

Posted by Jim C.

I do well at maintaining my eating habits during the day. But after dinner and after the kids are in bed I generally have a big dessert (usually featuring ice cream). So a lot of times I go to bet too full. Has anyone else had this? Ideas on ways to avoid these habits?
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This is mindless eating. You are probably eating while doing something else: TV, computer, etc. So, to break this habit, you need to keep your mouth and hands busy for a while. Chew gum, drink caffeine free tea, or have a mint. Keep a book or magazine in your hand while watching TV. You can multitask this way!
One thing that we do is simply don't keep ice cream in the house. When you watch tv, they have all kinds of luscious commercials that stimulate the appetite and remind you that you do have ice cream in the house. Soon, the quart is gone. Also, make sure you are eating enough at dinner. Son't watch the food channel at night or read recipe books! This is another way that you might be thinking about too many foods before bed.
I use soda and popcorn. I also find that if I don't eat enough at dinner (shocking I know) then I'm extra hungry and it's harder to control the nighttime eating.

We do frozen yogourt instead of ice cream, smoothies to get fruit, air-popped popcorn, or whole grain tostitos with salsa. Not too bad as long as you keep your portions down.

Reading the other suggestions, I think I might try Carrie's suggestion and chew more gum!

Brush your teeth after dinner. It's a mind trick to prepare your body for bed.

You can also switch the ice cream to frozen yogurt as Teresa suggested.

Try talking yourself out of it. This works for me and it can work on good days and bad. If you had a good day, you went to the gym or did any form of exercise and had a healthy lunch, tell yourself you've done good all day, don't spoil it now. If you've had a bad day, tell yourself you haven't done any exercise, you didn't eat healthy today, so having ice cream will make it worse.

Another trick I use is planning when I will eat desert. If you chose every other day, on your day off, you can tell yourself to wait because you will get desert tomorrow.

Sounds silly, but it works for me.

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