Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tips to Combat the Late Night Munchies

It's all too often that my clients tell me they are “good” all day and then when they settled in for the evening in front of the TV they just couldn’t hold it together any longer! Sundown snackers will grab anything that can’t run away and call it a snack. A handful of cookies, a sleeve of crackers, six ‘portion controlled’ packs of chips…. Nothing is safe! And of course the calories mount up. Most of us do this because the evening is the only part of the day when we can really relax. The rushing around is behind us and we feel, if only subconsciously, that we deserve a reward. Also, while we may be distracted all day by overlapping demands, the evening is finally a time to call our own. Whew! Another frantic day done. Time to unwind. Time to comfort ourselves. Time to, well, eat! Of course, excess calories are the biggest negative to evening snacking. But there are others. Late-night eating can cause you to sleep poorly and wake up tired and with a food hangover to boot. I have a host of solutions to this common dilemma in my book (see The Wall Street Diet, page 36), but here’s one tip that really works: the Turkey Solution. I discovered this trick myself to curb my own night time munchies. Keep three or four quarter-pound bags of sliced turkey (from the deli) in the fridge. Choose low-sodium turkey and avoid honey-roasted, smoked or spiced turkey. Each of these ¼ pound bags will have only about 150 calories. If you’re really, truly hungry, the turkey will satisfy you (and give you a tryptophan boost which will help you sleep.) But if you’re just munching, after a few mouthfuls of turkey, you’ll call it quits. Check out my food blog (link) and let me know if this trick works for you or if you have any other effective late-night snack buster solutions.

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