Night Cravings

cravings food health nutrition Nov 20, 2019

When talking to my clients about when they screw up their eating plan guess what the answer is...

Night cravings.


They wake up in the morning, have a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch and at bedtime they eat a package of cookies and go to bed.

Or something like that.

I know for me personally it was after late night at work I would cave and want fries and a soda so bad!


Well, there is an actual science behind why you want to eat sugars and fats at night.  Sometimes it's as simple as you are actually just tired and need to go to bed.  Sometimes it's that you haven't had enough protein throughout the day and you are misreading what your body needs.


Night cravings can do a lot of damage if handled poorly.  Your metabolism slows at night because your body simply needs less calories while you sleep.  So, if you stuff your body with sugar and fats and then go to bed, you body will simply store it as body fat while you sleep.  It then becomes tough to burn off and you have to work twice as hard on your daily routine to compensate for the poor night time habits.




Another issue we deal with is that some of us exercise at night and actually NEED something post workout before we go to bed to help recover and restore.  But what are the right things to eat?


OR some of us wake up at the crack of dawn to workout and want to have something in our system before we workout but don't want to eat breakfast and we want something to keep us from passing out during a tough morning workout.


SO... I have some ideas for you to try:

1 - Drink a glass of water first.  Yup.  You might just be thirsty.  I actually prefer to have an herbal tea at bedtime.  It helps to have something warm (not hot) to drink to soothe the body and help digestion right before I need to drift off.  It actually helps me sleep.  I choose an Herbal tea that has a flavor I enjoy without any sweetener.  Mine is an Apple Cinnamon.


2 -  Often your cravings are telling you that you are deficient in other nutrients.  Have some veggies or proteins instead of fats and sugars.  Watch your portion sizes.  Keep them small. Proteins take longer for your body to process and store and is actually a great night time snack if you must have one.  It's great post workout and it's something that will be in your system for an early morning workout as well.  Try LEAN proteins - not a cheeseburger please!  I have been known to just roll up a slice of deli meat and snack on it before bed a time or too.

3 - Take a bath.  Maybe your cravings are you just trying to settle down and go to sleep.

A bath at night helps me to calm myself, destress and relax.

Maybe try all three?

Having a  night craving?

do this

 - Take a warm bath, drink some herbal tea and if you are still hungry roll up a slice of turkey and put it on a piece of celery.  Then see if that helps.


And yes, very often you are still a food addict with very very real withdrawal symptoms and actual cravings for the drug you are removing from your life.  Sugar addiction is real.  You will have as hard a time kicking those addictions as a meth addict does kicking their habit.  So after you have tried those things and if you are still having those cravings out of control...

take a look at your meal plan, have you gotten enough calories and the right kinds of foods?  if not, eat a SMALL healthy meal high in proteins and feel good that you are taking care of you.  But tomorrow - Please plan your day better and get them in early.

BUT, if you had plenty of food throughout the day and you did the above steps and you are still having those cravings - this could be a withdrawel sympton of a craving from a sugar addiction.  Deal with it as an addiction.  Call a supportive friend (not one that is going to bring cookies over and eat them with you) but that friend that you know will help you overcome this obstacle.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  This can be done!  You can conquer it!


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