It’s a little after 8:00 PM. I am snuggled up on the couch with a book. My husband and I finished dinner almost an hour ago. “No dessert tonight,” I think to myself. “You already had a dessert at lunch, and you don’t need another.” Then I hear it. That creak of a cabinet followed by the crinkle of plastic. I am off the couch and heading for the kitchen without a second thought. I’m like Pavlov’s dog after the feeding bell, because I know there will be treats. “What are you eating?” I ask my husband as I try to peer over his shoulder.
This has become somewhat of a routine in our house. I know, and my husband knows, I am a late night muncher. I have been conditioned to want a night time snack, even when I know I don’t need one. My willpower takes a nosedive in the evenings. So if my husband decides to snack, I usually end up snacking too. He has tried to defend those cookies and M&M’s, but I always convince him to share. Whether its by whining or wrestling, I find a way.
At this point you are either relating to my night time snacking problem, or you think I am crazy. Either way I have some ideas’ on how to battle this conditioned response. While your significant other might not have the same dietary goals as you, it won’t kill them to support you by making healthier food choices or holding you accountable. Here’s how.
Have a Plan
Talk about your goals with your significant other and map out how you would like to achieve them. Set a time to evaluate how the process is going at the end of each week and to make changes if needed.
Find an activity you can do together in the evening that will keep your minds off snacking. Go for a walk, play a card game, or find a new activity that you both have always wanted to try.
Eat more protein at dinner. Protein takes more time for your body to digest so it will keep you full longer.
Start a water challenge. Before either of you go for the snack cabinet, drink a big glass of water. Filling up your stomach with water tricks your brain into feeling full.
Go to bed! If it’s late and you are munching because you are trying to stay awake to watch that really funny late night TV show, it might be best to record the show or find it online the next day.
Eliminate temptation. Try to only bring healthy snack options into the house. If your significant other must have other snacks, ask them to keep them at work or consume them when you are not around.
If you must have a late night snack, have those healthy options available. Choose fruit over processed sweets. Keep foods with higher amounts of protein like yogurt or beef jerky available. A little bit of dark chocolate can also be enough to satisfy those munchies.
Now you and I both have some ideas on how to battle the late night munchies, and also resist temptation when our significant others feel like snacking. I am also going to work on how I respond to the sound of crinkly wrappers in the evening. I have too much in common with the my dog at the moment.
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