Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Late Night Munchies Syndrome

You've eaten dinner. You ate enough to satisfy your belly for the rest of the evening.


All of a sudden....

You get the munchies! You are not even hungry!

Do you have the late night munchies syndrome?

Look here to find out!

You have eaten a complete meal for dinner (maybe you've even overeaten!):
  1. Within a few hours or less you find yourself wandering through your kitchen.
  2. You look for something to eat, but you're not hungry.
  3. You look for something to eat because you're bored.
  4. You look for something to eat to distract you from something else.
  5. You look for something to eat to procrastinate.
  6. You look for something to eat out of habit.
  7. Your sweet tooth is talking. Hollering. Screaming!
  8. You begin to think of alternatives to eating, because you're not hungry, but you know there is ______ (add your naughty goodie here, that you currently have in your kitchen).
  9. You want something to eat, so you try to feel hungry, even though you're not.
  10. You're with someone who gets the snacks out, or goes through a fast-food drive thru.
  11. You're at a party and (see 2-7 above).
  12. You're angry about something, so you snack-out, but you're not hungry.
  13. You feel bad about yourself for some reason anyway. You might as well have a few moments of eating something that tastes really good.
Having the late night munchies syndrome does not mean that you are hungry. You might be hungry, but more often than not, the late night munchies syndrome is a very, very bad habit. If you were really hungry, you'd eat some healthful food, right? A banana, some peanut butter and celery, toast, or cottage cheese to name a few. Unfortunately, the late night munchies syndrome has developed over time, and from your habit of giving in to it from the beginning. When you don't give in to it, you feel empty like something is missing. You would rather have that sick-to-your-stomach feeling from eating half a bag of chips/crackers/cookies, than have that empty, needy feeling. I understand because I feel like the inventor of the late night munchies syndrome!

How to Overcome the Late Night Munchies Syndrome
  1. Eat a healthy, well-balanced meal for dinner.
  2. Drink plenty of water.
  3. Find interesting things to do after dinner.
  4. Don't sit around watching television every night. If you do, prepare healthy snacks ahead of time.
  5. When you feel like you're going to give in to the munchies, call a friend or someone that you have been meaning to talk to.
  6. Go for an evening walk. This is one way people stay healthy, active and young even into their 90's.
  7. If you are on the computer in the evening after dinner, have healthy snacks ready to munch on, and water.
  8. If you enjoy reading at night, keep water and healthy snacks handy.
  9. Purge your kitchen of junk food. Only stock healthy items.
  10. Make friends with your mean roommate if you have one, and give that person all your junk food. Let them get fat.
  11. Stop procrastinating. Do what's on your list of things to do, and if it involves house cleaning, either crank up loud dance music, or if you have little sleeping ones, listen to headphones.
  12. Make a new evening habit. If it's eating, have healthy foods ready to snack on. If it's being more active, invite your partner or a friend or your pet to join you in being active.
  13. Write out a list of reasons why you have the Late Night Munchies Syndrome. Work from there.
  14. Keep snacks handy at all times. In your bag, in your car, in your pocket. Then if you are around others who are eating junk, you can join them in eating, only you'll be eating healthy. Who knows how this will influence your friends. (It's okay if they tease you, it's actually their way of caring and/or telling you that they are proud of you without actually saying it.)
  15. Bake something naturally sweetened and share it with others.
  16. Revisit this post and send it on to anyone else who needs to read it

Benefits of Overcoming the Late Night Munchies Syndrome:
  • You will feel better about yourself.
  • You will identify an unhealthy pattern and begin a new, healthy one.
  • You may lose weight.
  • You will find that evening walks are much more fun than vegging out.
  • You might start eating healthier dinners.
  • You will wake up feeling fantastic!
  • You'll stop feeling sorry for yourself.
  • You might be more productive.
  • Your kids will learn from your habits. What you do, more than what you say.
  • You'll realize your sweet tooth can be overcome!
  • If you can overcome this bad habit, you're more likely to overcome other bad habits.


jennconspiracy said...

Great analysis and tip sheet!

hoperu said...

Great suggestions! Bob Greene, Oprah's personal trainer, recommends not eating anything less than two hours before bedtime, and if you have the munchies, to drink a cup of herbal tea. I've found, since I started holding myself to that rule, that the munchies actually come less often. Maybe I am actually training my brain to think healthier!

Kathleen Lisson, CSW said...

My suggestion is: Brush your teeth. That minty taste just ruins the taste of orange juice and chocolate and junk food for me.

My Year Without said...

I agree that tea definitely helps curb the cravings and sort of puts you in a different mind set.

I had forgotten about brushing teeth to help with eating sugar but that works, too. Who wants to eat anything after you've taken the time to brush and floss AND once you have that strong, minty taste in your mouth? I can hardly drink water right afterward!

Thanks for the great reminders!

RN said...

Thank you for this information, I have been on weight watchers for a month and everynight get the "munchies" And thanks for the commentors with their advice as well.