Diet Nutrition

Five tricks to kick the snacking habit

If you’re prone to late-night snacking but trying to kick the habit, we’ve got five tricks that might help you to stay on track.

1 Eat regular meals
Not eating enough during the day can set the stage for late-night munching. You don't have to eat three solid meals every single day – several small meals may also work for you – but do try to prepare decent sustenance ahead of time so you're not going hungry.

2 Pick a cut-off time
Choose a time at which you'll stop eating in the evenings. Nutritionist Ellie Krieger says you should ideally stop eating no less than three hours before bed, to allow enough time to digest your meal while still feeling full. Many people find about 8pm works well.

3 Pause and rethink
If you're craving food after dinner, wait 15 minutes before raiding the fridge. Ask yourself if you're truly hungry or if you can find satisfaction elsewhere, such as a relaxing bath or with a cup of tea. Waiting and re-evaluating your feelings allows for a more mindful decision.

4 Plan ahead
If you eat dinner early or opt for lighter meals, plan a small, healthy snack to eat between dinner and bedtime. Perhaps some fruit and yoghurt, or some avocado or sugar-free peanut butter on toast. This means you won't be left hungry, but you also won't eat the first thing that comes to hand in the fridge.

5 Set some rules
Avoid mindless eating by setting some ground rules. If you choose to eat something, portion it out onto a plate or into a bowl, then put the rest away.

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