How to Reduce Sugar Cravings
Battling Nighttime Cravings
I eat healthily during the day, but at night I just can't seem to stop craving sweets, especially chocolate. I am 51 years old and 15 pounds overweight. Please help me control these night cravings.
By Caroline Apovian, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.N.
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You are not alone, Joanne. Most people with cravings experience them at night for a variety of reasons. The most common are boredom or downtime, hunger that was not satisfied during the day, and depression. To deal with downtime, try to structure the evening to include exercise, such as a walk after dinner. Other activities might include attending an art class or volunteering, swimming at your local YMCA, or joining a tennis group that plays at night. If you're home, immerse yourself in a good movie or book.
Boredom can be ameliorated by all of the above activities, as can depression, if it's mild. If it's more serious, seek help from a therapist or your primary care physician, who can prescribe an antidepressant. And keep in mind that not eating enough during the day can lead to hunger and overeating at night. So make sure you eat breakfast (and lunch) every day, and don't wait too late to have dinner. Once dinner is over, stop eating for the rest of the night. Lock up all the goodies in the house and have someone else hide the key if you truly cannot have sweets available without eating them. Or better yet, don't buy them in the first place.
If you absolutely must snack, have healthy options handy so you're not tempted to start foraging for junk. Fresh fruit is an excellent choice, as is a cup of herbal tea. Lastly, ask your spouse or other family members to help support your efforts by not snacking in front of you and by motivating you to stick with your plan.
Video: How to Stop Hunger & Cravings (3 Easy Steps) | Avoid Overeating & Binge Eating Junk Food on a Diet
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