Midnight cravings

Even the most sensible, in control, strong-willed person can fall prey to midnight snacking
The Community By Rose Hockley
Published on June 1, 2014
Midnight cravings

Hunger pangs at midnight? Don’t fret, as The Community lists three most cruicial situations that lead to those melting moments where your self-control gives in. Read on to tackle them the healthy way…

CASE 1

You’ve been trying to lose weight forever and have completely given up on carbohydrates since everyone says it leads to weight gain. However, you feel extremely hungry by midnight. Whenever a void is created, you will have to fill it up, because food is not eaten as it is yummy, healthy or tasty; food is your fuel. Period. If you don’t eat, you will perish. When you do not eat enough of the right food throughout the day, you will land up eating the wrong food at the wrong time. And at midnight, you are not going to make the effort of cutting a fruit or tossing up a salad. You will just grab a chocolate or an unhealthy bag of chips!
Lesson learnt: Don’t skip meals; never cut off carbs completely from any meal; eat small portions of snacks frequently. Eat mindfully through the day, so that you don’t have to eat mindlessly, late at night.

CASE 2

After a couple of drinks your stomach is roaring to eat an elephant! Why? And how can you stop this hunger pang? Alcohol adds seven calories per gram to your hips. It increases your appetite levels for up to 24 hours after you finish drinking. Bar nuts, cheese and desserts then become impossible to stay away from.
Lesson learnt: Always eat well before you drink. Have your dinner early if you are going out for a party at night; drink in moderation and make sure you replace the lost fluids with adequate water consumed intermittently, throughout the night, between alcoholic beverages.

CASE 3

On nights when you are bored and depressed, food becomes your only solace. You end up searching endlessly for solutions to life’s problems at the bottom of a bag of French fries. You have looked for the Almighty at the end of a stack of pakoras and you have tried to find the true meaning of life in decadent, rich chocolate! You don’t know how to stop this… Well, the first thing you must know is that most French fries, pakoras and potato chips have the highest levels of a substance called acrylamide, which many scientists think is cancerous. And a bar of rich cholcolate can certainly shoot your sugar levels up for good!
Lesson learnt: Detaching yourself from emotional eating would be the first step in helping yourself. Exercise for 20 minutes in the evening. Physical activity releases endorphins in your body, which make you feel good. Leave postits on your fridge to remind yourself you aren’t hungry, just out of touch with your emotions. It’s the ‘emotional’ part of ‘emotional eating’ that needs attention. That taken care of, you won’t feel hungry late at night.
The following list may not have the yummiest food options but they are definitely the healthiest, most accessible and guilt-free midnight nibblers:

  • Breadsticks or grissini
  • Roasted masala murmura or rice flakes
  • A sandwich mounted with veggies
  • Cream crackers with hummus
  • Crunchy khakras
  • Roasted chanas
  • A handful of almonds and walnuts
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Chilled grapes, cherries or plums
  • Cold chicken or turkey slices on toast
  • Pressure-cooker popcorn

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