6 Dietitian-Approved Tricks to Stop Your Late-Night Sugar Cravings for Good
Find yourself craving sweets and sugary foods as soon as the sun goes down? You’re not alone.
There are a number of physiological and psychological influences behind this unhealthy habit that can have you reaching for that family block of chocolate each evening.
Here are the most common culprits - plus, dietitian-approved advice on how you can overcome those cravings once and for all.
6 ways to end your late-night sugar cravings for good
1. Get those quality zzz’s every night
Sleep deprivation alters our appetite-regulating hormones, increases caloric intake, and makes us more likely to pick high-sugar foods. The duration and quality of your sleep is important (aim for seven to eight hours per night), but so is consistency.
It’s important to stick to a regular bedtime to maintain the timing of the body’s internal clock and make sure you’re waking up feeling your best each day.
2. Stop skipping meals
More often than not, when people skip meals they spend the rest of the day grazing and reaching for sugary snacks to pick themselves up. This is due to unstable energy intake and blood sugar fluctuations.
To overcome this, schedule out your day and work out when you’ll take a break from work for meals and snacks.
3. Eat more protein
Protein is the most important nutrient when it comes to managing appetite and keeping you satisfied. This can help reduce sugar cravings as your energy and appetite are less likely to dip between your scheduled meals and snacks.
Include a protein source at every meal, including your snacks.
4. Prep your meals in advance
There’s nothing wrong with snacking when you are genuinely hungry, but due to laziness and lack of organization, humans tend to reach for the most accessible and satisfying option, which isn’t usually something nutritious.
By organizing your snacks for the week ahead, you’ll have easy access to something that tastes good, is healthy, and will tide you over till your next meal, as opposed to sweets that will have you back in the kitchen cupboards within the hour.
5. Stay hydrated
Quite often we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. So before sprinting to the vending machine, have a large glass of water and then reassess your hunger levels after approximately 5-minutes.
To make sure you stay hydrated whilst at home, fill up a water bottle, carry it around the house with you and have it at your desk while you are working.
6. Practice mindfulness
Our emotional state is probably one of the worst initiators of sugar cravings. When we experience something uncomfortable or distressing like boredom, stress, or sadness, the body responds to signals sent from the brain and tries to change them by consuming foods that may trigger pleasure, such as sweets.
Try to keep your mind happy and calm by taking measures to lift your mood with daily exercise, calls with friends, and keeping busy with projects.
Explore more content like this in our series, Ask a Dietitian.
Health & Performance Collective is the brainchild of Sydney Dietitians Jessica Spendlove and Chloe McLeod. They use their 20 years of combined knowledge and skills as dietitians to work with motivated people to live and perform at their best.
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