10 Ways to Stop Eating After Dinner
Snacking, munching, noshing, nibbling…there are many words to describe this unhealthy habit of eating after you’ve already eaten. Eating after dinner (or any other main meal for that matter) is one of the main culprits of weight gain. By eating after dinner, you are adding up unnecessary calories, and creating an unhealthy pattern of eating that may be very hard to break in the future. If you are trying to lose weight, best thing to do is eat a healthy dinner, and then STOP! Let’s say you go to bed at 11pm, and you had your dinner from 8-8:30pm. You really shouldn’t be consuming any more food until bedtime. So, what can you do in those 2 and a half hours to take your mind off food? Here are 10 tips to try:
1. Turn TV off, turn Xbox on
Watching TV is a recipe for disaster if you’re trying not to snack. It’s the perfect set-up: you are comfy on the couch, there’s a bag of chips next to you, your mind is in chill-mode…cue mindless munching. Get out of this trap by turning the TV off (you can tape your favorite shows and watch them another time) and turning on Xbox Kinect. These video games require you to move, jump, run in place, dance, reach, kick and swing your arms. Try Just Dance, Dance Central, Kinect Adventures, Kinect Sports, Zumba Fitness, and Your Shape Fitness games. You’ll have fun, break a good sweat while playing, and it’ll take your mind off that box of chocolates with your name on it in the fridge. www.xbox.com/kinect
2. Play dress-up
Go through your closet and try to come up with different looks for some events or parties that you have coming up. Go through the whole process of dressing up including accessorizing your outfits. The process of glamorizing yourself will not only take your mind off food, but will actually make you crave less junk, because you’ll be wearing nice form-fitting clothes. Or you can go through your closet and re-organize it. Collect the clothes you never wear to donate to a shelter or good-will store.
3. Give yourself a beauty treatment
Another good way to distract yourself from eating, is to do any kind of beauty treatment for yourself. That could be a manicure/pedicure, waxing, eyebrow shaping, or facial treatment. Instead of raiding your fridge for snacks, raid it for some ingredients and make your own facial. Yogurt, honey, berries, grapes and cucumbers make great do-it-yourself facials, and what an excellent way to use some of those leftover ingredients for your face instead of your stomach.
4. Go for a walk
Getting out of the house, and as far away from your fridge is a great way to remove temptation. If you have a dog, take him/her for a walk. Ask your friend or boyfriend/girlfriend to join you for after-dinner walks, so you can both exercise and spend some quality time together.
5. Call a long-lost friend or relative
You’ve been putting it off for weeks or months, but you know that now is better than ever. Pick up your phone, or log in to Skype and dial that long-lost friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in ages. Catching up on all you’ve missed will take up some time and will definitely distract you from snacking.
6. Brush and floss your teeth
After you’ve finished your dinner, make it a point to go and brush and floss your teeth as a way to signal your brain that this is the end of eating for tonight. Once your mouth is clean, you’re less likely to go eat something, and then having to do the whole process again. Plus that minty fresh feeling will help control your appetite.
7. Plan, organize, clean-up
After dinner is a perfect time to get your life all organized and planned out. Be it updating your address book or Facebook contacts, planning your week/month/year ahead, or simply cleaning up and ordering things in your room. You can also busy yourself with going through your bookshelves, CDs and tapes, or your paperwork that’s been piling up on the desk.
8. Show off your talents
Got a talent you haven’t put to use in a while? Maybe you’re a painter or designer. Maybe you play an instrument. Or perhaps you write short stories or novels. Pick up that brush, pencil, pen, or instrument and let the creativity flow.
9. Create a vision board or list
Making a vision board or wish list of what you want to do or become is a great way to distract yourself from food, and also set particular goals for how you want to look. If you are trying to lose weight, one of the most effective techniques is to visualize your end goal of your perfect weight or size. Cut out some photos from magazines of celebrities bodies you admire and strive to look like. Or find photos of yourself when you were happy with your weight and put those out so you can see them every day. Make a detailed list of how you picture your perfect body to be and how it makes you feel. Look at this list and photographs every day and envision yourself getting there.
10. Meditate or do something relaxing
Take just 10 – 15 minutes and do something relaxing that you enjoy to do, such as playing some soothing music, taking a luxurious candle-lit bath, or simply lying or sitting down for some meditation. Normally, if you have a sudden craving for something unhealthy, waiting it out for just 10 minutes can make the craving pass. Meditation can also help reduce stress and worry, those two things that can also make you crave sweets or carbs.
Try these tips out, and if that doesn’t work for you, then you should practice your will power and self-control a little bit more. Just remind yourself why you are doing this. It’s because you want to be healthier, look better, feel more attractive, and live a longer life.
Make a deal with yourself that if you don’t snack after dinner 5 nights in a row, you can have your favorite dessert on the 6th night. I’d say that’s a pretty sweet deal!
Once you get into your new healthy habit of not snacking after dinner, and do it consecutively for 3-4 weeks, you’ll see that it’s not that hard to maintain after all. You’ll enjoy your new cycle of eating healthy and in moderation, looking better and better, having people compliment you, and letting that motivate you to keep it up!
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