Almost everyone gets cravings from time to time, especially at night.
There can be several causes for this, but let’s focus on two major ones because together they create a powerful force to make you want to snack at night.
The first major cause is what you eat and drink during the day.
Talking about both HOW MUCH you eat and drink, plus the SPECIFIC TYPES OF FOODS YOU EAT AND DRINK. Both can play an important role in your cravings.
The second cause is not something you have control over, necessarily, but just knowing it’s there can help you offset its effect on you… I’ll get to that one in a second.
So, specifically what steps can you take to lessen nighttime cravings?
We often interpret thirst as being hunger.
Way too many people don’t drink enough … in fact according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of adults get less than four cups a day.
Give me a HEART if you drink enough water every day!
A good rule of thumb is half your bodyweight in ounces, which means a 150 pound person would drink 75 ounces of water a day.
As for your food, you should aim for a balanced diet that contains protein-rich foods and healthy fats – foods that contain plenty of micronutrients that your body needs!
Current recommendations call for getting between 10 to 35% of your daily calories from protein, and 20 to 35% from fats.
This matters because they help keep your blood sugar levels in check, which is huge when it comes to preventing cravings.
Plus, protein keeps you feeling fuller longer than other nutrients
It’s also important not to eat too little during the day, especially if you are working out, because your body will be legitimately hungry at night!
If you have those two things – your diet and your hydration – in check, this can make a big difference when the other factor that plays a role in your cravings – your body’s internal clock, your circadian rhythm, kicks in.
This governs many things including when you’re tired, hungry, or feel more energized. At night, it can trigger feelings of hunger.
Researchers believe that the nighttime cravings for high-calorie, sweet, starchy, and salty food might have helped our ancestors store energy that helped them survive when food was scarce.
And that was cool back when humans went through famines and other hard times when they didn’t have access to food.
But that isn’t the case today! Which is why it is so important to be prepared by being well-nourished before those cravings hit!
When you’re feeling full and satisfied, you are far better equipped to deal with them than if you haven’t eaten enough, or haven’t gotten a well-rounded diet during the day!