gluttonySo you made that resolution and the first day of your DIET – January 1st, year 2010 (010110) went swimmingly.  The resolve of the resolution was strong.

Next day, or make that next night, Saturday night, you’re wondering “what the heck was I thinking?”  And, then reality bites.  You get hit with the NIGHT MUNCHIES!!

There are many theories of how to deal with that time at night, when you’ve pretty much eaten what you’ve determined would be a reasonable amount of food.  Yet, you really want to eat that (fill in the blank).

For each person, their trigger food is unique.  A friend wants to eat an entire cheesecake.  You could go the rest of my life without that dessert.  You want that huge bag of potato chips.  She could take ’em or leave ’em.

What do you do when the glutton beast hits you at night?  Determine if you’re really hungry.  If you are in need of food, then, by all means, eat.  Drink a glass of water.  The body does not know the difference between hunger and thirst.

Practice mindfulness:  consider what is really at play.  Are you just bored?  That is often what causes snacking at night.  Have ideas at hand to help you with boredom.  Call a friend.  Take a piece of paper and write a letter–with a stamp and everything.  Only you know what is really happening.  Only you can come up with an alternative.  The point is to take a moment and really listen to your body.

This is what I do when I get those munchies.

  • Think first: am I really hungry?
  • Tell myself to wait 15 minutes.  If I still want the snack, I eat it.
  • Pick a small, healthful snack and make myself a cup of tea.  I splurge and buy special teas.  I get mine from the T Salon.  Pick a yummy, decaf tea, pour in a little milk, or even better Almond Milk, which has virtually no calories.  You can find almond milk in most supermarkets these days.  For a snack, I keep some Weight Watchers® cookies in my childhood cookie jar (you can see it in the background of my YOGA AND YOGURT post).  WW makes peanut butter, chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies, each individually wrapped.  One cookie is one POINT®.  I have learned (again: mindful eating) that the peanut butter cookie is just a little too tempting.  I find it challenging to, as they say, each “just one.
  • Put myself in a quiet place and enjoy my tea and cookie.  It is quite satisfying.
  • Brush my teeth.
  • Take a bath

I have now conquered the dreaded NIGHT MUNCHIES.  When I wake up the next morning, I remind myself that I won the midnight snacking war the night before.  It becomes a learning experience, I’ve developed a healthful habit, and I feel delightfully self-righteous.