Avoid a Fourth Meal with These Simple Tips
It's easy to get bored and open your fridge after a balanced dinner, but there are a few tricks up our editor’s sleeves to ensure you don’t derail your daily intake with high-calorie midnight snacks.
Ah, the infamous fourth meal. You’ve successfully eaten your way through three balanced meals, but it can be easy to graze on random stuff in your fridge to satisfy a lingering pang of hunger (or, let's face it, boredom).
We’ve all been there, but there are a few ways to harmlessly trick yourself into avoiding mindless snacking after you've had dinner. You’ll avoid any unnecessary eating and save the hard work you’ve put into your diet all day.
A few tips to help you stop your late-night snack binge:
Brush Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth is like shutting down the factory for the night – you wouldn't want to ruin freshly-cleaned teeth, would you?
If you take your dog for a walk outside or catch up on the phone with family or friends, you’ll distract yourself from entering the kitchen and snacking.
Clean and Close Your Kitchen After Dinner
Don’t let any lingering dishes or tidying up in the kitchen lure you into eating more. If you do all of the cleanup you need to right after dinner, you won’t need to spend time in your kitchen later.
Sip on Sparkling Infused Water
One of the leading causes of a “hungry” feeling is actually the body signaling thirst. A great way to quench any lingering pangs of hunger is to pour yourself a generous glass of sparkling water and infuse it with bright flavors, like lemon or lime. A great purchase for your kitchen is Dasani’s line of flavor enhancers that you can use to spruce up your water.
Brew Some Herbal Tea
A great way to help yourself wind down, and to induce a satiated feeling without resorting to food, is a piping hot cup of your favorite herbal tea.
Go to Bed
There’s a myriad of reasons why health sources always harp on hopping off your phone and actually getting to bed, including the fact that your body won’t feel hungry if you’re not actually awake. Sleep is good on all fronts.
Listen to Your Body
At the end of the day, you know your body best. Jamie Vespa, Cooking Light’s assistant nutrition editor, says being intuitive about your needs is best. If you’re feeling like you are genuinely hungry and with merit – meaning you skipped a wholesome dinner or ate too light – it might be best to indulge in a small, protein-filled snack.