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Breaking Late Night Eating Habits

The evening is often the time when we can break our great nutritional intentions. Learn the 2 main reasons why we snack and some great interventions to help you break the habit.

The evening is often the time when we can break our great nutritional intentions and efforts. The time of day when we can finally relax is often when the snacking and sabotaging can set in. The evening is when the body needs to prepare for its daily fast so the internal organs can do their internal housecleaning and cleansing. Digestion, assimilation and calorie burning slow down at night, so any food eaten gets stored as body fat, creates a stagnant and congested liver, stresses the digestive system and negatively impacts your sleep. This perpetuates a sluggish, fatigued morning with a need for caffeine to get going. For some people, late night eating can also cause you to feel nauseous and have no appetite in the morning.

Evening snacking often happens for 2 reasons:

1. You didn’t eat enough in the day or

2. It can be a result of your unresolved worries and stress in the day. We often munch and crunch on our worries as a way to settle our nerves or take our mind off of what is really bothering us.

The following are some helpful tips to help break your late night snacking habits

1.      Brush your teeth immediately after dinner. This will help cleanse your palette and lessen the desire for sweet or salty tastes

2.      Commit to not eating anything after 8pm (or 3 hours before bed) as this is when metabolic and digestive processes slow

3.      Have a glass of water with a drop of doTerra grapefruit essential oil or Slim & Sassy as both of these help to curb cravings

4.      Get into the habit of enjoying an herbal tea at night. This is a great time to add in your cleansing teas such as fresh ginger, dandelion or Flora T-Tox. Sleepy time and relaxing teas (chamomile) work well too.  A touch of raw honey (1/2 tsp maximum can be added to curb sweet cravings)

5.      If you are a chocolate lover there is nothing wrong with adding 1-2 squares of 85-90% dark chocolate (no less than that as there is too much sugar). If you can’t stop at 1 or 2 squares than please don’t add this in

6.      Try an Elixer made by Botanica (available at health food stores). Reishi Hot Chocolate – the cacao will satisfy the chocolate desire and the Reishi medicinal mushroom will relax you. Lavender Moom Mylk  - the lavender will help to relax and calm you and the ashwagandha will restore your adrenal glands

7.      Assess what time you are going to bed. Aim to be in bed by 10pm as the longer you stay up, the hungrier you will get.

8.      Are you relaxing near your kitchen? Often the TV room is in full sight of the pantry! Can you relocate at night to avoid temptations?

9.      If you crave salty snacks at night such as chips, popcorn and pretzels, this may be a result of too much stress in the day so it is important to support your adrenal glands in the day time with the following:

               -Add a mug of bone broth in the day. Bone broth is rich in sodium and sodium nourishes the adrenal glands

                -Ensure to add seas salt to your meals in the day– sprinkle on salads, steamed vegetables, add it to protein, etc

                -Make sure you eat enough in your day (don’t skip meals) – each meal should have protein, essential fats and vegetable fiber tp keep blood sugars balanced

                -Use adaptogens in the day to help you be more resilient and adaptive to stress

                        - medicinal mushrooms (2 tsp in a smoothie)

                         -Maca (2 tsp in a smoothie)

                         -Ashwagandha 1 tsp in a smoothie

                        -Drink Tulsi tea (supports the adrenals and blood sugars) and use this to replace coffee

Work toward adding these tips in and see how they help to create new and supportive habits and most importantly health promoting ones.

If you do happen to get your snacking on at night, then be mindful.

What is triggering the desire for these foods?

What mood state are they altering?

Ensure to eat the snack slowly, mindfully, in a bowl (not out of the bag or carton!), and take note of how it makes you feel. It’s not bad, a fail or a cheat and it shouldn’t make you feel guilty or like you have done something wrong. Veering off path is where we learn about ourselves and our relationship with food.  It is an opportunity for growth and exploration.

If this is an area you really struggle with, get in touch and I am happy to help.

Yours in health & vitality,



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