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Tips to avoid late night snacks

Nov 19, 2013

Back at the “turn of the century” or the late 1990’s, there was a business based out of San Antonio which promoted a product called Body Solutions Evening Weight Loss Formula.  The company marketed this product saying that individuals who took two tablespoons of the Evening Formula three hours before going to bed would lose weight while they slept.  It was a HUGE hit! Can you imagine losing weight by only having to take two tablespoons of this product without changing your diet?! Since it was based in my hometown, I remember driving by the store and seeing long lines of people waiting outside to pay their $30 to get this magic potion. The Federal Trade Commission charged the company with making false, unsubstantiated claims and shut it down. Many people were upset because they did not lose weight. However, some people did. Primarily, those who followed the directions and stopped eating at 7 pm, which leads me to the topic of this month’s blog – late night snacking.

Many of my patients struggle with what to do with their time after eating a “good” dinner at 6 pm.  During the summer, folks are outside working in the yard, taking the kids to the park or visiting neighbors. Now that it gets dark earlier, people spend more time indoors searching for something to do and that often leads people to the kitchen. When I ask them in class, almost all of my patients admit to snacking and most admit it is because they are bored.  We are bombarded by TV ads all evening for all sorts of goodies so how can we possibly watch a movie without popcorn or some sort of candy? Our Diabetes Team developed a “Snacking Guidelines” for our patients and I want to share some of these tips with you.

  • Treat each snack as a mini meal by measuring out each portion size.
  • If possible, put your mini meal on a plate instead of eating right out of a bag. We tend to associate a clean plate with satisfaction and a feeling of fullness.
  • Only have a snack when you are hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you are bored, stressed or tired.
  • Do not make snacking a daily routine, unless you are advised to do so by your medical team.
  • When you snack, don’t multitask. Enjoy the flavor and appreciate the feeling.
  • You may need to cut back on the portion size of the next meal to avoid weight gain.

Do not drink your calories!

  • All liquids should be five calories or less per eight ounce serving
  • Read labels and choose a diet or light variety if available
  • Use sugar substitutes instead of adding sugar
  • Limit creams, whipped topping, sugar and flavorings
  • Limit specialty coffees or flavored coffee drinks to a once a month treat

So these are just some tips you can share with your patients to help them curb late night snacking!

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