Are Hidden Meals Keeping You From Your Goals?

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One of the most searched for terms online is "how to burn more calories while sleeping." People are often looking for short cuts to weight loss, but sleep is actually one of them, and not for the reasons you think. Yes our bodies heal while we're sleeping and our natural processes burn the majority of our calories, but sleeping more has a hidden benefit. Think about it, if you're sleeping then you're not eating. When we stay up late and are awake for extra hours each day, we tend to eat more. Some of this is genuine hunger but most of it is mindless snacking while we're bored.

Snacks Between Meals Count

Though you may think you only ate 3 or 4 meals yesterday, if you're like most of us then the extra grazing between meals added up to at least 1 or even 2 additional meals. One of the best tricks to ward off between-meal snacking is to get lasting satisfaction at lunchtime. Whole grains and protein take longer to digest and keep us full longer. As a result, a lunch higher in whole grains and protein will typically eliminate at least half a meal's worth of snacking before dinner.

Shut Down the Kitchen for the Night

Setting "kitchen hours" can also help. After dinner, shut down the kitchen for the night. It will keep the temptation of snacking at bay. Simply putting away any leftovers, taking care of the dishes and turning off the kitchen light can go a long way toward avoiding a late-night snack. The final trick is to get to bed earlier. There are several ways to do this like drinking a hot cup of tea or a dinner with extra tryptophan (the stuff in turkey that makes us sleepy). Sometimes just the ritual of sitting down to a nice cup of chamomile tea can trigger your brain to slow down and prepare for sleep mode.

The most important thing you can do throughout the day is to be mindful of your actions. Whether it's grabbing a snack or staying up for 30 more minutes to binge watch an extra episode of your favorite show, these little habits can have a big impact on your life and keep you from your goals.


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