Talking to quite a few Whitekirk members and they echo many of my clients, namely that one of the biggest challenges in dieting/weight control is snacking at night.

What I usually say is to try to analyse why snacking in the evening is so tempting for you. Most of us will probably find it comes down to boredom and availability. The most simple answer is the most annoying – don’t have unhealthy snacks readily waiting in the cupboard.

To realise this, you need to change the way you shop. The shopping list you get every week includes all you need for the next 7 days – try and put in your basket only what is on the list. Go strictly by these items, completely ignore the aisles you don’t need. It will not only save you time and money – you don’t get to stock up on sweets etc. that will just sit in the cupboard and wait for a weak moment of yours.
We all know it is dangerous to stroll around the supermarket without an actual list. So whenever I find myself in the wrong aisles and my initial thought is: I could do with these crisps now…

For me it really helps to look at it from a different angle. I know how they taste and they will not be vanished from the shelves tomorrow. So I ask myself the question: Why buy it today, I could have this any time? I don’t know why but it somehow works and I find myself outside the supermarket the next moment with only the items that I wanted to buy initially. Maybe this way of thinking makes these snacks quite unattractive as we all know that there is a certain attraction to forbidden pleasures. Try to develop a bit of a “couldn’t care less” attitude towards these foods.

There are some more tips on how to stop the snacking – you just need to find out what works for you, a few suggestions here:

  • Eat all your meals and all your snacks throughout the day, it will limit the chances of feeling an uncontrollable hunger later.
  • Drink enough. If you feel like you could do with a snack, drink a glass of water or tea and then decide if you still feel the same.
  • I used to always want snacks shortly before bed time. However if you brush your teeth about an hour before going to sleep, you will not want to snack.
  • Get busy with your hands: Crosswords, knitting, reading… Anything that you enjoy will help.
  • Something I have heard about but never paid attention to – apparently it helps to light scented candles. I suppose the aroma of Vanilla for example will give you some kind of satisfaction. Try it and see if it works for you.

If you are really giving in, then go for something that will not make you feel bad afterwards. I love tomatoes so I always have some in the fridge just in case.

I’m sure there are many more ideas that you found work for you – If you like post them below or in the forum to help fellow members.

Amanda Hamilton

North Berwick’s Amanda Hamilton is one of the UK’s most popular nutritionists and health gurus, contributing regularly to TV, press, online and public sector. She also runs her own online healthy diet system and healthy holiday company. She’s a member of Whitekirk Leisure Club and will be contributing a weekly post with tips on health and nutrition.