Everybody asks the question: how to stop snacking at night? It seems to be this mysterious time of day where so many of us LOSE CONTROL with our diets. If you’ve wondered how to stop snacking at night, I have some answers for you that may surprise you.
I used to be a SNACK-A-HOLIC in a big way. I can TOTALLY relate to your struggles. In this post, I will share how to stop snacking at night, and how to stop snacking for the most part, altogether. I’ll put it this way (and I’ll explain in more detail below)– snacking no longer RULES MY LIFE and no longer RUINS MY DIET.
And this can be true for you too!
After reading this blog post, you’ll know how to stop snacking at night and be more successful at your dieting efforts and lose weight. Sound good to you? Let’s go.
When Snacking Ruled My Life: THE BEFORE PHASE.
Before I tell you how I stopped snacking, let me give you a crystal clear picture of what my life was like BEFORE. Because then you’ll understand how DIFFERENT my life is now and how significant the impact is of no snacking and no cravings and my appetite being forever changed.
For most of my adult life, I was on a diet. Seriously.
I was on a diet from the time I moved back home to Columbus Ohio (from Pensacola FL ..that’s a whole hot mess story I’ll tell you another time….why I decided to move to Pensacola when I was ONE QUARTER AWAY FROM GRADUATING FROM college– to chase a boy who could not care less about me) and realized I was the HEAVIEST I’D EVER BEEN. Gulp. That’s what happens when you live in the South and drink every single night and live at Old Country Buffet during the day –eating nothing but. carbs and never working out.
So, I started reading up about working out and dieting and that began my FITNESS FANATIC LIFE. I loved it! I starteddoing step aerobics and eating a fat-free diet and I lost about 20-25lbs. I graduated college, moved to Chicago and started working corporate life. Gained the corporate 10lbs and started working out again. I just went through CYCLES of fitness.
But the point is this: I was always dieting. I never really felt that I reached my “goal weight”. I was never happy with my body. Never comfortable in my body. So I was CONSTANTLY DIETING. Always searching for how I could become a BETTER VERSION of me. I was perpetually dissatisfied with myself.
I spent an inordinate amount of time online researching blogs and forums to find out how to get more fit. The more I read the more obsessed I became. I thought it was a “healthy obsession. But it clearly wasn’t.
The more books and magazines I read, the more I looked at food as “good” or “bad”. I thought everyone around me was judging my body the way I was judging my body and therefore I felt they were judging my food choices: paranoia set in.
This is when the unhealthy eating behaviors started. I’d binge a lot; go to Burger King drive through and order a Whopper with Cheese and large fries and eat it all and then throw away all the evidence. Then I’d stop at the grocery store and buy Oreos and a bunch of sweets like Pop Tarts and you name it. But I’d add distractions in the cart like chicken breast and vegetables so that the personchecking me out would think I was shopping for a family. Yes this is how my mind worked.
Then I’d get home and eat the Pop Tarts and Oreos and feel so sick. And then I’d cry and be so depressed. I’d wake up the next day and berate myself mentally all day for what I’d done and then I’d usually give myself permission since I’d “ruined everything” by cheating– to “just go ahead and enjoy the weekend”– and I’d do just that. I’d binge all weekend. And the guilt and shame would build and grow.
And then Monday I’d throw out everything in my fridge and start some extreme detox diet that would last 4 days. These cycles were the bane of my existence. I was desperate to get in shape but obsessed with food. I was dieting obsessively and didn’t see that I was creating a situation where I was setting myself up for disaster all the time.
The more I denied myself all these foods the more my mind obsessed about them, and then when I would secretly binge on them on an empty stomach, I’d set the chemical reaction in place that happens when you consume carbs/sugary snacks — it’s literally beyond your control.
Yourcravings are like, not your fault. It’s chemical. Do some research. All those years, I was a walking insulin response. Sounds crazy but now I see it. The harder I worked at dieting, the harder my mind fought it and the more my mind and body pulled me in the other direction toward cheating. And each time I cheated, both the insulin response (crash and burn) and the guilt and shame afterword were enough to put me in a constant state of feeling like a failure.
How do you ever WIN when you feel like a loser every day? The truth is, this just seemed to be the way I would always be. I was that person who was always dieting, always unhappy with her body, always thinking about food, always thinking about ways to making fitness food taste like non-fitness food, always bingeing, always eating in secret and then punishing herself for doing so, always being CONTROLLED BY FOOD. I was that person who had an uncomfortable relationship with food. I was that person who said “I can’t be left alone with a bag of Oreos” — you know — that person. That was me, then.
HOW I STOPPED SNACKING ALL THE TIME AND CONQUERED MY CRAVINGS-- BY GOING KETO.
The real truth is,I never thought I’d get past this tendency of mine. I never once had a moment where I said to myself “Ok I’m going to work on conquering my cravings and getting in control of my appetite and stopping this whole binge/emotional eating cycle.” What happened was: I changed my way of eating on June 1st (officially, and kind of informally the month before that) by going keto with the direction of my new functional medicine doctor. Shortly after going keto, I experienced fat loss and body transformation (as of the day I am writing this, I am down 24 inches total and 18 LBS) and noticed things had changed in my eating habits without me TRYING TO change them. I wasn’t SNACKING between meals. I wasn’t hanging out in the pantry all the time looking for what sounded good. I wasn’t thinking about how to make some sweet recipe out of protein powder to satisfy my sweet tooth. In fact, I didn’t think about food hardly at all. More often than not, I had to REMIND MYSELF TO EAT. Say what? Yup. When it came to snacking at night, that’s when I noticed a major change. Without TRYING TO, I had stopped snacking at night like I used to. With the exception of occasionally having some almond butter – and not a lot of it – I really didn’t feel the need for food like I used to. Andsnacking while watching TV used to be a ROUTINE. Like, I could not imagine watching TV and not having snacks. I was routinely buying what I thought were “healthy treats” for Steve and I for TV watching time. I was regularly using TV watching time as an excuse for a “treat” or “dessert”. It was Steve who remarked how much my snacking habits had changed after I went keto– he said “you hardly snack at all anymore”. Now- I attribute this to both going keto AND the regular daily use of exogenous ketones. When you understand how BHB works, you realize that they add a significant layer to the mix with curbing appetite and suppressing hunger– and it’s real. The few days that I have not consumed my ketones are the few days I have foundmyself thinking “OMG I really want some of that BHU Keto Cookie Dough!!!”– seriously. My husband is not keto and he takes the exogenous ketones 2x a day– and he now no longer eats the sweet protein bars in the afternoon that he used to and he stopped eating the sweets/candy bars he used to at the office– in the first month of adding ketones he lost 4lbs. When I reflect back on my life before vs. now- I think that my diet was so full of way too much processed diet/fake/fitness foods and insulin-response inducing foods — I was constantly in a bad cycle of restriction then binge then insulin response then restriction then binge then insulin response. There was no stability. Too much stress. Too much cortisol. Certainly– lots of other factors at play I’m sure– but, all I know is what I’m doing NOW has transformed my BODY but also my MIND. It is the best feeling EVER tonot be controlled and CONSUMED BY thoughts of food!! I still love food. I still love to cook and eat. I still love all the things I loved before but they don’t have the power over me that they did before. That’s a great feeling indeed. That’s one of the priceless benefits of going keto for sure.
BEFORE AND AFTER: MY Life Then and Now and Why I'm SO HAPPY I Made These Changes!
When I think back to my life before I made the leap and went keto and experienced this amazing transformation, I realize how frazzled and out of control I felt. So much of how I’d describe myself refers to EMOTIONAL states– but I felt out of control, I felt RULED BY food and the desire for food or cravings for food. Everything was about what I was denying myself….and what’s funny or ironic is that when people think about KETO, they think about all the things they can’t have. And for sure, you do cut things out– but maybe – in this case, because I was doing it with my doctor and I was doing it more with a focus on my insulin resistance vs. weight loss (I don’t think I really thought I would lose weight when I started), it was easier for me to just comply. I honestly never felt like this was HARD. And truthfully it just got easier. As of today, I feel like this is my lifestyle. I’m 9lbs away from my goal weight with NO doubt I’ll hit it. Wow never thought I’d hear myself say that!! BEST FEELING EVER! And I’m so passionate about how this works — because I was so stuck for so many years, I’m getting certified as a keto coach! For any of you reading this, if you want some more information and are thinking of trying keto, I have the rough draft of what’s soon to be my eBook “Kelly’s Keto Kwik Start Guide”– everything you need to get started on going keto– all my best tips and links to my favorite products and recipes. Happy to send it to you for free just email kelly at kellyolexa.com!
But Wait There's MORE!
If you liked this post, you may want to check out some of my other recent posts on my keto journey– like What Can I Eat On Keto CLICK HERE or How Women Can Lose Weight After 40 CLICK HERE or Why I’m Going Full On Keto CLICK HERE.