It’s 11 PM. You’re a week into starting your fitness journey and you’re sitting on the couch, stomach rumbling because you’re so damn hungry. For 10 minutes you have an internal battle with yourself. On one shoulder the angel is telling you to be good and resist the temptations. On the other the little devil is calling you a little bitch and telling you to go grab those potato chips you have sitting in the cupboard. One night isn’t going to hurt, right? You keep telling yourself that. You say “screw it” and grab those chips and eat them like a shark attacking a half eaten tuna. Next thing you know the entire bag is gone and you’re sitting there, stomach hurting, pissed at yourself for making such a dumb and rash decision. It’s more common than you think.
The first thing we have to address here is the fact that you’re hungry late at night. When I’m working with someone and they tell me how starving they are right before bed, the first thing I ask them is how many calories they’re taking in every day. If you’re hungry, that’s your body telling you to eat. When I’m hungry I eat. It’s not rocket science. There is a reason my body is telling me to eat food. But if you’re THAT hungry right before bed, there’s a good chance you’re just not eating enough throughout the day. I was in that position when I first made a change in 2008 and would sit there pissed off that I couldn’t eat anything. So instead, I did what every person told me to do, drink water. Yeah, that never fucking worked. My hunger didn’t magically go away after I drank a glass of water. It always cracks me up, too, when people say “if you’re hungry, maybe you’re just thirsty.” No, I’m pretty sure I know the difference between hunger and thirst. When I’m hungry I eat food, when I’m thirsty I drink water. It’s not hard to understand. But nobody should get to the point where they are starving. All that does is lead to giving into temptations. Instead, try eating more throughout the day. As a 5’7″ dude that has quite a bit of muscle, I have to eat around 2,700 – 3,000 calories per day to be comfortable later in the evening. If I’m low, my body let’s me know how angry it is at me by giving me hunger pangs.
Have you ever noticed that you crave carbs late at night? It’s never “Oh man I need to eat some chicken right now.” Rather, it’s “Where the hell are the Lucky Charms?” There can be a few reasons for this. First, you’ve not kicked your sugar addiction. Did you know that sugar is just about as addicting as cocaine? No? Now you do. If you ever go from drinking 2 cans of soda a day to quitting cold turkey, you understand how bad the withdrawal symptoms can be. Shaky, headaches, and other annoying symptoms. I’m not going to go into detail about this, but this is one of the many reasons why you need to move from consuming processed sugar to complex carbohydrates you find in fruits, veggies, and whole grains. It will be tough and you will have some intense sugar cravings for a while, but eventually they will subside. The other reason could be that you’re actually carb depleted. A lot of people like to do the whole no carb thing when trying to lose weight, which I think isn’t the smartest idea, but none-the-less they do it. Personally, I believe that carbs play an important role in results. I think that carb cycling is fine, where you’re doing 1 day of very low carbs and 1 day of high carbs, but eliminating carbs all together can lead to cravings and being physically drained. (You can check out my carb cycling plan here). Carbs are important for energy. If you’re not consuming any carbs, of course you’re going to crave high carb foods late at night. You’re body is craving the glycogen.
So what can you do? Normally I tell the people I work with to grab a small high protein or healthy fat food, such as a handful of almonds, a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, or a “fat bomb”. I’ll include the fat bomb recipe at the bottom of this post. But the worst thing you can do is grab a high carbohydrate food. When you eat carbs they increase glycogen in your body, which is used for fuel to get you through the day and any physical activity you do, such as your workout. If that glycogen goes unused, which it will late at night, it will be stored as fat. That’s not something you want if you’re trying to lose some weight. Normally a high protein or fat food will be enough to reduce the cravings. Something else you can do is get rid of all the crap in your cupboards. When I first committed to a program back in 2008, one of the first things I did was go through my cupboards and throw away (or donate) all the shit food, such as Oreos. Man did I love my Oreos. But if it wasn’t there I couldn’t eat it. Instead I was forced to go for a healthier alternative.
Hopefully you now have some solutions on how to cure those late night cravings. If you have any questions or would like to be Coached by me, all you have to do is reach out to me on Facebook. I answer all my Facebook messages within 24 hours.
Peanut Butter Fat bomb
- 2 TBS coconut oil
- 2 TBS grassfed butter
- 4 TBS peanut butter
- 3 TSP cocoa powder
- 3 packets stevia
- 1 TSP vanilla extract
Mixed all together ingredient and put in the microwave for 30 sec & stir it very well and if need more dissolved put in the microwave again 15 to 30 sec then pour into mini cup cake size then put in the freeze at least 30 mins. SERVING: 12