Personal trainer Emmet Rushe has three steps to take to master late-night snack attacks, with healthy substitute suggestions to curb cravings.

One thing that seems to be a huge obstacle for people is snacking in the evenings and at night.

The scenario usually goes like this;

You manage your meals fine all day and you have your dinner between 5 and 7pm.

However, once that is done,  you can’t stop snacking from then until you go to bed and everything you are snacking on is usually junk.

From all the messages and client stories I have heard on it asking for help, there are 3 ways that I have found to be most useful in beating the problem.

These might seem simple, but making things as easy as possible is usually the best way to get the fastest results.

1. Eat your dinner later in the evening.

    If your dinner time is usually between 5 and 7pm and your bed time isn’t until 10pm, 11pm or later you have anywhere between 3-5 hours to let the cravings start to kick in.
    If you move each of your meals throughout the day, forward by 2-3 hours you will be putting your dinner into the middle of the times where you usually are snacking on junk. This breaks the cycle and leaves you with less time until bed.
    So if breakfast is usually 7am, wait until 10am. (Most people aren’t hungry in the morning anyway)
    If lunch is usually at 1pm, wait until 3 or 4pm if possible.
    Dinner will be at 8 or 9pm.
    You can have a snack at 1pm where lunch usually is.

Don’t worry about skipping breakfast or eating later at night, it doesn’t stop you from losing weight.

Try having breakfast later in the day

2. Get all the junk out of the house.

This is so simple to do and yet it is the one that causes the most discomfort.
Once I suggest this one as a solution, I get a load of excuses about the kids and the partner or husband and visitors.
Just like the ones that sprang into your mind when you read this.Seriously, stop with the excuses.
If the junk in your house is causing your weight gain, it will cause your kids and partner to gain weight also.
Unless your house is a hotel, you won’t have that many visitors that you need a cupboard stocked with every assortment biscuit, chocolate and crisp.

Bin the biscuits

It is as simple as this.
If you can’t control yourself around these types of food, don’t have them in the house until you can.
I can guarantee that after 2 weeks of not having them in the house, your cravings for them in the evenings will disappear.

End the chocolate cravings

3. Have low calorie substitutes to use.

No-one is expecting you to be a saint, and I enjoy something in the evenings as much as the next person, but the ones I have are very low calorie and cause minimal disruption to my diet.The list below is a few things that I use for a snack that are great for killing a craving and stops you feeling as if you are missing out.

Diet drinks, or calorie free drinks. 
Sugar free Jelly or 9cal jely pots
2 squares of 85% dark chocolate
MyQ Protein quark
150g of 0% Greek yogurt with some berries
Aldi Rocket Ice lollies (47 calories)
A Freddo bar (95 calories)
Raw veggies (Carrot sticks, celery, cucumber, etc)
Sparkling water (low cal flavoured or plain)
A Fulfil, Quest or Grenade protein bar.

This list isn’t complete and if you have some things you can use yourself, feel free to add them in.

The main thing here is to break the cycle of sitting down to chocolate, sweets, crisps or biscuits, alcohol or anything else that isn’t in line with your goal of weight loss.

Which late night snack is your vice?

Start with one of the above and when you master that, add in the others.
They should help to keep you on track and will keep your goals well in your sights.