How to Avoid Over Eating After Kids Go to Bed

Evenings can be one of the most dangerous times for parents trying to lose weight. Once the kids are in bed and you finally have a moment to relax, it feels good to enjoy a snack in front of the TV. The problem is most parents go for a sweet or salty snack that will not help them reach their goals. Take a minute to ask yourself if that snack is really what you want right now. If you could only enjoy that snack in the dining room and not the couch, would you still eat it? Probably not, but knowing that wont take away the craving. It's time to think about something that will reduce the cravings for snacks when relaxing in front of the television.

Busy parents deserve an opportunity to relax at the end of the day. I hope you are not a full fledged couch potato, so assuming you have worked, taken care of children, cleaned up a bit, and/ or maybe even got a work out in- you NEED time to unwind and there is nothing wrong with that! However, if you have become used to grabbing a snack in your down time, you have subconsciously made it a habit and may have a hard time truly relaxing and unwinding without that unhealthy and unnecessary snack. That is why so many people can follow there healthy eating plan all day and sabotage their progress in the evening. I challenge everyone who relates, and has sabotaged themselves for an unhealthy night time snack, to change one small thing about your evening routine- swap the snack with something else.

Your swap can be something as simple as writing a letter to a friend or drawing a doodle, but anything that will keep your hands busy. Enjoy this very simple activity with a lot of water or tea to fill your stomach. If you are doing something to occupy yourself, while relaxing in the same spot, with the same person/ people/ pet, watching the same thing- you will not crave a mindless snack out of habit- you will be creating a new habit. You will, in fact, be absolutely amazed that this small, simple activity will completely distract you from eating. Plus, the best part is, while you are enjoying your relaxing night time routine- you can also getting something done!

 Last night I colored in an adult coloring page and drank tea while relaxing at the end of the day.

Last night I colored in an adult coloring page and drank tea while relaxing at the end of the day.

Don't over think what you will do instead of snacking- just something simple you can do while you relax and enjoy your well deserved down time. Here are some options I have done and really enjoyed: scrap-booking, jewelry making, painting, writing lists for the next day, making nice cards for friend's birthdays, making holiday ornaments, writing letters to my kids about the funny things they did that day, drawing a doodle of what I wish my back yard looked like, and organizing old pictures. The key is I am doing something simple and productive in the same spot on the couch where I have sat for years in the evenings, next to my same wonderful husband, watching our favorite show, and it is not something that is preventing me from reaching my goals. Now I know that I was never even hungry in the evenings, all those years I ate candy bars and ice cream in front of the TV. Why would I be, anyway, just a couple hours after my biggest meal of the day? No, I just have a short attention span and sitting and watching TV is boring (even my favorite shows and movies). I felt restless, so I snacked. I did not need lower calorie foods or better recipes to change this unhealthy habit, I just needed to do something else all together.

Now, again, I challenge the other busy parents to find something else and for at least the next week, do not snack in front of the TV! Comment and let us know what you will do instead of snacking.