Are your weight loss efforts being derailed after dinner? The evening ritual of consuming snack foods, soda pop and alcohol while relaxing in front of the TV after a hard day at work may be all it takes to derail your weight loss efforts. And now it's not just snacks -- you are being targeted by advertising agencies to eat a fourth meal.
According to Taco Bell, their advertising agency has termed the food we eat between dinner and breakfast our "fourth meal." Mostly aimed at the late-night drive-thru crowd, the marketing of this term makes it seem as if feasting during the late-night hours is just fine. But if you're not watching what you eat and drink between dinner and breakfast, your calorie intake can easily surpass the calories you consume during the day.
The idea of eating more than three meals a day isn't new. In fact, I've previously written about the value of spreading your food over the day in three smaller meals and two or three snacks. This will lessen your evening hunger. You can read more about it in Eating Smaller, More Frequent Meals.
If you struggle with nighttime eating, start planning a healthy, low calorie snack to accompany your TV or other evening activities. Leave the high-risk foods at the grocery store. And if you'll be out late, take a healthy snack along so you won't be tempted to buy into the "fourth meal" concept.
Your waistline will thank you.
Megan Porter, RD