For many, the key to successful weight loss is eating more throughout the day and ending with an early, light dinner. Eating late can lead to sleep issues or cause you to eat more calories than you would if you ate earlier.
If you're trying to turn your dinner habits around but can't seem to shake the 9 p.m. fridge stop, here are tips on how to make your light dinner a success:
Plan ahead: Skipping meals or cutting calories during the day can make it hard to focus on anything other than eating everything you can find later that night. Don't set yourself up for failure; focus on eating these healthy filling foods during the day and don't skip out on breakfast or lunch. If you're craving a treat, try eating it earlier in the day so that you aren't choosing sugary, high-carb foods at night since it's harder to burn off.
Keep temptations away: If you're guilty of mindless snacking on the couch at night, keeping temptations in your kitchen will only make it that much harder to wean yourself from the habit. Keep junk food, dessert and other unhealthy snacks out of your pantry and fridge so you don't have to test your willpower every night.
Go for filling: A light dinner doesn't have to mean you're hungry again almost as soon as you finish. Choose lean proteins and high-fiber foods to keep you satisfied without wanting to reach for seconds or thirds. A light dinner of one of these fish recipes will be flavorful and filling enough to satisfy any craving, and these vegetarian meals offering complete protein under 400 calories will help you stay full without gorging yourself.
Signal an end: Tell yourself the kitchen is closed after a certain time so you don't keep wandering back in trying to find something to eat. Have a cup of herbal tea or hot lemon water while you watch TV on the couch to replace that normal snacking sensation. Peppermint tea is great for soothing your stomach and calming cravings.
Keep it easy: Weekdays are already hectic, so make your dinner plans easy on yourself and your schedule by opting for quick 30-minute meals that are a cinch to whip up.