What you do at the end of your day impacts your weight just as much, if not more, than what you do during the rest of the day. Nighttime can be terrible for people who are prone to binge eating while watching their favorite TV shows in bed, so start making the switch to these healthy habits instead to keep your body in tip-top shape. Looking for more ways to shed those unwanted pounds? Check out our list of the 50 Best Weight Loss Tips.
Do This Instead: Turn Off Your Phone
Keeping your cell phone around and your TV on is only going to keep you up later and cause you to mindlessly eat while you stare at your screen. A study by Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute found that the light emitted from tech gadgets actually suppress melatonin production in the brain. This is the main sleep hormone for your body, so when you don’t have enough of it being produced you will suffer sleep complications.
Do This Instead: Go to Bed Earlier
Setting your alarm earlier can make your waistline go down. Brigham Young University reports that women who had consistent sleep schedules, which included sleeping and waking up at a set time daily (yes, even on weekends when we all want to sleep in), were able to lose more weight than those who didn’t.
Do This Instead: Try Non-Caffeinated Herbal Tea
Green tea may be great for weight loss, but its caffeine content can keep you up way past your bedtime. Chamomile tea contains bioactive phytochemicals that help improve sleep, according to a study published in Molecular Medicine Reports. The study also noted that chamomile tea acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body, and assists with digestive disorders and upset stomachs.
Do This Instead: Paint Your Nails
Those pre-bed chips and salsa might be the reason why you haven’t seen any weight loss results. According to a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, patients who admitted to eating before bed were more likely to gain weight than those who did not. So, ditch the midnight snack and try going to bed, or distract yourself by doing small activities like painting your nails, reading a book, or drinking detox water.
Do This Instead: Meditate
Meditation will not only help you fall asleep faster, but it will actually help with weight loss. Mindful eating, a form of meditation that calls for focusing on every aspect of how you eat (how many times you chew, sensing flavors of food, how small your bites are, etc.), has been shown to aid in weight loss, according to research published by Harvard University. The findings show that people who practice mindful eating are able to lose weight and stray from overeating.t has also been shown to be a useful tactic in treatment for binge eaters.
Do This Instead: Get a Full 7-8 Hours
Sleeping for less than the recommended eight hours of sleep is damaging your weight loss progress, according to this study conducted by Annals of Internal Medicine. The study notes that lack of sleep can actually slow down weight loss, and participants who slept only 5.5 hours had less fat loss and lost more lean body mass than those who slept 8.5 hours.
Do This Instead: Eat Dinner Earlier
Eating earlier in the evening is a great way to shrink down a couple of pant sizes. Research published by Obesity Society shows that eating dinner earlier in the day can help with weight loss since you have more time to burn off the calories.
Do This Instead: Yoga
Practicing yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for your mind and your gut, according to research published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The study observed normal to overweight women who implemented yoga into their daily lives, which caused them to see significant weight loss and a sense to eat healthier. The researchers also noted that the women found yoga culture soothing and the exercise more beneficial from previous weight loss routines they tried.
Do This Instead: Read a Book
According to a study published by Frontiers in Psychology, people have the tendency to eat when they’re bored. So, before you pick up that midnight snack, ask yourself if you’re really hungry or just eating because you don’t have anything else to do. Try reading a book, meditating, or writing in a journal to keep your mind (and your stomach) preoccupied.
Do This Instead: Drink a Whey Protein Shake
If you had a heavy lunch, try drinking a protein shake for dinner instead of feasting on a whole meal. A study published by Nutrition & Metabolism noted that whey protein shakes as a supplement can increase fat loss without losing muscle mass, especially for those who are obese.
Do This Instead: Light Floor Exercise
Although heavy, high-impact exercise could keep you up longer and disrupt your sleep cycle, some light exercise before bed won’t disturb your sleep, according to findings from the Journal of Sleep Research. So, end your day with your favorite quick workout, like crunches or squats, before you go to sleep for the night.
Do This Instead: Eat Turkey
Try adding turkey to your next dinner for a filling lean meat that will induce sleep. Turkey is high in tryptophan, a hormone that’s been proven in a study published by the Journal of Psychiatric Research to help induce sleep. Bonus: turkey is also one of our top 50 Foods to Eat to Stay Young.
Do This Instead: Make Your Room Colder
Adjusting the temperature in your room is a simple fix to a smaller pants size. According to research published in Cell Press, regular exposure to mild cold can actually boost weight loss. The researchers noted that a Japanese study found that participants who stayed in colder temperatures (around 62 degrees) for six weeks saw a significant decrease in body fat.
Do This Instead: Take a Bath
Taking a hot bath is soothing and will help you sleep and avoid late night snacks. Adding other calming properties to your bath, like lavender oil, will also help you relax and want to drift off to sleep instead of going to the fridge for a midnight meal.
Do This Instead: Add Fresh Mint to Your Tea
Mint is an essential for trying to lose weight. According to a study published by The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, mint is helpful in regulating your digestive tract, and also acts as a diuretic. So add some fresh mint leaves to your favorite tea or just a hot cup of water for a relaxing warm beverage that will soothe your stomach.
Do This Instead: Shut Off All the Lights
If you sleep with a night light or nightstand lamp on, you could be disturbing your sleep pattern, which could impact the number of hours of sleep you log per night. The National Sleep Foundation notes that exposure to light during bedtime stimulates a nerve pathway from the eyes to the brain, and in turn can affect our sleep hormones, body temperature, and brainwaves that affect our quality of sleep.
Do This Instead: Eat Cottage Cheese
If you’re too hungry to wait until morning to eat, try having a small yet filling snack like cottage cheese. This dairy product is high in protein, which helps with muscle regulation, is low-calorie, and is packed with bone-strengthening calcium.
Do This Instead: Invest in Cozy Sheets and Pillows
Getting comfortable in bed will make you less likely to want to get up and grab a snack. So, put on your best pajamas, grab your favorite blanket, and lay in your comfiest sleeping position to get the optimal sleep without having to make a trip to the fridge.
Do This Instead: Eat Complex Carbs
Adding healthy carbs, such as whole grain pasta or multigrain bread, to your dinner plate will help you feel fuller without all of the excess empty calories of white bread and grains. Healthy carbs including whole grains are filled with essential nutrients, such as digestion-regulating fiber, that white grains have little to none of due to the bleaching process they go through.
Do This Instead: Start a Sleep Diary
A sleep diary is another way to help distract yourself from mindlessly eating and it’s also a great way to note and keep track of your sleep schedule, according to The National Sleep Foundation. Make sure you’re also avoiding these 7 Sleep Mistakes Everyone Makes to keep your sleep (and waistline) on the right track for a healthier you.