Are you in need of tips for menopause and those late night snack attacks?
Peri menopause and menopause started for me in my forties and it was not fun. Migraines, hot flashes, they came with a flurry. I averaged 6-8 migraines a month and at the peek of menopause I was getting hot flashes on the hour. I actually slept in another room as most nights it was sheets on I’m cold, sheets off I am sweating, and I knew I was disturbing my husbands sleep.
Dealing with an autoimmune condition for over 20 years my body was already under a lot of stress and my hormones were out of whack so when menopause came along it really hit me hard. You know how you hear some people just sail through it, well that wasn’t me.
I tried natural hormone therapy and progesterone cream which worked for a time, but then it actually made my migraines worse. I tried different dosages, but I often react to drugs and supplements and eventually I just had to live with all the uncomfortable symptoms that came my way.
I did start to practice meditation. This really helped me especially on days when I felt ill, couldn’t sleep or had a migraine, being able to meditate into the pain and remain calm gave me a feeling of control. So many of us feel that we have lost control when we experience illness or a change in our health.
Throughout menopause I found myself often creeping downstairs looking for snacks late at night. I seemed to crave salty snacks and before I knew it cashews and potato chips would magically appear in my hands and then into my belly. By 2:00 am I was crawling back into bed with a full tummy. I knew this was not the best way to go to sleep, and that late night eating is a recipe for weight gain and even pre-diabetes, yet it was like I couldn’t control the cravings.
I soon started to put on weight, which was foreign to me as I have always been on the thin side. I thought of the many women who so easily gain weight when entering menopause- and how badly night time cravings would be for them, so I started to do some research and find out more about menopause and late night cravings.
If you are experiencing menopausal symptoms and late night snack attacks, here are some strategies that may help.
- Get your hormones checked- your cortisol could be out of whack and your insulin may be causing you to crave late night snacks
- Eat three healthy meals a day- each meal containing a healthy protein and a healthy fat- once I started to incorporate more protein and fat into my diet I wasn’t nearly as hungry and my blood sugar stabled which made me less apt to snack at night
- Make sure you are not sleep deprived, if you are, you will crave sweets and carbohydrates and may be moody and less able to deal with certain situations
- Take fish oil – make sure you are getting enough Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet
- Remove sugar from your diet, it causes inflammation and causes spikes in blood sugar
- Get rid of unhealthy snacks in your house- If the chips, candies and chocolates are there you are going to eat them- replace them with fruits, vegetables and healthier options like raw nuts and seeds.
- When I am hungry late at night the first thing I do is drink a big glass of water. Most often we are dehydrated, yet think we are hungry. If I am still hungry after a glass of water I ask my body what it really needs; love, attention, a bath, food?
Late night Snack Ideas
- Sliced tomatoes with olive oil and Himilayan sea salt
- Sliced cucumbers with olive and Himilayan sea salt
- Half an avocado drizzled with healthy salad dressing
- Handful of raw pecans
- Leftover salad from dinner
- Leftover cooked sweet potato sprinkled with hemp seed
Do you struggle with late night eating? What is your go to snack at night? Be sure to sign up for my twice monthly newsletter where I share healthy recipes & tips to help you stay healthy and avoid illness. Click here to sign up now.