Americans have a tendency to consume the majority of their calories 3:30 p.m. through bed time. Of course, this is unhealthy and a major reason for weight gain.

Americans have a tendency to consume the majority of their calories 3:30 p.m. through bed time. Of course, this is unhealthy and a major reason for weight gain.

I have found a great way to combat this vulnerable time of our evening. The solution starts first thing in the morning upon waking up. Drink a glass of water, eat breakfast and take your vitamins to fill in all nutritional gaps to provide your body everything it needs to perform at optimal levels, keeping your energy and metabolism moving at a high rate, and staying lightly satisfied throughout the entire day by not missing any meals. Eating breakfast, lunch, dinner every day, along with healthy 90-160 calorie snacks like apples, healthy nuts, meal replacement bars, or shakes, and/or lean proteins and veggies between meals are a must.

Next, please make sure that you keep healthy snacks handy at all times. That way, anytime you feel like eating you have immediate access to consume food choices that will not only satisfy your appetite but will keep you on track for staying healthy, tone and trim. I like to call these great choices “staples.”

My big challenge for you here is to evaluate your taste buds, and discover what healthy foods (“staples”) will help you make it through your evening. Spend some time making a list of healthy choices and looking through your local grocery store for healthy snacks you can use to combat any negative urges you might have after dinner around 8 or 9 p.m. Because, remember, this is when we tend to sabotage our caloric intake totals. It is amazing how a stressful day can make us justify in our minds how eating poorly will help. Please trust me on this one, it will not help; in fact, you will regret your choice the very next morning. After a busy day, we are very vulnerable to make poor food choices. We can’t control the urges, but we can be well prepared to combat them by having pre-planned, well thought out, healthy food choices on hand and ready for immediate consumption!

That’s why we’re getting prepared in advance, and we are going to be ready when those end-of-the-day urges hit. Something that works for me is having a very light piece of fruit like an apple or a few grapes if you need fruit, or an egg/veggie omelette, or other source of lean protein like grilled talapia, or a muscle gain protein shake smoothie with strawberries or banana blended in with ice chips, or a package of open-and-eat tuna. You may need to have pre-cooked grilled chicken ready to be zapped in the microwave to satisfy your times of vulnerability. Or possibly adding a salad to your chicken would be appealing. Grilled chicken is definitely one of my staples.

Everyone is different, but the key is to give some thought to find choices that you like to eat, that are good for you, and are around 100-160 calories.

Use trial and error in this process. If your first choice didn’t quite get the job done for you, continue looking until you find a winner. Evaluate what helps you get through the evening best and adjust textures and temperatures of foods until you find your perfect “staples.” Believe me, when the urge hits in the evening and you have well-planned food choices waiting and ready to eat, the strains and stresses of late-night overeating will just be a memory. And you are one step closer to amazing health, weight loss and fitness results.

The trick is to have things you like to eat accessible at all times, so you are ready when the urge hits. Your list will continue to grow as you continue to evaluate your tastebuds and discover what works best.

Having pre-planned “staples” that you enjoy will not only prevent you from consuming the wrong calories or too many calories, but will also speed up your metabolism one more time before bedtime, rest and recovery.

Give this a try and I hope it helps!

Until next week, please make it a healthy and nutritious day! To get started on healthy nutrition products for weight loss, sports performance, energy, and wellness call Reggies Personal Training and Nutrition, 104 E. Main, Downtown Shawnee, (405) 613-0237, or message Reggie on facebook at Reggies personal training and Nutrition.