For many of us the biggest challenge in our day comes at night. We find it almost impossible to simply put down the fork, push away from the dinner table and move on into the night without finding our minds drifting towards food.

It would be lovely to be without the obsessive food thoughts — to make space for a peaceful, calm and soulful evening. Wouldn\’t it?

I have worked out an easy and yes, brilliant strategy that you can follow!

Step by Step Guide: How to Beat the Nighttime Eats!

Step 1. Upon Entering (after a long day\’s work or outing): Music activates the same feel good center of the brain that food does. Put on your favorite tunes or as my brilliant client\’s does. Program the radio to go on at a certain time, so that when you open the door, you are immediately infused by healing sounds.

Step 2. Get Comfy. Kick off your work shoes and put on a pair of fluffy slippers. Whatever your version of comfy is, go for it.

Step 3. Water Yourself. Pour yourself a glass of “exotic” water. Cucumber water, watermelon water, lemon water, or lime water. (Cut fresh slices of fruit and float in water. A beautiful touch.)

Step 4. Eat an Apple. According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, you can reduce your calorie intake by 15 percent by eating an apple 15 minutes before your meal! Apparently, the apple boosts your satiety levels, helping you to eat less! So mindfully cut an apple into slices. Arrange it on a pretty plate. Squeeze a fresh lime onto it.

Step 5. No Seat/No Eat. Please be sure to drink your water and eat your apple while sitting, quietly. Do not do anything else but sit quietly, drink your water and slowly eat your apple.

Step 6. Cook It Up. Now that you have shifted your mindset from work to home and are calm, comfy, hydrated and sated, prepare dinner.

Step 7. Set the Table. While the food is cooking, set a beautiful table. Flowers are always a good idea, as are candles, beautiful plates and glasses. The works!

Step 8. Prepare Your Plate. Now that your dinner is ready, put your portion on your plate and place it on the table. (DO NOT SIT DOWN AND EAT … yet! This is CRUCIAL!)

Step 9. Put It All Away NOW. That\’s right, put the leftovers away before you eat. I\’ll say it again. This is CRUCIAL. As client Susan T. told me just this morning, “It\’s best to put it all away before I sit down to eat, lest post-meal I am likely to continue tasting it.”

Step 10. Sit Down and Eat. No television, no magazines, no telephone. Just enjoy your meal. Yes, you may talk to another human being if they are sitting at the table with you. Savor the flavor. Enjoy the experience of good, healthy living.

Step 11. Brush Your Teeth. After you eat, brush your teeth. You are not only practicing good dental hygiene, but you are clearing the taste of food away. If left there, you might not consciously taste it, but your mind will continue to do so and the food chatter will ensue.

Step 12. Clear the Table/Kitchen. Unless your children are too small and physically unable to carry and scrap their plates, you clear and scrap only your own plate. It\’s okay for them to help. And needless to say, it eliminates the opportunity for you to pick leftovers off other people\’s plates.

Step 13. Nighttime Activity. Even if you are sitting and talking and/or watching television, keeping your hands busy is an integral part of permanent weight loss. Whether you knit, crochet, or enjoy a good paint-by-number kit, or a crossword puzzle, keep your hands busy!

And there you have it! A strategy that works!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!

Janice Taylor, is a Weight Loss Coach and Certified Hypnotist. She is the author of Our Lady of Weight Loss: Miraculous and Motivational Musings from the Patron Saint of Permanent Fat Removal and creator of the popular e-newsletter Kick in the Tush Club.