One Simple Change

I am like many people, in that I wore braces on my teeth as a child. I was in the sixth grade and I only wore them for a very short six months. As I entered high school I stopped wearing my retainers and eventually they were misplaced. With this being the case, my teeth began to move back to their pre-braces position. So, in my early thirties, I decided to have braces put back on so my teeth could again be straight. After a year of wearing braces, my teeth and bite returned to the straightness that I so love. Since then I wear my retainers every night without fail.

I am writing about this, because during my adult-braces-wearing-phase I learned something really great. Each night after dinner, I religiously brushed and flossed my teeth. After spending all that time cleaning my teeth (If you’ve had braces, you know how long it takes to floss!) I did not want to get my teeth dirty again, so I did not eat after dinner. This one simple change was enlightening for me. Within several weeks of doing this, I lost twelve pounds, my clothes were fitting so nicely, and I was feeling really great!

All because of
one simple change:
Not eating anything after dinner.

I know that eating late at night is a thing most people do. It is so easy to sit in front of the television and pick on popcorn, sunflower seeds, cookies, chips, or whatever it is that you love to munch on. We all tend to absentmindedly eat. It is more of a habit than anything else. After dinner I am usually not hungry, it is just a hand-to-mouth-keep-myself-busy motion. Usually this habit stems from boredom or thirst and not really from hunger. Do you do the same thing? Do you automatically go in the pantry, fridge, or freezer late at night, even though you are not hungry? I think we all do that.

What if we could be conscious of the fact that we do this as an impulse? What if we could make it a habit to brush and floss right after dinner so that we do not binge late at night? What if we replaced cookies with a glass of water before heading to bed? What if we did sit ups in front of the television instead of gobbling a bowl of sweet cereal? What if we did this and began to lose a little weight? What if the little pockets of ice-cream-induced cellulite began to disappear? What if we woke up feeling lighter and leaner? Would you trade a few bites of pleasure for this new-found feeling of being more fit? What if you were able to get your whole household to try this?

Those few little cookies here and that bag of chips there really do add up. And when we take that away, especially late at night, our whole physique can change in slight but profound ways. Our teeth and gums will also be healthier as a result. Are you in?

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s all curb our after-dinner eating. Let’s brush and floss right after dinner and save our appetites for a healthy breakfast the following morning. Let’s celebrate being lean and fit and healthy!

Because Together is Better,


  1. Snacking Sista says:

    Regretting letting you put cameras in my kitchen and family room…

  2. Hi there!

    I think most of us find things that work for us to curb weight gain – especially those of us in our 40’s and 50’s – whether it’s brush your teeth after dinner or eat like a king for breakfast, a prince at lunch, and a pauper at dinner. I use smaller plates, eat more veggies, and train Mauy Thai ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. This is just what I needed Deanna. No matter how full I am from dinner I will reach for the popcorn or sunflower seeds. Now I won’t be able to do this without hearing your message and making this choice more conscious. thank you bunches Debra

  4. Great tip. I also sleep much better when I don’t eat late.

  5. I’m in! I love taking action and this is one that i’m willing to do because of the potential outcome. I also love to graze in the evenings so it will take awareness. I enjoyed your story around the action, and that is what I will remember. Thanks!

  6. I have never worn braces, but have seen and heard what people with braces go through. That truly is enough to curb eating habits. I love your solution to weight loss!

  7. I believe that simple one step changes like this are what really help people succeed in anything. It’s when we try to do too much at once that we can get tripped up. Thanks for sharing this tip! I will make an effort to not eat after dinner this month. I want to lose about 10 pounds and this may help me to do it.

  8. I love the simplicity of this . Great story behind the tip. Makes it come alive and fills it with depth instead of feeling like yet another shallow weightloss tip. Thank you for putting this spin on it ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I love this tip and have found that it works for me mid-afternoon, too, when I get the munchies. Sometimes just the refreshing taste of mint is enough to curve my snack habit. Appreciated this reminder that a simple change can have a huge impact!
    Minette Riordan, Ph.D.

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  10. Hubby and I are choosing to eat a good breakfast with lunch as our main meal. That way, we only need a light evening meal such as yogurt or a handful of cashews to tide us over until bed. Love the reminder to floss — can’t get enough of that one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Just another way to change a habit that will benefit our lives. A great healthy and simple tip…. thanks!

  12. Such a simple solution!!!! In the mornings, I have to have my OJ before I brush otherwise blick ~ I so do not want it!!! I can do this at night too ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I too was a Weight Watcher and remember this tip but love how you put it in a different perspective of “One Simple Change” that affect so much of our lives. I will encourage myself to make One simple change each day for a better me. Thanks for an awesome post! keep Shining!!

  14. Great idea for those wanting to lose weight. I have to say that I’m a grazer. I don’t much do the 3 meals a day. I eat small meals every couple hours to keep my metabolism up. My one small change should maybe brushing after each. I tend to only brush in the morning and at bed time. Doing well at the dentist so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Oh those midnight snacks can be so delicious!!! It’s a amazing how sticking to a schedule really makes a big impact!

  16. Jo Casey says:

    I know when I used to go to Weight Watchers this was a tip they recommended – and it works!

  17. I totally relate to you because I also had braces in 6th grade & really need them again now!:) I wish I could have been as disciplined as a child as I would be now:)

  18. I know how this feels, although brushing your teeth is a great way to stop eating.

  19. The time when you are most likely to put on weight is the late night snacks. This is great advice.

  20. I hate it when I feel like this. lol Sometimes I don’t do brushes at night because of this.

  21. I love munching on raw cashews at night. Healthy but still high fat so bad idea. I could learn a bit more discipline

  22. I know I eat at night, and even after I have already brushed my teeth. I know going to bed earlier would help a lot too.

  23. Jim Striegel says:

    I think this is an issue with many. You need for this to pop up at 9 at night!

  24. Marjory Johnson says:

    I didn’t expect that turn in your story. Love it!!!

  25. Great message everyone should try to discipline themselves when they have a impulse so eventually they could benefit in the future.

  26. What a great and simple idea – thank you so much for sharing this. I will do it!

  27. Oh how I need to do this! Can you come to my house and remind me?

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