It’s 10pm, you’re a little tired but not quite ready for bed. It’s been 3 hours since dinner time and you start feeling peckish which leads you to the kitchen and into the fridge. Soon one apple, turns into a tub of yoghurt followed up by half a packet of biscuits. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Late night overeating is a habit that needs to be kicked and if continued can lead to weight gain. Read the tips below to help you learn how to stop over eating at night time.
WHY ARE YOU OVEREATING AT NIGHT TIME?
- Not eating enough during the day or having a small dinner.
- You have got your body into a habit of post-dinner snacking.
- Using food to cope with emotional feelings such as boredom, loneliness, stress and tiredness.
- Not preparing your body appropriately for sleep – you are watching TV, looking at screens which keep the brain active.
3 STEPS TO STOP OVEREATING AT NIGHT TIME
1. Nourish your body
- Firstly, sort out your food during the day. Make sure you are really nourishing your body and providing it with the nutrients that it needs. Have 3 main meals that include a mixture of healthy fats, unprocessed carbohydrates and quality protein.
- Time your meals right, make sure you eat every 3-4 hours. I see too many people eat nothing all day then binge all evening. You should be consuming majority of your calories at breakfast and lunch.
2. Prepare your body and brain ready to sleep
- An hour before bed, switch off electronic devices; no phone, computer, emails, ipad etc. Sit down with a book or your loved one and enjoy a cup of tea. Be thankful for the day you’ve had and look forward to what tomorrow will bring.Try to avoid speaking or think or work or anything else that will stress or worry you.
3. Ask yourself am I eating with my emotions?
- Lastly if you are overeating for emotional reasons and not actual physical hunger then you may need to ask yourself these questions. Number 1. “am I hungry?”, number 2. “if I eat this food will I be satisfied?”
- If physical hunger is not the reason, then figure out what is making you want to eat. Are you tired, do you need to just go to sleep? Lonely? Ring a friend. Do you have stresses and thoughts on your mind you need to process? Try techniques such as meditation or journey writing.
- Habitual eating is a big cause of night time overeating. If you have a habit of sitting down on the couch, infornt of the TV after dinner with a chocolate bar then this is something you need to stop. Becoming aware of the behavior is the first step. From here you can devise strategies to break this habit. Maybe try having a herbal tea straight after your dinner. This is something that I do every night, it sort of tells my body that I am done eating for the day. Or try brushing your teeth!