Are You a Night Eater? This Is How You Can Stop
You get home late in the evening, open the fridge and start eating like there’s no tomorrow. You put on some comfortable clothes, watch your favorite TV show and mindlessly eat through it. You can’t sleep so you grab random snacks without paying much attention if you’re hungry or not and simply eat to make the time pass.
There can be multiple scenarios, but they all have one thing in common. Your constant nighttime eating. But there’s a solution to that! If you want to learn how to control your appetite and your overall diet, start with these 7 clever ways to curb nighttime cravings, stop nighttime eating and finally regain some balance!
Pinpoint the cause
It’s common practice for many people to consume most of their food late in the evening or during the night. If you’re one of them but want to stop, the first thing you need to do is pinpoint the overall cause of your late meals.
Is it the fact that you don’t eat too much during the day? It is boredom or the fact that it became part of your routine? Or could it be an eating disorder that makes you eat your feelings such as sadness, anger or vexation?
Whatever it is, identify it and save yourself from consuming 25% of your daily calories in just one sitting, at night.
Adopt a daytime eating pattern
What and when you eat throughout the day can have a significant impact on your hunger levels in the evening and during the night. That’s why it’s important to set an eating frequency (like eating at least 3 times a day) to avoid late-night binging and poor food choices.
According to specialized studies, when you get really hungry you can’t control your appetite anymore and seek high-fat, high-sugar junk food, abounding in calories.
To avoid this, always start your day with a consistent breakfast, carry on with a healthy lunch and dinner, and add some snacks in between. It will definitely keep you satiated!
Practice mindful eating
Am I really hungry? Ask yourself this question before ravaging the fridge in the middle of the night. Drink some water and wait for a few minutes to see if you’re still hungry or it was simply a mindless act.
It’s important to be aware of what you really feel and not give in to eating just for the sake of it. Eat your daytime meals slowly and enjoy them more. This way you will be able to consume fewer calories and allow the brain to release hormones that promote fullness.
Find ways to de-stress yourself
Stress and anxiety are two of the most common causes of mindless eating. In countless anxious or nervous situations, people use food to find some sort of comfort and curb their emotions.
Eating at night could become the highlight of the day and your primary source of joy or relaxation. To prevent this from happening, find other ways to unwind and let go of your negative emotions. Use relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, hot baths or try new activities that could bring you joy and entertainment during the evening.
Catch more sleep
Sleep is essential in just about every aspect of our life. This includes eating choices. For many people, waking up in the middle of the night is the perfect opportunity to indulge in some snacking even if they’re not necessarily hungry.
Instead of binge eating, address your sleeping issues and find ways to avoid waking up frequently or falling asleep with difficulty. Eliminate potential disruptive elements from your room or routine such as using mobile phones, computers, watching TV, at least 1 hour before going to bed. A consistent sleeping routine will help your body relax and remain asleep until morning, successfully avoiding unnecessary eating.
Add more protein to your meals
Depending on what you eat, you are either able to control your appetite or helplessly give in to all sorts of cravings.
One way to set the tables straight is to add more protein to your daily meals. According to studies, protein can help reduce unhealthy cravings by 60% and tone down your nighttime eating desire by half.
If you’re actually hungry, protein at every meal may boost satiety throughout the day and stop you from thinking about food in the evening.
Throw away the junk food
“Out of sight, out of mind” is a popular saying that perfectly sums up what your relationships with junk food should be. If you’re the type to crave high-fat, high-sugar junk food, just remove it from your house and eliminate unhealthy temptations. You can’t eat something you don’t have. Ergo, out of mouth.
Instead, stock up on healthy and nutritious foods such as fruits, yogurt or cottage cheese and have them available in visible places. That way, next time you get hit by a ravenous hunger in the middle of the night, you’ll find them with ease and manage to at least satisfy your hunger in a healthy way.