Many people find themselves eating late at night, even when they aren’t hungry. Nighttime eating can cause you to eat more calories than you need and lead to weight gain.
Here are 5 things you can do to stop eating late in the evening or at night.
1. Distract Yourself
If you are preoccupied with thoughts of food because you’re bored, then find something else you enjoy doing in the evening.
This will help keep your mind occupied.
Finding a new hobby or planning evening activities can help prevent mindless late-night snacking.
2. Don’t Keep Junk Food in the House
If you are prone to eating high-fat, high-sugar junk food at night, remove it from your house.
If unhealthy snacks aren’t within easy reach, you are much less likely to eat them.
Instead, fill your house with healthy food that you enjoy. Then when you have the urge to eat, you won’t snack on junk.
Good snack-friendly foods to have available if you get hungry include fruits, berries, plain yogurt and cottage cheese.
These are very filling and probably won’t cause you to overeat in the case that you do end up becoming ravenously hungry in the evening.
Anxiety and stress are two of the most common reasons why people eat when they aren’t hungry. However, using food to curb your emotions is a bad idea.
If you notice that you eat when you are anxious or stressed, try to find another way to let go of negative emotions and relax.
Research has shown that relaxation techniques can help manage eating disorders such as nighttime eating syndrome and binge eating.
Relaxation techniques you may find useful include breathing exercises, meditation, hot baths, yoga, gentle exercise or stretching.
4. Plan Your Meals
As part of your routine, you may also benefit from using a meal plan.
Planning your meals and eating healthy snacks can reduce the chances that you will eat on impulse and make poor food choices.
Having a meal plan can also reduce any anxiety about how much you are eating and help you spread your food throughout the day, keeping hunger at bay.
5. Use a Routine
If you’re overeating because you aren’t eating enough during the day, then getting yourself into a routine can help.
Structured eating and sleeping times will help you spread your food intake over the day so that you’re less hungry at night.
Getting good sleep is very important when it comes to managing your food intake and weight.
Lack of sleep and short sleep duration have been linked to higher calorie intakes and poor-quality diets. Over a long period of time, poor sleep can increase your risk of obesity and related diseases.
Having set times for eating and sleeping can help you separate the two activities, especially if you are prone to waking in the night to eat.