Do you often find yourself eating late at night, in front of the tv, or while browsing social media?
If this feels like a regular occurrence, you are not alone. This is something I see SO much with my clients, and is SO common!
Many times, you may be embarrassed by it or not even realize how often you’re doing it until you really pick apart your day and everything you’re eating. I’ve had many clients come to me initially saying they only eat one meal a day, but then as we get deeper into the conversation, realize that they are actually snacking a lot more than they realized.
There is no reason to feel guilt or shame around it, but it is important and in your best interest to pay attention to it to figure out why it keeps happening.
Often times you may be eating at night out of habit, to wind down after a long day, or for emotional reasons. Many times, you may actually not be physically hungry. And when you eat for non-hunger reasons, your body takes it as you don’t need it, and you gain weight. This is where identifying the root cause of your eating triggers truly comes into play.
The good news is, there are things you can do to control this to determine why it’s happening in order to prevent it from derailing your best weight loss efforts. Here are 5 ways to kick the nighttime snacking to the curb:
1.Identify the Route Cause.
There are so many reasons you may be frequenting your kitchen late-night. Here are a few:
- You’re not eating enough during the day
- You’re not eating balanced meals
- You’re restricting certain foods or food groups
- You’re not drinking enough water
- You aren’t practicing regular self-care
- You’re stressed, bored, depression, or anxious
- It’s simply habit or your spouse/partner does it
The fact of the matter is if you’re frequently eating at night, it’s important to start paying attention to the trends. Are you eating 3 meals a day, or are you just grazing on snacks all day long without any real, satisfying meals? In this day and age, it’s not surprising at all for many people to only eat one meal a day, that one meal usually being dinner. This sets you up for failure at night, and it’s no wonder you’re starving and ravenous late at night. When you finally get a chance to sit down at night, your body reminds you that your body is lacking in nutrients. It’s only natural that it will call out for you to eat something.
But it can also be happening for non-hunger reasons, such as for comfort. If you don’t practice enough self-care, you’re more likely to turn to food for comfort when you have the time. Food can often times be seen as a reward after a long day. Your self-care doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it can be 10 minutes journaling or meditating before you start your day. The more regular self-care you engage in, the less likely you will want to turn for food as reward.
2. Learn your Triggers
Learn what situations or feelings are triggering you to overeat at night. When I work with my clients, I help them do this by tracking their food intake and their mood before and after eating. This allows us to discover trends that are happening in order to break that cycle.
3. Establish a Routine
Create a routine to eat regular, balanced meals. Skipping meals or having no structure whatsoever in your daily intake can set you up for overeating at night. Those that tend to skip meals or graze on snacks throughout the day are more likely to continue snacking at night. It’s your body’s way of telling you that your diet is lacking in something and you need to nourish it!
4. Plan Your Meals
Get into a system of planning your meals ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be a week in advance. Start with one or two meals ahead. This alone will make your life so much easier and assure you don’t skip meals. If you are not eating real meals and are snacking all day, you simply won’t feel satisfied. When you’re not satisfied, you will overeat.
5. Seek support and Create Consistent Healthy Habits
Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey to improve your health. This can be family, friends, or a professional. We are very much influenced by those around us, and if you are often around people who are engaging in the habits you are trying to quit, it can make it a lot more difficult for you to do so. Working with a professional in order to get 1:1 support and accountability is invaluable. This is often what gets you from the phase of “knowing” to actually “doing” so you see real results.
Do you struggle with nighttime eating? Start using these tips today to start to break the cycle. For 1:1 support to get you to break the cycles that are causing you to gain weight, sign up for a FREE NUTRITION STRATEGY CALL with me.