Late night eating is a huge problem for a lot of people, and is common in people who struggle with emotional eating. Some experts believe that late night eating has nothing to do with the late hours but what you’re eating habits have been during the day. Late night snacking can occur because it is common for our feelings to come up provoking uncomfortable feelings like anxiety and loneliness that trigger emotional late night eating.
What ever the reason is, it can become destructive and a hard habit to break if it is not curbed.Here are 6 strategies that will help you overcome late night serial snack attacks.
- Explore what triggers are coming up for you at night time. Are you feeling sad, anxious, lonely or angry? Write down how you are feeling and then write down some ways that would help you with those feelings other than using food. For example: you could meditate, take a hot bath, do some light stretching, yoga, read a book or journal. Get out of the kitchen where it can be to tempting.
2. Become aware of the timing of your meals.Assess whether you ate enough during the day or if you skipped a meal and unaware of how hungry you are getting at night. Make sure you are eating enough during the day so you don’t get hungrier at night. Try preparing breakfast the night before to make sure you are getting something nutritious to start the day and avoid the A.M. food cravings. At night time start a bed routine that can promote a good nights sleep like going to bed at the same time, and reaidng a book 30 minutes before.
3. Create a list of 5-10 activities you could do that don’t involve food. When you start to feel anxious, depressed or lonely go to your list and choose one or two you can do other than eat. Call a friend, meditate, go to bed if it’s close to bedtime, dance, go for a walk, colour or do puzzles.
4. Keep snacks out of the house.When you go grocery shopping don’t pick up foods that you know will be to tempting especially to binge on at night time. By doing this it will remove the temptation give you the option to seek a healthier alternative which you should also stock up on in yur kitchen so you can reach for an apple, frozen grapes(they are yummy) or nuts and seeds.
5. Try to eat your meals at the same time everyday and sleep at the same time everyday. I know things come up and plans change but as often as you can try to keep the same schedule for meal times and sleep times the better it will be. Our daily caloric requirements depend on when you wake, sleep,as well as when you are using the most energy. When your body is expecting to eat but you skip that meal you become tired and hungry and end up over eating.The easiest way to do this would be to prepare your breakfast the night before. Something like overnight oats. On weekends meal plan and prep meals for the week to make yur like simpler and then you are less likely to reach for take out or soemthing you really don’t want to eat.
6. Always end the day on a healthy note. Let the last thing you eat at the end of the day be nutritious, natural and healthy. You could end it with a piece of fruit, veggies, oatmeal or sprouted bread toast and nut butter.Ending your day like this allows you to start the next morning with a physical and emotional boost.