Night time eating can be a challenging time of the day. For some, we save up our calories throughout the day and indulge at night. In other words, we bank up our calories throughout the day and then “go for it” at night.
The banking of your calories to allow for night eating does a couple of unhealthy things. First, it doesn’t allow for maximum energy throughout the day. Your blood sugar will be low, you’ll get tired, and looking for a boost of energy you will tend to make unhealthy choices and even binge. It is a set-up for a binge. Also eating a large number of calories within a few hours is hard on your body. It is healthier to spread out calories throughout the day rather than in a few short hours. Plus, eating at night doesn’t allow your body to burn as efficiently as if they are eaten earlier in the day.
One way to keep late-night snacking under control is to choose light, healthy snacks such as lean protein, vegetables or fruit. But sometimes you need even trickier strategies. Here are a few some suggestions:
- Brush and floss your teeth right after dinner. You’ll be less likely to eat after you’ve gone through this ritual.
- Distract yourself. Telephone a friend or find a hobby (not television) that absorbs your attention. You’ll be so busy you won’t want a snack. Important: Make sure your activity is far from the kitchen, if possible.
-You could even have a family rule that after a certain time, the kitchen is closed. Closed for snacks, bedtime snacks, anything food-oriented, the food is closed. Just as a restaurant closes after a certain time, your kitchen has its own hours and when it is closed, it is closed. No food is served or consumed - again, the kitchen is closed!
- Tell yourself you can have a snack…but not right now. By waiting for 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll give the craving a chance to pass.
- Watch the sunset or gaze at the stars.
-Enjoy a good night of deep sleep. Sip chamomile tea or other herbal teas. You’ll sleep better without a full, overflowing stomach that is probably gassy.
- If all else fails and it is close enough to bedtime, go to bed. Tomorrow morning, you’ll be grateful that you didn’t give in to those night cravings.
Night eating is commonly difficult. Among my clients, it is probably the most difficult time. It is the time to relax, reward yourself for surviving the day, and letting down from the day. Enjoy your evenings by being with family, friends and participating in activities or hobby that bring you pleasure and joy. Experience your evenings with people and quality time, not food.
End your day with meaningful rituals such as family time, bubble bath, reading a good book, prayer or meditation. Create a special ritual to reward you for your day and healthy habits you lived by. Yeah YOU!
Believe In Yourself, Cathy, CLC Certified Life Coach, Weight Loss Surgery Coach Back On Track Facilitator