Restricting, depriving or skipping meals throughout the day will definitely lead you to think constantly about food. This is your body telling you that it needs to be fed. However, by consuming a little snack to just avoid your stomach from rumbling is not the healthiest option ever. You are just neglecting your body’s needs and wants.
In this era, most of the people want to lose weight but skipping breakfast does not help, actually skipping any meal only leads you to illnesses, not weight loss. Finally, when dinner time comes, you realize that you have not prepared anything and stop by your favorite restaurant for a take out. It is of no use to feeling guilty after having junk food. The deed has been done already. After a day without eating much, late night snacking is inevitable. Especially if you have the habit of sleeping late. You might mostly end up in front of the tv and find yourself getting up for snacks during a commercial break.
If this scene sounds familiar, you might be suffering from night eating syndrome which means the persistent pattern of late-night binge eating. Constant snack eating at night might result in weight gain. While this might be a big issue, unhealthy eating is a bigger problem. Overeating can disrupt your sleep at night which lead to imbalances of hunger and satiety hormones.
If you think that nighttime eating is getting out of control and you want to regain some balance, there are many ways to do so. Below are some tips which you can follow:
• Eat enough during the day
Not eating during the day is what makes you crave for midnight munchings. Well, I guess this is obvious enough! If you are constantly depriving your body of nutrients and energy, it will eventually feel frustrated and be craving for food. When we restrict our intake, this makes us bound to be a victim of bingeing or overeating because our bodies have to make up for the loss. It is better than you give yourself permission to eat appropriately during the day. Eat well-balanced meals to prevent excessive eating at night.
• Find out the actual reason behind the overeating
We all need food to be able to survive. However, our food choices are very important. While some are nutritious, others bring us wellness. Food does a lot more than just give us energy. Some food brings us joy that is why we celebrate birthdays with cakes. Food is a good way to add some happiness into your routine.
In a world where we are surrounded by negative feelings such as stress or loneliness, food becomes an easy thing to lean on. But you need to ask yourself, is this food helping me to deal with my stress? It is better to add stress management techniques to your routines such as yoga or meditation. Plan entertaining activities with your loved ones instead of eating to get rid of your stress. Taking yourself out to a bookstore seems like a great idea too.
• Add more fun activities to your life
Cultivating more joy in your life is definitely a win-win situation. Eating at night can be a source of de-stressing yourself especially if you know that there is ice cream waiting for you at home after enduring a bad day. However, this can be your day’s highlight as well. Food can be your source of entertainment, joy, and fun. Then it would be a problem for you. So ask yourself: What are you missing in your life? Are you craving for joy? Comfort? Company? Once you know what you really need, you will stop fulfilling it with food.
• Make some changes in your routine
Routines are part of our everyday life. What do you do the first thing after you wake up? Which route do you take to go to work? Which best friend to you call when you are feeling low? The same way we all have routines when it comes to eating as well. We all fall for these routine temptations. Just imagine that you are at the theater and you order popcorn. Do you really crave for popcorn or you just order because you are at the movies?
A change in your routine might be fundamental to stop binge eating at night. If you have a habit of eating in front of your TV or while watching a movie on your laptop, you could opt to do something else like playing games. TV is one of the main sources which gives a boost to snacking. It is a great idea to find a new habit which is less associated with food.
• Sleep early
Snacking at night often lead to sleep deprivation, the best thing to do is to turn off all your electrical devices and focus on creating an atmosphere which will make you feel asleep earlier.