How to stop eating at night: It can be quite difficult. A lot of people suffer from this problem and are trying to find a solution that works. If one fails to learn how to stop eating at night, this devastating problem can lead to weight gain, diabetes, obesity and depression.
Are you still feeling hungry after having a really big dinner? Do you feel the need to eat at night right before going to sleep? Do you find yourself waking up and bingeing at night? You are not alone.
Even after a big meal during the day, it can happen that you crave more food and more sugar. But eating at night is even more detrimental, because the body will store the extra calories as fat instead of processing and burning them for energy.
Furthermore, overeating at night can not only cause weight gain, but also disrupt sleep, having negative effects on hunger, satiety and growth hormones, which play an important role in weight management.
If you are wondering how it happens, why you want to have chips or sweets and how to stop eating at night, I am going to give you 30 ways that you can try everyday for a month and see amazing results.
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30 Ways To Stop Binge Eating.
Find the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
We use food for different reasons. Looking at why we eat and what we really want from food is a step in the right direction in order to learn how to stop eating at night.
Food is a reward for a lot of people. It can also be comfort, to seek happiness or pleasure. If you look deeply into the reasons why you are eating and try to fulfill those reasons with something else, you can overtime change bad eating habits.
In order to stop bingeing, you have to learn how to meet your needs on a deeper level, so that overeating does not satisfy you anymore. Take the time to find out what you are really looking for and pursue it with other means.
Sometimes, we are very hungry and that is why we eat at night. Especially if we did not take the time to properly eat during the day. Other times, we only eat because of our emotions.
Try to identify if your nighttime eating is physical or emotional in order to learn how to stop eating at night. If you are craving sweets or salty comfort foods, you probably are feeling emotional hunger.
If you are skipping meals during the day or if you are on a restrictive diet, you have more chance to be physically hungry at night.
Find out the root cause of why you are eating at night.
If you eat a lot in the evening or at night and want to change this habit, you will have to find out why. This may come from restriction during the day, habits or boredom, or from an eating disorder which may have negative effects on your health like weight gain, obesity, depression and sleeping disorder.
If are trying to use food to overcome sadness, anger or frustration, then you might not be physically hungry and should seek to control these emotions with other means. If you are eating a lot of food but don’t seem to have control over it, you might be subject to binge eating.
I recommend you start viewing food as nourishment for your body. Food is the fuel used for activity and it is important to care about what you eat exactly.
You should focus on diversity and quality when it comes to meals and snacks. Your activity level is very low at night. Overeating then will make your body store fat for energy and not spend it.
Furthermore, when you sleep, your body will regenerate and heal itself. That is why it is very important to eat nutritious foods and give your digestive system enough time to work beforehand.
Adopting a healthy routine might be the best way to learn how to stop eating at night.
You can try to get yourself into a healthy routine, in order to eat enough throughout the day. It might take a lot of time and practice at first for you to change your habits, but it is worth it.
Try to structure your meals and sleeping times to spread your food intake over the day and feel less hungry at night doing so.
Don’t neglect sleep. Having enough time to rest is vital to help reduce risk of weight gain and obesity. You should aim to completely separate eating from sleeping as much as possible.
Feeling full and satisfied during the day is key to adopt a healthy lifestyle and reduce your appetite at night.
You can try to use healthy and natural supplements to cut cravings out.
Omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin D can have very positive effects on hormone, blood sugar and insulin levels. They can help stop cravings that you may have in the evening or at night.
Some natural superfoods made of seaweed might also be helpful to take before and after you eat in capsules or powder. They are very rich in dietary fiber and efficient at making the body feel full and satisfied.
Some amino acids like chromium found in green tea can also help balance your hormones, stop your cravings and limit body fat storage.
Avoid late night cravings by following a positive mindset.
It is best to replace immediate pleasures with long-term ones. Remind yourself of all the efforts you have made so far to reach your goals.
Think about the future and imagine all the things you want to achieve in the years to come. Envision the best-life moments that await you. These positive thoughts will have a magical effect on your mood.
Be grateful for all the people and events in your life that are truly important to you. And then, you will have the power to pass over unhealthy temptations that please you only short-term.
By replacing all negative feelings with positive and powerful ones, we really can achieve what we truly are meant to.
How to Stop Eating at Night.
Follow a healthy and easy meal plan.
Everyone can benefit from using a meal plan. It is very possible to reduce the chance of eating on impulse and making poor food choices. This can easily be achieved by planning all meals and snacks.
Furthermore, having a meal plan can help with anxiety about food and feel satiated without overeating. By planning healthy options throughout the day, we prevent ordering take out and reaching for comfort foods.
Another great way to help stop overeating at night is keeping a journal.
Keeping a food diary can prevent weight gain and increase weight loss results. With a journal, it is easy not to overestimate the body needs or underestimate how much you eat.
This will promote awareness about the amount of food you need and keep you honest with yourself. It will then be easier to identify if something goes wrong and change it before it is too late.
Learn how to have functional hunger hormones.
Hormones help balance your hunger and how much food you crave.
Insulin processes the sugar in your diet but it will make you hungry if not kept stable. That is what happens when you eat a lot of processed sugars that are digested very quickly.
When you eat processed foods, white flour and empty calories, your brain has more difficulties knowing when you are full.
When you are stressed, cortisol is produced, you get hungrier, your blood sugar and insulin levels rise. This can lead to diabetes and insulin resistance. Look for a way to reduce stress as much as possible with exercise like yoga. Meditation is also a great way to calm down and sleep better.
By avoiding sugary and white foods, we can make sure that the hormones function properly. An increased intake in processed foods interferes with their ability to work like intended. This lead to overeating.
Prefer whole foods, fruits and vegetables.
Make sure to eat regularly throughout the day at regular times.
It is important to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Eating at regular times will get your body on an hormonal clock. This will keep your eating habits balanced and prevent weight gain.
Avoid sugary and carbonated drink as they promote cravings.
A lot of cravings are caused by sugary drinks. Liquid calories spike your insulin and blood sugar levels. Try to avoid sodas and juices, coffee and sport drinks.
More Advice on How To Avoid Eating Late.
Do you have any food sensitivities or allergies? You might crave them.
It is totally possible to crave the thing you are very sensitive or allergic to. You can try to stop eating any dairy and gluten for a period of time. After a few weeks, you can then see if it helps or not.
Eating a good breakfast is a very good habit that helps maintain a healthy weight.
This is very important to learn how to stop eating at night. A good breakfast is the first step in adopting healthy eating habits. It can also keep you full at night.
Overeating at night makes you not want to eat breakfast after waking up because you feel full. It is better to shift most of your food intake early in the day, so that body can use it as energy throughout the day.
Start your day with a good breakfast. Prefer whole foods like fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds. You can have walnuts or almond butter, coconut butter. Frozen fruits or dried fruits are also a possibility. They help balance your energy levels and keep you full for a long period of time.
It is recommended to get rid of all junk food at home.
By removing all high fat and high sugar junk food from the house, the temptation to eat unhealthy snacks will be reduced.
A good idea is to fill your house with healthy food that you enjoy. You can then snack on fruits, nuts and seeds when you get hungry.
These are very filling and there is little chance that you will overeat if you become hungry in the evening.
Best Tips to Stop Eating at Night.
Prefer foods that have little calories.
When eating processed foods and refined sugars, a spike in blood sugar will have to be compensated with a burst in insulin levels. High rises and drops of blood sugar and insulin levels are prone to make you hungry faster.
Most of your daily carbohydrates should come from whole foods, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and healthy proteins. I do not recommend any products with added sugar or any white foods.
Instead, you should focus on eating oats, barley, beans, lentils, brown rice. Exclude sugary cereals, white breads, white rices, and sweets.
Eat the most calories early and reduce the amount later in the day.
It is very crucial that you do not restrict the amount of calories you eat throughout the day. If you do, it may lead to overeating at night. You should instead make sure that you feel satiated long before nighttime arrives.
You can eat healthy snacks between meals if you feel hungry. Try to eat nuts, fruits, and veggies if you are experiencing physical hunger. This will help cut the desire to eat at night.
Try not to wait until you get really hungry before you eat. You will then be more likely to make poor food choices and overeat. By controlling your appetite, you have a better chance of maintaining a healthy weight.
It is better to not starve yourself during the day and eat when hungry.
Do not deprive yourself of food. It is a really bad idea and will leave you very hungry in the evening, with only food on your mind.
It is important to listen to your body. When your are hungry, you need to eat until you are fully satisfied. It is the best way to get rid of any obsession about food(3).
It is not easy to change. But with time and practice, you can do it. Take small steps and let your body adapt to the lifestyle changes.
Concentrate on eating and avoid any other distractions during meals.
If you have the habit of eating and watching TV or playing on your phone at the same time, it is a bad habit.
To reduce the amount you eat and switch to more mindful eating habits, you have to pay attention to what you eat and exactly when you are full.
Replacing fatty and sugary snacks with healthy snacks is recommended.
You can easily change your eating habits by progressively switching from unhealthy foods to their healthier options.
You can prepare healthy snacks out of fruits and vegetables in advance in order to have them ready when you are feeling hungry.
Buying already sliced fruits is a good option if you lack the time to prepare it yourself.
Dietary fiber is very important to avoid weight gain and overeating.
If you increase the amount of dietary fiber in your diet, you will feel full quicker with less calories.
Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains have a lot of fiber that help you feeling full.
Eating slowly is a good way to learn how to stop eating at night.
If you are usually eating your meals fast, take your time. By eating slowly and savoring the taste of your food, you will appreciate more the small healthy changes in your eating habits.
Furthermore, you will give your brain time to get the signal when you are full and don’t have to eat more.
Drinking Help Against Overeating.
Drink plenty of water and green tea.
To be healthy, lose weight and stop overnight eating, you have to drink plenty of water. It will help you stay hydrated, which is important for a good digestion.
By drinking enough water, it is possible to stop overeating and feeling satiated quicker. Green tea with no added sugar is also great to burn more calories while keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.
Avoid restricting your diet. Have healthy thoughts instead.
Instead of thinking about what you cannot eat, think about how you can have balanced meals.
The mindset of balance allows you to avoid restrictive self talk. It is better to stop feeling bad about yourself, and focus on how you can take care and nourish your body the best way possible.
Be truly satisfied when you eat. This will have positive effects on your eating habits and you will be less likely to eat at night.
Try to eat enough healthy protein which are very filling.
Good fats like nuts and seeds, avocados and coconut also have some amount of protein. The combination has the ability to balance your blood sugar.
Making healthy fats and protein part of your diet can help reduce your hunger and make you feel more satisfied during the day.
Furthermore, this should stop making you preoccupied with food and eating at night.
You can also find something to do to get your mind off eating.
Nighttime eating might be a result of boredom while watching television. A good way to stop thinking about food is keeping busy with other activities.
You can try to occupy your hands to focus on something other than eating.
How to Stop Eating at Night with Exercise.
Try to make most of your day by doing fulfilling activities.
By incorporating fulfilling activities throughout the day, you will not have to wait for snacks at night to feel complete.
Making room for things you enjoy and your interests means less focus placed on nighttime eating.
You can read, meet and help new people, listen to music, take a walk, get involved in community.
Find something missing in your life that will fulfill you other than food. It is a great step to focus on other things than how to stop eating at night.
Brushing your teeth after every meal is a good habit to have.
Brushing your teeth can help avoid eating at night for a multiple reasons.
By having a clean mouth, you may be less likely to eat. If you brush your teeth right after dinner, you may not want to eat again.
The taste of foods is changed with toothpaste. After cleaning, nighttime snacks are less appealing.
Get enough rest at night with plenty of time sleeping.
Changing your sleep schedule can help change your eating habits too. Getting poor sleep is known to affect your meals, breakfast especially. You are less likely to make and eat breakfast feeling fatigued in the morning. And missing breakfast promotes eating disorders and overnight bingeing.
If you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, it is easier to make sure to get enough rest. Give your body the time to adapt and start feeling better.
A consistent evening and morning routine is a good place to start for healthy living habits and learning how to stop eating at night. Before to the invention of the light bulb, we slept around 10 hours a night.
Avoid stress and anxiety.
Anxiety and stress lead to weight gain. It is known that people try to fight them with food. It is a bad idea and I recommend you to find other ways to get rid of negative emotions and relax.
Meditation is a good advice. You can also try out yoga. The combination of a focused mind and breathing make worrying thoughts disappear. Meditation can train you to be more mindful about your body needs. This will allow you to learn how to stop eating at night.
You will succeed. Believe in yourself and have faith.
If you believe you can change, you will.
Believe that you have the ability to change your life by your own actions. If you do, you have a better chance of succeeding than those who don’t.
Think about your past successes, what you already accomplished. You will feel more confident and ultimately manage to change your lifestyle.
Last advice on how to stop eating at night: Ask for help and advice.
Some habits are very hard to break. You don’t have to do it alone. Asking for support might be a challenge in itself, but it is worth it.
Try to find friends and family members that you can talk to. Join online communities, forums and talk about yourself.
If you think you may have an eating disorder, seek professional help. This might be the best way for you to learn how to stop eating at night.
It is not easy to change your eating habits. It is especially hard to learn how to stop eating at night.
I recommend you to implement small changes to your lifestyle and take the time to adapt.
Find the root cause of the problem and try to solve it with healthier food choices. Get enough sleep at night and make sure to have a good breakfast in the morning. By eating during the day, you will be less inclined to overeat in the evening.
Whole foods are usually better than refined and processed foods. They are more nutritious and filling. Planning your meals and sticking to a routine is the key to consistency which lead to success.
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About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks three languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.