Feel like you’re always raiding your pantry at night? You’re not alone! This is a common problem among my clients when they first come to me. Whether it’s stress, boredom, or just the fact that you’ve already “ruined” your day by that point, evening overeating is especially enticing. So what can we do to combat this? Keep reading for 6 tips to stop overeating at night!
1. Stop Eliminating Foods or Food Groups
We’ve all tried to make certain foods off limits… And how does this end? Usually not well. Somehow, when we try to avoid certain foods, we end up eating even more of those foods in the long run. Why is this? Because when we impose this sort of mental restriction, we put these foods on a pedestal and make them even more desirable. This makes us much more apt to overeat these foods at night when our guard is down. For this reason, you’re better off taking an all-foods-fit approach.
2. Keep Your Meals & Snacks Balanced
Another trigger for overeating at night is a lack of balance during the day. When our body isn’t getting what it needs throughout the day, we’re more likely to be grasping for food later on. For this reason, it’s important to include fibrous carbs, fat, and protein in your meals and snacks.
3. Stop Assigning Moral Value to Food
Unfortunately, our society is obsessed with assigning morality to our food. You may not even notice it at this point. But like I mentioned in my last post and in tip # 1, labeling certain foods as “bad” creates a sense of scarcity and novelty that wouldn’t otherwise be there. If a donut was just a donut and not a “bad” food, just think of how much less power it would have! And these “bad” foods are typically what we’re reaching for after a long, stressful day. Do yourself a favor and morally neutralize your foods to prevent overeating at night.
4. Eat a Filling & Satisfying Dinner
Since dinner is typically our last meal of the day, it plays an especially important role in preventing nighttime overeating. This means that it’s particularly vital to get all three macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) at this meal AND to make it satisfying. Eating an unsatisfying dinner is a surefire way to cause nighttime snacking and overeating. So let’s ditch the low-calorie, bland dinners and make it something hearty and delicious!
5. Stop Eating While Distracted
Another huge contributor to nighttime overeating for most people is mindless eating. Picture this: you sit down on the couch with your dinner plate or a bag of chips. Next thing you know, all of your food is gone, you’re not even feeling particularly full or satisfied, and you don’t even remember eating it. This is an all-too-common scenario. But the good news is that it’s fixable! Once you’re able to eat more mindfully throughout your day, it’s amazing how much less you end up eating without restriction of any kind!
Mindful eating is a huge part of the GHN program framework and something I help each of my clients master.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
If you frequently overeat (or maybe even binge eat), you know that it can be difficult to overcome on your own. While there’s typically a lot of shame associated with overeating, it can be extremely beneficial to talk about it, particularly with someone who’s been through it and can provide guidance and support.
If you consistently struggle with overeating at night and want to get out of the vicious cycle, let’s chat about working together! Overeating is something that I’ve helped countless clients overcome and you can be next!