Night Falls, So Does Your Diet!
All of life’s components converge at night – family and home responsibilities, stress from the day, after-work workouts, time constraints and lagging energy. These factors can wear away your control and cause overeating, We’re tired at night and our usual defenses and modes of coping are not with us. We’re in a more child-like, impulsive state. We’re often looking for something to take the edge off a hard day. Emotions can run high and so can perceived hunger.
Eat Right By Day
A common mistake most people make is skimping on food early in the day. Skipping breakfast and having a light lunch sets the stage for deprivation. It builds a caloric deficit that will leave your body wanting to make up for the calories at night. But it’s not just eating regularly that’s important; it’s what you eat that counts.
A lot of women who are dieting cut out carbs during the day – that’s cutting out their energy foods. And a lack of energy is one of the key factors contributing to late night binging.
Five Tips For Combating Nighttime Nibbling
• Instead of fighting food, try substituting “better” foods. Replace chips with air popcorn, ice cream with greek yogurt, candy with a couple pieces of dark chocolate (above 70% cacao)
• Divide your dinner into two sections and eat one section at dinnertime and one later in the evening.
• Keep your hands busy so they don’t get into mischief. Polish your nails or take up a new hobby.
• Begin a journal and use the evening time to write a few pages about your feelings.
• Dramatically change your routine: Try a hot bath with a glass of wine and some music instead of watching TV.
Understand What’s Eating You
If you keep trying to control your food intake, but cannot do it, your emotions may be playing a role. If you find yourself binging on snack foods or fast foods, eating a large amount of food quickly and/or eating secretly, you’re an emotional eater. Delay overeating for a few minutes and ask yourself ‘what am I feeling?
Use this as an exercise to understand yourself, not just to stop overeating.