Although research suggests that eating at night does not slow down your metabolism or cause more weight gain than the food you eat during the day, excess eating at night time can become an obstacle between you and the body you want. Here are 10 ways to avoid eating at night...
Don’t worry; we’re not asking you to get down on one knee or put a ring on your finger. However, getting engaged in an activity can really help you avoid the night-time nibbles. Switch off the TV and start a project, call a friend and have a catch up. Or you could get out a gripping book and have a relaxing bath to beat your urge to eat.
We know we sound like your parents, but honestly breakfast is very important and having a decent meal first thing will help you to avoid the night-time nibbles. This is because eating first thing is thought to stabilise your blood sugar and help you to regulate your appetite. Studies have found that people who ate whole-grain cereals gained the most benefits from breakfast, so grab a bowl to help you stop eating too much at night.
Stop drinking so much
Drinking can help you to relax, and going for a drink or two after work is a good way to socialise. However, drinking can also really interfere with your appetite and give you the night-time nibbles. After a few drinks you might not recognise that you are full and are more likely to reach for salty, fatty snacks. Instead of drinking alcohol, find a soft drink that you love; mocktails can be a tasty alternative.
Change your meal time
If you eat too much in the evening because you eat your main meal late and are ravenous, then try to change the time you eat. Sometimes people eat late because they wait for their family members to come home so that they can eat together. If this sounds familiar why not eat your main meal and save a small amount of it so that you can eat this smaller portion with the person you have been waiting for? If you eat late due to a lack of time, prepare meals in advance and freeze.
If you enjoy eating, cutting back on your night-time nibbles can be a hard and unpleasant task. To make sure you don’t lose motivation and slip back into the habit of overeating at night, treat yourself with non-edible goodies. You might want to buy yourself a new DVD on a Friday night if you’ve not overeaten for a whole week, or an even better treat if you’ve not eaten too much for two weeks.
Drink some water
Sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger. Pour yourself a glass of water if you feel like reaching for another snack and you might find that after you’ve finished your glass you won’t want to eat. Water also helps you to feel fuller, so if you do cave into your cravings after you’ve had some water you’ll feel fuller more quickly than if you had not drunk anything.
If you want to stop night-time nibbles then maybe you need to examine your diet. Do you eat a lot during the day as well? If you don’t eat much in the day and overeat at night, you should try to redistribute your meals. Smaller, more frequent meals during the day (four to five is an ideal number) will ensure your energy levels are sustained throughout the day and should help you to stop feasting during the night.
When you are really struggling to change your eating pattern, cutting out food can seem impossible and can exacerbate your eating. So, to combat your night-time nibbles without reducing the frequency of your eating, you should look into swapping certain snacks for healthier options. For example, swap chocolate biscuits for a square or two of dark chocolate.
Don’t buy snacks
The simplest way to stop eating so much at night is to stop buying those things you can’t resist eating. Not buying tempting snacks will mean that if you really want something extra to eat, you have to go out of the house to get it. Normally this hassle is enough to perturb you if you are just eating for the sake of eating and you are not actually hungry.
Go out more
What do you do in the evenings? If you normally stay at home then your overeating might be due to boredom. Most people tend to go to work and spend their entire days in the same place, then when they clock off they return home. Seeing just two places day in, day out is enough to make anyone overeat. Stimulate yourself and get out more – join a club or meet up with friends to keep yourself from reaching for the cookie jar.