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How To Stop Overeating At Night

If you’re wondering how to stop overeating at night, you’re not alone. It’s a common struggle, especially when 8 pm rolls around and you find yourself mindlessly indulging in cupcakes, cookies, and other sweets without considering the impact on your health the next day.

You’re aware that this habit is detrimental to your long-term health, yet as time ticks away and the thought of tomorrow’s responsibilities looms, the temptation to have just one more cookie becomes overwhelming. So, what can be done to curb this nighttime overeating?

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How to stop nighttime eating syndrome

The nighttime eating syndrome is a disorder that causes people to eat abnormally large amounts of food after dinner. An underlying mental condition, such as depression, anxiety, or lack of sleep, can cause it.

If you’re suffering from the nighttime eating syndrome:

Meal Planning for Success

  • Create a detailed grocery list for efficient shopping.
  • Include a balance of proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and essential fats in each meal.
A person meal prepping for the week in a post about how to stop overeating at night

Portion Control and Hydration

  • Keep portions small to regulate hunger and maintain weight.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day for overall health.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can disrupt eating patterns.

Avoiding Processed Foods

  • Steer clear of highly processed snacks like some packaged nuts, seeds, and hummus varieties.

Pro Tip

Gordon Ramsay’s book, “Healthy, Lean & Fit,” offers recipes for balanced nutrition, helping to reduce overeating at night.
Examples of health snacks in a post about how to stop overeating at night

Healthy Snack Alternatives

  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Fruit and nut mix
  • Yogurt
  • Trail Mix
  • Avocado on crackers
  • Eggs
  • Hummus
  • Pomegranates
  • Cheese

Strategies for Mindful Eating

  • Understand your emotional triggers behind overeating.
  • Keep a food diary to identify patterns and triggers.
  • Be aware of environmental factors that encourage overeating.
  • Assess true hunger before eating and seek professional help if needed.

Pro Tip

“Mindset Switch” book to identify triggers and develop strategies to manage overeating.

A Weekly Meal Plan for Reducing Nighttime Overeating

  • Avoid overeating triggers and start with light daily exercise.
  • Be mindful of thoughts and feelings while eating.
  • Practice self-respect and avoid labeling foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.
  • Engage in fulfilling activities like reading, writing, or creating.
  • Follow a 3-day meal plan and the 90/10 eating rule.
  • Ensure you don’t go to bed hungry: eat protein and have a bedtime snack.
  • Drink water and get ample sleep for overall well-being.
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Tracking Progress in Managing Overeating

  • Set achievable goals and maintain a food diary.
  • Regularly track weight, body measurements, and eating times.
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Celebrating Achievements without Food

Reward yourself with non-food items like;

  • A new outfit
  • Massage
  • Movie trip
  • Shopping
  • Games

How to Pass Time Without Food: Tips from Experience

Overeating is a challenge many people encounter, but there are enjoyable activities that can help divert attention away from the urge to snack. This article shares some creative alternatives to eating that have been discovered by individuals who have struggled with overeating themselves. These activities not only aid in managing weight but also enhance overall well-being.

Explore Old Buildings

  • Discovering Stories: Visiting old, abandoned buildings and immersing oneself in their history can be a fascinating experience. One can imagine their past glory and the stories behind their decline.
  • Local Exploration: Finding historic buildings in the area or picking a dream destination to explore can be quite intriguing.

Why It Works; Engaging one’s curiosity in this way takes the mind off food and offers a sense of adventure.

Friends reconnecting in a post about how to stop overeating at night

Reconnecting with Friends

  • Revive Old Connections: Calling an old friend and catching up on life, sharing ideas, or simply enjoying a pleasant chat can be very fulfilling.
  • Virtual Catch-ups: Using apps like Google Hangouts or Skype for a quick, effortless connection is also a great option.

Why It Works; This not only distracts from eating but also strengthens important personal relationships.

Integrating Exercise into Daily Life

  • Start Small: Beginning with 15-minute exercise sessions and gradually increasing the duration is an effective strategy.
  • Incorporate Movement: Finding ways to be more active, such as walking after dinner or parking further from one’s destination, can be beneficial.

Why It Works; Exercise improves mood and energy levels, which reduces the likelihood of stress-eating.

A woman window shopping in a post about how to stop overeating at night

The Joy of Window Shopping

  • Retail Therapy: Taking a stroll through one’s favorite store, but leaving the wallet at home, can be a fun experience.
  • Avoid Temptation: Window shopping without the intent to buy helps resist impulsive food purchases.

Why It Works; It shifts focus from eating to exploring and appreciating without the pressure to spend.

in a post about how to stop overeating at night

Embracing Mindfulness through Meditation

  • Daily Practice: Dedicating time each day to meditate in a quiet space can be very calming.
  • Focus on Breathing: If the mind wanders, gently bringing the attention back to one’s breath can be helpful.

Why It Works; Meditation reduces stress, a major trigger for overeating, and enhances mindfulness.

The Rhythms of Music

  • Play an Instrument: Focusing on learning and playing music instead of thinking about food is a great diversion.
  • Music as a Social Activity: Bringing an instrument along when meeting friends can add an extra layer of enjoyment.

Why It Works; Playing music requires concentration and provides a fulfilling alternative to snacking.

Conclusion

Late-night eating can be harmful to health as well as gastrointestinal and heart health. When dealing with late-night eating, start by finding a cause or trigger. Use this method to avoid eating late at night.

If you struggling with gut health, we suggest having a peek at Coffee And Gut Health: Reasons Why Coffee Is Good For Gut Health.

FAQ

Why Do I Overeat At Night?

Boredom, depression, frustration, sadness, anxiety, anger, and any negative emotions can cause nighttime eating, which is a real problem if you want to influence weight loss (or get healthier). We all occasionally engage in unhealthy evening eating, even when we’re not experiencing any stress or sadness.

References

  1. NCBI: Relationships between human thirst, hunger, drinking, and feeding
  2. Jacked Vegan: HUNGRY AT NIGHT? HERE’S WHY (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT).
  3. National Library Of Medicine: Sleep deprivation
  4. Mayo Clinic: Binge Eating Disorder
  5. Mayo Clinic: Eating Disorders
  6. Eat This, Not That: Things That Happen to Your Body When You Skip Breakfast
  7. DW: Why alcohol makes us hungry
  8. Everday Health: Depression’s Effect on Your Appetite
  9. Sleep Foundation: Night Eating Syndrome
  10. Calm Sage: What Is Night Eating Syndrome? How To Overcome NES?
  11. NCBI: Caffeine consumption, insomnia, and sleep duration
  12. Healthfully: Effects of Alcoholism on Appetite
  13. The Nourished Child: THE 90 – 10 RULE FOR SWEETS AND TREATS
  14. NCBI: Junk food-induced obesity
  15. Sleeperholic: Is it Bad to go to Bed Hungry? [7 Reasons Why it may be Bad for You]
  16. Nutrisense: Protein and Blood Sugar: How Protein Affects Blood Glucose
  17. Now With Purpose: You’re Dehydrated If…
  18. Calm Sage: What Is Night Eating Syndrome? How To Overcome NES?
  19. Study Finds: World’s largest sleep study
  20. Life Should Cost Less: At what time should you stop eating? Benefits Of Not Eating At Night
  21. Healthy Eating: What Are the Dangers of Overeating
  22. Mayo Clinic: Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity
  23. Mayo Clinic: Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress
  24. Take Lessons: 17 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument.
  25. Country Living: How petting a dog can lower your blood pressure by 10%
  26. Basmo: 22 Advantages of Reading That Will Make You Pick Up a Book Today.
  27. Medical News Today:  the 1,000-calorie diet work for weight loss?
  28. National Library Of Medicine: Prospective Study of Volunteerism and Hypertension Risk in Older Adults

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