Notice the title does not say “stop eating at night” because the time of day we consume our calories really doesn’t matter. Over-eating is what I am referring to; the late-night Netflix watching accompanied by a large bowl of cereal/bag of chips/ice cream, etc. By incorporating these seven tips into your evening routine you can stop over-eating at night which will lead to health and/or weight loss success!
Go to bed earlier. We are rarely productive after dinner, especially after a long day, so staying up past midnight isn’t doing us any favors. By getting adequate sleep we minimize next day cravings (hormone levels get out of whack without enough sleep/rest). Make sure to leave the electronics out of the bed and sleep in a dark cool room.
Brush your teeth after dinner. That minty fresh feeling tells our brain that we are done eating and that clean mouth feel will curb that feeling of going face first into a bag of Doritos.
Have a more filling dinner. If you find yourself hungry after dinner you are probably not eating enough. Incorporating more vegetables and protein in your evening meal will help you feel fuller, longer.
Close the kitchen after dinner. After you and your family are done with dinner and have cleaned up, close the kitchen down. Do not leave tempting treats on the counter tops, snacks in an easy-to-grab location. You’re only human. The willpower you’d need to say no to that piece of cake sitting on the counter while binge-watching your favorite show is too much for all of us!
Leave no room for failure. By leaving your environment laden with treats (chips in the pantry, cereal on top of the fridge, ice cream in the freezer is tough for our own willpower. Do your best to enjoy these treats outside of the home and keep the healthier basics in your home.
Have a low-calorie snack in the evenings if you are really craving something. Veggies and hummus, piece of fruit, Greek yogurt, cheese sticks, cottage cheese are all good options!
Reassess the cause of your over-eating at night. This may be a symptom of a larger issue. It may be a sign of deprivation as you may not be eating enough during the day. If you are eating out of stress or anxiety you can seek help with developing healthy coping strategies instead.
From time to time I find myself watching my favorite shows, after my kids go to bed, with a bag of chips or a bowl of cereal. Not until afterward do I really question if I was truly hungry or needed these treats. Becoming more self-aware and monitoring your over-eating at night is an ongoing process. Do your best and reach out to a dietitian if you are struggling with meeting your weight loss and/or health goals!
-Be healthy, live well.