Many individuals find themselves eating late at night, even when they are not hungry. If you are one of those who is worried and actually concerned about how to stop binge eating at night, then this article would be of some help for you.
12 Ways to Stop Binge Eating At Night
Night-time eating or binge eating during night can cause you to consume more calories than you actually need and thus lead to weight gain. Below are some of the ways you can stop binge eating at night.
#1. Identify The Cause Behind Binge Eating At Night
Some people generally eat most of their food late in the night. In order to change this habit, one needs to identify the cause of the problem. Night-time eating may be because of the result of overly restricted intake of food during daytime, thus leading to ravenous hunger during the night. Moreover, eating late at night may also be caused because of boredom or a habit. Binge eating at night may also be associated with some eating disorders like night time eating syndrome or binge eating disorder, etc. These two disorders are characterized by different eating patterns and different behaviors, but can have the same negative effects on one’s health.
It is essential for you to know the exact cause of eating late at night and work on it.
#2. Know Your Triggers
It is also very much essential for you to know your trigger for overeating or eating at night. You might feel like eating because of depression, anxiety or stress etc.
One of the effective ways to know the cause or identify the triggers for eating late at night may be by keeping a ‘Food and mood” diary. Tracking your eating and exercise habits alongside your feelings, will surely assist you in identifying patterns, enabling you to work on breaking any negative cycles of behavior.
#3. Maintain A Routine
In case you are overeating during night because you are not eating enough during the daytime, then getting yourself in to the right routine can help you stop late night eating. Structured eating and sleeping hours will help you spread the intake of your food over the day, so that you are less hungry during the night. Getting enough good sleep is very much essential, when we talk about managing your food intake and weight. Lack of sleep or short duration of sleep is known to be linked with higher calorie intakes and poor quality of food choices.
So setting times for eating and sleeping can actually help avoid eating late at night, especially if you wake up at night for eating.
#4. Eat Regularly Throughout The Day And Do Not Starve
One of the best ways to stop late eating at night could be by way of eating all throughout the day and not starving in the daytime. Eating in planned intervals throughout the day in line with “normal” eating patterns can help you keep your blood sugar level stable. It is known that when you get hungry, you are more likely to make poor food choices and also lead to binge eating. Eating regular meals throughout the day will prevent you from being too hungry at night and will thus help you manage your cravings and food impulses.
#5. Include Protein In Your Every Meal
Different foods can have different effects on one’s appetite. In case you eat because of hunger, including protein at every meal may help crub your hunger. It could also be helpful in making you feel more satisfied throughout the day and thus prevent you from eating mindlessly during night.
One study has found that eating frequent high-protien meals, reduced craving by about 60% and cut the desire to eat at night by 50%!
#6. Remove All Junk Foods From House
Remove all junk foods from your house. This is unhealthy and is not recommended for eating in loads. Instead, you can fill your kitchen or refrigerator with healthy foods and eat them if you feel like eating them at night. Good foods include fruits, berries, cottage cheese, plain yogurt etc.
#7. Drink A Hot Beverage At Night
One more great tip that can help you stop binge eating at night, is to drink a hot beverage during the night time. A cup of hot caffeine-free tea or hot chocolate milk etc, will help ward off the cravings later on. A hot drink before your sleep time will help you feel full and thus help you get sleep quicker too.
#8. Plan Your Meals
It is important to have a proper meal plan. Planning your meals and eating healthy snacks can greatly reduce the chances of binge eating at night. Moreover, having a meal plan can also reduce any anxiety about how much you are eating, and this would help you spread your food properly throughout the day and thus keep hunger at bay and help reduce or stop binge eating at night.
#9. Seek Emotional And Professional Support
In case you think that you may have some issues like binge eating disorder or night-time eating syndrome, then you must take emotional and professional help as well.
A professional can help you in identifying the triggers and implement the best treatment plan for you. These treatment plans may include Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT, which is known to help people with binge eating disorders.
Creating an emotional support network will also help you in finding ways to manage negative emotions, which otherwise might lead you to eat mindlessly.
#10. De-Stress And Relax
It must be mentioned that anxiety and stress are two of the most common causes why people eat even when they are not hungry. So, binge eating at night could also be due to stress and anxiety in you. However, using food to curb your emotions is really a bad idea.
In case you notice that you are eating when you are stressed or anxious, then try to find another way to let go your negative emotions, de-stress and relax. Research has shown that relaxation techniques can aid you in managing eating disorders like binge eating and night-time eating syndrome.
Meditation, hot baths, breathing exercises, gentle exercise or stretching are some of the relaxation techniques you can try out.
#11. Get Enough Sleep
Getting more sleep is one more tip on how to stop binge eating at night. Paradoxically, the less sleep you get, the more likely you are to wake up at night feeling hungry. A lack of sleep, increases the hunger hormone or Ghrelin production in the body, which will bring on the craving for food. So, it is essential for you to try your best to get enough sound sleep at night.
#12. Distract Yourself
Many times people start eating foods because they are already occupied by thoughts of food in their mind when they are bored. So, if you are pre-occupied with thoughts of food, because you are bored then find out something else that you would enjoy doing. Finding a new hobby and doing some interesting things out of your hobby during late evening or night would keep you distracted from food cravings and prevent binge eating at night.
Now that we are aware of some of the ways on how to stop binge eating at night, it is the right time for you to take steps forward and try to solve your problem of binge eating if you are concerned about it.
It is essential for you to consult to a medical professional in case these tips do not work for you.