Eating at night is bad for you because it doesn’t leave enough time before going to bed to digest your food well. Night-time eating can lead to obesity and metabolic problems, and can also interfere with your sleeping pattern.
It’s important that your body gets a 12-hour rest period from all food every day. This promotes the proper processing of digestion, absorption, and elimination of food taken in the previous day.
If you’re looking for ways to stop eating at night, consider the following steps in your efforts:
Eat well throughout the day
If you eat a decent breakfast and lunch, and you include small healthy snacks in between, this should help to keep you from focusing on eating at night. Ideally, eat a small, healthy supper to sustain you during the night. Your body does not need any more food after the evening meal.
Don’t buy junk food and don’t have it in your house
Junk food is bad for your health and is often the snack of choice when eating at night. If you are in charge of the food in your home, remove processed foods and foods containing refined carbohydrates and sugar. Don’t shop for food when you’re hungry and avoid the junk and processed food aisles.
Take up a hobby that you can do at home
Busy yourself with something other than eating at night. This can be something you do while you’re watching TV, like knitting or some hobby that does not need your undivided attention. Keeping your hands and mind busy will distract you from thinking about snacking.
Replace emotional eating with something more constructive
Frequently, people are depressed, lonely, sad, or angry in the evenings. This is when they turn to food as a form of comfort. The worse the emotional condition, the more food is consumed. Exercising, reading, studying or writing are positive ways in which you can release feelings of emptiness or depression and help to stop eating at night.
Go to bed at a reasonable hour
If you stay up too late, you’re more likely to think about snacking on something. This is especially an issue if you’re watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet. These pastimes can be triggers for eating late at night.
Drink water whenever you feel the urge to get a snack at night
If you go to the kitchen to get food, grab a bottle of water instead. It won’t be what you are craving, but it will fill your stomach and eventually help you end eating at night. If you canâ??t handle the taste of plain water, squeeze a little lemon juice into the water or pop in some strawberry slices.
Be disciplined in your efforts to stop night-time snacking
If it has become a habit to eat at night, every night, don’t assume that it will be an easy habit to break. It will be a challenge in the beginning, but remain disciplined, and remind yourself of the reasons to stop eating at night.
‘Lock up’ your kitchen after the evening meal
Make a concerted effort to ‘lock up’ your kitchen after the evening meal. Put all food away and out of sight, store perishables in fridge or freezer, grab a bottle of water, close the door and ‘lock up’ your kitchen for the night. This action will benefit everyone in your household and help to stop eating at night.
Brush your teeth after your evening meal
Once you brush your teeth and have that ‘clean mouth’ feeling, you may find yourself reluctant to snack more. This is an example of countering an established bad habit with an established good one.
Request that others in the household remove snacks from sight or not eat in front of you. Spend time with people who don’t eat at night and follow their example.
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