Why do I eat so much at night?
Have you struggled with eating at nighttime? Do you feel like you just want to sit down and binge eat in the evening because you have restricted your intake of food for the whole day? Do you feel that you deserve to indulge by the time you finally sit down and relax?
If this is you…please know that you are not alone in feeling like this.
Nighttime is a difficult time for most women. It’s when we finally get to a point in the day where we are actually able to relax and let go of all the tasks that we had to get done.
For so many women, this is what a day looks like.
We have to get showered and dressed to get to our job, we have to make sure our children get to school, ohh yeah…and mouths to feed before we leave the house, phone calls to make on our breaks, doctor and dentist appointments to make so that we aren’t neglecting anyone, mail to sort through, bills to pay etc. Now suddenly it’s time to pick up the kids, stop at the store for groceries before we get home only to immediately start dinner, then scramble to take kids to their sports or music lessons, oh and of course make sure they eat or have a snack before they go. Finally it’s bedtime …and now that whole routine. WHEW! – and you still haven’t had 5 minutes for yourself!
This is a normal day for so many women, and it’s totally exhausting just reading this.
Why Do I Eat So Much At Night?
Because I want to treat myself to something special just because I made it through another day!
There is something more going on though…
Yes, we are busy…but maybe we really aren’t giving our body enough of the right nutrients that it needs to keep us going throughout the day, according to the amount of energy we expend.
I think our bodies are lacking some of the essential ingredients that we need throughout the day to carry on all the tasks that must be done. If we were giving ourselves the right “Fuel” at the proper time, then we might not need to eat so much at night!
Often we hear that eating at nighttime is done out of boredom or out of a mindless habit – like we binge on Netflix and junk food together – it’s a habit and we can’t do one without the other. Or…we are so done with our long day and we are looking for comfort. Or maybe we just don’t know how to sit and be still anymore, so we feel bored and turn to junk food mindlessly.
There is also the point about only eating when we are hungry, and when is the last time you actually felt your tummy growl out of hunger? Sometimes our nighttime eating is just plain mindless overindulging. So often we don’t even realize what we are putting into our mouths. Oftentimes if we would just drink a glass of water, our sudden so-called “hunger pangs” would quickly disappear because our bodies were really just thirsty.
The truth is, it does take discipline and self-control to quit eating so much at night. It requires focus and becoming aware of our habits. It means asking yourself this question….
Take a look at some healthy weight loss reward ideas here. Weight Loss Rewards: Making Healthy Decisions To Celebrate!
Do you actually want to stop eating at night?
If you want to, you can. Remember the quote that says….whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re Right!
First become aware of what you had throughout the day…did you nourish your body well at each meal? Did you even eat dinner? Did you take the time to enjoy your food or did you quickly stuff your face in 2 minutes in order to get the next task done and you can’t even remember eating?
Often it’s that we haven’t nourished our bodies well enough, so our bodies crave what we are lacking. We then think immediately that we need to eat, and it’s usually reaching for something mindlessly – and then because it’s mindless, we overindulge.
The media and all the commercials make our thoughts turn to food. For instance, we see a pizza commercial and we get up to eat. We see a Doritos commercial and we crave junk food. Yes, we are creatures of habit.
We may hear something devastating on the News, so we get up and turn to food to comfort ourselves.
Once we nourish our bodies with the proper nutrition, then we will feel fuller and we won’t need to eat so much at night. It’s the processed simple carb foods that cause us to keep going back for more, that constantly make us eat so much at night. The more junk food we put in our mouths, the more we crave it.
Junk food is loaded with sugars and simple carbs that give us a quick high, and then leads to a crash. This in turn makes us go for something else to eat because we aren’t satisfied. We just can’t get enough and therefore we overeat. This vicious cycle keeps us eating so much at night and we don’t seem to break the habit.
Once we break the unhealthy habits and take back the control that food has over us, then we begin to recognize that we don’t need to eat so much at night. We can start eating to live, rather than living to eat…our life and habits will change.
When we eat the healthy foods that God has given to us for nourishment, we have more energy, we sleep better and longer, we begin to rebuild our immune system, and we incorporate the healthy habits of treating our body like a temple rather than a trash can. After a few weeks of this healthy lifestyle, we begin to see our mood change. Our binging at night declines, and we no longer need to fill our faces with food every evening.
I want to give you some tips that will help you become more aware of your habits. These tips can keep you from eating so much at night.
Tips To Help You Stop Nighttime Eating
- Make sure you have some “healthy snacks” to treat yourself with, like blueberries or blackberries or healthy homemade energy balls.
- Decide you will not eat after a certain time and then be disciplined to follow your own advice.
- Be sure to have your dinner before a certain time and allow yourself the nutrients that you know will give you energy. Take the time to Enjoy your Food! (This is one of the steps in our Should I Eat That Guide! Get your free copy here!)
- Use all 7 of the main categories of nutrients for your day – protein, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, minerals and vitamins (veggies) and water…just be sure to portion control for each meal.
- Be aware of the temptations that are around you. Sometimes proximity is all you need to do. If icecream is your vice…put it downstairs in your freezer rather than your fridge freezer so that it’s more out of reach. Sometimes out of reach is out of mind.
- Be prepared ahead of time – have some prepped veggies done so that if you reach for a snack in the evening, a healthy one is there waiting for you that’s easy to grab.
- Let go of the desserts – they are filled with sugar that makes you crave more of it. If you decide to have something sweet – have a cup of tea with a tiny amount of honey in it. It’s something to hold and something that will also keep your hands busy. If you must have dessert – make it a healthy fruit that also includes fiber that will help fill you up.
- Sometimes flossing your teeth or brushing your teeth will help you not want to put anything else in your mouth.
- I like to puzzle – it keeps my mind busy and my hands busy. Some people like to doodle, or knit, or write cards or play a game. Keeping busy is a great way to distract yourself from food.
- Keep your junk food cupboard bare! It will certainly be a way to avoid reaching for the food that harms your body versus food that can actually be beneficial to your body.
- Take our Food Freedom Workshop! It’s a 5 day workshop where we talk all about how to change your relationship with food. So for times when you are asking yourself, “why do I eat so much at night?”, you’ll be able to come up with a good response. This workshop is all about finding freedom from the scale, making healthy choices, and learning to lose weight without being on a diet!
You can do it!
Think of your body as a vehicle that needs recharging. Your car needs the right fuel and the right amount of it! It needs the energy to get you where you want to go, whether that’s 500 miles or 5 miles, and your body is the same. If you have a very busy day that is going to require a lot of output, then make sure you have the nutrients as input to give you that right output.
You can do it! These tips will help you take back control of your eating at night so that you won’t have to ask this question any longer:
Why do I eat so much at night? Soon you’ll be saying – I’m not eating so much at night!