7 ways to prevent nighttime eating

Nighttime eating is usually a one-way ticket to weight gain, bloating and poor sleeping patterns. Follow these 7 tips to break the habit and crush cravings!

When I first consult with a client for weight loss, I ask them to detail a few “typical days” of eating so I can get a sense of their dietary intake and where they may be going wrong. One of the biggest “mistakes” I see is that most people start their day off well, only not to finish it as well.  Whether it is eating too much before dinner (what I call the ‘dinner before dinner), or eating sweets and carbohydrates after dinner to de-stress – a good day of eating can be totally blown from the caloric intake that happens later in the day.

Although this habit is often one of the hardest to break, I assure you, it can be done and you will feel great.

Nighttime eating is often linked with your emotions and state of mind.  Most people tend to eat late at night as a “treat’ after a hard day, to sooth stress or to numb uncomfortable feelings.

In order to break the habit of nighttime eating, simply implement one or all of the steps below:

  1. Drink sweet herbal teas – chocolate, caramel, iced green teas and sweet fruit teas are all allowed and all count as part of your water intake. My favorite sweet tea is Bengal Spice by Celestial seasonings.
  1. Keep in mind you have “free foods” that will not cause an upset stomach or weight gain. Free foods include vegetables (cut up cucumbers, sliced red peppers, baby carrots), low sodium soup broths and a small amount (1/2 cup) of unsweetened apple sauce.
  1. Before eating after dinner, stop for just a moment and ask yourself, “Am I really hungry, or am I eating for other reasons?” If you are not truly hungry, drink a glass of water and wait until the emotion or feeling passes.
  1. Invest in homemade Popsicle makers and make your own healthy version. Simply add ½ cup of mixed berries, ½ banana, 1 cup of water and crushed ice. Blend on high and freeze in Popsicle makers. Have one at night when a sweet craving hits.
  1. Keep frozen red grapes and frozen mangos in the freezer. When you feel like a sweet treat at night (or during the day), pop a few in your mouth.
  1. Make sure you consume enough protein at dinnertime to fill you up.
  1. Make sure to have an afternoon snack that satisfies (i..e fruit and nuts, yogurt and fruit, healthy bar). This will ensure you do not enter the pre dinner hour starving.

In order to break the habit of nighttime eating, you need to stop eating after 7pm for a minimum of 5 days. Once you are past this point, the hard work is done and the urge to eat will be gone. By doing this step and this step alone, I guarantee you will soon notice a marked improvement in your own health and weight.

Courtesy of www.drjoey.com