Night eating is very common however not widely spoken about. It is a significant “blocker” to losing weight. I am talking about sitting down after dinner, which could start as a small treat such as a scoop of ice-cream, a biscuit, several nuts, a square of chocolate and then gradually finishing off the entire packet of biscuits, block of chocolate or tub of ice-cream. Over eating at night is often associated with depression, anxiety, boredom or loneliness, and can be challenging to break.
Here are some ideas that might help you break the cycle:
Have 3 regular meals, with all meals including carbohydrate foods (for example legumes, corn, potatoes, pumpkin, oats), protein (for example lean red meat, fish, chicken, milk, cheese) and vegetables (for example, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli). Night eaters often don’t have breakfast because they don’t feel hungry in the morning, so only have 2 regular meals per day.
Identify when night eating happens – Is it when you are alone at home, watching TV, playing computer games? Then identify the ‘danger’ foods – Are these foods, savoury, such as chips, nuts or are they sweet foods, such as biscuits, chocolates?
Then take ACTION! If you over eat when you are alone at home, then try organising social outings or even play a team sport such as tennis or basketball or think of a pursuit that you are passionate about such as dancing or painting.
Remove the ‘danger’ foods from your shopping list.
Brush your teeth or chew sugar free gum after dinner, as many people find this as a “statement” – no more food before bed time, and often really don’t feel like snacking after chewing gum or cleaning their teeth.