Late night eating is arguably one of the greatest reasons people feel they sabotage their nutrition goals and struggle with weight. There are very specific reasons for late night eating. The key is to understand which one is your trigger and work toward resolving it. It is never about the food. It is what triggers the eating response that needs to be worked on so that you can come to a state of balance and create a healthy and relaxed relationship with your food.
Eat regularly – Eating 3 main meals a day with a small mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack is the greatest way to achieve balance in the body. It keeps energy levels stable and seems to be the greatest way to prevent overeating at night. Skipping meals, especially, breakfast sets this balance up for failure. What you don’t do at the start of your day, you will inevitably make up for that the end of your day.
Eat rhythmically – Eating at the same time every day is another important practice. It sets a rhythm and a flow, for your body. The body naturally wants to wake between 6-8am. One of the most detrimental things I see in some clients is those who wake up late morning and don’t start eating until lunch time or mid-afternoon. These are usually the people who will be eating well into the night and storing more body fat. Metabolically the body’s ability to burn calories slows down in the early evening, so it is wise to consume most of your calories at the beginning of your day and at mid-day.
Resolve your Emotions – Whatever you suppress during the day, will be expressed at night. If you suppress your stress, your anger, frustrations and worries during the day, you may find yourself eating and even bingeing at night. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and going into the kitchen to eat when nobody is watching, there is likely a great deal of emotional suppression from your day. Balancing emotions and resolving stress is essential to your nutritional success. This is where I use The Demartini Method® (www.drdemartni.com) to assist my clients. The Method is a series of scientifically proven questions that help you neutralize your stress and emotions, bringing you to greater states of love, balance and gratitude by helping you to see the perfection in all that is.
Don’t restrict calories – Restricting calories (eating under 1500 calories) in the day or constantly being on a low-calorie diet, will make you feel hungry at night. No matter how hard you try to avoid eating, your body’s wisdom will take over, because it is literally starving. The same is true if you restrict the occasional dessert, or treat. If you don’t indulge and enjoy the simple pleasures every once in a while, you’ll find yourself binging on it or eating a lot of other things to control the craving. Giving yourself permission to enjoy a treat will create a relaxation response, put you into greater control and leave you feeling satisfied. If you restrict the treat or calories in general, you create a stress response, you lose control, you obsess and will likely overeat other things which will leave you unsatisfied..
Live your ideal day – If you are not fulfilled in your day, if you do not do what you love to do and if you hate your job, then you will be sure to use food for fulfillment at the end of your day. Food fills the void for whatever you are missing in your life. If you love what you do every day and wake up inspired then your food is used to fuel you. But if food is your only source of fulfillment, you will find yourself constantly struggling with weight. It wont matter how many different diets you try, you’ll always end up sabotaging until you get to the root of what is fueling the late night eating. This is one of the areas where I am most inspired to work with people. Many of my sessions with clients are all about defining mission, purpose and loves in their lives. Once my clients fill their days with what they love and are inspired by, food no longer consumes and controls them. Rather they are in control and simply consume food.
If you are somebody that struggles with late night eating and continuously sabotages your good nutritional intentions than I welcome you and encourage you to come and work with me on your triggers and voids so that you can once and for all shift your relationship with your food, your self and your body.