It’s 8:30pm. You’ve had dinner and now you’re sitting on the couch, scrolling mindlessly through the ‘gram and waiting for the next episode of This is Us to come on at 9pm. The next thing you know you find yourself in the kitchen grabbing a handful of those oh-so delicious chocolate covered cashews. Then another. Then another. Then, you see the barbecue chips your boyfriend bough for his usual Sunday afternoon golf watching marathon, so you have some. Cause, why not? Oh! Ice cream! You feel OUT OF CONTROL, like you Can. Not. Stop. It’s frustrating, stressful and makes you feel SO GUILTY! You know you want to change these evening habits, ’cause they make you feel like crap, but have NO CLUE how to stop night time binge eating!
Well, girlfriend, I’m about to tell you the most common reason I see in my clients DAILY for those marathon sessions after dinner. Ready for it? You’re not eating enough during the day.
Yup, I said it. You’re over eating because you’re not eating ENOUGH! Those binges at night aren’t lack of willpower, they likely biology. Your body is protecting itself. It’s giving you those strong cravings and guiding you to the kitchen because it need more energy!
Let me guess, you eat “super healthy” during the day. You have a green smoothie on your way to work, a salad with grilled chicken and low-cal dressing for lunch, and a greek yogurt with some berries for an afternoon snack. You’ll head to your favorite spin class and then have dinner, which is usually some form of cauliflower (riced, gnocchi, etc.) with some grilled chicken and steamed veggie. Then, your “perfect day” of eating goes out the window when the night time munchie monster spots one damn piece of chocolate! UGH!
Like I said, this drive to eat ALL of the things at night is usually your body’s natural response to starvation. Sound harsh? Thats exactly what your body thinks is happening the day when you eat “super clean”. So many times when you focus of trying to eat “clean” you’re only allowing yourself to eat foods that are low in carbs, fat, and calories. This leads to your body to think it is in the Saharah Dessert and that it needs to stock up on energy when it finally gets the chance (i.e. 8:30pm when it sees the Dove Chocolate in the candy jar after dinner)
The simple solution for how to stop night time binge eating is to eat more during the day. Add some oatmeal to your morning smoothie, sweet potato croutons to your lunchtime salad, and/or granola to your yogurt. It’s not that you’re necessarily eating more (or maybe you are- your body will tell you what it needs if you learn to listen to it!) it’s that you’re shifting your intake to provide your body with consistent, adequate energy throughout the day so it doesn’t feel the need to go HAM at night!
Give this a go consistently for 1 week and then evaluate how your night time binge eating is going. My guess is you’ll notice it reduce! And you’ll probably notice you may rest easier as a result!!
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