Late night eating is a huge issue for many people trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle, but if you incorporate these tips to help stop late-night eating behavior, you can be successful at your weight loss efforts and be closer to living a healthy lifestyle.
“The evening is my hard time” – that is what I hear from so many of my weight loss clients. It’s one of the most common habits hindering weight loss success, and it can also negatively impact sleep and how you feel about yourself. It’s also one of the hardest habits to change. Understanding how your daily habits can lead to late-night eating, and what steps you can take to change them, can help lead you to success.
Why Skipping Meals During The Day Is A Bad Idea
Fuel by day, not by night, is a common reminder that I make to my clients. Your body uses that fuel to operate effectively. That fuel comes in the form of food. If you don’t provide your body the fuel that it needs to get through the day, if has to take measures into its own hands. One mechanism is to slow down your metabolism. That exact mechanism can hinder weight loss efforts.
Most people trying to lose weight are searching for ways to increase their metabolic rate, not slow it. Eating is one of those ways. If you meal plan properly, you should go to bed satisfied, but not stuffed, sleep well, then wake up hungry and ready to feed your machine. When you eat breakfast, your body is forced to wake up and process that food. Morning activity also forces your body to wake up. Your body remains in a slower state until you force it to do work. That means, when you wait until 4:00 pm to eat or exercise, you wait until 4:00pm to kick your metabolism into full gear.
Why Skipping Meals Usually Does Not Result In Calorie Reduction
As a dieter, you might assume that the longer you hold off, the easier it will be to stick to your daily recommended calorie intake. Sorry to say, that’s usually not the case. In fact, skipping meals during the day often results in the exact opposite – over-consumption in the evening.
Think about it, you forced your metabolism to slow by starving it of food all day, then you make up for what you didn’t eat by giving it more than it needs at one time. That’s not a successful weight loss mechanism.
How To Stop Late-Night Eating
If we know the evening is your time of weakness, you ‘ll need to take steps to prevent it. That starts with swapping negative behaviors with positive ones. Here are some tips to help you stop-late night eating.
Create A Plan And Stick To it
Don’t wait until 7 pm to figure out you haven’t eaten – by then it’s too late. You’ll need to plan your daytime meals, especially is your hunger has been hidden by your slow metabolism. If necessary, create a meal plan that includes what time you will eat, and stick to it. If you’re not hungry in the morning, eat anyways. Something small is enough to wake you insides up, and get you started on your day. You might also need to schedule a lunch, snacks and dinner. That way, when evening comes, you aren’t tempted to reward yourself with a huge meal because you tell yourself you haven’t eaten anything all day.
Plan Evening Activities
Changing evening eating behavior is hard, so thinking you can do it without a plan, won’t work. You’ll need to swap your evening eating with a positive behavior. Make a list of all of the things that you could do in the evenings ahead of time. When possible, include a friend or your family. Including others can help keep you accountable.
Bring That Exercise Equipment Out Of Storage
Have you ever chosen to be physically active “just because?” Participation in physical activity is a great replacement for mindless eating. Many of my clients share that they own exercise equipment, but that it’s just collecting dust in their basement. If you can relate, it’s time to move your exercise equipment out of storage. It might not be pretty, but consider moving your treadmill tor stationary bike to the family room where you spend a lot of time. Doing so will keep it top of mind. It also gives you something to do while you watch your favorite evening show. You’ll also be less likely to eat if you’re being active.
Change Your Gear
What you wear has a serious impact on how you feel, and how you feel can impact how well you take care of yourself. If sweats and a t-shirt are your usual evening attire, it may be time to change it up. Wear something that you feel fabulous in. Maybe that’s a new workout outfit to remind yourself to be active. If you are finished with activity for the day, and headed to bed, slip into some sexy sleepwear. Whatever you choose should scream “I’m beautiful and worth it.” Feeling that way will help keep you out of the kitchen.
Have you ever heard the saying “If you think you can’t you won’t; if you think you can you will.” This is one of my favorites saying. Having self-efficacy is key to feeling good and being successful. Tell yourself every evening that you can do it and you will. Stay positive and remind yourself that you are in charge of your own body and health. You can read more about how change requires a positive attitude in my other post.
It can take a long time to change behaviors, but if you incorporate these tips daily, and stick to them, overtime you will forget that you ever had difficulty with late-night eating.