Have you ever wondered how to stop overeating at night?
To most people, it’s a constant struggle. We always asked ourselves: Why can’t I lose weight? The first thing is that it’s easy to overeat, especially when you’re indulging in a tasty meal.
Also, many factors can easily lead us to overeat. Stress and speed-eating are two of which that we’re most likely to experience in our daily lives.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stop overeating. From eating slowly to learning your body’s hunger signals. If you want to get your diet on track, use these tips that will help you feel satisfied and energized rather than stuffed and frustrated.
Finding The Triggers: Why Are We Overeating At Night?
Overeating can be such a problem, more so at night.
But what triggers this proclivity to poor food choices?
Several underlying factors contribute to overeating. Overeating at night may also link to Binge Eating Disorder. It affects almost 2% of people worldwide and can cause additional health issues, such as high cholesterol levels and diabetes.
If you find yourself having an unhealthy relationship with food in the middle of the night, then ask yourself:
1. Why Do You Overeat?
Stress can be one of the leading factors as to why people tend to overeat. To some people, food seems like a great escape to run away from their problems.
Research from Harvard indicates how stress correlates with weight gain. One study claims how negative moods are associated with overeating. Some overeaters see food as a way to self-medicate and improve their mood. 【1】【2】
Up to fifty percent of people with BED or Binge Eating Disorder have obesity. Sources claim that due to their high insulin levels, emotional eating commonly occurs in overweight people.
2. Where Do You Usually Overeat?
Sometimes, it’s the environment you’re in that triggers overeating. Studies suggest that more people tend to overeat more when they are alone at home.
When you’re at home, you are free of restrictions. When you go home after a tiring day at work, food seems the second-best comfort you can get, aside from your bed.
3. When Do You Tend To Overeat?
When do those hunger pangs and cravings hit the most?
Most people tend to get those hunger cues at night. Factors that might be responsible for those late-night cravings can be a combination of stress and irregular eating habits during the day.
Depriving yourself of food in the day can trigger late-night binges that can be detrimental to your health.
4. What Do You Usually Eat?
There’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself with a few sweets and tasty treats from time to time.
But if you get a case of sugar-induced, high-calorie cravings during the night? Then we have a problem.
Eating sugary foods increases the levels of ghrelin or hunger hormone in your body. That’s why people who indulge in sweets don’t feel sated afterward. So you should start no sugar diet from now on.
5.How Do You Eat It?
Habits are hard to break. Combine it with poor food choices then you have yourself a bad case of overeating.
Studies have shown how people tend to eat more in front of a tv. Our brains get so preoccupied with watching; it loses its touch with what and how much we’re eating. 【3】
6. How Much Did You Eat The Last Time You Overate?
Our calorie limit is something that goes over our heads when we are indulging our cravings.
Doing a self-check once in a while can help you realize that it’s time to start making changes. And if you find these poor eating habits become commonplace, then you have to do something about it.
What Are The Side Effects of Overeating at Night?
Overeating at night can lead to multiple health issues such as high blood sugar levels, obesity, heart problems, and indigestion.
It can also disrupt your sleep cycle and overall productivity for the next day.
One study found that men who slept just four hours per night consumed 22% more calories the next day than those who slept eight hours.
When you eat food late at night, more calories are likely to be stored as fat. Indulging in this dangerous habit of late-night snacking is a sure way to put on weight. It increases your chances of getting chronic diseases such as heart problems and diabetes.
So, let us find 9 simple ways on how to stop overeating at night below.
How To Stop Overeating At Night?
If you want to end overeating at night for good, here are nine simple ways to break the habit:
1. Eat a Hearty Breakfast
It’s undeniable how crucial breakfast is when we are trying to curb our unhealthy eating habits.
People who don’t or barely eat breakfast tend to overcompensate by bingeing at later parts of the day.
If you want to break the cycle and midnight hunger pangs, you better start your day with a proper breakfast.
2. Empty The Fridge Of Snacks
One of the reasons why people tend to overeat is because food is always nearly available within their reach.
Emptying your fridge from all of your favorite snacks and calorific foods should be one of the first steps you have to take to break the cycle.
While it may be difficult at first, eliminating temptation is a great way to break the cycle and correct your behavior.
3. Eat Foods High In Protein And Fiber
Protein has unique satiating properties. When consumed, it effectively reduces the hunger hormone in our body, ghrelin. It can be an effective way to curb our appetite.
One study suggests that adding high-protein meals to your diet reduces cravings by sixty percent. It can also reduce your late-night cravings by half. 【4】
Fiber is also a great appetite curbing food to add to your diet. Not only does it aid digestion, but it also breaks down slower, which makes you feel full longer.
Research claims that when people increased their fiber intake by 14 grams daily, they consumed ten percent fewer calories on average and lost a significant amount of weight.【5】
4. Don’t Eat Any Fruits At Night
Fruits may sit well in most health enthusiasts’ favor. However, eating fruits before bed is a big no-no.
Eating fruits late at night can cause indigestion. Eating fruit before you go to bed will cause it to release a lot of sugar. It is in no way healthy for both your waistline and your sleep cycle.
Of course, some fruits like Lemon can be an exemption. Lemons are great for your digestion and help you sleep better. It’s why many advise drinking a glass of lemon water before going to bed.
5. Don’t Drink At Night
It’s something many adults can relate to; the relentless hunger after a night out of drinking.
While it has proven how alcohol doesn’t stimulate our hunger, drinking alcohol impairs our impulse control. It also decreases your leptin, the hormone responsible for making you feel satiated and full.
So if you find yourself bingeing after a night out of drinking, then you know why. So it’s best to avoid drinking for a while, especially if you are trying to lose weight.
6. Drink Enough Water
Water is vital for our total body health. It’s necessary for a healthy diet and can prevent overeating.
A study of 24 older adults found that when people drank 500 ml (17 oz.) of water before a meal, the number of calories they consumed during the meal dropped by thirteen percent. 【6】
Researchers also found that drinking 17 ounces of water increased people’s resting energy expenditure by about 30% after 30–40 minutes.【7】
Keeping yourself hydrated. Drinking enough water especially lemon water before bed can decrease the amounts of food you tend to crave throughout the day and lose weight.
7. Exercise Regularly
Exercise comes hand in hand with dieting. It’s also necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Regular exercise can help you burn fat, curb your appetite, and improve your mood. Expending all of your energy throughout the day can help you sleep better at night.
You don’t have to work out every day too. Just make sure to do at least three exercises per week, and you’ll see improvements in no time.
8. Seek Professional Support
You don’t have to go through correcting your eating habits alone.
Having a reliable support system can surely help you go through your diet smoothly.
Seeking support from a professional is something that can be worth your while. Your doctor can even provide a custom weight loss program that is tailored-fit to your needs.
One study found that 79% of participants were no longer binge eating after 20 sessions of CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. 59% of them were still successful after one year. 【8】
9. Eat Regularly Every Day
If you want to eliminate your late-night bingeing for good, eat regularly every day.
It means no skipping meals, and don’t ever deprive yourself of food way below your recommended minimum calorie intake.
Irregular eating patterns are often the cause of overeating. Skewing your eating pattern at random intervals can only amp up your cravings.
According to one study in 14 healthy women, eating three meals per day instead of two helped sustain the feelings of fullness over the day and even increased fat burning. 【9】
The Bottom Line
Overeating at night can become a terrible problem, especially since it’s linked to multiple health issues.
How to stop overeating at night? First encouraging a healthy eating pattern, improving your overall diet and lifestyle can help put a stop to your late-night binges.