Late night binge eating. We’ve all been there. You’ve stayed on track throughout the entire day eating healthy and well-portioned meals. You’ve exercised at least a few times per week and are even taking the stairs at any given chance. You’re taking all the right steps to get your health on track, but as soon as you get home after a long day, it happens. The late night snacking hits hard.
Suddenly you’re ravenous for every sweet or salty snack in your kitchen and you find yourself cleaning off an entire bag of chips before you realize the damage you’ve done. Your snacking after dinner has gotten out of control and you know you need help.
If this sounds familiar, please don’t hate yourself or feel guilty. The vast majority of us have been right there with you at some point or another. The problem is, when the night time eating isn’t under control, it can turn into a vicious cycle that will prevent you from ever reaching your health goals.
But don’t worry, there ARE ways to make this battle easier on you. It may take a bit of determination at first, but before long your late night binge eating days will be long behind you. You’re health will improve, your cravings will subside, and your pants will fit a little better in the morning without the morning bloat from your late night indulging.
Ready to find out my 12 simple tricks to stop late night binge eating once and for all?
Let’s take a look:
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Tip #1: Make Sure You’re Eating Enough During The Day
The bottom line is, if you are starving yourself throughout the day and not giving your body enough fuel, you will be ravenous by the time you get home. Your will power will be weakened because, hello hangry, and you’ll go straight for the junk food and easy snacks/gratification rather than a wholesome, well balanced meal.
First, use an app such as the free MyFitnessPal app to track how many calories you should be eating in a day to either maintain your weight or lose weight, and then track what you’re eating throughout the day. This will help you make sure you’re not under eating throughout the day. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for 3+ years now and I love it. And the best part is it’s FREE!
Another tip is fill up on fiber! People are under the false impression that fat or protein are the only things that keeps you full, but fiber is KEY to feeling full and STAYING full for hours after a meal. If you eat lunch and are starving an hour or two later, that’s a good indicator you need more fiber in your life. My favorite sources of fiber are beans, lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and whole grains such as oats and quinoa.
Tip #2 Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
If you’re eating enough food throughout the day, then your body shouldn’t need more fuel after dinner. If this is the case, then make it easier on yourself and brush your teeth right after dinner. This is a mental trick to tell your body you’re done eating for the day and don’t need any more food.
Tip #3 Drink Water
Another trick that works well is guzzling up the water after dinner. And PLEASE don’t guzzle up the flavored fake sugar drinks such as crystal light. I used to do this all the time but always felt more hungry after drinking them. That’s because the fake sugar in them triggers your brain to want MORE sweets, so it doesn’t help anything to drink them if you’re trying to avoid late night binge eating.
Instead, drink a full glass of water or two, and it will keep your stomach full in addition to the wholesome, healthy dinner you already ate.
Tip #4 Don’t Leave Tempting Snacks In The House
This used to be my biggest downfall and is one that still trips me up if I buy any kind of junk food. Your brain knows that ice cream or those cookies are in the freezer/cabinet and it’s practically impossible to stop thinking about them while you’re relaxing on the couch after dinner until you indulge in them. If you have trouble with stopping after just one serving, then do yourself a favor and keep the junk food out of your house altogether.
That way, if you’re truly hungry after dinner, you’ll be forced to eat a healthy snack for your late night snacking instead of bee-lining it to the freezer for your Chunky Monkey ice cream. And if your healthy food doesn’t “sound good” enough to eat, then you’re probably not that hungry after all.
Tip: I keep Dove Dark Chocolate in my freezer for a sweet treat when I need it. They are individually wrapped and quite rich so I never feel the need to eat more than one. It helps curb the urge to all out binge on junk food and dark chocolate actually has its health benefits so it’s a much better choice than cookies, potato chips or ice cream.
Purchase Dove Dark Chocolate By Clicking The Image Above
Tip #5 Go For A Night Walk
In the spring and summer, one of my favorite things to do with my husband after dinner is to go for a night walk. We used to live just a mile walk from beautiful downtown Spokane with massive waterfalls, a fun mall to explore, and many city streets to walk up and down.
Now we live in a bit quieter town, but the walks are still just as fun. The purpose of them is for quality time together, but I noticed every time we go for a walk, I never want to late night snack because I’m busy doing something. On top of that, when you exercise the blood flows away from your stomach and to your other muscles, making you less hungry.
Tip: Did you know you can make money just by going for a walk, bike, or run? With Achievement, an app that tracks your fitness, you can earn money just by tracking your activity throughout the day. I used to use a fitbit but now just use MyFitnessPal to track how far I go on runs, bike rides, and walks. Because MyFitnessPal is automatically connected to Achievement, I earn points all throughout the day just for moving around. Once you earn 10,000 points, you’ll earn $10. It’s a no brainer! Free passive money just for being active throughout the day? I’ll take it! Sign up for free here.
Tip #6 Drink Herbal Tea
Sometimes, we just want to late night snack for the sake of having something delicious to enjoy while unwinding after a long day. Trust me, I get it. So something that will help you if you’re just really craving something yummy to enjoy is herbal tea. I buy all kinds of fun flavors such as apple cinnamon, vanilla chai, and lavender lemon so I can slowly sip a delicious mug of decaf tea while relaxing in the evening. Not only does it make me sleepy for bed, but it also gives me something to enjoy without the guilt of going to bed with a full gut and a guilty conscious from late night bingeing.
Tip #7 Stop Eating Junk Food
This is the hardest tip to accomplish out of them all but it will reap you the greatest benefits if you follow through with it. In other words, IT’S WORTH IT! Once you stop eating junk food (processed food, white flour, white processed sugar, etc) the cravings will subside over time. Your body will stop craving these highly processed foods because it is no longer addicted to them. Did you know that sugar is actually ADDICTING?! So eliminate the addicting food and your body won’t crave it as much or think about it 24/7 like before. You’ll be much more satisfied with your meals and won’t feel the need to overeat junk food like you did before.
Tip #8 Do A Light Workout
It’s important I emphasize the words light workout here. The reason is, a light workout will get your mind off the late night snacking and will remind you why you’re avoiding the overeating in the first place – to get healthy and stay healthy. I’m talking some light dumbbell exercises while you watch TV or something of that sort.
Please don’t do an intense workout late in the evening that gets your metabolism revving. If you do, you’ll want to eat anything and everything 30 minutes after you finish your workout. And because you just did a workout, it will be easier to justify eating twice or even triple the amount of food you normally would. Then your hard work from your workout will be demolished in a matter of minutes and you’ll feel guilty. So like I said, keep it light 🙂
Tip #9 Go To Bed Earlier
The later you stay up after dinner, the hungrier you will become. Sleep is also a fantastic way to keep your body in tip top health. So do yourself a favor and go to sleep earlier. Not only will it help you avoid late night binging but it will also keep you energized the following day, which is great for a healthy lifestyle.
Tip: When you don’t get enough sleep, your body actually releases a hormone that will make you feel more hungry than you actually are. Just another reason why getting enough sleep is detrimental to your health. Read this if you’d like more information on the relation between lack of sleep and hunger.
Tip #10 Embrace Your Innner Determination and Self Control
When you feel a late night snacking urge come on, ask yourself – do I really NEED this food? Am I actually hungry? If the answer is no, have some self control and remember your WHY. Why do you want to beat this late night binging habit in the first place? And after you over indulge on the late night snacks, will you feel better or worse?
Tip #11 If You Have A Relationship With God, Ask Him For Help
A close friend of mine struggled with overeating in the past, and she would close loved ones who had a relationship with God for prayer to overcome her overeating. She is a follower of Jesus and knew that God asks us to honor our bodies as a temple, which I completely agree with. Because of this, she would continually ask for prayer about her overeating until one day she was able to announce that it was no longer a struggle for her.
It wasn’t a one time thing. She had to pray about it for weeks, months even, along with others praying for her as well. But because I do believe that over indulging does not honor our bodies that way God asks us to, He will help us overcome the unnecessary overeating if we ask. When you are feeling weak, God will give you the strength you need. Ask Him for help, for self control, and for a clear mind that remembers WHY you are doing this in the first place.
And That’s A Wrap!
I sincerely hope these tips will help you overcome your late night binging once and for all. You are not a slave to overeating and you CAN make the changes necessary to live a healthy lifestyle at a healthy weight. If you have ANY questions for me, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments below!
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