Is late night eating getting you down? Here’s what to do!
Let me just start by saying lovely, LOVELY, you are not alone.
So many of us eat late at night. And so many of us feel that all-consuming guilt afterwards.
If you are going to bed with feelings of regret…perhaps even a little self-loathing…I’m going to share with you some key tips to change the way you think about food.
Because do you know what lovely? Sometimes I eat late at night too. Sometimes I know I eat a little too much. And for a long time I would go to bed with regret then wake up already in a pretty negative state. I would be consumed with how I was going to make up for that late night chocolate, sugar, lollies, dessert and start the day with restriction, over-exercising and checking the scales.
It wasn’t a fun way to live and all it did was set me into this toxic spiral of weight obsession. Nothing seemed to flow because weight was always at the forefront of my mind.
Have you felt that way too? Like your weight imbalance has taken over your life and it’s so consuming that you forget about the stuff that really matters (like living, having fun and self-care)?
When your weight is balanced you don’t think about your weight! And weight balance starts in your mind. That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, weight balance doesn’t start on the scales.
These tips are KEY to ridding yourself of the guilt no matter how you eat, but will also help you to balance your weight for good.
Always go to bed feeling grateful for your body.
I know. It seems a little out there. And you’re probably thinking “but Krissy, I just ate soooo much food and I feel sick. How can I go to bed feeling grateful when I feel so guilty and “bad” about what I just ate?” But it’s like relationships. Going to bed angry or upset or guilty isn’t going to change anything. It’s only going to take away from a restful sleep and leave you feeling as though you need to deprive or restrict in the morning.
Fake it until you make it.
Write down something you love about yourself that you are SO incredibly grateful for. Write it on a post-it note if you have to. Stick it on your mirror. Stick it on yourself if you need to. Whatever you need to do to remind yourself to thank your body at the end of the day.
Try it for just a week and tell me what you think! I think you might just be surprised at the outcome.
Breathe before you eat.
Take a few deep breaths before you start eating. This incredibly simple act brings you back into the moment. There have been occasions when this simple activity actually resulted in me putting food back in the fridge because when I took a moment to breathe I realised I actually wasn’t hungry.
Reflect on WHY you are eating at night.
I know you might want to go cold-turkey on the night time eating. In fact, some may tell you to do this in order to balance your weight but I’m going to tell you otherwise, and here’s why:
If you go cold-turkey and decide you’re just not going to eat after 7pm without first understanding WHY you are eating, chances are you are going to be meeting that need in some other way, usually in the form of anger, frustration, short-temper or total overwhelm. That stuff isn’t going to help you balance your weight long term.
Instead of focusing on rules, focus on the WHY. The most common reasons I see for late night eating include:
- Totally tired and body needs energy. Instead of going to bed (which is what the body is really craving) you reach for sugar to keep you awake a little longer.
- You’ve had a super stressful day and you’ve finally got a few minutes to yourself to unwind. You reach for food because it feels comforting.
- You’ve been super strict all day in front of others. Now you can relax and eat because no one can see you.
- You’ve been incredibly busy all day and forgotten/not had time to eat or you’ve skipped important nutrients during the day such as protein or healthy fat. You get to dinner and you’re simply starving so you eat your entire day’s energy needs in the space of a few short hours leaving you feeling bloated, tired and yuck.
- Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Once you work out the purpose your food is serving (because it’s always serving a purpose) write down a few NON-FOOD activities you can do instead but that still meet that purpose/need. Stick these activity ideas on a post-it with your gratitude reminder if you need to.
Read my full tutorial on how to use reflective mindful eating to balance weight.
ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS
These questions are now etched into my mind and I subconsciously know the answers to these questions before I eat. But when I started balancing my weight I had to write them down and ask them every time I ate.
Every time you eat, and especially at night, ask yourself these questions. The answers don’t really matter, but the simple act of asking yourself reminds you to be present with your thoughts, feelings and actions and eat in a more mindful way.
- Why am I eating/choosing to eat right now?
- How is this food serving me? Is there are a more nutrient-dense food I could be eating?
- Is there something else I could be doing in this moment?
If I can answer those questions honestly and still feel like eating then I go for it WHOLEHEARTEDLY and WITHOUT GUILT.
Your words have incredible power. Use them wisely and develop a food language you are proud of in order to balance your weight for good.
And of course, if you are genuinely hungry..
EAT NOURISHING FOOD
These are some of my favourite late night eating snacks
As always, I’d love to hear what you think about these tips and if you try them PLEASE let me know how they go for you! I’d love to know!
With love and nourishment,
P.S. Want to work with me for FREE? Check out my virtual health coaching and reply to this email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to submit a question!