Night Time Eating

 
     A common problem is evening and night time eating.  Many people can control eating throughout the day, but after supper, all heck can break lose.  Even after consuming a healthy and filling dinner, many people start heading to the refrigerator or pantry an hour or so later. 
 
     One reason is that many individuals, especially women,  are too good at dieting during the day. They eat very small amounts and even skip meals altogether.  When they eat their dinner it stimulates the calorie catch up signals and the eating begins.  Unfortunately, the amount eaten to catch up is excessive. It is important when cutting calories to not go so low during the day. Add some healthy fats to the daytime meals to increase satiety and give yourself a few more calories.  I add shredded unsweetened coconut to my morning protein shake to increase the daytime calories.
 
     A second reason for the night time snacking is comfort.  We have been at work all day attacking issues and stressors.  Now we are home in our comfortable space.  We associate home with relaxation and comfort. Comfort foods such as snacks, sweets, and savory foods will enhance our experience.
 
     Next is the television.  TV programs distract our attention from the rest of life. They are also interposed with commercials, many of which entice our eating urges.  When we enter a zone of distraction, our inhibition to eating and drink can go down.  This is the same principle for snacking at the movie theatre.
 
     Another factor in night time eating is habit.  As a child each night at our home there was a snack time which featured either ice cream, popcorn, or chips of some kind.  Over time this pm ritual becomes ingrained in our brain as a night time requirement.  The habit is formed and hard to break.
 
     Finally,  fatigue and tiredness will lower our resistance to saying no to snacking.  It was a long day and probably some stress occurred.  When we are tired, we are likely to over eat, over drink, and over indulge.  
 
     Take a good look at your night time eating pattern.  If you struggle with this there are some tactics and treatments that can help.  The very first thing to do is to attempt one evening without any post dinner snacking.  Have a glass of water and go to bed early.  If you can accomplish one night, then you can add on a string of other evenings without snacking.  One day at a time, one step at a time, one pound at a time.  
 
     Break this habit and you are on your way to your best weight for life.   
 

 

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