Why you might be overeating at night
The perfect storm → eating clean (likely undereating) during the day, relaxing while mindlessly munching, and finding comfort in food.
For most people, there are 2 main triggers:
- Physical hunger that accumulates
- Are you currently dieting?
- Are you getting enough protein or carbs during the day?
- Are you using food to comfort, distract, or numb?
My own experience
For years, I would pick up food on the way home, change into my pjs, and then really go IN. These premeditated binges happened most when I was living alone, without anyone judging or watching me. The combination of feeling alone and undereating in the day was the perfect storm for me.
Audit your day
Are you always feeling peckish or hungry during the day? Think of a light switch. If it’s on, you are hungry and are actively seeking out food. However if a meal is satisfying, then that light switch turns off and you no longer are thinking about food. Are you constantly thinking about your next snack after lunch or feeling on the hunt for food? That’s a good sign that you might need a more satisfying lunch.
From the time you wake up to dinner, that is ⅔ of your day. That is also when you’re most metabolically active. However, are you eating like a bird and only eating ⅓ of your total food by dinner? Do you see the mismatch?
Step 1: Address physical hunger
Perhaps you might benefit from restructuring your meals so that you’re eating ⅔ of your total food by dinner. That way, you may be less biologically hungry in the evenings. That sets you up for success.
Step 2: Address emotional hunger
Once physical hunger is blunted, then we can think about the emotional role that food has for you. Does it keep you company when you’re bored or lonely? Does it excite you? Does it help distract you from stress/overwhelm? Focus on diversifying your coping mechanisms.
This work takes time!
Get support to fast track this process. Reach out to friends or professionals. If you’re feeling stuck and find yourself overeating or having premeditated binges on a regular basis, think about reaching out for support. I help clients on these exact issues on a daily basis.
When you do it alone, it prolongs the pain. Getting support fastracks the process! Instead of waking up a year later and still having this issue, imagine feeling more at peace 3 months from now and navigating the holidays with ease!
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