Is the fridge your worst enemy at night? Do you have a compulsive desire to eat before going to bed? Or worse...do you wake up just to get that last piece of leftover pizza?
You are not alone. About 1 in 10 obese people have this kind of problem and all the other problems that come along with it, like mood swings, insomnia, low energy, irregular periods, and so on.
Even if you feel trapped in this vicious cycle, there is a way for you to break free and develop a happy relationship with food. We’ve rounded up all the tips and tricks you need on how to stop binge eating at night.
Binge Eating - What Is It Exactly?
We all like to eat large amounts of food from time to time. But, when you regularly overeat and feel powerless to stop it, then you might be suffering from a binge eating disorder. You can eat to the point that it causes you discomfort. Later you punish yourself for doing that to your body.
At first, it is very difficult. You slip up a couple of times, you binge, you cry, you purge, and then the cycle repeats itself over and over again.
But, if you head over to the fridge late at night just to satisfy those cravings, then you may be dealing with night eating syndrome.
Night eating and binging are two separate eating disorders. Their impact and signs are alike, but you can have both simultaneously. With night eating, you get up to eat something, like cheese and crackers, just to go back to sleep. You feel like you can’t sleep if you don’t eat. Binging, however, makes you overindulge in food throughout the day.
What Causes People to Binge Eat At Night?
To know how to stop binge eating at night, take a moment to stop and investigate. Find out what is happening on the inside because different factors could be affecting your appetite.
All-or-nothing dieting: When you tend to see food as “good or bad”, and nothing in between, then you leave no room for flexibility. You give yourself restrictive eating plans that are just too hard to follow. If it doesn’t go your way, you may throw in the towel and eat anything and everything.
Response to a pattern: If you stay up late every night and eat more later in the evening, you can create a habit that’s difficult to break. This is why many college students struggle with night eating syndrome.
Using food to numb emotions: You get stuck on foods that make you temporarily feel better, such as those packed with salt, sugar, and fat which stimulate the brain’s reward system.
Circadian rhythm disruptions: People with night eating syndrome may have a regular sleep cycle. However, they eat 56% of their calories between 8 PM and 6 AM. Those who don’t have this eating disorder eat 15% of their calories in that same period, research shows.
Hormone imbalance: A drop in leptin levels can make you crave more food. Other changes in hormones, such as melatonin, ghrelin, or cortisol can affect your hunger and sleeping pattern.
Sleep-related eating disorder: If you have an unconscious urge to binge eat at night, then you might be dealing with a sleep-related eating disorder (SRED). Sleep eating makes you eat while you are still asleep.
How to Stop Eating in the Middle of the Night
The second you wake up, you don’t have the time to pick the healthiest snack. You choose the most convenient and delicious option you can find.
But, with a couple of tweaks to your routine, you can get the results you need. Try these 7 hacks on how to stop binge eating at night.
1. Use Grounding Techniques
Grounding helps you reconnect with your emotions and your body. It brings you into the here and now, which can prevent you from using unhealthy coping mechanisms, like night eating.
The first step in learning how to stop eating at night is to practice mindfulness. This grounding technique can help you be more aware of your physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts. You can use it to become more attuned with yourself and capable of handling the hunger cues.
Based on studies, mindfulness can curb stress, depression, and anxiety.
2. Accept Your Emotions
Do your best to name what you are feeling. Is it shame, anger, anxiety, fear, loneliness? When you resist or avoid these emotions, they become much stronger.
You may start sleep eating when you are stressed or struggling with your mood. The more anxious and stressed you are, the more likely you are to turn to food to reduce the negative impact of these feelings.
Instead, try to accept every emotion that you feel without judging yourself or downplaying them.
Then, dig deeper. What is going through your head? These emotions don’t define you. You are still in control. You can choose how to respond.
To accept your emotions, think of them as “messengers”. They are not inherently “bad” or “good”. They are here to give you information that you can later use. When you accept them for what they are, you can feel more comfortable handling them.
If you have trouble sleeping, you might want to try the NUU3 Deep Sleep Gummies. With these gummies, you can say goodbye to tossing and turning at night and experience the benefits of deep sleep and healthy sleep patterns.
You can feel them working in just 30 minutes. The core ingredients, like lemon balm, chamomile, and valerian root, help regulate your circadian rhythm and you’ll wake up feeling as good as new.
3. Keep Calm and Reset Your Nervous System
Don’t know how to stop eating late in the evening? In moments of anxiety and stress, you need to calm your nervous system and activate your body’s relaxation response.
You can do that with:
- Deep breathing
- Spending time in nature
- Positive distractions
- Practicing yoga or tai chi
- Listening to music
Need some extra help? Then try NUU3 Keep Calm Gummies, the best-tasting goodness for your mind and soul. Not only can the gummies help with memory, focus, and concentration, but they can also help you feel at peace and balance the mood swings.
The gummies themselves are made with natural and gluten-free ingredients. They are also keto-friendly.
4. Eat a Balance of Protein and Fiber
Research shows that including more protein in your diet reduces binge eating and the amount of food you eat.
Now, to curb the cravings even more, you also need to consume an adequate amount of fiber. It helps your body manage sugar levels and control hunger.
So, if you struggle with late snacking or sleep eating, try to eat more:
5. Stop With the Food Moralization
Have you tried everything you could think of, but you still don’t know how to stop eating when you are not hungry?
Develop a neutral relationship with food. Give yourself the freedom to enjoy whatever you like without feeling ashamed or guilty and without the strict rules.
Also, consider trying NUU3 Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies. This supplement can support gut health and boost digestion, helping to reduce stomach discomfort and bloating.
But, these gummies can do more than that. They are packed with vitamin B and iodine, which can prove useful for your immune system, and work to boost your energy and fight fatigue.
6. Boost Your Self-Compassion
If you struggle with night eating syndrome, be kind to yourself. Self-compassion is a skill you can learn.
You can do that when you:
- Are tolerant of your shortcomings
- Give yourself patience while working on your flaws
- Take care of yourself when you are going through a difficult period
7. Use the “PAUSE” Skill Before the Binge
To learn how to stop binge eating at night, try the ‘PAUSE’ method.
This is a skill you can develop and it helps you pause, allow space, use various coping skills, and enlist help. Consult with a healthcare expert to learn effective coping methods such as this and others.
Why do I have a habit of eating at night?
To learn how to stop binge eating at night, you need to understand the triggers. Sometimes, you may eat out of stress, anger, boredom, or sadness. At other times, you may have a health problem, like a hormonal imbalance.
Why do I want to eat at night when I'm not hungry?
Many of us use food as an emotional outlet. For others, it is just a habit. Sleep eating can also make us eat when we are not hungry. Pair that with anxiety and stress, and it’s no wonder why we nibble endlessly.
Is it bad to ignore hunger at night?
When you don’t know how to stop binge eating at night, you might think that the best thing to do is to ignore it. But, the hungrier you get, the more alert you become. This can affect your sleeping pattern. Instead, practice eating a balanced, high-fiber and protein diet.
Binging can be a serious problem. It can lead to overweight, obesity, and poor blood sugar control. With the tips listed here, you can find the best methods on how to stop binge eating at night.
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