For those trying to lose weight, the evening hours are often the most troublesome. When you’ve adhered to your diet since breakfast, don’t spoil it by binge eating at the end of the day. Follow these simple rules and you will be able to stop night eating.
- Clean out your pantry. If junk food is easy to grab, you will be more likely to overindulge. Remove the junk from your pantry and you will be less tempted. If you are the only family member dieting and cannot remove snacks totally from the premises, consider putting the snacks on a shelf high out of your reach or in opaque plastic bins so that you don’t see them.
- Do not eat in front of the television. Eating while bored or distracted is a sure way to pack on the pounds. Make it a house rule-- no food in the living room and bedrooms. When sitting in front of the television, do not eat. This rule has the added benefit of eliminating spills in these areas.
- Take time to savor dinner. Having a busy life often means we run at a rapid pace through everything. If you rush home from work and rush to make dinner, then don’t rush through eating as well. Turn off the television, sit down at the table with the family and slowly enjoy the meal. Taste what you are putting in your mouth. Set your fork down between bites to prolong the experience. By savoring your meal, you are listening to your body to tell you when you are full (so you won’t overeat) and you are letting your body experience the meal. Both make you less hungry later.
- Drink water. If you begin to feel hungry an hour or so before bedtime, reach for a glass of water instead of the popcorn or cookies. Fill your stomach with the water instead of food.
- Take a walk. Boredom is one of the frequent causes of nighttime eating. As we start to relax, it becomes easy to become bored. Get off the couch and get outside for a walk. Talk your spouse or kids into going with you. Getting outside gives you something to do and gets you some exercise that will help you relax before bed.
- Close the kitchen. After dinner, wash the dishes and clean up. Then close the kitchen. Turn off the lights, and close the door if you have one. By making the kitchen off limits in the evenings, you will have fewer reasons to even enter the room that tempts you.
- Brush your teeth. For some, brushing their teeth signals their brain that the day is ending and no more eating is allowed. Eating after brushing your teeth can change the taste of your snack. Develop a routine of brushing after dinner and you should be less tempted to snack at night.
If eating at night is your weakness, follow these steps and you will be less tempted. Getting your appetite and mindless eating habits under control are necessary for anyone who is dieting. Give up night eating and you will be well on your way to better habits.