There are real strategies outside of the typical “just go to sleep” advice to beat out of control nighttime eating.
Schedule a few meal breaks throughout the earlier part of the day.
Even though it may save you a little time, not eating all day makes controlling your nighttime eating feel like mission impossible. Being hungry increases your likelihood of overdoing it when you eat. Being sleepy lowers your inhibition and makes you more likely to indulge. When you are stuck working late and you have literally fasted all day, you are almost guaranteed to eat too much of all the wrong kinds of food. You don’t have to graze all day to beat out of control nighttime eating. Having at least two meals that are high in protein and fiber from vegetables is a huge stride toward beating out of control nighttime eating.
Make sure your daytime meals are actually satisfying.
It is one thing to be full but something completely different to be satisfied. Getting enough nutrients from your meals throughout the day isn’t enough. Make sure that your meals include something that increases the satisfaction factor. You may include cheese on your morning eggs or a small piece of chocolate with lunch. Whatever you choose, just make sure you don’t end unsatisfied with your food while burning the midnight oil with the glow of the computer shining on your face.
Make nighttime work as relaxing as possible.
Stress increases cravings and willpower is lowest at the end of the day. Rather than feverishly typing up those last round of to the sound of your family snoring, make an event out of your nighttime work. Play music. Burn a scented candle and put on your favorite tee shirt. Taking simple steps to reduce the stress around working late at night increases your chance of finishing your work without raiding the pantry.
Stock up on figure friendly finger food for late night work sessions.
What you eat at night is a bigger problem than if you are eating at night. So rather than add stress to the situation by telling yourself that you can’t eat while you work, choose your nighttime snacks wisely. Replace the usual chips, pretzels, and candy with sliced or roasted veggies, and higher protein snacks like Greek yogurt and slices of deli meat.
Fill the void with a figure friendly beverage while you work.
When you find that you aren’t hungry, don’t really want to eat, but just need something, enjoy a figure friendly beverage. Fruit or herb infused water, herbal tea, LaCroix Water, and decaffeinated coffee are all good choices. If you are sensitive to caffeine, avoid regular coffee unless you want to struggle with falling asleep when your work is done.
Eat another meal.
You are better off eating another small nutritious meal on purpose than accidentally inhaling a few thousand empty calories. Some experts still recommend a cut off time for daily eating. However, those recommendations are often made with the assumption of a bedtime that falls between nine and ten o’clock. When you are awake later, there is no harm in eating later- especially if you are eating a nutritious meal that prevent you from over consuming junk.
Go to sleep when your productivity drops and your munching peaks.
When you are eating more than you are typing, it is time to call that work session done and hit the sack. You know you have experienced a time when you were eating to stay awake so that you could work but you weren’t really working much. When it is taking ten minutes to write a sentence and you are on your third do over of a calculation, it is time to call it a night. Get some sleep and then wake up to try again tomorrow. The worst feeling is staying up late and raiding the pantry without having any work to show for it. You wake up tired, bloated, and still not any closer to finishing your project.
Beating out of control nighttime eating takes intention, strategy, and practice. Since you read this far, we will assume you have the intention part. This article just gave you the strategy. Now remember that you must practice.
Practice does not mean, hitting it out of the park the first time. Practice doesn’t mean that you will get it right each time. Practice just means you are committed to showing up, implementing the strategies, and allowing progress to happen.
Which strategy resonated most with you? Do you have any other strategies that you use to keep your nighttime eating in check while you work? Let me know in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this blog post and want more check out my latest offer by clicking the banner below.