Don’t save all your calories for the end of the day
If you eat like a bird or skip meals during the day, you’re more likely to binge out at night. “Balancing your blood sugar by eating a protein-rich breakfast, followed by protein, fiber, and good fats throughout the day is the best way to put the brakes on nighttime eating,” says NY Health and Wellness Nutrition Director Jacqui Justice. These are signs you might need to eat more healthy fats, increase your fiber intake, or get more protein in your diet.
Give yourself a bedtime (and stick to it)
When you don’t sleep well, your body ends up confusing your appetite levels, and as a result, your hunger hormone ghrelin and your satiety hormone leptin end up imbalanced. “This imbalance causes people to not be hungry in the morning when they should be and instead hungry at night when they shouldn’t be,” explains Justice. And if your sleep issues are not resolved, this consistent behavior can even lead to Night Eating Syndrome (NED). To get a better night’s sleep avoid scrolling through your phone right before bed. Instead try reading a book, meditate, or try these tips to fall asleep more easily.
iStock/Eva Katalin Kondoros
It may sound silly, but keeping yourself busy helps keep you from giving in to cravings. Or set up a bedtime ritual that signals to your body that it is done eating for the day. ”After dinner, brush and floss your teeth to change your palate—this is amazing for zapping sweet cravings,” she says. Other ideas? Try painting your nails, calling a friend, going for a walk, or doing some chores to keep your mind occupied.