After a long, productive day, slipping into my pyjamas as the night draws in, ready to cosy up becomes a prospect. Tucked in my bed as I slide the cursor on my Netflix account looking for the next series, within minutes it’s the middle of the night, out of bed searching for snacks to continue the marathon – this was my reality last year.
As it’s a start of a new year, health and wellness talk has reached great haste. Through that, a renewed enthusiasm for healthy eating sparked my needs to continue healthier lifestyle than last year. Think cutting down on late night snacks and replacing them with healthier options when the temptation is proven difficult to resist.
There are many attributes to late eating. A deficiency in diet, insomnia, skipping out on meals during the day due to a busy work schedule, stress and negative feelings (depression) which results in our dopamine (feel good hormone) to become low hence our need to crave carbs to boost the dopamine chemicals in our brain. Personally, my need to cut down this habit wasn’t weight related but rather improving my health. Each time I went to bed after binge eating at night, I often skip out on breakfast the next day which results in having a sluggish start to the morning. And to power through the day, I would rely on sugary content which continues the unhealthy cycle.
Know Your Trigger
Through examining my eating pattern, I realise the need to reward myself with snacks (snickers and Oreo Ice cream) after a good day or comfort eating when the day hasn’t gone according to plan. Knowing what triggers your late night eating will actively help gain control of your meal choices during the day and help shift your focus away from food into a healthier option.
Timing Your Meal
I often start my day around six am, go for my morning jog or perhaps the gym then prep my breakfast (full English breakfast minus the sausage, or toast and egg with freshly squeezed juice) then start my day. However, if you find yourself rushing out to work, a pre-packaged meal made the night before would make eating breakfast on your commute to work easier. I’m also aware that (some) companies offer breakfast to their employee, which I will urge you to take advantage of the opportunity. Loading up on Proteins, vitamins and carbs in the morning decrease your food intake for the day.
During lunch, you don’t have to be strict with your meal so feel free to choose any healthy meal of your choice. You can also have light nibbles before dinner. Well, I do.
During dinner, make your meal contain fibre found in vegetables and protein as they help steady blood sugar which will give you the strength to fight the snacks calling your name from the fridge or cupboard.
The Healthy Routine
Sometimes, I fail following through with these steps which make me feel disappointed. However, when those nights strikes I opt for healthier option; Yoghurts with a glass of water, or a fruit bowl and that cures my cravings.
Let me know what’s worked to help with your night eating symptoms in the comments.
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