Do you get to the end of a “good” day with food and it all seems to go downhill after dinner? I’ve been there. I’d try SO hard to be good and conscious of what I was eating during the day and then all hell seemed to break loose at night. No matter what I did, I didn’t know how to stop overeating at night!
This is one of the biggest struggles I hear from the women I work with. Here are three things I recommend to help you stop overeating at night:
Make sure your meals during the day are satisfying.
There’s a direct correlation between satisfaction and eating “balanced” (aka eating “normally”). If you’re restricting at all during the day or eating a lot of light or diet foods, you are much more likely to binge at night.
Why is this? Because when you are restricting, it is freaking HARD. It’s like walking a tightrope—rigid, punishing, no room for error. And realistically, it’s just not possible to sustain the pressure you put on yourself to stay on that tightrope!
Beware of restrictive self-talk.
Restricting doesn’t have to be a full-blown diet. It can be verrrrrry sneaky and can come in the form of thoughts like:
“I need to eat really healthy today.”
“Today is it. I’m getting back on track, I swear!”
“I’ve gotta eat perfectly today because I have to fit into this outfit on Friday.”
“I need to eat as clean as I can.”
“This weekend, I’ll be out of town and know I’ll have a lot of junk. I’m going to eat only health foods today/this week.”
None of those are that diet-y, but they are forms of restrictions (I told you it can be sneaky!).
So be on the lookout for these thoughts. If you catch yourself thinking something restrictive, replace it with, “How can I eat balanced today?” Shifting into a mindset of balance automatically takes you out of restriction. You no longer look at it as good and bad but shift into “How can I take care of and nourish myself right now?” When you are truly satisfied with what you are eating, you are much less likely to entertain the idea of overeating after dinner.
Look at the emotional component of food.
What do you want the food to do for you? Looking at the WHY behind eating is a great start to begin to let go of bingeing. What are you really wanting from the food?
There are a million reasons why we use food. But look at this situation specifically. What is the big reason you are using food?
Hint: For a lot of women, it’s reward. Rewarding yourself for the day being done, working hard, meeting deadlines, cooking dinner, putting kids to bed and finally, finally, finally…the food becomes a way to reward yourself. To actually spend some time on YOU instead of catering to everyone else in your life every minute of the day.
It could also be comfort. Soothing your frazzled nerves from a stressful day. It could be relieving loneliness, filling an emptiness or unhappiness inside, or wanting pleasure.