You eat plenty of fruits and veggies, stay away from processed foods, exercise regularly, and you’re pretty good at sticking to this healthy lifestyle. When night comes, however, you usually find yourself searching for food in your pantry or fridge. Yes, even when you’re not really hungry. You are not alone in your plight however, many people struggle with nighttime eating due to many different things.
Why People Eat at Night
It’s common to snack on something after dinnertime. However, if you’re trying to shed some pounds or maintain a healthy weight, all those extra calories you consume during the night could undo all your hard work. This means that you should find out why you’re eating at night even when you’re not really hungry. Eating at night is related to leisure and relaxation time; add to that the fact that food is one of the top sources of comfort for lots of people. Without all the distraction and stress of your daytime tasks and work, it’s very easy to de-stress using food. But if you are able to find healthier ways to de-stress, then you won’t find yourself stress eating at night.
The Link Between Late Night Eating and Binge Eating Disorder
Late-night eating is likewise linked to binge eating disorder or BED. This eating disorder is characterized by bingeing on food at all times of the day and linked to depression, obesity, and sleeping issues. People with BED utilize food to control their emotions including sadness, frustration, and anger, and they typically binge on food even if they’re really not hungry. Those struggling with binge eating disorder also consume a massive amount of food in just one sitting because they can’t control themselves. So if you suspect that you have binge eating disorder or are just in denial, but are ready to address the problem head-on, visit a binge eating disorder clinic to seek professional help.
The Importance of Figuring Out Your Triggers
Aside from determining what’s causing your late-night snacking, it will also help if you can figure out a particular pattern of incidents that typically sets off your nighttime snacking impulses. People turn to food for tons of reasons. If this applies to you, every time you find yourself reaching for food at night even when you’re already full, try to find out what triggered your impulse because chances are it’s not hunger. An easy and effective way to help you figure out what’s causing your late-night snacking and what’s triggering it is to start a mood and food journal. Keeping track of your feelings throughout the day and what you eat will help you uncover patterns that will allow you to take the necessary steps to end the cycle of negative behaviors that fuel your nighttime snacking.
Keep in mind that snacking is perfectly fine even when you’re on a strict diet. But eating for the sake of eating instead of nourishing your body or satiating your hunger is a problem. Stop the vicious cycle by determining what’s causing and triggering your late-night eating.