Do you ever find yourself eating like crazy at night? I used to do that all the time and then I’d wake up the next morning and feel terrible. In today’s podcast (and blog post), we’ll talk about why we do that and how to stop eating at night!
Our strategy will vary depending on why we’re overeating. Here are 7 different reasons we can’t stop eating at night:
7 Reasons We Eat Too Much at Night
- Boredom: Often we’ve had a busy day but evening comes and we find ourselves with nothing to do. In this situation, we think, “What can I do to make my life exciting?” And of course the easy answer is, “Eat!”
- Entitlement: Another reason we can’t stop eating at night is entitlement. We’ve had a long hard day and feel like we deserve a reward. Or we’ve been super good at following our eating boundaries all day and feel like we deserve a reward. So what do we do? Eat!
- Hunger: Sometimes we’re just hungry. We haven’t taken the time to eat during the day?or more likely?we’ve purposely starved ourselves during the day in a zealous effort to lose weight. So nighttime comes and we’re hungry! This starts a binge as we start eating and can’t stop.
- Weakness: Let’s face it. It’s hard to follow our boundaries all day. It takes a lot of control. So, much like a marathon runner at the end of the race, we have a hard time continuing on when evening rolls around. We’re tired of those old boundaries. And it’s easy to give up when we’re tired.
- Stress Relief: This is a huge reason for overeating at night. As we go throughout our days, we often walk through a series of problems. Things keep coming up that make us feel insecure, annoyed, worried, and any number of emotions. We don’t have or don’t take the time to deal with those issues and by the end of the day, we’re completely stressed. Often this stress finds its relief in food.
- Habit: Sometimes we’ve just developed a bad habit of eating every night after dinner?and it’s hard to break a habit!
- Failure and Hopelessness: Sometimes we just break our boundaries once after supper?maybe a second helping or a brownie as we’re doing the dishes?but then we feel like a failure. So what do we do? We break them again. Might as well since we already broke them once! This leads to hopelessness, which just makes us want to eat even more.
So what’s the solution? How do we stop eating at night? The solution will depend on the reason we’re overeating. Here are 7 different strategies we can use that correspond to the above 7 reasons for overeating at night.
7 Ways to Stop Eating at Night
- Plan your evenings: If you’re eating because you’re bored, one of the best solutions is to plan the evening so you’re not bored. You might do something with a friend or plan a family game. You could plan an activity out of the house. Go for a walk. Just brainstorm a list of things you could do at night and actually plan out the evening with a schedule. You may also want to develop a habit of going to bed earlier so you don’t have as many evening hours to be bored in.
- Recognize that food isn’t a reward if you want to lose weight. In our minds, we think of food as a reward because it’s so yummy. But eating out of our boundaries isn’t a reward if we want to lose or maintain weight! It’s a punishment! If we’ve had a hard day, let’s be nice to ourselves by not choosing to do something we’ll regret the next morning.
- Don’t starve yourself during the day. Starvation diets aren’t healthy, nor do they work long-term. We’ll be much better off if we spread our eating throughout the day.
- Mentally prepare for the evening. Just as a runner paces himself and saves some energy for the end of the race, we need to pace ourselves and try to save some energy for the end of the day so we don’t end up completely exhausted. If you work, consider listening to a Taste for Truth Podcast episode on your way home from work to get yourself in the mindset of following your boundaries when you get home.
- Try to go to God for help with your problems throughout the day. When we do this, we’ll be less likely to eat too much after dinner because we won’t be so stressed out. If you can’t make yourself renew your mind at night, try to do it during the day when you have the most energy to make yourself do it. You could also try to find a friend to talk through your problems with at the end of the day.
- Change up your evening schedule so you can break your habit. For example, if you always watch TV and eat at night, try to stop watching TV for awhile. Do something else that will signal your mind and say, “We’re not going to do that anymore!” Don’t watch TV again until the habit is fully developed.
- Renew your mind as soon as you break your boundaries. This is by far the best way to keep yourself from evening eating but you may not be able to make yourself do that. If you can’t make yourself truth journal or go through the questions in I Deserve a Donut, try to at least look back through some of your old journal entries and read what you’ve written there. If you can’t make yourself do anything at all, then renew your mind in the morning based on what happened the previous evening.
I hope these ideas will help you stop eating at night. I would love to hear your ideas too! I would also like to hear any questions you’d like to see covered on the podcast. If you’d like to have a question answered, keep reading.
How to Leave a Question for the Taste for Truth Podcast
If you’d like to have a question answered on the Taste for Truth podcast, simply go to speakpipe.com/barbraveling. Follow the instructions and ask your question. You’ll be able to listen to it again before you send the question.
Also, here is the blog post I referred to about the dance videos: How to Stop the Evening Boundary Breaking Session
How to Listen to the Podcast
Click here to listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes
Click here to listen and subscribe to the podcast on Google Play
Click here to listen and subscribe on Stitcher.
Click here to subscribe on Android.