How To Control Night-Time Compulsive Eating

delicious food and wine - compulsive eatingCompulsive eating: many of us do their best to stay healthy and enjoy a healthy diet.

We enjoy our fruit, vegetables, dairy and limited carbohydrates and protein.

But after dinner something happens!

Suddenly the urge to fill up with just a little more of something extra special (like chips, ice cream or something similar) becomes overwhelming. After all, you’ve been eating healthy food all day, so surely a little treat won’t hurt. This is compulsive eating.

Unfortunately for you, it will hurt!

You see, the time of day that you take calories onboard counts quite a lot. When you take on food energy in the morning you have several hours to expend the energy, while eating at night gives the sugar nowhere to go except into body fat.

Karen Reed explains this in detail in her excellent article “8 Ways to Stop Comfort Eating Late At Night”.

This article offers a number of steps that you can take that will reduce the urge for compulsive eating late at night.

  1. Substitute healthy alternatives – if you have to reach for something, try to reach for something that does you less harm
  2. Eat whole foods to stay full – try to eat dinners that have a low G.I. ratings, and will take longer for your body to process
  3. Try not to get bored – at times that you don’t have anything to keep your interest, try to find another activity when your food craving hits
  4. Don’t shop for food when you’re tired – your willpower isn’t at its best when you feel tired, so it’s best not to shop at these times so you won’t fill your trolley with junk food
  5. Keep variety in your food choices – try to maintain a number of different foods through the week to cover a broad range of nutritional choices
  6. Look after your circadian rhythm – try to get into the habit of sticking to a timetable of when you eat and go to bed – and if you have trouble getting to sleep, try reading
  7. Don’t feel hungry – your body may be able to supress a desire for food during the day when you’re busy, but lose control when the sun goes down
  8. Water: the hunger suppressor – at times it’s difficult to tell whether we’re hungry or thirsty, and drinking water during or after eating may also help

While these suggestions can help, there may still be times when your snack cravings may get the better of you. Just be aware of your slip-up, and provide a little more self-discipline.

When this does happen, don’t stress about it, since this may well make things worse.

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