Avoiding the Dreaded Night Binge in One Simple Step

1 Apr

Ahhh, the good ol’ nighttime eating binge. You know how it goes – dark house, standing in front of the fridge, mindlessly snacking on whatever seems to be the furthest relative from broccoli.

We’ve all been there. In fact, just the other weekend, I had a 10:30pm froyo moment, complete with cookie dough, caramel, and the works.

This happens sometimes. Deal with it.

But, if you find yourself wandering to the fridge and going straight to crazytown after a long day of work, or making the midnight walk of shame toward the dim light of the kitchen more often than not, it might be time to start thinking about what’s going on.

Most likely, the answer is pretty simple: you’re not eating enough during the day. Solution? Eat more food during the day. 

night binge

Recently, a friend asked me why she couldn’t stop eating during when she got home after work. We had a quick run-through of what she had eaten during the day, and her calorie total was somewhere around 500 calories.

I actually hear this a lot – complaints like “I’m so good during the day, but fall apart as soon as I get home.” This can manifest itself as “I’m so good for 3 or 4 days, but by the time the end of the week rolls around, I’m out of control.”

There’s no reason on earth to have only eaten 500 calories by the time you get home from work, so listen closely because I’m going to drop some knowledge: your body needs calories to survive. When you haven’t provided your body with enough calories, it’s not uncommon to find yourself craving calorie-dense foods (like sweets) as a natural reaction to needing to be fed more. Is this all starting to make sense? So yes, the occasional nighttime pig out happens to all of us, but if you keep mysteriously quantum-leaping to a dark kitchen, unexplainably eating sour cream with your hands, it might be time take a quick inventory of what you eat during the day.

A couple sidenotes:

  1. Skipping meals will not make you thin; to the contrary, it messes up your metabolism and usually leads to the topic of this post: the B-word.
  2. It’s important to be real with yourself about what you’re eating. A couple of scrambled egg whites, a protein bar, and a bag of sliced veggies aren’t enough to sustain you until dinner.

Have you ever heard the expression “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper?” Well, there’s something to be said for that. By all means, feel free to eat more than a pauper, but make sure that you’re eating a substantial amount of calories before the sun sets.

It’s definitely easy to get busy and skip a meal or just grab a little something here or there, but save your excuses and take accountability: with a little bit of planning you can regain control, and reign in the nighttime food fiestas.





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