Does this happen to you?
You feel ravenously hungry and out of control with food at night…sometimes to the point of uncomfortable fullness.
And then the next morning, you don’t have any hunger for breakfast.
As a result, you’re trapped in a cycle. Light eating during the day, overeating at night.
This is why the first step for chipping away at nighttime overeating HAS to be making sure you’re eating enough during the day.
Breakfast isn’t inherently magical for fat loss, but it’s very difficult to eat enough during the day if you’re skipping the main opportunity you have for getting fuel in.
Because let’s face it. The choice probably isn’t between having breakfast at 7am or breakfast at 9am. It’s probably between having breakfast at home or mindlessly grazing at work until it’s time for lunch.
There’s also evidence that suggests that getting more of your calories in towards the beginning of the day rather than towards the end may be beneficial for weight loss.
Even if you believe that your night time eating is predominately for emotional reasons, it’s still critical to focus on getting in enough food earlier in the day. The line between “emotional eating” and “‘I’m too f***ing hungry’ eating” can get really blurry. We want to make it less blurry.
All too often, instead of listening to hunger and fullness signals, people eat based on what they feel they “should” eat based on their beliefs about different types of foods, conditioning from different diet plans, or social dynamics.
As a result of eating based on this type of analysis rather than listening to your body, you might feel as though you “eat right” all day and that nighttime eating is its own isolated problem. But make no mistake, if your nighttime eating is driven by physical sensations rather than emotional eating, the seeds for overeating were planted several hours before the actual eating episode itself.
1) Commit to listening to your body’s hunger signals. It knows more about your energy needs than your MyFitnessPal app does.
2) Be deliberate about getting food in earlier in the day, even if you’re not hungry (at first). This might seem like a contradiction to listening to your body. But by eating a scheduled breakfast, you’re listening to everything your body has told you. It’s been telling you that you get too hungry at night, with the most likely explanation that you’re not eating enough during the day. Experiment with what happens when you get food in early. Most likely, after a few days, you will start to have hunger in the morning as a result of displacing some of the nighttime calories. Alternatively, you could focus on making lunch more filling first.
3) Get coaching support and accountability with changing your breakfast habits. This week I’ve been running a free 7-Day Balanced Breakfast Challenge on the Habitry app (iOS only), and it’s been a big hit. So next week, I’m going to do another group, this time on Facebook. Spaces are limited, so go HERE to learn more and claim your spot right away if you’re interested.
P.S. Once again, if you want to curb nighttime overeating, step #1 is to shift more of your food intake to earlier in the day. To join the 7-Day Balanced Breakfast Challenge, Click >> HERE <<