Night Eating Turns Habit Eating


6 Patterns That Predispose You To Eating At Night

night-eating-habit-eatingDo you struggle with night eating?  There are lots of patterns that can set the stage for eating the majority of your calories at night:

  • Chaotic Work Schedules
    which result in being poorly fed during the day
  • No Access To Food During The Day
    either from a lack of meal planning and/or shopping
  • Poorly Balanced Meals Earlier In The Day
    causing you to lack major nutrients such as carbohydrate, protein, or fat in meals/snacks
  • Dieting During The Day
    intentionally cutting calories, resulting in being overly hungry by the end of the day
  • Emotional Triggers
    that come to a head by the day’s end
  • A Lack Of Meaning, Purpose or Joy In Your Daily Activities
    resulting in eating being your primary source of fun/entertainment

No matter what the original trigger was for night eating, it can eventually morph into habit eating. You no longer need to have any of the above triggers occur to have the desire to eat at night.

3 Eating Habit Buster Examples

Read This Related Article:
For Healthy Weight Loss: 4 Tips for Making Changes that Last

Breaking habit eating is a tough thing to do. Changing ANY well-developed habit is a tough thing to do. To increase your chances of success with developing new healthier habits, try the following tip from the book The Power of Habit written by Charles Duhigg, which is, maintain the same cue and reward, but change the behavior. Let’s run through a few examples, shall we?

1 Habit: Eating In Front Of The TV At Night

    • Cue: sitting in your favorite chair in living room, with TV on
    • Behavior: bring food into living room every commercial break
    • Reward: mind-numbing, zoning out

New Habit:

    • Cue: sitting in your favorite chair in living room, with TV on
    • Behavior: Listen to 2 minutes of guided meditation app during commercial break
    • Reward: mind-numbing, zoning out

2 Habit: Eating In The Car

    • Cue: getting in your car
    • Behavior: snacking while driving
    • Reward: entertainment during a boring commute.

New Habit:

    • Cue: getting in your car
    • Behavior: listening to audio books
    • Reward: entertainment

3 Habit: Eating Chocolate Mid-Afternoon

    • Cue: afternoon break time at work
    • Behavior: eat chocolate
    • Reward: stress reduction via opioid production

New Habit:

    • Cue: break time
    • Behavior: step outside in the sunshine or spend a minute or two doing some deep breathing
    • Reward: stress reduction via opioid production

What habit are you looking to change?  Can you think of a new behavior to practice that would give you the same reward.

Learn more about Women’s Resort for Weight Management and Well-Being

One response to “Night Eating Turns Habit Eating”

  1. Elizabeth roberts says:

    I always liked a bowl of cereal, yogurt and fruit at night. Then I added choclate and now if I do not have this I wake up in middle of night and just over eat carbs and sugar.

    then of course not hungry in the morning. This was under control for decades — then my life took a major dive in health and emotional wellness. Yes, I eat because at night there is nothing else do to. I do not watch TV and I am lonely . Now I feel out of control and scared about my weight gain.

    I have not said these things before everyone says ” Oh you look fine. Don’t worry you need the comfort now”. But I know I am out of control. And the overweight drains my energy and self esteem.

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