Individuals with irregular eating patterns report feeling a particularly strong urge to eat at night, when they’re resting at home at the end of a demanding day. However, experts agree that nighttime is precisely the worst time to overeat, metabolically speaking, because it’s when our bodies have the lowest need for calories. To stop being an Owl Eater, try these:
1. Enjoy a hot cup of caffeine-free regular or herbal tea at night. Tea is calorie-free and comes in lots of great flavors. If you’re not a fan of hot drinks, try the iced version. One to try: The Starbucks Tazo Tea Blends—just make sure you ask the barista to make it decaf.
2. To avoid snacking at night out of boredom, keep your evenings interesting by enrolling in a night class, working out, or reading a new book.
3. Try to get out of the habit of eating while watching TV. Keep yourself busy in front of the tube in other ways—take up knitting, ride a stationary bike. If you must eat, try limiting yourself to tea, fruit, low fat yoghurt, or some other healthful snack.
4. Plan a satisfying, high-nutrient dinner. Include high-fiber foods, lean proteins, and “better” fats like olive or canola oil. A good-sized but healthful dinner will help keep your appetite in check late at night.
5. Eat during the day—never skip breakfast, and have a balanced, higher-fiber lunch and afternoon snack to help prevent overeating at dinner.
6. Eat small meals frequently. Instead of having three big meals, try smaller portions but eat more often. This way, you’ll feel lighter and less sluggish after meals.