Sometimes, our body clock can be unusual, and we’ll have cravings for food during the strangest times. If you’ve ever had that feeling of rummaging through your refrigerator late at night, you’re not alone. It’s quite natural.
We understand that going on a diet can be challenging: you’re battling hunger and cravings while you’re going about with your tasks for the day, and it can be distracting. But at the end of the day, once your body gets used to not eating at night, you won’t have to worry about getting hungry at night.
Why Am I Craving For Food At Night?
There are many reasons people crave at night, but an irregular eating habit usually causes cravings. Some would claim that this is an evolutionary trait, with earlier hunter-gatherer tribes eating to store the right amount of calories for the next day. That also makes it easier for early humans to have the necessary energy if ever they are attacked by dangerous predators.
Some experts would theorize that a disrupted sleeping cycle is another major contributor to why most people decide to munch down at night.
What Can I Do?
There is a multitude of different reasons why we should refrain from eating at night. Most of the time, this can lead to a disrupted body clock that can disturb sleep. Other times, this can cause weight gain.
Get the Right Amount of Calories
Contrary to what most people think, your body will need a proper amount of calories when it comes to taking on the day. While it’s true that you might need to have a calorie deficiency to lose some weight, one of the top contributors to people binging out at night is that their bodies crave calories. There’s a good reason why your body is usually craving for something. There are accounts of sailors craving greasy and fatty foods after eating a low-fat and low-protein diet.
If you’re not on a diet, getting the right amount of calories early in the morning or during lunch can give you enough calories for the rest of the day, which is adequate to stop your body from craving.
Sometimes, your body will also crave salty and sweet treats if it’s not getting the right electrolytes. You might want to try getting some electrolyte supplements when you eat your meals and do your workouts.
Replace Junk Food
If you really can’t help but munch on something late at night, you can cut down on processed and ultra-processed food from your diet. Instead of eating chips, cookies, and instant ramen, you can have fruits, legumes, and fibrous vegetables.
Sometimes, people eat out of habit, so it’s better to have low-calory and fiber-rich roof lying around rather than eating processed food that’s jam-packed with calories.
Since most people are eating out of habit, it’s common for most people to eat when they are stressed out. Most people will look for comfort foods, such as ice cream and chips, to bring them comfort in stressful situations.
Instead of stress eating, you can substitute these activities with exercise, getting a hot shower, or a massage that can soothe your nerves instead.
It’s hard for most people to get hungry when they’re distracted with what they’re doing. You can do the following activities to distract yourself:
- Taking your pet for a walk
- Playing some video games
- Reading a book
- Talking to friends
- Going out for a jog
- Lifting weights
There are practically tons of different activities that you can do.
Maintain Your Diet
Eating a high-protein diet can lead to a lot of different benefits. Eating meat can also make you feel fuller for an extended period, which means that you won’t necessarily have to eat right after 8 PM.
Several studies have pointed out that maintaining a high-protein diet is an excellent way of cutting down on around 60% of your cravings at night.
Seek Professional Help
While eating late at night might be something physiological, it can also be a habit. If needed, you can commission the services of a personal trainer or a professional therapist. You can see a behavioral therapist specializing in coping mechanisms if you’re someone who copes with stress eating.
If you think that you’re alone in your struggle with eating late at night, you’re not alone; at some point in our lives, we’ve given in to our cravings for unhealthy food. With these simple practices, it’s going to be easier to stave off that feeling of a desire for food at night.
It’s still important to note that it’s more important to know what you’re eating rather than when you do eat it. Yet, being disciplined in terms of your eating habits can go a long way.