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How to Curb Late-Night Cravings

How to Curb Late-Night Cravings

Dieting can be a difficult process. Your body and your mind will be craving for food – even more so at night.

Naturally, we’ll feel hungry 3-4 hours after having dinner, which can lead to late-night snacking.

However, there are several good reasons why we should refrain from eating late at night. So what are some practices that we can do to stave off the feeling of hunger at night?

Why Shouldn’t I Eat At Night?

Some researchers have claimed that eating at night can disrupt your body clock, which can lead to an irregular eating habits.

Studies have found that our internal body clock usually prompts us at around 8 p.m. in the evening to reach out for sweets as well as starchy, or salty foods.

An irregular circadian rhythm can easily lead to hormonal changes, like mood swings, lack of sleep, and erratic eating habits.

There have been certain studies that show that eating right after 8 p.m. can lead to weight gain in adults. What are some practices that we can do to curb late-night cravings?

How to Prevent Late-Night Cravings

Eat Regularly

One of the possible reasons you’re craving food at night could be due to irregular eatings patterns. If you’re eating at irregular intervals, then avoid skipping meals. This can help stabilize your eating habits and help maintain your overall health.

Maintain a High-Protein Diet

Eating a high-protein meal is one good way of delaying your hunger long enough for you to sleep.

A high-protein meal can leave you feeling full for longer, which can help minimize sudden cravings at odd hours at night.

What’s more, a past study has shown that maintaining a high-protein diet can help reduce your cravings by 60% which can help cut down your cravings at night.

Avoid Stress

If you’re eating as a coping mechanism for your stress, de-stressing before bed can help. Using comfort food as a way to placate your emotions is usually not recommended since this can become a habit. You can try having a hot bath or even get a massage to lower your stress.

Cut Down On Processed Food

Disposing of those chips, biscuits, and cup noodles that you have in your pantry can help.

Swapping snacks for some fruit, veggies, and legumes can greatly help curb late-night cravings. What’s more, they can help inspire better eating habits.

Distract Yourself

Distractions can help, especially when you want to curb late-night cravings. Some examples are:

  • Watch a movie
  • Play with pets
  • Call and catch up with an old friend
  • Do some stretching and exercises
  • Meditate
  • Go for a walk

Get Support From Friends

Having emotional support is one of the best ways to break a habit. Having people who can support you on your journey through your night-time eating can help break the cycle.

When we have a support network that can direct us with external stimuli, we will have the motivation to get through our cravings.

Having friends, family, and co-workers from different facets of your life can immensely help by giving you emotional support. It might seem like a simple remedy, but reminding yourself of your past goals by talking to your support network can help you through this problem.

Likewise, if you’re the one that’s supporting a friend, it is important that we do not judge.

The primary cause of nightly cravings is caused by a variety of different psychological factors. In most cases, guilt, stress, and shame are the most common causes of stress eating and nightly cravings.

Key Takeaways

Many of us can surely relate to having unhealthy cravings, but there are simple practices during the day that can help keep our late-night hunger at bay.

What matters is staying consistent and striving to make healthier choices, even if we indulge ourselves every now and then.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Coping with Night Eating Syndrome https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/multimedia/coping-with-night-eating-syndrome/vid-20274119 Accessed 15 May 2020

Circadian Rhythms https://www.nigms.nih.gov/Education/Pages/Factsheet_CircadianRhythms.aspx Accessed 15 May 2020

Emotion Regulation Model in Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25530255

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Written by Danilo Nicolas Guillano on May 06, 2020
Medically reviewed by Marie Bianca Angelica Tech, M.D.
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