I have no shame in admitting this: I’ve struggled with overeating at night for a long, long time. And I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s so easy to cozy up in a blanket on the couch, with a good book or a good TV show, and just plow into a bag of snacks. Before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole damn thing. Then you wake up the next morning feeling bloated, sluggish, and a bit disappointed in yourself.
I’m more than familiar with that scenario, so I’ve tried lots of tricks over the years to help myself reduce nighttime eating. One thing I do is follow intermittent fasting Monday through Friday, and I eat between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. On the weekends, though, I’m not strict about my eating window, which means I enjoy food at night. However, this leaves me vulnerable to overeating if I’m at home on a Saturday or Sunday night.
This is a bit unorthodox, but it’s worked wonders for me in the past. If I know I don’t want to eat anymore at night, I just go to the bathroom and brush my teeth. It’s that simple. Having that minty fresh flavor in my mouth prevents me from reaching for snacks, and my body recognizes that taste as a sign that it’s ready for bed, so this sort of curbs my hankering for food as well.
I’ll admit this is a hack, but it’s one that does the job for me, so maybe it will help you out as well! Ever since I started doing this, I’ve had a lot fewer incidents where I reach for food I know my body doesn’t need. However, that doesn’t mean I deprive myself of what I want to eat. If I want to have dessert or a salty snack, I portion out a sensible amount, enjoy it, and put the dishes away. Then I go brush my teeth. The point isn’t to totally restrict yourself — rather, it’s just finding smart ways to enjoy yourself without going overboard.