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How To Stop Binge Eating At Night

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Hunger cravings are controlled by a variety of factors: hormones, habits, sights, smells and stress levels, to name a few.

In order to stop craving food at night, it's important to develop consistent and healthy eating habits during the day, while also paying attention to how you use food for reward, pleasure, punishment or comfort.

Control your environment

Being near food at night is often enough to trigger cravings. Try to eat dinner at a late enough hour so you're more likely to be satisfied between the time you eat and the time you go to bed. If it means pushing dinner back an hour, do so. Don't leave food in plain sight, and try to avoid social settings where you're eating late at night.

Eat breakfast

Eating breakfast every day — preferably within about one to two hours of waking — will help your blood sugar stay consistent the whole day. This will help prevent cravings and binges later on in the day/night, especially if your breakfast is high in fiber and protein.

Don't keep it in the house

If you have a favorite late-night snack, don't keep it in the house. The theory is that when it's there, you will eat it. If you want a treat, you'll have to force yourself to get in the car and drive to the store, which is usually a deterrent in and of itself. Retraining yourself to not indulge your cravings at night will help them go away.

Do something different when a craving strikes

One of the best ways to deal with bad habits is to focus your attention elsewhere. If you want to stop craving food at night, develop a healthy habit whenever a craving strikes. For example, every time you want a bowl of ice cream before bed, take a relaxing bath or watch an episode of your favorite TV show. Just changing your response to the craving will ultimately help banish it.

Watch sugar levels

Sugary snacks and treats raise your blood sugar levels. When these levels return to normal, they can make food cravings even more intense. Your body wants to return the "euphoric" place of being high on sugar, so it craves more food. By minimizing sugar intake and eating more protein, you can keep glucose levels steady throughout the day, which will prevent cravings.

Source: TODAY