Whenever I teach a workshop and ask the women to share a health struggle, night time eating always comes up.
Sometimes we eat late because we don’t have time to eat an early dinner, because of work, schedule and how our day is structured.
But most often we eat late because of
And because we learned to relax with food
And sooth ourselves with food
But is eating late really bad for our health?
During the night
And during sleep
The body uses it’s energy
To repair and recharge itself
Digesting food takes a lot of energy
And if we eat late at night
Our body will not be able to perform
It’s nightly functions well
And the result can be
Compromised immune system
Increased chances of getting sick
If you eat a heavy meal before sleep
You will get up feeling weighed down
And have less energy to start your day
So the short answer is no
It is not healthy to eat late at night
However, it is also not good to go to sleep hungry
Your body needs enough good nutrients to function
And if you have not eaten since lunch
You need to eat
Not eating dinner will set you up
To snack and binge late at night
A healthy late dinner is better than no dinner!
As much as you can
Try to eat dinner early
At least 2-3 hours before going to sleep
And if you have to eat late
And eat a smaller meal
If you are not hungry
But reach for food for emotional reasons
The following 4 steps
Will show you the way out
Of the emotional eating cycle
1. Identify the feeling
Think of your night time eating habit and reflect on the following questions:
What are you feeling?
What will you feel if you did not eat?
What will happen if you felt your feelings?
2. Once the feelings are identified write them down and describe them.
Here are a couple examples:
~I eat because I get lonely. I live far away from my family and miss them a lot.
~I eat to relax. I had a long and stressful day and now it’s my time to relax, watch TV and eat.
3. Come up with alternative ways to sooth your feelings.
~What else will help you feel less lonely? Maybe, calling a friend, taking a night class, connecting with people online.
~How else can you relax? Take a bath, self massage, relaxing music.
Make a list of all the things you can do to address those feelings.
Put the list on your fridge as a reminder that there is another way.
And that you have another choice.
4. Feel your feelings.
It is ok to feel your sadness. Or loneliness. Or anxiety.
It is actually important to feel what you are feeling.
If you keep soothing the feelings and avoid feeling them
They will stay, and stay, and stay.
Feeling them is actually releasing them and letting them go.
The sadness will not stay forever.
The loneliness will lift.
You might need to grieve, cry, laugh, scream.
It’s all ok.
Allow yourself to feel
And it is better if you can share it with someone
A friend, a family member, a professional
Someone who can listen to you
And give you the space
To feel and process your feelings
Eating for soothing does not really work
After the momentary comfort
All our issues and feelings are still there
In addition to feeling bad about eating
Practice those 4 steps
They will lead you
To a healthier relationship with your body and with food
And to a vibrant and joyful life
If you could use more help, check out my consultation program, I offer personal coaching, a gentle, loving and empowering approach and lots of hand holding, to completely transform your health and your life.