For most of us, the issue with eating late in the evening is not the fact that we are eating, but rather what we are eating. I personally never heard anyone come back from a night on the town and say “I am famished, give me the lettuce and sweet potatoes”. Late in the evening we tend to be tired, our willpower has already been depleted by the challenges of the day, and we just reach for the first pack of instant gratification that we can find. Usually, this will end up being fast food or junk food, such as crisps, sweets and the like. Regretfully, not only do we tend to reach for the unhealthy choices, but we eat much more than we normally would.
The best way to avoid binge eating at night is to eat at regular times throughout the day. When you have normal meals at regular intervals, you will not get too hungry, and will therefore be able to control yourself and avoid cravings. I know from personal experience that when I skip a meal and get too hungry, it is much more difficult to control what I eat and in what quantities. All the usual principles and guidelines go out of the window, and I eat whatever is around me (and then regret it later of course and promise myself that this will never happen again).
Overeating, or eating very heavy food right before bed will also impact the quality of your sleep. Eat too much, or eat food that is too spicy, greasy or oily too late at night, and you will have a much harder time falling asleep and waking up in the morning.
Of course, if you are hungry, you know very well that trying to fall asleep on an empty and growling stomach can be just as annoying, so you will probably need to have something. My recommendation would be to find something light to eat. For example, I was in a similar situation a few nights ago, and managed to scrape together a little lettuce, some cherry tomatoes and a piece of cheese. It was hardly worthy of a Michelin star, but it did the job!
What are your experiences with eating late at night? Do you have any tips for our readers? Let us know in the comments!