Dear Dietitian – Changing Bad Habits?

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Published Saturday, March 3, 2018
by Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC

I have lost twenty pounds, and I'm very proud of my accomplishment. I know I have to develop healthy habits in order to keep the weight off.  My problem is I eat too much in the evenings after dinner. What can I do to change this bad habit? --Sherry

Dear Sherry,

Congratulations on your weight loss. You should definitely be proud of yourself!

Many people fall into the trap of night eating. In the evening our will power is down, and we are susceptible to temptation.   

The best defense against night eating is a solid breakfast. A European study found that those who skip breakfast are four times more likely to be overweight. Remember that solid foods empty out of your stomach slower than liquids. You may choose a high fiber cereal  (5 grams of fiber or more per serving) along with fruit and toast with peanut butter. Or you may opt for eggs as your protein source.

Another dynamic at play with night eating involves your glycogen stores. Glycogen is a stored form of energy that your body breaks down as needed. When one overeats in the evening, the glycogen stores are filled up. The next morning you may not feel hungry because these stores are breaking down to provide energy to get you through the morning.  Then the cycle begins all over again.   So your Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Leanne McCrate, RD, LD, CNSC, is an award-winning dietitian with over fifteen years of experience. Have a question?  Email Leanne at