Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight

Consistently gaining weight overnight? This post will help you discover the top nighttime habits that lead to weight gain. Healthier alternatives are discussed, too!

Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight

Sometimes we get stuck and struggle to lose weight. Don’t worry, because it’s normal.

I would always make a little progress and then hit a wall. Losing more weight felt impossible! And it was very frustrating. After all, I was following the same meal plan and working out just as much. So what gives!?

Eventually I started looking closer at my habits. Did a little research and realized my nighttime routines were not doing me any favors when it came to weight loss. And really, it extends beyond weight. Nixing some of these habits helped me sleep better, feel healthier, and ready to seize the day.

So here we are! In this post I’ll talk about the bedtime mistakes that might derail our weight loss goals. Let’s get started!

Does Eating Right Before Bed Cause Weight Gain?

If you eat a big meal right before you go to bed, your body doesn’t have a chance to burn these calories. So, it leads to weight gain. But if you’re merely eating small, nutrient-dense, low energy foods and/or single macronutrients rather than large mixed meals there’s a low chance it will have any influence on the scale.

An interesting study shows that people who eat at night tend to eat more calories generally. So if you’re eating an hour or less before bedtime, consider tweaking your eating schedule (if possible).

Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight

Does Working The Night Shift Make You Gain Weight?

Unfortunately, working the night shift has been tied to weight gain. Your body clock is disrupted on this schedule and this has a big affect on appetite. For a few reasons…but especially because you tend to get less sleep. Research shows that sleep deprivation resulted in an overall increase of 250 calories consumed per day.

I know that for many, working the nighttime shift is unavoidable. Know that this doesn’t make it impossible to maintain a healthy weight but you’re gonna have to be extra strategic with your time. Check out this post, 10 Reasons Why You Need Better Sleep + How Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight.

What Causes Overnight Weight Gain?

Overnight weight gain is real! And there are 3 top culprits behind this event…

  1. You consumed a lot of salt: I very much love salty snacks. And am familiar with bloating the next day. This happens because the body retains water (which causes weight gain) in response to high amounts of sodium. For more info on this, check out my blog on How To Reduce Bloating.
  2. You had a very stressful day: Stress bumps up the cortisol levels in your body, and cortisol promotes over eating. For a list of foods that help to reduce stress, see this post.
  3. You’re dehydrated: When you’re dehydrated, thirst signals are often mistaken for hunger. It’s hard to not eat when you’re hungry! So make sure you carry a bottle of water on you and stay hydrated.
Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight

What Nighttime Habits Cause Weight Gain?

So what exactly are these nighttime habits that are causing you to gain weight?! If you recognize any of the following, do some more research and consider if you can exchange these habits for something healthier…

1. You always treat yourself to some midnight snack

Raise your hand if you’ve been caught creeping to your fridge at 2am? Cause I have! Midnight snacking is one of the biggest causes of nighttime weight gain. It’s fine if you’re eating a salad or something…but who does that at midnight?

What To Do Instead

See if you can identify what causes you to wake up for snacks. Are you going to bed hungry? Are you stressed after watching too much news before bed? Address the underlying issue and you’re more likely to break this unhealthy habit.

Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight
2. You work out too late

Among many nighttime habits that causes weight gain, this habit negatively impacts sleep. When working out 1-2 hours before bed, you’re taking an adrenaline rush with you to bed. Not helpful for your beauty rest!

What To Do Instead

Work out 4 or more hours before bed. Treat the last couple of hours before snooze time as a wind down period. Try meditating, read a relaxing book, a hot bath, etc.

3. You regularly enjoy a night cap

Your evening wine o’clock is likely causing you to gain weight! Alcohol is packed with empty calories (which also means they don’t offer any nutritional value at all). 

What To Do Instead

I’m not saying you can never drink…I even wrote a post on Top 7 Healthiest Alcoholic Drinks To Fit Your Healthy Lifestyle! But I will say, check in with yourself if you feel dependent on these night caps for sleep. There are healthier options for better sleep that are less harmful to your body in the long run.

Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight
4. You scroll way too much on social media

Gone are the days when people would read a book before bed. Sad, I know. Not exempt over here! But content can be addicting and it’s not doing much for your mental health. It cuts sleep, too, and leads to weight gain. Pandemic Weight Gain? Learn 5 Ways To Return To Your Healthy Weight

What To Do Instead

Invest in an old fashioned alarm clock and kick your phone out of the room. Find a book or podcast that you really enjoy and re-discover the pleasure of reading. A bit idealist here, I know. But it works.

5. You don’t have a bedtime

We all know that 7 to 8 hours is the recommended amount of sleep everyone needs. But one-third of the U.S tends to sleep less than that. When we don’t get enough sleep, our hunger hormones are triggered which makes us actually eat more high-calorie foods the next day.

What To Do Instead

Recognize that we’re living in a world that values productivity and movement above rest and replenishment. Try to take a moment to pause whenever possible and breath. Look for ways to live a more balanced lifestyle.

Worst Nighttime Routines For Your Weight
6. You always make room for dessert

A high sugar dessert to round out a high calorie meal feels indulgent…because it is! While it’s OK to enjoy the pleasures of life, eating dessert most nights can contribute to weight gain.

What To Do Instead

I treat dessert as a treat rather than a rule, and this makes it extra easy to appreciate. On evenings when I choose not to have dessert, I’ll often eat a slice of fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. You should also check out this posts on healthy desserts that are totally delicious!

More Weight Loss Posts

I have a lot of resources that I’ve written to help everyone on a weight loss journey. Here’s a few more you might like…

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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