It happens. You get home from a long day at work and you change into your comfy clothes. Maybe workout, make dinner, do the dishes, and then sit down for the evening. After about an hour, you find yourself back up in the kitchen rummaging around for another snack.
Why are you doing this?
You already had dinner…so why are you still wanting food?
It is because you are not doing these three things:
1. Eat enough throughout the day.
Not eating enough throughout the day is one of the main reasons why you are overeating in the evening and you may not even realize it. You’re watching what you eat and are trying to lose weight. You eat oatmeal with fruit for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and grilled chicken and veggies for dinner. This is great and all, but you still find yourself hungry even though you’ve hit your calorie goal for the day. You likely restricted yourself too much throughout the day and ignored your hunger cues when you were hungry. Now your hunger has built up to a point that you are craving sweets and simple carbs to satisfy that hunger.
Don’t ignore your hunger cues throughout the day. Eat when your body is telling you it is hungry.
2. Choose foods that are satisfying.
Choosing foods that are satisfying means that you are choosing a food that is going to fill you up physically and mentally. Diet culture has trained us to stop listening to our body’s wants and needs by choosing to eat specific foods not because we want to, but because we have to if we want to look and feel great. Feeling physically full is not going to satisfy your hunger and you are likely going to continue to eat in search of the food that is going to satisfy us mentally. If you choose to eat a salad when you really want French fries, you are going to continue to rummage through the kitchen eating mindlessly in search of the satisfaction you denied yourself by not ordering the French fries.
Choose the salad with a side of French fries. This way you satisfy your French fry craving while also getting in some extra veggies.
3. Get adequate sleep each night.
Not getting enough sleep at night can really mess with your hormones. There are certain hormones that play a significant role in controlling your hunger cues, and when these hormones are out of whack our eating patterns tend to suffer. When you don’t get enough sleep at night you are more likely going to want to eat sugary, high fat foods. You will be more likely to suppress these cravings during the day, and when you get home you are going to be more likely to give in and overeat. This is because you are tired, your hormones are out of sorts, and you have restricted yourself.
Set a goal to get to bed 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. Continue doing this until you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
Why we overeat and have more intense cravings in the evenings is directly related to the decisions we make, starting with the time we choose to go to bed the night before. Take back control of your evening cravings by making these changes and feel great about yourself and your food choices!