We all know how it feels to be hungry at the end of a long day at work and end up eating everything in sight. You enjoy it when you are looking forward to winding down at the end of the day. It is a kind of compensation for our efforts to endure the day that we stuff our stomachs with something delicious after a stressful day at work.
In most cases, we feel guilty and ashamed, as if we cannot control our eating habits. However, the truth is there are good reasons why we eat more in the evening. What are these reasons?
1. The act of eating in the evening helps to relieve stress
It is well known that eating has a calming effect, as stress eaters have discovered. In fact, eating actually has a physiologically calming effect. The body is busy digesting food and is therefore relaxed. However, eating has many adverse side effects, as do many other sedatives, such as smoking.
After a full day of stress and anxiety, it feels good to relax, release tension, and eat. However, we tend to eat more than we actually need, resulting in weight gain. When we become obese and are unable to control our eating, we become increasingly stressed. And what will we do to alleviate that stress? Of course, we eat. Thus, we become trapped in a vicious cycle.
2. The act of eating contributes to the accumulation of time
Throughout the day, you did everything that was asked of you. You could do it with a rest in the afternoon, but there’s a lot to do with the kids, the housework, etc. There’s always something to finish, or you’re behind. Most of us cannot afford to take a few hours after work to relax or unwind.
If you cannot give yourself time to rest, you will find another way to satisfy yourself. Oh, yes, you are eating again. You can sit still while eating. You don’t have to do anything, just sit and stuff your stomach with food. It is a clever way of avoiding starting the evening chores. It is also an excellent way to pass the time and to put off tasks we do not wish to do.
3. The act of eating is an excellent substitute for physical activity
We know that exercise should be a part of our everyday lives, even if we have had an upsetting day. We are made to move and receive long, brisk walks and runs to maintain good health.
However, we are constantly forced to make a decision as to whether we should move or eat. Most of us prefer to eat over anything else in life.
Several factors contribute to our preference for eating over moving.
The first reason is that it’s a lot easier. When we’re sitting down, all we have to do is pick up a fork and take a bite. But when we’re active, it takes more effort to move our bodies around.
Furthermore, eating is enjoyable. We like the taste of food and the way it makes us feel. In contrast, moving can sometimes be uncomfortable and even painful.
Last but not least, eating is social. We like to gather around food with family and friends. Unlike eating, moving isn’t typically a social activity.
Unfortunately, we know we need to move, but we choose to eat instead, causing shame and frustration. What can we do about these negative feelings? Unfortunately, we eat something again.
4. Eating to help combat fatigue
Sleep deprivation and poor nutrition go together. A night-long study or work session can lead to sugary coffee, a doughnut the following day, and a greasy pizza and other junk foods to get you through the afternoon.
There is a reason why sleep deprivation leads to a reduction in healthy food choices and an increase in appetite.
Sleep deprivation leads to carbohydrate cravings when the body does not get the rest it needs. Whenever you’re tired, you crave something sugary to give you an instant energy boost. Despite their quick fix, these foods have no long-term benefit. Therefore, you should eat more.
As we become tired, our brains begin to search for ways of compensating, and eating becomes a preferred alternative.
5. It is simply a bad habit to eat too much in the evening
If you’re like most people, you’re juggling many different responsibilities. You work hard all day, so you don’t have time to think about having a healthy breakfast or lunch. Many other things should be done during the day instead. So, when you go home, you need to fill your body. It is hard to control yourself since the whole day you were starving. This is just a bad habit.
I used to live this way, and because of that, I was overweight. As a result of the extra pounds on me, my life was negatively affected. Moving became exhausting, and I huffed and puffed after climbing a few stairs. I focused more on nutrition to change my lifestyle, which was my first step. Currently, I have five meals per day, and I do not skip meals. As a result of my updated diet and exercise program, I have lost more than 20 pounds and feel much better.
Here are some tips to help you stop overeating in the evenings
- Slowly chewing your food will give your body a feeling of fullness before you overeat. Additionally, proper chewing will allow your digestive system to work more efficiently, leading to a healthier gut.
- Get enough sleep to avoid fatigue, which is one reason for overeating. It also speeds up your metabolism, which makes the body’s calorie-burning processes more effective.
- Drink plenty of water before and during your meal. It makes you feel full, so you can’t eat as much.
- Include plenty of healthy ingredients in your meals, such as veggies and fruits. Since they are full of fiber, they satisfy you faster. Also, consume high-protein foods that have the same effects.
- Avoid drinking calories: avoid sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages. They have no nutritional value, and they are full of calories.
- Have at least 3 meals daily, but it is better to have 5. The day before, prepare your meals to be ready when you need them.
- Avoid distractions while you have your dinner. Turn off the TV and computer and put away any work materials. Focus on your meal.
- Establish a routine. Establishing a routine will help you to avoid eating too late or too early.
To sum up
With the help of this article, I hope you now understand better why you overeat in the evenings and how you can stop it. Understanding the reasons is the first step to making the necessary changes in your life. Overconsumption in the evening or night can lead to weight gain and various health problems. I was an evening eater, and I can say that it was not so difficult for me to eliminate it.