If you’re working to lose weight, you probably know that your biggest downfall is evening eating. This is a common trap for many people. You go through the day; you eat your healthy breakfast and mid-morning snack. You enjoy a satisfying lunch, and your healthy afternoon snack; you even pass up those fresh made treats that look so delicious. You’re doing terrific.
You even get home, and eat a healthy dinner; so why do you wind up losing your diet control after that? Why is it that you seem to go on an endless noshing fest from dinner time until you go to bed? You’re not alone – but finding out what causes your evening eating can help you to go a long way toward losing that weight.
According to your body
Metabolically, there isn’t honestly any reason not to eat during the evening hours. Calories in the evening are the same as calories at any other time of the day. Morning calories are broken down the same way that evening calories are, but the thing is that we tend to eat much more food during the evening.
What happens is that when you skip meals, you become overly hungry, which leads to binge eating during the night. Recent studies have found that when people enjoyed three meals daily, only about 13 percent of the participants binged in the evening. In participants that didn’t eat breakfast, about 24 percent of them binged, and in those that skipped both breakfast and lunch, 60 percent of them binged.
The study showed that generally, those that spread their meals throughout the day are more able to control what they eat. They also tend to feel more satisfied throughout the day. To your body, breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as healthy snacks are the optimal way to keep your metabolism running strong and lose weight.
What you can do
It’s already been said, but studies show that eating three meals a day, plus snacks is your best bet in maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight, but there are other things that you can do to help prevent the evening eating that can ruin your efforts.
- Leave the table. After you eat one helping of your evening meal, get up from the table and start to put the leftovers away. When the kitchen is clean, you’re less likely to want to have a snack.
- Go for a walk. Not necessarily a break-a-sweat type of walk, but a walk that can help to distract you from food. Take the dog, and just enjoy the sounds and sights of evening outdoors.
- Get away from the television. Watching tv tends to make people want to eat more, so turn it off and stay mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth.
- Get more sleep. Sometimes, when you’re feeling the urge to munch, the best thing to do is go to bed. Call it a night and get some sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed, feeling great and ready to take on the world.