Do you feel hunger every night before you go to bed? Do you find yourself eating whatever you can get your hands on in 11pm? If the answer to these two questions is yes – don’t worry, because you are not alone. The most common time to feel hunger and crave food is the night. Now, according to the experts, natural biology is to blame for this, because our circadian rhythms are programmed to crave starchy, salty and sugary foods in the evening.
Luckily, there are some things that you can do to stop overeating in the evening:
Eat more vegetables
Whenever your body craves some certain type of food, it means that it is simply missing a certain mineral or vitamin. However, it is practically impossible to determine which mineral or vitamin your body needs. For example, you might crave some carbs, while your body needs vitamin C (in right amounts, vitamin C can help you control your appetite). The solution is fairly simple – just make sure that you eat more vegetables throughout the whole day.
Do something else
If you find yourself craving for something specific like potato chips or a certain flavor of ice cream, this crave is caused by your mind and not your body. The truth is that you probably don’t need to eat, but there could be many different reasons why you crave something specific. The best way to fight this kind of craving is to find something for you to do – clean up your bathroom or go for a late walk.
Eat more protein
One way to stop overeating in the evening is to increase the intake of protein, especially early in the morning. One study, done by University of Missouri in 2014 has shown that people who had lots of protein in the morning, lowered their craving for food in the evening. If you don’t know what you could eat for breakfast – you can try lean beef and eggs.
British Journal of Sports medicine published a research which has shown that people who exercise 10 to 40 minutes three times a week improve areas of brain that help with self-control. Furthermore, those who run at least 60 minutes a week, decreased the brain activity that is related to reward (we often use food as a reward for our actions).
Fight off your craves with a little help of self-motivation
There is one simple thing that you can do, whenever you crave something in the evening – for example, if you want to eat potato chips, you can take the bag and before you start eating, ask yourself – “Do I really want to eat this?” or “Do I really need to eat this?” – by doing this you question your action and you can get to conclusion that you don’t actually need that bag of potato chips. When you face yourself with a craving like this, it is not a bad idea to question how much you really need it.