Do you find yourself regularly overeating at dinner or having what you feel like is too much to eat at night? In my latest video, I share the story of Marissa - a working young woman who tries to eat well during the day, yet comes home at night and feels like she eats more than she should. She wonders why she's overeating and what she can do to about it.
Marissa starts her mornings with a workout and "clean" breakfast, heads to work, breaks for a quick simple salad at lunch, then comes home at the end of the day exhausted and stressed. When it comes time for dinner, Marissa doesn't want to cook so, she snacks, orders takeout, and by the time it's all said and done, she feels like she eats more than she should.
I've counseled numerous women and men like Marissa who share a similar story. They start off their day with the best intentions of doing "good," so they eat exercise intensely, they eat very lightly, they keep their meals and snack to a minimum in an effort to "cut calories," and they even ignore their own hunger cues. Essentially, they under-eat. And, when they approach dinner, they're over-hungry and stressed. So they eat what they feel like is more than what they need.
Turns out that like Marissa and the many others I've counseled, research demonstrates similar outcomes. Both hunger and negative feelings (like stress!) can increase the risk for overeating. (1) In fact, food deprivation and food restriction are thought to be predictive factors in increasing the amount of food eaten following these occasions. (2)
So, what's a gal like Marissa to do? In the video, I shared my top three tips, including to:
- Eat more, earlier in the day! (3)
- Include foods with fiber, protein and healthy fats to deliver the fuel you need to feel well and to stay fuller for longer.
- Listen in to your hunger and fullness cues, and say "yes" to your yearnings! (4)
Of course, managing stress and getting adequate sleep are important for reaching optimal health too.
That's my answer to a healthier you!
I'd love to know: Can you relate to Marissa? What have you learned? Share your comment with me below.
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Thank you so much for watching (and reading)! I'll see you soon.
1. Suzuki A, Sakurazawa H, Fujita T, Akamatsu R. Overeating at dinner time among Japanese workers: is overeating related to stress response and late dinner times? Appetite. 2016 Jun 1;101:8-14. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2016.02.145. Epub 2016 Feb 24.
2. Mathes WF, Brownley KA, Mo X, Bulik CM. The Biology of Binge Eating. Appetite. 2009;52(3):545-553. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2009.03.005.
3. Leidy HJ, Ortinau LC, Douglas SM, Hoertel HA. Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013;97(4):677-688. doi:10.3945/ajcn.112.053116.
4. Denny KN, Loth K, Eisenberg ME, Neumark-Sztainer D. Intuitive eating in young adults: Who is doing it, and how is it related to disordered eating behaviors? Appetite. 2013;60(1):13-19. doi:10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.029.