Overeating at Night

Metabolism – Overeating in the Evening?

I feel like I can’t control my night-time eating?  Is this as bad as I think it is?

Can you hear it?  The “JAWS” music playing in the background.  There’s something sneaking up on you…A METABOLISM KILLER! AAAAAAAAAH!

Over-Eating in the Evening.  That’s right.  It may not sound as scary as a shark, but it’s contributing to tanking metabolisms and bulging waistlines all across the country.  Americans’ typical busy lives and schedules make this a reality for many adults (and many kids and teens, unfortunately).  They leave the house without breakfast (coffee’s enough, right?) and work through lunch.  And healthy snacks? The only snacks available are vending machine or doughnuts during a meeting.  All day long, they work without breaks.  When they arrive home and open their front doors, they are ravished.  The first available snack food in sight is consumed.  Then, at dinner, they overeat their meal and go to bed stuffed.  The next morning, they are neither hungry for nor have time for breakfast, and the whole cycle repeats itself.

Want to kill your metabolism?  Keep eating too little during the day and too much in the evening.   Want to Reprogram it and REV it up?  Start with a consistent, healthy meal pattern with most of your calories during breakfast, lunch, and portion-controlled snacks.  Then, eat an early, light dinner.

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

  • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

    Thanks for your interest in this topic.  Below is a response from Kelli to your questions:

    Thanks for the comments – these are all great ideas! It’s very healthy to eat a larger breakfast and/or lunch and smaller dinner, and also to “close” the kitchen early in the evening. I find that eating 1/2 plate-worth of vegetables, some healthy fats on my salad, and a side of lean protein works well as a light dinner and allow enough flexibility for me to share the meal with my kids and husband.@ Shespoke: Yes, it is very difficult to keep it light at night with late working or workout hours.  My recommendations would be a quick whey shake – try blending 1 scoop whey protein (~20 grams), 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 Tbsp organic coconut oil, water/ice. Use a small amount of honey or Stevia if needed. Try to keep it at 200 calories or less. This combo can help you retain/repair muscle and give your glycogen stores a boost. It will also provide needed antioxidants after a workout. The volume should help you feel satisfied (so you’re not hungry going to bed), but it will still digest easily and not keep you up. I hope this helps! Kelli, RD

  • Shespoke

    I’m running into this problem now that I leave work at 10pm to go work out. What kind of proteins are best to eat at midnight after a workout?

  • Shannon Dawkins

    So true!  For me it has worked out fantastic to eat my larger meal at lunch and then have my  high quality superfood and whey shake at night, gives me all the nutrients and yet is not heavy at all.  I found i sleep and recover way better too now

  • Anonymous

    Great post, overeating at night is a hard habit to break. One thing that has helped me to control myself and to be consistent is to cook a large healthy breakfast the night before work.
    You will probably not have a ton of luck waking up any earlier than you already do, and this way all you have to do is grab the already made breakfast out of the refrigerator. Toss that meal into the microwave once your ready to eat and bam, healthy breakfast on the go.

  • http://twitter.com/TheBoldBlend Barbara Davis

    Evening eating has always been a sure fire way to wreck my progress.  I try to eat dinner no later than 6:00 p.m. and then nothing until breakfast except water or herbal tea.