Do you think that it is easier to sail through the day even without thinking about snacks, but in the evening it becomes impossible to control yourself for munching on unhealthy chips and processed foods? Well, evening hunger can make anyone crazy. After a long working day, when you reach home all you can think about is food and while feeding your soul, most of the times you overeat and rue about it later. But it’s not your fault, blame your hormones for this.
Why this happens
Studies suggest that it is easier to control your craving for unhealthy food items throughout the day, but in the evening we experience an alteration in the levels of hormones that impact our appetite and at the end we overeat. Apart from this, stress also has a major role to play in it. The study indicated that the PYY hormones (peptide tyrosine tyrosine hormones), which is linked with hunger and lack of satiety is lower in the evening.
As per a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, people are more likely to overeat in the evening due to hormonal changes. To conduct this study, researchers noted the eating habits of 32 adults aged 18-50. Out of all, half of the participants were diagnosed with a binge eating disorder and all were overweight.
The participants were asked to take part in two experiments. In the first experiment, they were asked to fast for eight hours before having a liquid meal at 9 am, while in the second one they were required to fast for the same hours followed by a liquid meal at 4 pm.
2 hours after having their meals, the participants were asked to undertake a stress test and exactly 30 minutes after this test they were offered to have anything from an unhealthy buffet.
At the end of the study, it was found that participants were more hungry in the evening than they were in the morning. This basically happens because the level of ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates appetite) is higher after the afternoon meal, while levels of the PYY hormone (hormones responsible for reducing appetite) is lower in the evening.
This clearly states that time of day affects appetite and stress induce it. However, still more research is needed in this direction.
If you want to stay healthy and prevent overeating then it is advised to eat earlier in the day. Apart from this, practice mindful eating.