The Evening Craving Monster

Evening cravings feel SOOOOO emotional! Don’t they?

It’s like the evening craving monster stays quiet all day long, carefully watching what you’re eating, taking note if it’s been a “good” day or not.

…and then, once you sit down on the couch to relax, it starts making its demands.

“I want a cookie!!”

“Why don’t you finish off the ice cream in the freezer…there’s just a little bit left”

“You’ve eaten SO many vegetables today…why not have some potato chips?”

“Wouldn’t a bit of chocolate feel sooooo good right now? You’ve had such a long and grueling day”

“Oh come on…I know you wanna!!”

The craving monster knows exactly what to say to tempt you into that food. And it’s very clever…it picks the evening for a very good reason. It picks exactly the time of the day where you’re most likely to give in.

It doesn’t feel fair, does it?

Evening eating and emotional eating can get mixed up together sometimes. Evening eating tends to feel emotional, AND emotional eating tends to happen in the evening….but! 

Evening eating isn’t always emotional…actually, it usually isn’t.

That doesn’t mean emotional eating isn’t real, it IS! Definitely. No question. It’s just that sometimes evening eating is caused by something else, and it feels soooo emotional that we put into the emotional eating category.

What I’ve found with the 1000s of clients I’ve worked with – evening eating is about 80 – 90% of the time about an imbalance in your diet, and around 10 – 20% is about emotional eating.

And, we need to balance out our diet before we can learn what is emotional and what isn’t. Only then can we really begin to see our emotional triggers and begin the process to work through this (usually with the help of a beautifully trained professional).

3 main causes of non-emotional evening eating –

1. A Low Carb diet –

A low carb diet can trigger a craving for carbs at night because we NEED carbs! They’re an important macronutrient and some people need them more than others. If you feel great on a high protein diet, great! 

But, if your craving monster gets louder when you eat this way, you may want to experiment a bit with healthy starches, like sweet potatoes, fruit, squash, and whole grains. 

By choosing healthy starches that you enjoy earlier in the day (when you can use this energy), you can reduce your craving monster’s request for refined and processed starches later :).

2. No sweet foods in your diet –

Like starches, everything sweet is being vilified right now and they’ve put into the same category as refined sugar. Fruit and refined sugar are VERY different in the body.

Sweet tasting food is also very balancing for some constitutions (including mine), and if I/we are to remove everything sweet, then the cravings monster will just get very loud until we give in. 

Instead of having a nice piece of fruit in the morning, the craving monster puts a full chocolate bar, a box of cookies, and/or a tub of ice cream into our hands. 

You CAN enjoy sweet foods and eat a healthy diet (I do!). Fruit, dark chocolate, dates, and sweet veggies are beautifully balancing and does a body good :). 

Check out my blog for some healthy sweet recipes :)

3.  Not eating enough throughout the day (especially when you’re under stress) –

The craving monster really doesn’t like it when you deprive yourself of food. It especially doesn’t like it when you’re also under a lot of stress. 

This makes the craving monster very worried and so it gets extra loud.

It’s common to eat a low calorie/energy diet when you’re trying to eat really healthy, following a new eating plan, or when you’re so stressed out you skip meals. 

Once your day is done and you relax, your craving monster NEEDS you to make up the difference, and so it will tell you all about the great food that’s in your cupboard. 

Or, will remind you that you can drive to the store to pick up something.

Or, will let you absentmindedly eat an entire bag of potato chips. 

The craving monster alllllways wins.

Be sure to eat at 3 meals and 1 afternoon snack every day, especially when you’re under a lot of stress.  It really helps :).

What does your craving monster ask for? What tips or tricks have you found to satisfy it? Let’s us all know in the comments below!

P.S. - This post came directly from one of my Facebook Lives, check out my bi-weekly bits of info at Lisa Kilgour, Nutritionist.