Binge eating is when you are uncontrollably eating until you are too sick to keep at it. It can be because you are so stressed throughout the day that you decide to have a late night snack or it is a routine to eat a lot of food at a certain time in the day. Based on a study by the International Journal of Obesity, we learn that people tend to binge eat more in the evening than they do earlier in the day because of changes in hunger hormones, your past as a binge eating, and tackling stress.

The first experiment was when a group of subjects were to fast for eight hours before doing a liquid diet of 608 calories at nine a.m. In the second experiment, the same participants were to fast again for another eight hours but to consume the liquid diet at four p.m. 130 minutes after each meal, there would be a food and drink buffet of pizza, cookies, chips, candy, and water. The subjects also were taken blood samples and monitored them for stress hormone cortisol and the hunger hormones ghrelin and peptide YY. They were to report a level of hunger and fullness before each experiment.

Before each experiment, the subjects were experiencing greater hunger and lower fullness in the evening than in the morning. The appetite increasing hormone, ghrelin, was higher after the afternoon meal compared to the morning while PYY, the appetite reducing hormone, was lower in the evening. Adults who binge eat experienced lower fullness in the evening after the afternoon meal and higher ghrelin in the evening but lower ghrelin in the morning compared to those who do not binge eat.

There was an increase in cortisol and ghrelin levels in the morning and the evening but higher in the afternoon. Stress was greater on ghrelin in the evening than earlier in the day. All of these results prove that people tend to binge eat in the evening compared to other times during the day because of the change in hunger hormones, are more stressed, and for those with a binge eating past. Eating your feelings will not make your problems go away or reduce stress but cause lasting weight and health problems. This study can help reduce the risk of overeating by eating earlier in the day or finding different ways to deal with stress.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.