Problems binging horribly after work...

Whenever I get home from work it's like I'm a ravenous beast! I'm super exhausted after my long commute and am just so starving. I eat a good lunch during the day, but when I get home for dinner I can't reason with my own mind to stop eating. It's like hungry me and regular me are too different people who fight constantly. I end up feeling awfully depressed after I do this too, but I still do it every single time. Why am I like this and what can I do? D:


  • bizgirl26
    bizgirl26 Posts: 1,808 Member
    Ensure you are eating enough at breakfast and lunch . Protein , fibre and water all help you feel full

  • Lorri127
    Lorri127 Posts: 36 Member
    I too have a long commute, it's awful. I tend to want to snack the minute I get home (whether I've eaten a nice lunch followed by a late snack or not). I do try to have a snack like popcorn or something about an hour or less before I leave for home. Then I make sure that I have a list of stuff for me to get done when I get home... that way my mind focuses on what needs to be done rather than my rumbling tummy.

    I'm not sure why our bodies do this to us. I've heard all kinds of reasonings; that it is a reaction to when we were kids and had a snack when we got home, our stress from work/commute, our way of relaxing. Who knows. What we do know is that it is a hard cycle to break and we need to find something to change it. Mine is making a weekly white board checklist of stuff I HAVE to do before I sit my butt down. Seems to work for the most part. I also pour myself a nice glass of water and keep it in the fridge for quick hydration after I walk in the door.

    Good luck!
  • Rusty740
    Rusty740 Posts: 749 Member
    shaylaw wrote: »
    Whenever I get home from work it's like I'm a ravenous beast! I'm super exhausted after my long commute and am just so starving. I eat a good lunch during the day, but when I get home for dinner I can't reason with my own mind to stop eating. It's like hungry me and regular me are too different people who fight constantly. I end up feeling awfully depressed after I do this too, but I still do it every single time. Why am I like this and what can I do? D:

    I think there's a couple things going on. One is that you are probably stressed out after your commute, and the stress is making you crave some comfort calories. To get around this you might set yourself a "no-eat" time of say 1/2 hr or something, enough that you can get home, de-stress and relax. Water is ok of course. It you make this a very black and white rule, you might be more likely to follow it and make it a habit. It's possible you might be waiting at the fridge door after a 1/2 hr though too, :neutral: Maybe getting home and going for a short walk could work. Possibly planning and packing your "after work snack" along with your lunch, so when you get home, that's all you are allowed to eat for the first hour?

    The other could be just that your tummy is screaming for food. I'm assuming your calorie intake is reasonable, and not some super low number. It's been easy to focus and adhere to a plan while at work because there is no food around except your lunch, you might just need some more food. The over-eating after work becomes the problem, not just eating. This is a tougher one. More protein earlier in the day is a proven strategy, eggs in the morning work very well to satiate all day. Protein at lunch works well too, perhaps a hard boiled egg afternoon snack?
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    Take a healthy snack with you for the commute home would be my something like a hard boiled egg and a piece of fruit, a greek yoghurt and some nuts or a bag of dry roasted chickpeas. Plan, plan, plan. Ensure you are not hungry when you hit home.
  • Lounmoun
    Lounmoun Posts: 8,426 Member
    Are you exceeding your calorie goal? Is your calorie deficit too aggressive?
    Are you getting enough protein, fats and fiber?
    How many calories do you have for lunch? Do you eat breakfast or a snack?
    Are you exercising? Are you eating more when you are more active?
    You say you are super exhausted. Are you getting enough sleep?

    If you are not exceeding your calorie goal there is not a problem eating.
    Some people choose to lose very aggressively and struggle. You could adjust your goal. Set your rate of loss to slower and get more calories and still lose weight.
    Eat some exercise calories if you haven't been.

    You could change the type of food you eat. Maybe you are low or missing something.

    You could change how you spread out your calories through the day and see if that helps. For many people it is normal to be hungry every 3-5 hours. A small afternoon snack could help you not be so hungry in the evening. Pack a granola/protein bar or some fruit.

    Drink a full glass of water with your evening meal to slow yourself down.

    Get more sleep. It is easier to overeat when you are tired.

  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,118 Member
    I have had a lot of luck by really spreading out my food through the day, kind of an opposite of the intermittent fasting approach. I eat a small snack shortly after getting to work and shortly before leaving, and usually split my lunch meal between late morning and early afternoon. Obviously this won't work for many people and many jobs, but it has really made a difference for me in terms of balancing my calories and energy throughout the day. I usually have another small snack when I get home, then eat a normal dinner with my spouse (although I almost always have leftovers). If you haven't experimented with your eating patterns and have some flexibility around eating at work, I'd really encourage you to give it a try.
  • Polo265
    Polo265 Posts: 287 Member
    This brought to mind the years when I was working (I'm retired now). Although I had a very short commute, I felt the need to eat as soon as I entered the house. I don't recall feeling particularly hungry, but as I headed into the kitchen, even before I changed my clothes, I became ravenous and started grabbing what ever was available: handfuls of cereal, pieces of cheese, etc. I think you've received excellent suggestions. In retrospect, now that I'm not working, I wonder if some of that eating could have been comfort from the work stress.
  • sookeewood
    sookeewood Posts: 1 Member
    I have the same problem! If you're taking in enough calories, eating balanced meals, etc, I would agree it's stress related. For me I know it doesn't matter how much I try to focus on not eating or occupying my time with chores and other things, I can't stop thinking about how starving I am. One of the things that works is going to lay down for 15 minutes, which again leads me to believe the binging is stress related. Once I take a minute to decompress from work and the commute, my brain is more focused and it's easier to not binge. I agree with drinking a glass of water, too. I'm not sure of your living situation but I found early week meal prep and having my husband work on preparing meals the day of helpful (obviously having someone else do the cooking makes everything easier! But I mean the planning ahead and prep of sauces, chopping, etc. whatever you can do to speed up dinner time so if you're dying of hunger you can eat an actual meal sooner rather than later). If you can find an end of the day stress relief I bet that will help. You can do it! And there's nothing "wrong" with you - we all have our obstacles :)
  • skymningen
    skymningen Posts: 532 Member
    I can't explain it, but I used to eat instantly after coming home and used to overeat, or at least not feel satiated with the amount of food. When I made it a habit to be at home for at least 45 minutes before having food, I realised that it was much easier to eat both healthy and reasonable amounts. I think when you are tired it is easier to overeat and also choose the "quick and easy" foods which don't take much time to prepare but will leave you craving more. When I give myself time to recover from work before preparing food and eating it is much more enjoyable in every aspect.
  • JaydedMiss
    JaydedMiss Posts: 4,286 Member
    I always eat late...I dont eat until late on purpose so i cant help with the whole after work binge thing. I can however say that when im STARVING and craving junk - Think walking past the most delicious smelling restaurant ever when hungry- It helps to drink some water and eat something nutrient dense. Tell myself ill eat the treat later if i want, I rarely do xD So by the sounds of it carrying around something nutritious to eat 20-30 minutes before you get home and sticking to that being for right before you get home(where all the food options are) would likely help alot. Take the edge off. Maybe make it something you dont necessarily like- Not dislike, Just unlikely to want to boredom eat it before its time. My go to at work was a can of tuna :p
  • Need2Exerc1se
    Need2Exerc1se Posts: 13,576 Member
    I'd suggest either eating more or later while at work so that you are not ravenous when you get home, or eating less at work so you can eat more when you get home without being in a surplus.
  • alondrakayy
    alondrakayy Posts: 304 Member
    I don't start eating until lunch time, have many snacks with me throughout the day, low calorie drinks are life savers, and a large portion of my calories are consumed after work! Hope this helps.
  • erikfarrar
    erikfarrar Posts: 35 Member
    edited August 2017
    shaylaw wrote: »
    I eat a good lunch during the day, but when I get home for dinner I can't reason with my own mind to stop eating.

    Break up your lunch into two smaller meals, and space them out in the day.

    For example, if you normally each lunch at 12-1pm or so, take a smaller meal at 11:00am and then another at, say, 3:00pm.

    I currently have this schedule:

    Meal 1: Waking (~6:30-7am)
    Meal 2: "Lunch" (11:00am)
    Meal 3: "Snack" (3:00pm)
    Meal 4: Pre- and intra-workout (around 5:00-6:00pm)
    Meal 5: Post-workout/dinner (8:00pm)
    Meal 6: Bedtime* (around 11:00pm)

    *Usually casein protein and a little bit of healthy fats and stuff -- after all, sleeping time is fasting time. Helps to not wake up starving.
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,679 Member
    A piece of fruit or a bowl of soup when you first get home. Then go get some exercise - walk, run, bike, etc. then come home, take a shower if necessary, and then eat dinner. Or stop at a gym on the way home.

    I find that while I'm exercising, I'm not hungry. Nor am I hungry immediately afterwards. It takes at least half an hour before I start feeling pangs. That gives me time to make a healthy meal.
  • hannahnew625
    hannahnew625 Posts: 19 Member
    I find intermittent fasting helpful. People are most hungry at night rather than during the day. In the beginning it might be tough but you can train your body not to be hungry at all during the day. Have you heard of fast til 5? Eat at 4 or 5 pm an give yourself a 5 hr window. That way you can binge on food when you get home without going over calories, as long as your at least a little mindful. I eat less than 1500 cal, I'm on a cut, and I'm stuffed afterwards. Also remember volume is key. Eat zuchini, squashes, berries, and other high volume low cal foods. Good luck
  • gamerbabe14
    gamerbabe14 Posts: 876 Member
    Pre logging helps me when I feel like this. I know my commute sucks on Wednesdays so I pre log some popcorn for a 5pm snack or drink a La Croix and then I go for a walk and when I come home it's dinner time and I'm not stressed out anymore. I make it fit in my day.