Why Are You Binge Eating Junk Food At Night?

We have all been there, it’s ten o’clock and all you want to do in snuggle in bed with a bag of chips and last nights The Real Housewives. Before you know it, you are almost to the bottom of the bag, and on your second episode.

Why is it so hard to put down those late night snacks around bedtime? A new study published in Brain Imaging and Behavior may just have the answer.

Brigham Young University researchers gathered 15 women and showed them pictures of both high-calorie and low-calorie foods while conducting two separate brain scans: first during the morning, then followed a week later during evening hours. (Prevention)

Researchers found that women’s brains, specifically the area of the brain associated with reward, didn’t react as strongly to the food images in the evening as they did in the morning hours. Simple terms: our brains are less sensitive to pictures of high-calorie foods like candy, ice cream, and cake at night.

While this may not make sense, if our brains are less sensitive to the cake in the fridge while your sitting in bed, why in the world can we not stop thinking about it?!? The researchers have an interesting explanation: When woman perceive food as less rewarding, we may have to keep going back for more for fully feel satisfied.

The authors say they still need to conduct more studies to verify the small study. “Foods may actually be more fulfilling when eaten earlier in the day as opposed to evening,” says Travis Masterson, the lead author of the study. “I think just the idea that night-time snacks aren’t as satisfying may help people change their behavior in a positive way.”

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