How is it that just a few hours can ruin an entire day's worth of good-for-you habits? If you're like most women, nighttime is tough. And your biology might be partly to blame: Appetite often peaks around 8 p.m., a small March 2013 study in the journal Obesity suggests. And then there's my own theory — the evening is when you can finally let out a sigh of relief that you've made it through the day... and that can lead to excessive eating.
Whether the cause is physiological or psychological, there's no question that the post-dinner period can be disastrous. Instead of munching on heart-healthy foods, you tend to fill up on salty or sweet treats that make you feel good in the short-term but not so great in the long run.
The result is more than a few extra pounds — think elevated blood pressure and blood sugar spikes. The good news: In seven easy steps, you can turn around your p.m. routine and wake up feeling lean and energized.