Top Tips On How To Stop Overeating When You Feel Tired

Woman Eating
Irena Geller

Weight Loss Expert

Jan 05, 2024

Do you lose all self-control and overeat when you are tired?

You may be stuck in a “fatigue cravings” cycle, finding yourself on the couch, most nights, mindlessly munching on anything you can get your hands on.

And you may be struggling to understand how you are able to eat so healthily during the day and then cave in to your cravings when you feel tired. 

Why You Overeat When You’re Tired

Decision Fatigue

sleep, fatigue, overeating

Your brain has limited capacity to make “good” decisions when you are tired. 

Decision fatigue is the idea that your willpower is finite, like a muscle that gets tired when you use it too much. 

Good decision making is not a trait of the person, it’s a state that fluctuates depending on the amount of times you used your will power to make decisions during the day and is further affected by physical fatigue.

And Secondly, You’re Fighting Your Hormones

When you’re tired, your levels of ghrelin (your hunger hormone) – increases, while leptin – the satiety hormone– is lowered.

This can leave you feeling hungry, even when you are not physically hungry.

And the reason you are craving carbohydrates and sugar, when you are tired is because your body is looking for quick and simple energy sources to increase your energy levels.

Carbohydrates also encourage the secretion of serotonin, the hormone that makes you feel better.

So, let’s look at some ways to help you break this overeating habit:

Break The Cycle

lock, cycle

The first step to take when you feel tired is simply:

  • To free yourself of any tasks that need doing
  • And give yourself permission to go to bed, providing this is not in the middle of the day.

You will feel so much better the next morning, after a good night’s sleep, and by doing this a few nights in a row, you will break the “fatigue cravings” cycle.

Take Time-out

relax, sun, overeating

When you feel “fatigue cravings” coming on simply take a time-out.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Stop making decisions
  • Stop being productive
  • Stop engaging on all electronic devices
  • Limit your interaction with people

Plan Ahead

planning, writing

This eliminates the need to make spontaneous decisions which require willpower you won’t have when you’re tired!

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Write down a plan considering upcoming challenges and plan for them by
  • Reflecting on your past experiences, where you may have had success, in delaying and giving in to your “fatigue cravings”
  • Brainstorm some delay tactics

For example: instead of running to buy/or eat what you’re craving, write it down.


Taking preventative measures eliminates decision fatigue.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make all your food decisions in the morning when your willpower is strongest.
  • Prepare and Pack your food in containers or bags, so that you have healthy options when you feel tired
  • You could prepare healthy snacks for work to eliminate afternoon “decision fatigue”

And finally – try to get more sleep, it’s the best gift you can give yourself!

Now I would love to hear from you…

  • Which of these techniques would be easiest for you to tackle right now? 

Please let me know in the comments below.

The Carousel would like to thank Irena Geller for her contribution. You can contact Irena here:


By Irena Geller

Weight Loss Expert

Irena Geller is a Food & Mood Coach and author in the Health & Weight loss industry who helps busy women to put down their fork and pick up their life. She uses 3 proven key steps, helping busy women to eat well consistently, lose weight effortlessly, potentially adding years to their life so they can live those years to the fullest, looking amazing and feeling confident! You can contact Irena here:



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