I eat my meals at 8 a.m., 4 p.m., and midnight. I have no idea why people eat supper at 6 p.m., and think it is okay to then starve your body for 14 hours till breakfast. Even if you have to eat at 6 a.m., it is still 12 hours. So we eat 3 meals in 12 hours, then 0 meals in the next 12?
By eating at 10 p.m.- midnight, you won't go more than 8 hours without some food in you.
At the very least.. have a snack before bed. Just plan your whole day before you start it, so you don't eat excess calories.
1. are you sure it's boredom and not hunger? because sometimes, when people start to cut calories, they are way too strict during the day and then eat whatever is nearby once it gets to the point in the night when their will power has run out and their bodies are hungry and crying out for food.
2. if you really are just bored and/or eating out of habit, stopping it altogether is the best thing that you can do. having tea, chewing gum, brushing your teeth, finding something complicated to do to distract you, those are the kinds of things that you should be doing. keep in mind that it can take up to six weeks to change a single habit, give it a go, and you should be good.
3. if you really just want to munch on something pick a few foods that are your freebie munching foods. celery and plain air popped popcorn are good choices because they are pretty low in cals. peppers, broccoli and cauliflower are also good choices. figure anything under about 50 cals a cup works here. but if it's really about munching, allow yourself as much of those food from that list as you want. most people get bored of eating them before they do too much caloric damage
4. if you really are hungry, you should be eating and you should be changing what you are eating. you have to remember that every time you eat, you should be eating a balance of foods. you should be getting protein, fat, carbs and fiber. fruits and veggies by themselves are poor choices for balanced snacks. they're a wonderful part of a balanced snack, but most of them don't have fat or protein, so you need to be pairing them with something that has those two things in them. salsa is fine in terms of nutrients, but it's mostly water, no fat and no protein. so have it with some grains and a little olive oil, or a corn tortilla with beans, or wrap it in a slice of meat. an apple should be paired with something like nut butter or cheese. fruit and veggies are great for you, but i don't know anyone who has ever felt full off of celery or salsa or other plan veggies. carbs are now fuel and protein is later fuel. if you're not getting carbs in, then you're going to be eating for too long because there isn't anything that you can use quickly. if you don't eat protein, you have nothing in line for when the now fuel runs out. fat also helps you feel full and get the full benefit out of fruits, veggies and protein. and fiber slows down how long it takes things to digest [ie it keeps things in line longer and as long as you have things in line, you're don't really get hungry] so it bridges the gap nicely between the now and later fuels. 4b. if you are really hungry at night, note the time you get hungry and plan a proper snack for about half an hour before that time. make sure it is at least 200 cals and balanced. if you have a substantial snack like this beforehand, instead of feeling hungry at that time, your feeling of fullness from the snack should just be kicking in.
Fitness Minutes: (17,118)
12/10/12 8:49 A
I think a healthy snack in the evening is ok if you really are still hungry, but really it should be at least a couple of hours before you go to bed so your body can actually digest it. I stop eating at 8 so i've got a few hours to digest before going to bed otherwise it takes me hours to get to sleep. -_-
As somebody mentioned below though, I don't eat dinner until 7-7:30ish as if I eat any earlier, I will end up hungry later on in the evening!
Edited by: SQUEE_ME at: 12/10/2012 (08:49)
Fitness Minutes: (155,423)
47,117 12/10/12 7:04 A
yes it is ok if it is in your daily calorie count, that is what I do
Fitness Minutes: (51,447)
4,576 12/9/12 11:08 P
I really enjoy a late night snack and don't see anything wrong with it (unless you have reflux or something). I simply include the calories in my nutritional plan and "leave room" for the snack by not eating so much during the day.
I was also raised on nightly ice cream. My grandparents (who both lived into their 90's) ate ice cream almost every night. I don't have ice cream every night, but I have it often. I buy (and consume) it in the form of ice cream bars or cups so that my portion control is easier.
By the way ... the Skinny Cow brand of ice cream has only 100 calories per bar and is pretty good. It's not premium quality, gormet ice cream -- but it satisfies my craving at night without having a big effect on my caloric intake.
Edited by: ONLINEASLLOU at: 12/9/2012 (23:09)
Fitness Minutes: (42,411)
5,092 12/9/12 10:48 P
Eating a late dinner helps me avoid any snacks I might want. Usually I'm never actually hungry for anything, I just want something. I also "shut down" the kitchen after dinner, track my dinner on here and do a report, which also stops me from eating after dinner.
IF you can't stop yourself from eating a snack later at night, eat less earlier in the day so that you don't go over your calories for the day.
Fitness Minutes: (12,886)
12/9/12 5:45 P
Add me to one who is losing weight (at a rate of about 8 pounds a month for the past 4 months) while eating a snack at about 8:30 every night. I agree with previous posters that your body is quite happy to digest food whenever it needs to. And it will not hinder your weight loss goals - as long as your total calorie intake is where it should be.
My snacks are healthy and tasty and satisfying. Air popped popcorn spritzed with a touch of EVOO and a touch of fine sea salt, pomegranite, celery with hummus, frozen banana blended with a touch of cocoa, etc.
A healthy reward for a day of healthy choices........
I just wanted to say that I really appreciate all of the good suggestions, comments, articles and just good spirit in your responses. I wasn't expecting such good support. I think I'm really going to enjoy being a member on Spark People. Thanks Again! Jill
12/9/12 2:17 P
Late night eating is the single biggest reason I am overweight. You are going to need to wean yourself from this. I would get rid of most of the junk.
Fitness Minutes: (120)
12/9/12 2:14 P
I eat dinner late every night, usually 830 or 9pm, and they are big dinners of 600+ calories usually, and I go to bed at 11ish. There is nothing wrong with eating late, our bodies don't know what time it is and decide to stop digesting calories just because it's night time. The only people who shouldn't eat late are people that suffer from stuff like heartburn. BUT, it is a problem if the late night eating is causing you to eat too many calories in a day. Like SLIMMERKIWI said, see if you can work that evening snack into your calories for the day, many people do it that way.
If you're eating because you're bored, find something to do. Take up a hobby you can do while watching TV, like knitting or writing or drawing or embroidery or something like that.
I have a fruit snack in evening.. lately orange grapefruit
Fitness Minutes: (54,597)
12/9/12 12:59 P
I packed all my excess fat through late night comfort eating, so I can relate to your situation.
One option is, as others mentioned, to allow some calories for your late night eating by eating less during the day.
The other option is to learn taking the food as the means to sustain your life and not as a means of entertainment. This option is what I have chosen. This is more difficult than allowing some calories for late night comfort eating, but I found it more rewarding.
12/9/12 9:15 A
I gave up late night eating in college (1978 - 1984). Instead, I studied and then went to bed. I read in bed to wind down before sleep. By going to sleep around 9 - 10 PM, I am ready to get up and go jogging at 5 AM. When I go to sleep early, the late night food is not an issue. I don't miss it since I am sleeping!
Quit eating at night. If you must have food at night, plan it into your overall calories, keep it light, and with healthy choices. And the further away from bedtime you have it, the better.
Fitness Minutes: (1,080)
39 12/9/12 9:10 A
It would be better to stop the late night eating. It's is a very common cause of weight gain because your body has to spend the time you are sleeping digesting that instead of aiding your weight loss by it's natural "fast" while you are sleeping. Also, when you eat while watching TV or being on the computer, you are distracting yourself so that you are not aware of when your body is telling you that you are full. So you have the potential to overeat almost every time. If you get hungry at night, I find that crunching on ice is helpful. It gives you the satisfaction of crunching something which tricks your mind into thinking you are eating, and it's water which will fill you up.
12/9/12 7:02 A
Kris has given you some good advice. If you're truly hungry, an evening snack is fine- just make sure you budget for it in your calorie allowance. But if you're just eating out of habit or boredom, that's a habit you'll want to work on stopping. Here's an article you might find helpful:
Fitness Minutes: (39,871)
25,221 12/9/12 5:20 A
I suggest that you take a look at what you are eating during the day, and how much you are eating. IF you are finding it difficult to stop the late night eating (and I ALWAYS have a sizable late night snack) then incorporate it into your daily allowance. In other words, slightly reduce the calories at each of your meals to accommodate this.
Tonight I just ate 2 bananas - they are filling, and I am still well within my allowance. Make sure that the food you eat during the day is mostly very healthy, and generally well balanced.
Apart from that, if you are eating out of boredom, find something else to do that takes your mind off food!
Here's a Question for some of you to respond to.. I know I could sure use your input and help? I'll hoping I'm not alone in this.
Following dinner, when I'm winding down; watching T.V. or doing some work on the computer for my job, I begin eating out of boredom. I used to think it was stress eating, cause my job is especially stressful, with lots of deadlines and unreasonable demands, but I've been off for 2 weeks now and the same pattern of late night eating persists............
For me, it has been a certain cold desert that I crave at this time of night. It's a big trigger food for me; one of my favorite desserts. So, I fixed that by not allowing myself to bring any more of this into the house. I now allow myself to only get a scoop or two each week away from the house, so I don't have it around me. I have recently begun looking at more healthful foods to eat at night, before bed, like popcorn, homemade salsa, an apple, etc. However, admittedly this isn't always the case and I will stand in front of the refrig and find something, anything to eat. Tonight I ate all three of these things. Yup! Sure did!
I know that this is where I am putting on the pounds, cause I inevitably go over my calories for the day. I'm pretty new to this site. How do I stop?
Do I just stop altogether or is it ok to eat healthy snacks?
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