I hold out for my evening snack as late as possible and then go to bed soon after eating it. I know a lot of dieters will say not to eat after a certain time but I'm a night eater and if I don't satiate that need to snack I will end up binging. So I usually make that pm snack something i find decadent like guacamole (made with 1/2 avocado and salsa verde) or tuna salad ( 1can of tuna with 1tbs mayo) . Things that I don't allow myself during the day and things that I can easily prepare only 1 serving of. For some reason I crave fatty foods so if they are in my house i will eat them, hence the avocado and mayo.
I found that I was just plain hungry at the end of the day. Eating regularly throughout the day and eating higher protein and more fat helped me to stay full during the day. I do plan to eat dinner near the time I go to bed and have a bigger dinner so that I won't snack. I eat my main meal 2 hours before I go to sleep. But none of this ever helped until I increased my calories to 1800 from 1300. I am losing slowly but not bunging or suffering.
It is a very individual thing. I am another evening eater - with at least half of my calories dedicated to dinner and my evening snacks. I'm generally not overly hungry during the day (although I have to eat breakfast due to meds), so I keep the calories lower when I'm not hungry for them.
I eat a fairly sizeable dinner, then will split a massive bowl of popcorn (air popped, with 1 Tbsp butter and salt) with my partner, often will have a frozen yogurt bar (or will have a bowl of chocolate yogurt with berries, if I wasn't hungry for it as an afternoon snack), and have a hot chocolate (skim milk, 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp maple sugar) right before bed.
The trick for me is to have it pre-planned, so that I'm getting the right calories and nutrients. I follow my body's hunger cues, and I have also tracked long enough to know what makes my body function the best. I need a blast of fibre in the evenings (hence the popcorn), and the protein in the hot chocolate leaves me sated to get through the night.
I would suggest tracking what you "normally" have for a week or two, and taking notes as to what you're feeling and what your level of hunger is. If you find that you are more hungry in the evenings, then you can plan your daily calories to work with that. If you find that you are more bored than hungry, then you can plan your daily activities to work with that instead. It's all a matter of figuring out what works for you.
Fitness Minutes: (86,042)
9/5/13 10:07 A
I've learned that I'm just not a day time eater. I'm a night time eater. I have no appetite until around noon and am at my hungriest in the evening. After a year of trying to fit in breakfast and spread my meals out through the day... which was torture. I never felt satisfied after eating, I sat there brooding over the 3 hours until my next meal which eventually turned into some extreme binge eating in the evening and even sleep eating when I was semi conscience in the middle of the night. I toss and turn all night if I don't have a full belly and wake often.
Anyways, I gave up breakfast again and went back to the way I've always eaten. I don't eat until around noon to 3pm and then eat the majority of my calories in the evening. The day time is the time for me to be busy, get things done, exercise. The evening is when I relax and feast. I have my last meal at 10 or 10:30pm. The binge eating and sleep eating has stopped and I finally feel satisfied. I eat nutritious meals at night however, I don't snack from a bag of chips or the like.
This style of eating helps me to consume less calories in a day, eating too early in the day led to deprivation and overeating... for me. This may not work for everyone, you should never force yourself to go hungry if you are a breakfast person and need to eat in the AM. Perhaps some of us just have different windows of hunger than others.
But... the first step would be to take a good, hard, cold look at your diet. Are you eating enough veg/fruit? Are you getting enough fiber? How is your added sugar? Are you choosing whole grains over refined grains, are you getting enough fat (healthy mostly) in your diet, are you getting enough protein? Does each meal, particularly dinner or your last meal have plenty of protein, fibrous carbs and healthy fat? Are you consuming a lot of "empty" calories during the day (calories that are not going to fill you up; condiments, drinks, added sugars, etc.)?
i am another nighttime snacker. i eat a little lighter in the day so that i still have the calories for it. it can be a bit tricky finding the balance between having enough calories to have snacks and eating so little during the day that you shovel in food at the end of it. but when/if you can find it it works out pretty well.
one other thing you might want to try is revamping your nighttime snacks. try and find something like a cabbage soup diet soup or the weight watchers free soup [it's basically just a vegetable laden broth based soup that's fairly low cal] that you can make in bulk. when you get hungry, go for the soup to start. alternately, find something fibrous and filling that you don't necessarily love and keep that on hand for nighttime snacking. the idea isn't to plan to have a food you hate, just to have something that isn't something that you'll shovel in mindlessly [like chips, i mean, who can't finish a family sized bag of chips if you sit down with them?]. think of it as a variation on the green bean test. if you're hungry enough to eat something that you don't love and don't tend to mindlessly munch, then you are probably hungry. so having a cucumber and chickpea salad, broth based soup, green salad, broccoli topped with cheese, eggplant roll up, celery and yogurt dip or cheese, or something else that's going to give you bulk for not so many calories is going to be the way to snack.
I am one who MUST have a snack (generally around 200 calories) each night, immediately before going to bed. If I don't then I tend to find it very hard to get to sleep (something in my stomach gnaws my insides - LOL!) or I get woken in the middle of the night with severe hunger pains. I always accommodate this in my planning, however some people don't Also, take a look at the composition of your nutrients and WHAT you eat. If you eat a carb heavy diet, and the carbs are a lot of processed foods, then you are going to want to be eating. They don't fill the gap and last the distance. Make sure that you are getting plenty of quality, lean protein, and also enough healthy fats, altho' most people get plenty of fat in their diet (unless you are like I was - only about 15g and I had to work hard to push it up!)
If none of those are a factor with you, then you need to learn other things to do with your hands and mind. Something to distract you. If you can, get onto SP and read the articles on Nutrition, Fitness and Motivation. I spent a good couple years absolutely losing myself in there - I forgot all about food, until I would realize it was past my meal time :-)
Fitness Minutes: (623)
9/5/13 2:25 A
i must admit, i enjoy eating at nighttime. i enjoy it more than the other meals.
Fitness Minutes: (97,260)
11,359 9/4/13 11:29 P
I enjoy my evening eating, and plan accordingly for it in my daily range. I TRY (doesn't always work, of course) to keep it on the healthier side and moderation. But food eaten at night is metabolized at the same rate of speed as that eaten earlier.
Fitness Minutes: (6,472)
9/4/13 10:57 P
I have the same problem as you. I will always be a night time snacker, and I know I can't trust myself with junk food, so I stopped keeping it in my apartment. I don't have anything here that I would feel guilty eating if I wanted a night time snack. My philosophy is if I want something unhealthy, I will have to go and get it. Just the walk to my car is enough time to change my mind and turn around. I have sat in my car in the parking lot for 5 minutes before convincing myself that I should go back in the house ha!
Any advice for stopping my night time eating, it has killed me for the past five years. I am returning to SP, as I have struggled to keep up with it a few times, not sure why, but I am at my heaviest, and very uncomfortable. Very determined!!!
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