When I've eaten my planned calories for the day but still get those evening craves, what worked for me is distraction.
1) Drink water. Our bodies often feel the sensation of hunger when, in fact, we need more hydration. Drink a glass of water and wait at least 20 minutes, then review if it's real hunger or if it's miraculously passed.
2) If I know I'm not hungry but am just in munchie-mode, I do something else when I catch myself in the act of grazing. Wipe down a counter, clean the glass on the front of the stove, straighten the Tupperware cabinet that has an unfortunate habit of getting disheveled if I find that I've mindlessly wandered into the kitchen. Then go do something else in another room that will keep me there for at least 20 minutes. Then decide if I'm really hungry.
3) Exercise! If you normally go hunt a snack during commercial breaks, get up and jog in place or do a few of your strength training exercises instead. The show will come back on, and your snack hunt window has passed.
4) Hope on Sparkpeople or some other site and read an article on some subject you find interesting. Look up different vitamins you may or may not be low on, and foods that you can include on your next shopping trip to up those numbers. Read about exercises you can do to alleviate whatever ache you might commonly experience. Learn about the benefits of good rest.
5) Meditate. This is a new one for me, but it's so refreshing and rejuvenating. Close your eyes and turn your thoughts inward. Reward yourself for the good progress you've made, and the positive choices made to that point. Reflect on how far you've come; even if you've only been at it one day, think of how yesterday you were making such careless choices but today you carefully considered your goals and how to get there. Basically, do a mental pat on the back, but make it an intentional few minutes of consideration and self-pride.
If, after all that, I still feel hungry... Well, it's probably hunger and I need to eat something. I USUALLY choose an option that will do minimal damage to my ultimate goal of a healthier me, and make sure that something includes a healthy dose of protein, healthy fat, and/or fiber, but also a bit of quick carbs since my immediate hunger needs address. (Protein, fat, and fiber are slow to process so they'll keep you full longer so you won't go snacking again in an hour, but may not address that immediate need. Carbs are processed quickly so they'll kick that hunger now.) An ounce of cheese with a bunch of grapes, or half a turkey sandwich on a carby bread, or similar. The key word, though, is usually. Sometimes, I do make a poor choice. Hey, we all do. Stuff happens. Track it and move on. So long as it's not an every-day or every-week event, it's not going to break down an otherwise perfectly good plan.
Also, try to track those feelings in a journal. See if there's a trend. Do you do it when you've had a very stressful day? Do you do it around a certain time in your hormone cycle? (It's extremely common for women to get righteous cases of the munchies around that TOM.) If you spot a trend, try to address the primary cause; work on relaxation techniques to reduce stress. Plan a bit of calorie cycling around TOM to allow for slightly higher calorie days and work on your menu so you can squeeze more quantity out of those calories during that time.
Hopefully something in there helps! YMMV but it's what keeps me from doing the damage in the kitchen that I used to do without a second thought.
Edited by: KASTRA at: 6/18/2014 (17:47)
Starting: 41.1 BMI and extremely sedentary
Current: 28.0 BMI with strength-training and low-impact cardio
Mini-goal: 29.9 BMI (about 164 lb) - DONE on 8/6/14! I'm no longer obese!
Mini-goal: 5K walk or run
Mini-goal: 24.9 BMI (about 136 lb)
Mini-goal: half-marathon walk or run
GOAL: 23 BMI (about 125 pounds), fit and active
| current weight: 163.4