Member Comments for the Article:

Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Cues to Eating and How to Control Them


  • Um, Becky, many of us don't leave our offices until well after five p.m. While I do eat dinner as early as possible I don't believe I've EVER in my life eaten it before 5 o'clock.

    While there was a lot of useful info in this article, these very unrealistic expectations on the part of dietitians (and, through you, SP) can set people up for an unnecessary sense of failure.

    I give the article a major fail on this count alone. - 1/15/2012 3:25:29 PM
    I used to have trouble with "early evening" eating, because I work late (frequently until 7 or 8 pm). Previously, I'd get home, famished and dive head first into a bag of tortilla chips while I waited for dinner (often not until 9 or 10 pm). Now, I have a couple of late afternoon and early evening healthy snacks (e.g., fruit, nuts, yogurt). I usually have one snack around 3:30-5 and the second one just before I leave to go home (depending on the day, between 6 and 8 pm). That way, I'm not ravenously hungry when I get home, so I eat a healthy dinner and go to bed shortly thereafter.

    I keep healthy and tasty, grab and go snacks at the office, so I'm not tempted to eat junk. - 1/15/2012 3:17:20 PM
  • I appreciate that SP recognizes calories are calories no matter when they are eaten. I've always been a night eater and it never affects my sleep pattern - I sleep great. In fact, going to bed with hunger pangs will cause me to not get a good nights sleep. Knowing this about myself, when I started SP I decided to play to my "weakness"... Adjusting my calorie intake during the day so I have plenty left to eat my snacks in the evening. I eat most of my calories after 5 but track everyone of them. My snacks are typically fruits and/or cereal such as oatmeal. The snacks are in my tracker before I eat dinner! Have averaged weight loss of about 6 pounds a month.
    Bottomline ~ I say, know who you are and what has tripped you up in the past. Then work a program, you can maintain for a lifetime, around your known pitfalls. - 1/15/2012 11:16:39 AM
  • I get home after 5pm everyday and i don't plan what I'm going to cook for my family. I usually don't get done until about 7 and I try to hurry because I have acid reflux, so it affects me when I go to bed. Sometimes I just eat whatever and count the points. It's really hard to eat before 5 especially for me, but I will try the 2 hour rule before going to bed. - 1/15/2012 9:48:31 AM
    Same i dont get in til after 6pm although generally week is fine i always leave 2hrs after eating before going to bed. My trigger is a certain person i find when i have any contact in person on phone i just want to eat alot of emotions come up and i think im angry and try to stuff them down with food .I do avoid this person as much as possible and try not to have trigger foods in the house .I am very aware of my reaction but dont always feel in control of my emotions i think there is alot of buried stuff there .I find i overcompensate with exercise and do 2hrs instead of 1 if i think ive ate more than i needed. - 1/8/2012 8:12:37 PM
  • I just re-read this article and although much of it is useful, I must say I do not even get home from work until after 5:00 PM, so using that time over and over in the article makes it seem irrelevant for me. "Evening" needs to be defined so all of us full-time, 1st shifters are included! - 11/13/2011 10:22:08 AM
  • Sometimes I feel like these types of tips are for people who don't work.
    I have to finish breakfast before 7:30am. Then I work starting at 7:50am, then have lunch time at 11:30am to 12pm - 4 hrs. later (not bad). Then I work until about 5pm - sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later (this puts me at 5 hrs. after lunch) and I'm ravenous. I try to have a piece of fruit at this point on my way to the gym. Then I'm at the gym until about 6:30pm, depending on the workout. Then it's time to head home (usually get there before 7pm). Hubby is usually home at about 6:30pm. Now it's been 6 1/2 or 7 hours since lunch. Can you say starving? (even with the fruit). Then there's time preparing dinner, and the eating of it can happen anywhere between 7pm and 8pm. If I were to wait to go to the gym until after dinner (which would be pushing into the 9pm hour), I'd be leaving the house again when I should be having time with hubby. I don't even have kids - so I can't imagine how hard it is to fit in the gym and work and kids and still make sure dinner is in the 5pm hour! - 9/10/2011 10:45:54 AM
  • Eating at night is my biggest challenge to weight loss. What works for me, is to "just say No". This is what we ask our kids to do when faced with drug/alcohol temptations so, why not food temptations as well? Sometimes easier said than done but - 7/31/2011 7:33:28 AM
  • IVY_13
    This is so generic. Nothing new and not entirely truthful either. It doesn't matter if I eat a certain amount of food after 5 pm. I get off work at 6:00, my body is used to it. I also don't go to bed until midnight because I don't have to be up until 8 the next morning.

    The only thing in this article that people should take home with them is that if you eat dinner at 9 and go to bed at 10, your body doesn't have time to metabolize all the calories you ate and it will disturb your sleep trying to digest and what doesn't get used before you lay down and don't move for several hours WILL get stored as fat. You don't burn half as many calories asleep as you do even just sitting up on the couch. If anyone out there doesn't believe it, try it for a week and see for themselves. - 7/21/2011 3:33:47 PM
  • It is frustrating to me when people give a time by which we are to have stopped eating, or eaten most of our calories. Since I work shift work (get off work at midnight) I am usually eating lunch around 5 or 6 and have another meal to go. I wish they gave guidelines relative to time of sleep so that I could adjust them to my schedule. - 7/21/2011 8:49:01 AM
  • These days it is a little hard to have dinner before 5pm. I get home around 3pm most nights, but my husband doesn't get home until 5:30 at the earliest. I don't want to eat dinner before he gets home. I usually take care of the dogs and exercise, then get dinner ready after all that is done, closer to the time he should be home. - 4/28/2011 3:00:26 PM
    I ususally end up eating after 7 because I come home round half 5 and do exercise as soon as possible-if I eat, I know I'll wait to digest and then make excuses not to exercise. It's irrtating, but I got to do it! - 4/28/2011 11:05:02 AM
  • How timely that I read this today since I JUST discussed this with my husband this week. I do SO GOOD during the day, and then dinner time comes around and I just eat and eat and eat and eat before I know it I'm WAY over on my calories. Thanks for the helpful tips! - 1/20/2011 10:31:32 AM
  • N2TEETH2
    I am all or nothing. If I plan for not eating at all after work, I do great. If I plan to eat a 400 calorie meal, it turns into a 600 calorie meal. I believe it is because I relax and let my guard down. Recently it has been because I am tired and overwhelmed and there is always so much to do in the evening. - 11/11/2010 5:29:47 AM
  • Hi there! I am certainly not a guru on food. I have gained and lost 25-50 lbs at least ten times over. But when my grandchild, at 8 years old, became at the top of her percentile in weight and height, actually 100%...we began to worry. So I looked around and on the bootom of the lid of sugar free-fat free whipped topping they showed a "cute" little recipe. One graham cracker broke in half with 2 Tablespoons of whipped topping, put in freezer and let freeze. A wonderful ice cream sandwich! Now I just eat a couple of Tablespoons frozen right out of the freezer, spinkled with a bit of cinnamon. Heaven! Just 25 cals. Honestly it does the trick for me! Thanks for all the tips! - 11/4/2010 1:16:09 PM

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