I tend to think of calories as money. When my range is used up, I have to stop. There isn't any 'credit' in calorie-counting! :)
If I happen to have some left-over calories at the end of the day (after dinner) then I may treat myself to something special within that range. Gives me something extra to look forward to if I've been particularly diligent.
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If you have a late-night snacking problem, like I do, try this: Early in the day, plan a late-night snack you can look forward to, that will fit into your daily calorie plan but taste great too. Tell yourself that if you waste your budgeted calories too soon on other nighttime snacks, you have to skip it. Knowing that there's a good snack waiting for you later on will prevent you from eating a bunch of other snacks that aren't worth the calories.
Because of restricted calories for weight-loss goals, hunger used to keep me awake in the middle of the night. Now I budget calories for a nutrition bar during a middle of the night wake-up. I fall right back to sleep afterwards.
In case you haven't heard, the whole "can't eat before sleeping" myth has been disproved by research. Calories eaten before sleep are metabolized exactly the same as calories taken any other time of the day.
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