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Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts?

Cues to Eating and How to Control Them


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Don't be annoyed or puzzled by the 5PM cutoff time. Just substitute "dinner hour," whatever it happens to be for you. That's all that arbitrary time is . . . when you eat your last regular meal of the day. If you are eating a lot of your calories AFTER your evening meal (no matter what time it happens to be), then you have a problem. Report
When I am dieting I get strong cravings in the evening, and it is imperative that I have no unhealthy food in the house, because even if it's hidden I'll find it. I think you need to get your family on board with the new healthy eating regime, at least to the point of not having fattening things in the house. Report
I suffer from heartburn (acid reflux), and on the days I don't have a "midnight" snack, the minute I lie down, my throat is on fire. Usually it's fat free cottage cheese or fat free tapioca pudding, sometimes crackers. I don't think it's inappropriate if it's for a good cause. Getting a good night's sleep is supposed to help with good eating habits, and if the heartburn is keeping me awake, that's not a good thing. Report
I'm just not a breakfast person. I don't really get hungry until around 9-10:00am. But it's in the evening that I get hungry and want to snack. So I have three meals a day, plus two snacks spread throughout the day; but I leave around 500 calories, for the evening, when I'm going to be snacking. That way I eat when I'm hungry but I don't go over my limit. Report
Very informative article. I have only 1 small quibble.... not everyone has dinner at 5:00. I work until 6:00, then drive home, walk the dog, change clothes, cook dinner. My dinnertime is 7 or 7:30, so a third of my calories come after 5. That does not make me a night binger..... it's the junk eaten at 9 and 10 that does!! Report
Great article!!! Report
Good article except the suggestion to drink diet sodas. Diet sodas are known to increase hunger and are linked to other health problems as well. Drink water or unsweetened tea. Real and fake sugars should be minimized. Report
We are all trying to make changes in order to develop a healthy lifestyle. In order to move forward in this development and keep making progress, I don't think there is ever a time when you should feel deprived. Once you start feeling deprived and tortured, you're going fall off the wagon. So I say if an evening snack is a habit you're not willing to change yet, at least plan it into your day. Adjust your meals throughout the day so you have some calories left over for that evening snack. This may even work to your benefit. For example, I allow myself to enjoy a reasonable sweet treat as my evening snack. Because I know I can have something sweet in the evening, it helps me say no to sweets throughout the day. Have a plan and make good choices. Report
I question the advice on eating at the kitchen table and enjoying every bite. It is like waving temptation in the face of a starving person. I am much more in control of my diet now that I am eating in the libary on the second floor: It is a relaxing room, rather than a working room. To get an additional slice of bread or a some butter for the veggies or sauce for the steak: means a trip downstairs and back up and I usually decide it isn't worth it. The meal is what I intended to eat and it keeps me on plan. In the kitchen, I can just reach out and the sauce or the drink or the salt or whatever is immediately available and much harder to resist. Ditto, seconds that were intended for another dinner. Avoiding temptation works best for me. Report
I will admit I usually have a small snack before bed BUT I get on the treadmill for half an hour after dinner and before bed. My snack usually is no more than 100 to 150 calories. Like 3 crackers and a slice of provolone or a frozen fruit bar, or a 100 calorie snack. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. And it's kind of unavoidable if you have to smoke to Go to Sleep.. (Some of you know what I mean) Report
Great article. Sometimes I can go all day eating health and then herecome that sweet tooth. Mainly on friday and saturday when hubby home. Report
Sometimes I can't get to sleep without having an evening snack. And its usually whatever is on hand. Report
Good article. Did not know about not eating 3 hours before going to bed. Am going to try that tonight. Report
Yes, evening eating has previously destroyed an EXCELLENT food choice day. I had started saying "oh I can just have this one" and it was turning into another one, and another one, and another one. Kinda like cigarette leads to another and another and another...

I appreciate this blod A WHOLE BUNCH!!! Report
This is definitely my problem. I miss regular meal times, get very hungry in the evening, and munch on mindlessly. In the morning I'm still so full that I have no appetite for breakfast, so I skip it, sometimes skipping even lunch, and here we go again... I am trying to eat every three hours now in order to stop this cycle. And really focus on doing something interesting during the evenings instead of eating because I'm bored! Report

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