Gah! So I can stay on track with exercising and eating right except from the hours of 1-7! My working hours. I kicked my late night binging to the curb, which was a big problem for me as I liked to come home and eat while watching tv or studying. Now I don't miss it! If figure that the mindless eating was because I was bored with no self control. The problem now is I think (being the key word) I'm starving when I'm at work. I bring fruits and sometimes yogurt with me, but I'm still thinking about food and if I can run to my house and grab something. It seems like all I do during this time is obsess about food. I'm not bored at work, far from it with two very active young children, but I just want to eat. When the kids have their fruit time at 3.30 I usually have fruit as well. But even after the fruit I am still hungry! Today I literally had a pear, half an apple, yogurt, and a 100 cal pack in this time. It's crazy. I don't know how to overcome this one. I've tried bringing less snacks to work, tried to not think about it just to keep busy, everything i can think of! Any suggestions would be great because I'm not sure I can do this one alone!
*This is the only snacking I do during the day, because I eat breakfast and lunch close together, dinner is after 7 though.
Adding some sort of protein and/or fat around 2-3 pm would be my suggestion. You are probably getting legitimately hungry then, and ignoring it is only going to cause bigger problems. Fruit by itself just makes me more hungry most of the time, so that may be part of the issue too. A hardboiled egg, string cheese, tuna pouch, some sort of bean based soup or cottage cheese are a few options.
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First, 1-7 is a long time to go without eating, so it's not unreasonable that you'd need a snack or two in that time. I usually eat my lunch around 1, then snack at 3:30 and snack at 5:30, with dinner at 8. So if you know you're hungry, plan your calories for the day so that you have healthy snacks on hand.
I'd also agree that a little protein will help your snacks feel more substantial, which means you'll be fuller longer. A combination of fruit and a bit of turkey, small amount of lowfat cheese, or some PB will last you better than the carb-filled fruit alone.
First, congrats on controlling the late-night binging. That's an achievement in itself. Now, onto the problem at hand...snacking.
One of the most important aspects of controlling your weight, for me, is knowing your "times."
- When do you have the most energy to exercise?
- When are you the most satisfied?
- When are you the most hungry?
It looks like you've identified when you have the worst of your cravings or the time when you're most susceptible to "snacking." Now that you recognize and identify a pattern, you can start to plan for it. You didn't mention how much exercise you normally do...or when.
Do you exercise in the mornings close to lunch? This could explain why you're so hungry in the late afternoon hours. Your body probably wants the additional energy to make up for what it expended?
What is your calorie level? Are you eating enough? Perhaps you're not eating enough calories in the morning and afternoon, so your body craves more as you go through the day, especially if you're not sedentary. You might try eating a larger breakfast and lunch and a smaller dinner.
How is your water intake? Do you drink regularly throughout the day? I've found that always having something to drink (like water or tea) on hand helps to put *something* in my mouth...even if it's not food. In a way, you can "trick" your mind that your ingesting something, and it might alleviate your cravings.
Is the snacking really undoing your efforts? You say you're snacking, but your snacks don't seem like they're unhealthy choices. Fruit and yogurt is actually a pretty good snack (something you should be doing anyway). Have you found evidence that your snacking is affecting your weight loss efforts negatively?
As for your obsession with food...that might be a remnant of your late-night binging habit. I found that as I conquered one aspect of my binging, another would raise it's head somewhere down the line. The food obsession is one that will fade with time. For me, it still lingers...the thinking, the planning, the avoiding. It's hard to tell your mind to "shut up."
When you "obsess" about food, what do you experience? Is it a craving for a certain food in particular? Is it a general feeling of hunger? Is it a daydream state where you picture yourself eating? Identifying what your mind is telling you is the first step to being honest about your obsession. If staying busy doesn't help, perhaps you need a more physical outlet.
Try writing your craving down on paper. When you start to think about food, stop and actually write about what you're feeling so you can see it. That might help it make sense and help you confront it realistically. I know I don't know your exact circumstances, but I hope some of this helps.
No one should have to do it alone if they need support.
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