Weight Loss Support - Night time snacking

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04-12-2011, 11:55 AM
Does anyone else find this really difficult?

I'm used to having sugary, calorific foods at night time in front of the telly or whilst playing Scrabble with manthing. Maltesers, etc., all gone after my usual stodgy meal of potatoes, meats, stews, pizza, etc. So by the end of the evening I would be very full by bed time.

Last night I tuckered into red grapes instead and by the time night rolled around I was very, very unsatisfied! I could FEEL how full I was, and the grapes were lovely, but I hadn't had any real sugar, my tummy wasn't full up from my modest dinner of a toasted English muffin with poached eggs on top, and I felt very sorry for myself indeed. I had a breakfast bar (made my my own fair hands earlier in the day, they're those peanut butter ones that were on River Cottage every day - basically flapjacks with a lot of seeds in them) which did hit the spot but pretty unsuitable for evening eating. I made the bars as they're full of oats and golden syrup and thus, great breakfast food due to having the entire day to burn them off and being a complex carb, giving me a ton of energy. No good for 11pm snacking!

What does everyone else fill those pangs and urges with?

04-12-2011, 11:59 AM
Calories matter. When you consume them does not.

04-12-2011, 12:06 PM
That wasn't very helpful and fairly cold. If this isn't the supportive site I thought it was then I'll go elsewhere!

04-12-2011, 12:07 PM
Honestly, in the evenings, I snack on things like popcorn, or yogurt. I am a "calorie conserver". I am anxious to eat too many calories in the day time, for fear that I won't have enough left to have an adequate supper, or a snack in the evening, and I often end up with 500 calories to eat in the evening to maintain my daily 1600-1800 calories. I do eat those every evening, and am still losing, on average 3 pounds per week. I just wander through the house until I find stuff that works. Sometimes popcorn, sometimes peanut butter (a big spoonful), sometimes yogurt, sometimes a banana.

04-12-2011, 12:13 PM
If I'm craving something sweet, I have high fiber waffle (80 cal) with sugar free syrup or some berries on it. If I can make myself wait long enough for it to reach my stomach, it's pretty filling.

04-12-2011, 12:13 PM
I agree. There isn't any real supporting evidence for the idea that what time we eat what food makes any difference in our weight.

I am a night-time eater as well. I know this about myself and am working with it this time around, rather than trying to force my body and mind into some other schedule. I conserve my points/calories for later in the day so that I can enjoy them.

The real change to focus on isn't what time you will be eating-if you enjoy having a snack while you watch tv or play games, there's no reason to change that. The more in tune with our preferences and lifestyles our changes are, the easier they will be to maintain...you don't want to do a total about face only to get sick of it a few weeks from now and give up.

Focus on finding healthy substitutes for the things you love. I have to have something sweet every day or I would lose my mind. For a chocolate fix, I like the 90 calorie fiber one bars or sugarfree pudding cup with a dollop of lite whipped cream.

04-12-2011, 12:16 PM
I'm so glad I'm not the only one who likes to eat at night! Thanks everyone, I'll try some substitute chocolate and something more filling like a waffle.

Thanks again!

04-12-2011, 12:17 PM
but John is right... calories DO matter, and meal timing isnt nearly as important as everyone seems to think it is..... unless you have a medical issue or are an athlete training then nutrient timing is everyhting..

for you, if you really really need an evening snack to satisfy you, then by all means, allow one, BUT MAKE SURE TO ALLOW FOR IT in your total daily calories.... some people prefer 6 small meals, some prefer one HUGE meal, some prefer 3 squares a day......... it doesnt really matter in the grand scheme of things... whatever you eat last night will be avialable for energy today... granted i fall into the school og f thought where i dont want to eat carbs at night because i dont NEED energy at night, however, if i have an intense, early am raining runm then i will eat a carb with dinner or afterwards, so it is available in mym uscles in the am

To answer your question, when you feel the muchies coming on, drink a glass of water. Try sugar free jello, or a cup of HOt sweetend tea might help. Nightime grazing is a HABIT. you can change a habit if you work for it

04-12-2011, 12:18 PM
It depends on why are you snacking at night.

Are you snacking because you are hungry? If so, then you should relook at your foods that you've been eating earlier in the day and see if you can add more bulk through vegetables (high volume, low cal) or evaluate whether or not you are eating enough in general! Are you eating too little at your starting weight?

Are you snacking because you are bored? Boredom eating was BIG with me. I just like to munch when I'm bored so I try to keep myself busy and preoccupied. It could be an oral fixation so maybe sugar-free gum can help. I also drink lots of water and tea to stay hydrated and it helps keep cravings at bay.

I don't think he meant it to be cold. He was just saying if you are snacking at night but it's still within whatever plan you are on, it should be fine when you are eating it regardless of time of day.

best of luck on your journey.

Nola Celeste
04-12-2011, 12:23 PM
John's comment might've been short and to the point, but I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it as cold. It does contain some useful advice for night-time eaters (and I am one as well, believe me)--if I get hungry at night, I go ahead and eat because I've saved up some calories for it. :)

Last night, for instance, I wound up with 500 calories to spend on a fruit/cheese/cracker assortment that I split with my husband (I weighed all the cheese because that stuff is so calorie-dense). 500 calories buys a substantial enough amount of cheese, crackers, and fruit to truly satiate. And although the foods are calorie-dense, they're also flavorful and nutritious (the crackers were 100% whole wheat crispbreads, so there was some fiber in the mix there).

Anyway, if your habit is to eat at night, unless there's a special reason that you can't--acid reflux, maybe, or medication that makes you need to fast--I say eat at night and enjoy it. :) Your plan has to be one that you can live with in the long term, and the diet that molds to your habits even as you mold your habits to the diet is your best chance for long-term success.

Hope that helps. :)

04-12-2011, 12:52 PM
It sounds more like you are eating from boredom than true hunger (yes, eating in front of the tv is boredom). A craving lasts about 15-20 minutes. If I feel I absolutely must eat something, I set a timer for 15 minutes and get busy doin something. If I still want it when the times goes off, I have 2 bites. I do plan for an evening snack, but I do not eat in front of the tv. I only eat at the table with proper dishes and silverware. That way I conqueor mindless eating.

04-12-2011, 12:54 PM
That wasn't very helpful and fairly cold. If this isn't the supportive site I thought it was then I'll go elsewhere!

Quitting matters. How long it takes you to hit your goal does not.


04-12-2011, 01:33 PM
Try drinking warm green tea or forcing a table spoon of milled flax seed down. The green tea makes you feel warm and settled and I have no idea why but the flaxseed is so dry and gritty that it makes eating seem unappealing plus its low cal and packed with nutrients and omega 3s.

04-12-2011, 02:01 PM
I was going to say what niafabo said. I haven't been doing my usual night time snacking like i usually do, but I definitely do. warm tea always makes me feel a bit more satisfied when i have those cravings. but your body is not going to do anything differently if you decide to eat anything at anytime. it doesnt matter if you eat 1200 calories at 11pm or 5pm.

04-25-2011, 08:45 PM
If I'm truly too hungry to relax then I'll eat no matter what time it is, or even if I don't have calories left over. If it's just a little hunger pang then sometimes I just ignore it.

I agree with John and MK though, timing isn't that important unless you are an athlete or have a medical issue. Snacks are the same as what I would snack on any other time of day: fruit, yogurt, cheese, crackers, egg w/rice and beans, quinoa salad, etc.

04-25-2011, 10:44 PM
I love to eat at night too but not as an activity to do while bored as a way to help myself fall asleep. I need a full tummy to fall asleep. What I do is I eat a snack that is 100 calories they are prepackaged dessert bars that are 100 calories a piece. I eat them with a glass of milk. I always know that I am going to have this 150 calories so I factor it into my calorie amount. So if I am allowed 1400 calories per day, I only eat 1250 during my meals and save the 150 to eat RIGHT before I go to bed. It has to be the last thing I do before I go to bed or else I will get hungry again and want to snack, I hope this helps!

04-25-2011, 11:04 PM
I love to eat at night. I know EXACTLY what those urges feel like. My husband and I used to always eat a big bowl of cereal before we went to bed. When I am being good I also opt for just going to bed and waiting until morning. Or the following:
1. crystal light flavored drink.
2. Granola Thin - I think it is by Nature Valley and it is 80 calories with a layer of dark chocolate. If I can limit myself to one it is a nice ending to the day.
3. spoon full of peanut butter hits the spot sometime

Hope you find something that works for you. The nighttime urges are one of my biggest battles and just about everytime I sabotage myself it is becasue of them.