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Does anyone else have problems with being hungry in the evening?

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Old 01-18-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
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Post Does anyone else have problems with being hungry in the evening?

I was just wondering. My whole life, I have always had pretty much insatiable hunger in the evening. Everyone always said, just eat more during the day and it will go away. But it didn't. I would eat a good breakfast, good lunch, good dinner, and still be wanting to devour a thousand calories or more by 7 at night. And it really is a very short timeframe, when it hits, for me - from about 7 at night until about 10 at night. Those are my "danger hours."

It just seems to be a consistent feature of mine. I wonder if I'm the only one? I don't have abnormal hunger during the day, but I have always struggled with the evening munchies and the hunger I experience then is much stronger than any I experience during the day. It feels like imbalanced blood sugar or hormones or something and I really have tried to eat sensibly at various times in my life to try to avoid the evening hungries, but they are always there. No matter what. Always.

And you know, it's really those evening hungries that for me, have been at the heart of my struggle with my weight. If it weren't for extra calories eaten in the evening, I wouldn't be overweight.

So lately I've been discovering that while it isn't as much fun to eat raw veggies and low-cal "treats" like that, those low cal foods actually do satisfy those voracious evening hungries. And it doesn't leave me feeling depressed about my weight the next day.

Diabetes runs in my family, along with some other weird genetic syndromes, and I've always been different, medically, in sooooo many ways. So it wouldn't surprise me if I'm the only person who has this problem. But I thought I would ask.

Does anyone else experience really strong hunger at night, no matter how you eat during the day and no matter what you do? If so, how do you deal with it?

Sorry for this uber-long post.
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Old 01-18-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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Yes! I do!

I don't know if this could be a psychological thing? There's no reason why I should be hungry, or feel the need to snack, at those hours either... yet, I do! Do you watch TV at night? And maybe you pre-snacked in front of the TV before changing your lifestyle? I know I did. That might be it

Now I'm so scared of messing my diet up that I go to bed real early. This is doable for me because I live alone - I can however see how this is not an easy solution if you've got kids, a spouce etc.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:19 AM   #3
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I do the same thing. I am good all day and mess up something awful in the evening. Last year I started going to the Y for two hours every night after work instead of one hour. That actually helped but I could only do it when my husband wasn't traveling and as long as he was willing to make dinner. Eventually I went back to my one hour at the Y and returned to my evil eating ways. This year I am just trying to eat (and drink) less. I really have to learn to eat right!!!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:24 AM   #4
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Oh yes ... so I just make sure I have something healthy to eat. Your vegetables are a wonderful idea!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:30 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks everyone, these are great ideas! And it helps so much psychologically to know I'm not the only one. I used to beat myself up because I was such a "pig" in the evening. I didn't see anyone else around me having the problems I had and I thought maybe I was the only one. I still think it must have something to do with blood sugar or biology in some way, hormones, etc. I know I have dysfunctions with my ANS (nervous system) and cortisol levels, etc. so I was thinking maybe it had something to do with that.

Oh, and TV doesn't help, with all those ads for foods that are too high in calories! LOL! I want a tv that excludes all references to food, LOL!
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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I have this problem, yesterday I managed almost 3000 calories in total thanks to evening munchies that went out of control because I didn't grab something healthy when I could have. I've found out though that the hunger feeling tends to go away in about ten to 15 minutes, and if it doesn't then drinking tea is helpful. If you are seriously hungry, oatmeal boiled in water is very filling and doesn't contain many calories.
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Old 01-18-2010, 09:43 AM   #7
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tLori,

I also had the exact same problem. In fact, I've never been much of a breakfast person but in the late evening, I would develop this almost painful craving for sweets. The hunger became more and more intense. The voices screamed louder and louder in my head and I could not sleep or do anything until I satisfied it....usually with an entire package of cookies or half a box of donuts.

Are you taking any medications at bedtime? There are a few medications, like seroquel, that are notorious for making you ravenous shortly after you take it.

The way I eliminated this problem for good was that I went on Atkins. I truly do believe I am a carbohydrate addict. On this extremely low carb diet, with NO simple sugars or highly processed sugars/starches.....I have tons more energy, my mood is much improved, my appetite is controlled and I literally have none of those cravings any longer. I've had NO sugar for 8 months now and it's practically been a breeze. Eating-wise, I suddenly turned into a "normie"....eating the way normal people, of normal weight, eat.

I have a huge amount of sympathy now....realizing how futile trying to use will-power is when having to deal with this intense hunger and these intense cravings....and the screaming voices in your head telling you MUST have it. It's truly NOT all about will-power. It can be medications, what we're eating, etc.

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Old 01-18-2010, 09:56 AM   #8
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Thanks, SM and Deena! Boy, it really does help to realize it's not our fault, we aren't alone, etc, doesn't it? We just have to figure out ways to deal with it is all! And you ladies are so kind to give me such wonderful tips!

Deena, I am totally convinced too that I have problems with blood sugar as diabetes type II runs in my family really strongly. I don't have any abnormal tests (yet) but boy if I eat simple carbs, white starchy sushi-type rice is the worst for me for instance, I get insanely hungry like maybe an hour or so later. I mean hungry to the point where I will eat more of it until my tummy is uncomfortably full, and even then I am STILL hungry, defying all logic! And boy do I crave white rice. I mean all the time. It's my biggest binge food, bigger even that sugar (turns out starchy white rice is actually higher on the glycemic index than many sugary foods!) and it's also my biggest craving when I am dieting, even more than sugar.

So I'm trying to sort of do a variation of Atkins. At least I'm cutting out sugar and the obvious simple carbs like rice, bread, etc. I hope to be able to eat things like whole wheat pasta or brown rice some day but I'll have to kind of see what that does to me I guess. I'm letting myself have whatever veggies I want with a couple of spritzs of fake butter spray, without watching them because I don't seem to have that blood sugar reaction with veggies the way I get with rice. Maybe the extra fiber helps slow the release of the sugars from veggies into my system, so I can handle them okay. Same with fruit, I seem to be okay if I eat fruit, I don't get the insane hunger one hour later with fruit that I get with simple carbs.

Our bodies are all so complex, and we have differences of course, but no wonder some of us have struggled, if we are dealing with the blood sugar hungries! I totally agree with you that when that strikes, it takes absolutely superhuman effort not to eat. That's why I just let myself have the veggies with a bit of hummus, because I know I'm gonna eat something so it might as well be something relatively healthy and low-cal.

P.S. I am taking Prozac and Wellbutrin in combo (Prozac helps with depression but made me too much of a zombie, and Wellbutrin didn't really work as an antidepressant for me but it helps me not be a zombie with the prozac...) and maybe that does have something to do with it, or maybe it's partly because my thryoid kind of had problems and now I'm on thyroid medicine. I get the hungries after I take my thryoid pill I noticed.

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Old 01-18-2010, 10:08 AM   #9
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I am always hungry a while after dinner. I don't see it as a problem though. I try to wait an hour after a good dinner and If I'm still hungry I have a snack, nuts, cheese, etc ( I'm low carb btw with diabetes). I always eat a snack within an hour of bedtime to help keep my blood sugar stable at night. Always.

I always read how you shouldn't eat after dinner. I tried it. I tried hard. I never failed to wake in the middle of the night hungry and shaky. I say if your wanting to eat~ eat~ just keep it healthy. I could be way of base here but I figure if we are hungry at night there is a reason for it and possibly some peoples bodies just need a bit more nightly fuel Just make sure it is healthy fuel.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:54 AM   #10
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Thanks, Michelle! My plan of keeping veggies and other low-cal healthy snacks around looks like it might work as a strategy for me I think! Sounds like other people do that too and it works for them, so I will try that and see how it ends up!

You know, it's so true that low-cal popcorn and veggies with hummus aren't nearly as fun as cheesecake or something like that, but on the other hand, an aching back, aching knees, aching feet and feeling all-around lousy and grouchy aren't as much fun as being healthy and feeling good! LOL! That's how I have to think of it, when I am tempted.
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Old 01-18-2010, 10:58 AM   #11
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This might not be feasible in your situation but I've been having success recently with splitting dinner into 2 sessions (or sometimes just 2 small separate meals).

For example, I'll eat once at 5:30 or 6 and then again at 8 or 8:30 being sure I am eating healthy food and keeping in my overall calories. This has really helped me with the evening munchies.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:02 AM   #12
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I do feel the same way too in the evening but I keep telling myself that this is my body working hard eating all the reserves that I have!!!
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:07 AM   #13
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I get major snacking cravings after 9 pm. Lately, I have just been going to bed super early. Seems silly, but it works for me.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:45 AM   #14
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Hey there. I have HUGE issues with food. I am an over eater and binger. I really struggle in the evenings. I'm good all day long but around 7, 8, 9 pm I start to obsess about food. How do I get over it? I think of all the times I've lost and gained the same 2 or 3 lbs because I give in to temptation - it's so not worth it to work hard all week then throw it all away for a quick few minutes of joy. And the guilt afterwards is awful. So, what do I do when I start to crave food at night? I give myself time. I say "not right now, wait a bit". And I think all the stuff I just talked about. I'll find something to do to keep busy (scrapbooking, get on 3fc , etc.). The odds of my not eating seem to improve when I get busy on something rather than just sitting in front of the tele. And when that doesn't work, I go for the best options - a big juicy orange, some fresh carrots, a banana and a big glass of cold lemon water. Doesn't sound that appetizing when I say it now, but when I give in, they honestly taste fantastic and fill the void fantastically. It's a struggle. Sometimes I crack and eat a big sloppy peanut butter and jelly on white bread, but I guess while I live with the guilt, I eventually acknowledge I can recover from that PB&J and to focus on getting back on track. So, keep up the good work. Hope the things that work for me will work for you
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
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Wow, thanks for all these great tips, ladies! I'm so sad that other people struggle with this (why is life so hard, darn it?) but I'm glad to know I'm not as weird as I thought I was with the food thing. Other people struggle too, I guess! Well, I'm gonna keep on with the veggies, and try other tips too. Thank you all so very much, you guys are the best!
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