Late Night eater-can't help it

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  • I work a 3-9pm shift and when I get home I am tired and VERY hungry. I try to eat only a small salad with low cal dressing, 2-4 oz of white wine and a handful of sunflower seeds on a good day, but now that the weather is getting cooler warm comfort food is calling me. I am finding that my weight is the same or a few lbs more.

    I do excercise 30 min. a day and am seeing some toning, but the weight.... Help!
  • I found through experience when I was ravenous at night it was because I wasn't eating enough during the day.

    Are you eating from 3-9? Like a lunch at work? If you have no lunch I suggest quick snacks that will tide you over so when you get home you aren't as hungry.

    Are you calorie counting? How many are you getting a day?
  • I eat a Healthy Choice under 300 calories at 2:00pm before I leave and 1/4 cup trail mix from 7-7:10pm-that's my break time. I am counting calories-about 1500/day. Is that too much?
  • Maybe you could have some soup to accompany your meal. Colder weather always makes me hanker for soups. They're low-cal (not the cream-based ones), satisfying and nutritious. I have a handy tomato-onion soup that tastes great and is simple to make.

    Boil 5-6 tomatoes and 2 onions (cut in quarters) until tender. Alternatively, you could put them in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes.

    Place the tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, chilli powder (optional) and basil leaves (dried basil too, according to taste) in a food processor. Whir until it reaches desired consistency. If you like a thinner soup, use chicken stock to dilute it as this will give more flavor as it dilutes the soup.

    Also, you could just eat more at night depending on what you eat during the day. Do you count calories? If you don't, maybe get a range down (above 1200) and start planning meals accordingly. If you don't have time to eat a meal at work, take snack packs with you. They can consist of anything from nuts and raisins to popcorn to assorted dried fruit. These foods tend to keep you full even if you eat just a handful, at least in my experience.

    Good luck!

    I saw your response after I posted. Maybe you could add more to your meal before you leave. A small salad, soup or some string cheese or an apple or some kind of fruit? Grapes are filling if you eat 1-2 cups.
  • Hi! First off...from things I've read and my own experience, I don't think it matters at all what time you eat as long as you stay within your calorie limit...its all about calories in vs. calories out. I'm also a night eater. Not because of work, but because I don't like to go to bed feeling even the slightest bit hungry. So I plan my meals and snacks so that I have enough left-over calories that I can have a pretty significant snack at night time.

    So that being said, maybe you should re-adjust your meals so that you can have a little extra food when you get home so you aren't so hungry at night. Eat a little less during the day so you can have a little more at night.

    Secondly, I would recommend adding more protein to your nightly meal. I've found that the more protein I eat, the more satisfied I am...and I stay satisfied for longer periods of time. If you want to stick to the salad at night, maybe add some grilled chicken (make up several pieces ahead of time and keep them in the fridge..that way you don't have to do any cooking when you get home from work). You could also add tuna (I sometimes add about 1/2 can of tuna to my salads) or chop up a boiled egg (or do 2 eggs if you just want egg whites).

    Hope that helps! Good luck!
  • I agree to add more protein into your meals, I can't eat JUST a lean cuisine- they don't fill me up- when I would eat lean cuisine's I'd also have a salad on the side or some fruit to fill me up.

    Fiber is also filling- I think for counting calories you might want to eat more fiber and protein and stay away from trail mixes, if I remember correctly they are very high calorie and not always as filling. Maybe for a snack instead you could have something like an apple with peanut butter or a low carb/low fat tortilla with some hummus spread onto it and a side of celery sticks. (less than 150 calories)

    I use the la tortilla wraps- 50 calories, 7 grams fiber, and only 10 grams carbs- SOO GOOD!

    Other snacks are sugar free jello. You can also add cauliflower to your salads- they are high in fiber and keep you fuller longer (I love to just cut up cauliflower and eat it with FF ranch).

    I'll make grilled meat and a huge salad with tomato, lettuce, onion, cheese, etc, and my whole meal is less than 500 calories and VERY filling- you might want to look into preparing your own lunches instead of eating a LC.
  • I was told that what you eat after 9:00pm stays with you when you sleep and forms into fat. Sorry, I'm knew to dieting so I know very little.
  • you know its funny mostly evreyone i know says that eating after 9 is a major diet no no .... ive lost a significant amount of weight in a relativley short time and i can tell you i dosent seem to be the case at least not in my experiance im on weight watchers/counting calories ( i alternate ) i try to stay within 1600 calories and i would say i eat only about a quarter of them before around 6 ( im usually not hungry until about 6 630 ish ) i eat little snacks in the day but after 6:30ish i rack up my calories cause thats when im hungry and i havent had any problems loosing weight my last meal is usually around 1:30 am ( thats when the husband gets in from work so we eat something together )
  • Quote: I was told that what you eat after 9:00pm stays with you when you sleep and forms into fat. Sorry, I'm knew to dieting so I know very little.
    Its ok! I always thought the same thing until I started reading up on it. From what I've read, the whole "not eating after a certain time at night" thing is because people tend to eat more unhealthy things at night (ex: chips, buttered popcorn, cakes, etc.) due to the fact that by that time at night MOST people have already had their regular dinner and don't want to cook or take a few minutes to prepare something healthy....they just grab whatever for a snack. If your regular dinner happens to be at 9pm, eat just like you would if you were eating at 5 or 6pm. Your body is going to process food and digest the same no matter what time it is.

    Also, Beerab is right about the fiber too. Fiber and protein will both fill you up better and keep you satisfied longer. She mentioned cauliflower...broccoli is another good source of fiber that you could add to your salad...or eat raw with some fat free dip.
  • I think this is a common misconception. When you eat, you don't have to immediately burn those calories in order for them not to turn into fat. It's all about calories in vs. calories out over time. It really doesn't matter what time you eat. If you burn off 2000 calories that day, it doesnt matter when you consume them, it only matters that you consume less than you burned.

    I schedule my meals to suit my late night eating habits. I eat a lighter breakfast and lunch and save my calories for a late dinner and some evening/night time snacks. this is a good article that discusses it.
  • Thanks for the article
  • Thanks for posting! I was always curious about eating after a certain time. Its actually good to know because for a while I wasnt eating after 7 and I starved the rest of the night...literally. It was probably worse since I dont usually go to sleep till atleast 2. lol It seems silly now that I was doing it for nothing!! Im like you and get very hungry at night so it was torture to stop eating so early.

    I gave up on that quite a while ago but atleast I dont feel so guilty now! haha

    Thanks! =)
  • I'm back on the Gi Diet (easing in to it ) and he recommends an evening snack, as he does two daytime snacks, too. It works - I lost 60lbs in 6 months and felt amazing (before I fell off the wagon).

    Try some fat free yoghurt with all bran buds in it - excellent fiber. Or the soup idea is good - there are loads of excellent soups you can make at home that are filling and extremely healthy - and no fat. Tomato, vegetable, chicken - all excellent soups - and you can add beans (red or black etc.) for added fiber.

    I have to say listening to what you're eating makes me feel hungry - it's so little.
  • All of you have made me feel so much better. The tomato soup sounds wonderful. I'm going to try it with some broccoli tonight. Thanks!
  • After late night tv starts, I'm allowed to eat as much fruit as I want, even if I leave none in the fridge. 20 strawberries, who cares? a basket of blueberries? awesome! An entire bunch of grapes and a handful of almonds- rockin! My mouth is happy and so is my health!