A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Night time is (not) the right time

on April 17, 2014

It’s definitely the wrong time for me, it seems. At the beginning of the month, I set out three actions I was going to take to keep my weight from creeping any more than it already had. I’m doing very well with drinking more water and getting in more movement during the day (including taking an unplanned run yesterday morning just because I felt like it!). I’m still seriously struggling with the third thing, though: eating fruit at night.

Like I said before, it’s not like eating fruit in and of itself is a bad thing and if you’re going to gain weight from eating too much of something, fruit is the way to go. (Okay, maybe chocolate would be the most fun way to gain weight but fruit would be the healthiest way) Trying NOT to eat at fruit for the last couple of weeks has demonstrated just exactly how much I’m in the HABIT of eating at night and that is not a good thing.

It typically goes like this:
– I finish my “chores” of cleaning up the kitchen, prepping breakfast and lunches for tomorrow, doing laundry and any other prep for tomorrow.
– I change into my pajamas, clean my face and take my contacts out.
– I settle into bed to read or watch TV and about ten minutes later, think I should have a snack.
– “No, I’m not hungry. I shouldn’t eat when I’m not hungry.”
– About two minutes later, I am hungry. I know I’m really not, but somehow my brain becomes convinced that I’m hungry. It is amazing the power of the mind.

I would think that maybe I truly am hungry and just don’t trust myself to recognize it (a whole different conversation) if it wasn’t the same exact pattern every night. I’ve always been a person who eats at night. It used to be baked goods or pizza and I’ve subbed in grapes now. I tell myself that they’re “zero points” so they’re okay but really it isn’t. A) 3 pounds of grapes is still a lot of calories and B) I’m regularly eating for reasons other than hunger and that’s something that I need to learn to handle better.

Grapes: My favorite zero point (but not zero calorie!) snack

Grapes: My favorite zero point (but not zero calorie!) snack

I try to distract myself with other things (like writing about it here tonight), which works some days but I confess that I’m finding myself making more and more excuses for giving in to the urge. I could ask my husband to police me, but neither of us want that. I’ve considered just going to bed earlier so I don’t have to hold out as long. Distracting myself with tea or some other non-fruit snack hasn’t been working at all (which goes to show this isn’t hunger – it’s definitely mental if a big bowl of yogurt doesn’t touch the “hungry” feeling).

The other thing I’ve considered is trying out meditation as a way to try to redirect my thoughts. I went to a stress management seminar at work a couple of weeks ago and they talked us a through meditation exercises. Meditation can help with stress, obviously, but has also been shown to help lower blood pressure. I was interested at the time in the blood pressure aspect, given my history of high blood pressure, but now I’m thinking I may help with redirecting my thoughts during this time of day.

How do you handle night time snack urges? Have you ever tried meditation? Maybe a happy thought or two would help. It couldn’t hurt, right?

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10 responses to “Night time is (not) the right time

  1. Kristin says:

    I love meditating! I do the meditation of gratitude about everyday. I think about all the things in my life that I’m thankful for and think all positive thoughts. It really does help me to feel better when I’m stressed (which I’ve been recently). It’s really hard for me not to snack at night. I will sometimes drink chocolate almond milk or something like that to satisfy my cravings.

  2. Aaaaah habits. I have them too when it comes to food. I always eat a snack around 9:30 AM and around 3 PM… do I get hungry at those times or have I trained myself to just want a snack at those times?? It’s like which came first the chicken or the egg lol! Instead of eating a bunch of fruit, can you measure out a small portion size then tell your mind that that is enough for the night?

    • I may need to try that. I could pair a little fruit with my yogurt so I get what I’m craving but avoid overdoing it and pairing it with another snack will keep me from feeling deprived.

  3. Jaime says:

    did you ever think of weening yourself off the grapes? if you ate 3 lbs at one shot, why not do a cup (i have no clue how much a cup of grapes weighs). also this makes me wonder how many calories your body was burning just digesting your night time fruits?

    • Lauren suggested the same thing – just trying to allow myself a small amount and see if that helps things out a bit. I may try that. The other thing I thought about doing is tracking them as “points” instead of free foods. I never overeat foods that I have to count points for – it’s only the free things that get me in trouble.

      On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 1:09 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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  4. I feel like your blog was directly speaking to me tonight! 🙂 I am trying to get back into my weight loss mode and my biggest hurdle right now is late night snacking. I have been telling myself repeatedly that I am not hungry, but it doesn’t last long and soon, I’m digging into something. I wish I could say it was grapes or something healthy, but it is usually a bowl of cereal or applesauce (I guess there are worse things). I try to drink a lot of water before bed but it hasn’t been cutting it. I think this will continue to be a big challenge for me. I am intrigued by the chocolate almond milk (this sounds amazing) and meditation. I’m curious to see how the meditation works! Good luck! 🙂 I hope we both can curb our late night snacking!

    • It is so hard. Honestly, the best thing that works for me is exercise so hopefully the weather will stay nice for a while and I can just head out for a walk or run. It’s amazing how the “hungry” thought gets in our heads and won’t leave no matter what else we do!

      On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 10:34 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

      >

  5. […] remedy that. I’ve also be re-reading some of my old strategies for managing stress eating and night time, since that seems to be my biggest trouble time right now. Tea instead of snacks and going to bed […]

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