A Little More Each Day

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

Why no nighttime snacks?

on June 15, 2016

Darrell asked me this week why I’d set “no nighttime snacks” as one of my goals. We always had our evening snack together and I think he misses it. Avoiding nighttime snacking is a common bit of weight loss advice, but recent research suggests that maybe there isn’t anything inherently bad about getting calories at night and that the problem comes with what kind of calories and how many calories we eat after dark. (Check out these for more info:Is late eating more likely to pack on pounds (WebMD);The Health Impact of Nighttime Eating: Old and New Perspectives ) This is likely an area where the research will continue to evolve and we’ll have to keep an eye on that. For me, avoiding nighttime snacking is more about the mental side of this.

A) “Closing shop” after dinner is an important measure of control for me, to show myself that I am in charge and not food. I am more likely to be successful in “closing shop” if I do it earlier, when I’m satisfied from dinner and less tired (and weak).
Closed for the nightB) It helps me avoid a time that I know has been a frequent binge period for me. There’s something about the night that makes all of the doubts and fears and angst that sends me into the pantry seem so much more overwhelming. It’s easier for one thing to become a deep dive of disgust after dark, for me. Knowing my own patterns is huge for me in managing my binge eating.

 

C) It helps me practice distinguishing eating from habit versus true hunger. It’s amazing how often I’m perfectly content at 8:45 and then starving at 9 pm, because 9 pm is always when I have my snack. Now that I’m ten days or so into avoiding that nighttime snack urge, it’s getting easier and easier to ignore that 9 pm twinge and you know what I’ve noticed? By 9:15, I’m not hungry anymore. If I was truly physically hungry, that wouldn’t work.

I frequently have calories available at night, but I know that eating those calories isn’t worth the slippery slope it puts me on in terms of binge eating. All in all, I feel like I’m eating much healthier foods and much healthier portions since I reset my focus a few weeks ago. I’m getting better at making choices that fuel my body and keep me on an even keel mentally (tricky because restricting can also be a binge trigger!). Is it paying off in the scale? Not very quickly. Before my fall last week, I was down to 185 but since the fall I’ve been stuck at 188. Frustrating to say the least, but it’s still a pound down from where I started a few weeks ago and it isn’t a gain. I keep reminding myself that this is about getting back to a healthier place with eating as much as it losing weight and on that front at least, I’ve made definite strides. Keep on keepin’ on.

Are you okay with snacking at night or do you have to be watchful of that as well?

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2 responses to “Why no nighttime snacks?

  1. I did most of my binging at night. So no more food after supper.

    • There’s something about the dark that makes it easier to hide and eat. No food after supper is definitely helping.

      On Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 1:26 PM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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