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Old 07-19-2004, 07:20 PM   #1
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Question Eating After Evening Meal?

In my efforts to loss weight I find I have a problem at night with over eating. I do fine all day and can hold my caloric intake to a reasonable amount. After my evening meal I just canít get satisfied. I am eating good foods. The problem is there is too much good food. I know I should stop eating 4 hours prior to bedtime, but I find my urge to eat to too strong.
Comments appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 07-19-2004, 08:52 PM   #2
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Who told you not to eat 4 hours prior to bedtime? This is a complete myth! It is perfectly healthy to eat at night, and in fact it helps to balance the metabolism. Obviously, you need to reserve some calories for your evening meal or snack, but there is nothing wrong with planning for it. I recommend that you eat every 3 hours you are awake.

I don't know your situation or what type of diet you are on, but here is my advice anyway Hunger and cravings are a sign of metabolic imbalance and/or nutritional deficiencies. If you are feeling intense urges to eat at night, you need to re-evaluate your diet because something is not right. Most likely you are eating too few calories or the food you are eating is not providing adequate nutrition for your needs. It could be that you are eating too many carbs, or it could be too much protein.

I might be able to help you but I need more info. First of all, what is your age, height, weight, gender, and activity level? Next, how many calories are you currently eating? Finally, how many carbs, protein, and fat calories do you eat? If you can't answer this, give me some sample meals that you eat (including quanitities).

 
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Old 07-20-2004, 09:13 AM   #3
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

I have the same problem that you do. I do SO good all day long, and then I lose it at night. Even my dinner isn't bad, it's after dinner that's bad. I hate it. I find if I go out and do something after dinner, that it's the only way I don't eat. I also try to go upstairs and clean up or watch tv to get my mind off of it. That way, I'm less inclined to come downstairs and eat.
I've been like this for as long as I can remember. I'd love to know how to stop this bad habit!

 
Old 07-20-2004, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

I eat late at night all the time. It's a habit I can't, and don't particularly WANT, to break. But I include the calories from my late-night snack into my quota for the day

 
Old 07-20-2004, 10:33 AM   #5
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnoBunE
I'd love to know how to stop this bad habit!
Its only a bad habit if you are eating poor food choices or if it is causing you to eat too many calories for the day. The best way to break the "bad" habit is to turn it into a good habit.

First, I always recommend planning meals ahead of time so you know what to eat and how many calories/carbs/protein/fat you are consuming. By pre-planning meals, you are never caught without the best food choices. Once you begin to pre-plan your meals, simply include an evening meal. It doesn't need to be a huge meal, but it can be as large as 1/5 of your daily calories. I do recommend that you include protein (about 25% of your calories) with every meal and snack, so make sure you are balancing what you eat to include protein.

As I mentioned previously, nighttime hunger (or any hunger, for that matter)is caused by either undereating, not getting the right nutrients, or an imbalanced metabolism (usually causing spikes and drops in blood glucose levels). A common thread in this message board is that many dieters do not eat enough calories - this leads to several problems - either slowed metabolism (inability to lose weight) or nighttime binging. The body needs what it needs - its your job to supply it as best you can. I strongly recommend that you evaluate what you have been eating during the day - is your caloric intake adequate for you body? Are you eating a reasonable balance of carbs and protein?

Another recommendation is to eat every 3 hours regardless of hunger. Just plan for it and do it. After a while (about 2-3 weeks) you will NEVER be hungry, ever!

 
Old 07-20-2004, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

jd is absolutely correct

It's the strategy I've been using (eating every 2-3 hours) and I'm losing weight for the first time in years, even though I still eat late at night.

See, overnight your body goes into 'starvation mode' and slows your metabolism to hold onto it's reserves. When you eat something at night before bed, it keeps your metabolism running a little longer than if you were to eat nothing between dinner and breakfast. If I may make a point here, this is also why breakfast is so important, to wake your metabolism back up and kick it in for the day. I never used to eat breakfast. Now that I do, I'm losing weight.

But as with breakfast, you have to eat sensibly at night. Don't gorge yourself on potato chips or huge sandwiches or big bowls of pasta like I used to do. When I eat late at night, I usually have a salad or a couple of handfuls of peanuts (in the shell) or a half of a sandwich with lean meats and lite mayo, or whatever is low in fat and carbs. I try not to eat too many carbs late at night because I wake up feeling like crud. My favorite thing to eat at night USED to be pasta. Big bowls of it with sauce and whatever else I could throw in there. But I avoid pasta, potatoes and rice at night. If I have a sandwich, my carbs come from whole grain breads rather than the "white stuff" that causes your insulin levels to skyrocket. If I have rice or pasta, it's early in the day and I limit the amount that I eat.

If you want to eat late at night, do it! But just make sure you eat sensibly and don't go overboard on the calories

 
Old 07-20-2004, 05:22 PM   #7
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

I must say jdimassimo makes some excellent points. Until recently I have been subsisting on 1200 cals a day. A week ago I learned about boosting metabolism by eating sensibly every 3 hours. No more cravings - my food choices are better because I'm not ravenously hungry when I decide. Have also upped my water intake to 12 glasses per day. It's worth running back and forth to the toilet if I think of it as calories being flushed out...

 
Old 07-20-2004, 07:34 PM   #8
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsabi
In my efforts to loss weight I find I have a problem at night with over eating. I do fine all day and can hold my caloric intake to a reasonable amount. After my evening meal I just can’t get satisfied. I am eating good foods. The problem is there is too much good food. I know I should stop eating 4 hours prior to bedtime, but I find my urge to eat to too strong.
Comments appreciated. Thanks.
I have the same problem in fact thats how I gain most of my weight. I find it helps if I drink lots of water through out the day then Im not as hungry at night.
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Old 07-20-2004, 07:34 PM   #9
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

jdimassimo,
I should have mentioned that I also have a thyroid problem. In the past I have only been able to lose weight by limiting myself to about 1200-1400 calories a day. I usually have a oatmeal and a fruit from breakfast. I am then satisfied until lunch which usually consists of a sandwich and an apple. Sometimes I will have a decaf and one doughnut for a morning break. I have an afternoon snack, usually fruit and a hard boiled egg. For dinner tonight I had a hamburger and baked beans with yogurt for desert. Then watermelon, dried fruit, popcorn, anchovies, cheese and I even went out a bought a small chocolate bar. This is a typical day.
I do fine up until dinner and then I just canít satisfy my hunger.
Thanks
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Old 07-21-2004, 08:40 PM   #10
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Thank you everyone for all of your input. I think I'm going to try and eat more during the day, and then hopefully I won't be so hungry after dinner. I also won't worry about eating a late snack before I go to bed.
Since I'm on Weight Watchers, I tend to eat half of my points for breakfast and lunch, and then I have half of them left for dinner and a snack. I only seem to be maintaining my current weight right now because I'll have good days and then I'll have bad days. And I exercise most days during the week. I ride my bike to all of my business appointments, so it gives me anywhere from a half hour to an hour of exercise each day.
Anyways, thanks again everyone!

 
Old 07-23-2004, 10:10 AM   #11
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by donsabi
jdimassimo,
I should have mentioned that I also have a thyroid problem. In the past I have only been able to lose weight by limiting myself to about 1200-1400 calories a day. I usually have a oatmeal and a fruit from breakfast. I am then satisfied until lunch which usually consists of a sandwich and an apple. Sometimes I will have a decaf and one doughnut for a morning break. I have an afternoon snack, usually fruit and a hard boiled egg. For dinner tonight I had a hamburger and baked beans with yogurt for desert. Then watermelon, dried fruit, popcorn, anchovies, cheese and I even went out a bought a small chocolate bar. This is a typical day.
I do fine up until dinner and then I just canít satisfy my hunger.
Thanks
If your thyroid problem is controlled with meds it should not have any effect on your diet or ability to control your diet. It sounds like you are very carb-heavy in the AM and then you are adding protein later in the day. This is something I would try changing. Also, there is a lot of sugar in your late-day snacks and meals...

I am guessing, but this is probably related to a mild case of hypoglycemia, which many people have. You don't have to have terrible symptoms, but mild cases can cause cravings and binge eating.

I have 3 recommendations for you:

1. First, add protein to your earlier meals. You need protein at EVERY meal you eat, yet many people have very little with breakfast and snacks. To add protein to your breakfast without adding high fat or sugar, have low-fat cottage cheese, soy milk or soy nuts, lean meat, 1 egg, etc. I recommend you aim for 18-25 grams of protein with breakfast.

2. Skip the mid-morning donut, its not helping you in any way. Find something else to have (and make sure your snacks include protein too).

3. Avoid ALL sugar starting in the afternoon and later. This means no yogurt, no dried fruit, no chocolate, no watermelon. Eat your fruit in the morning, but no later. Find other foods to have instead. Munch on veggies, popcorn is okay (not great, but it will do), cheese, whole grains etc. Your afternoon snack of apple and HB egg can probably stay (its a great healthy choice) but youll have to see how it goes.

Try this for ONE WEEK and see if it makes a difference. You won't get immediate results - it can take 3-5 days. Keep me posted.

Last edited by modert; 07-23-2004 at 10:12 AM.

 
Old 07-24-2004, 09:11 AM   #12
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Re: Eating After Evening Meal?

Here's one thing...

I heard if you eat a handful of nuts before bed, it speeds up your metab while sleeping, you could use this as a night snack before sleeping.

 
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