Weight Loss
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Eating at night

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Hi everyone! I am new to this site and looking for some advice on eating at night. I have a bad habit of wanting to eat or munch on potato chips or something while watching TV. Most times I am not hungry, but I can't seem to fight the cravings. How bad is it to eat at night, if I am under my calorie intake for the day?

I have also starting munching on ice cubes which I prefer to water, this and drinking water makes me hungry!

Any ideas on some good snack foods would be greatly appreciated!

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Ooh the ice cubes are a great idea! I like to eat frozen pineapple sometimes because it's still hard and icy and takes a while to eat and it's not super bad in calories. I'm currently having a hard time with night time cravings so I'm trying things like painting my nails, doing household chores, and just doing a lot of moving around. folding laundry is great because you can't really eat and handle clothes lol.

I've heard eating ice cubes is not good on your teeth. But that's if you're crunching away on them, rather than sucking.

There are all kinds of notion/theories/ideas around eating at night. I personally do most of cal-intake at night. I eat throughout the day, but calorie wise, I take in my most amount after 6pm. If you're not gaining, then I don't think there is any problem in it really. As for ridding the desire to much potata chips, maybe make them not available? Instead, maybe once a week or so buy a small bag and enjoy. Also, popcorn is always pretty darn safe... especially air-popped. You could even get sort of creative and maybe flavor it like your chips. My weakness is cereal, and so I don't have any boxes, but will buy the single serving (in fact, I just had the small box of Corn pops. YUMMY) haha.

Anyway, I hope this helps :-) Good luck
Personally, I really enjoy munching in the evening, after a long day.
I save a lot of fruit for the evening, like a big pile of frozen grapes and haf a canteloupe, and then I usually have a bowl of celery sticks.  
No matter what the calories are, you're never going to gain from fruits and vegetables, and that way the sweet tooth is still satistfied. 
I also go to bed pretty early which I find helps a lot. That way I don't search for energy that I don't need in food, and I feel better and more rested without being sleep-deprived the next day - again, helps with not searching for quick energy fixes in food. 
Be careful! You don't want to go to bed with a full stomach or you'll gain weight.
As long as you are logging your calories in, I don't think it should matter what time you eat.  As long as you eat a well-balanced diet and not snack on junk.

A calorie is a calorie.  What time you eat doesn't make any difference.

That said, I don't eat within 2 hours of bedtime because it keeps me awake - that's the only reason.


That is completely untrue. period.
Original Post by nursemeow:


That is completely untrue. period.

Is that not true? Oh, sorry about that. That's what someone told me so I believed it...

I think if you're staying within your calorie goal it's fine to munch on snacks at night - just be sure you're not underestimating (measure your portions instead of eating out of the bag), and keep some healthier snacks stocked in your kitchen so that you're not always eating chips. 
Oct 14 2007 02:19
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I think the thinking in the past has been that the calories you eat before going to bed are less likely to be burned through activity, that your body won't have anything to do with them but store them as fat because you're not doing anything. I don't know if anyone has ever had any research to back that idea up, or if it just sounded logical to someone, but a lot of diet plans have included "Don't eat anything after X:00" with the time varying from diet to diet. I suppose you do burn fewer calories while you're sleeping than when you're exercising or even working, but you probably don't burn many more calories when you're vegging on the sofa in front of the television than you do when you're sleeping, and a lot of us do that after we eat, so, I don't know. Some people will run out to burn off calories from something they've eaten shortly after they've eaten it, especially an indulgence, and I don't know if that's particularly helpful, either, if it has more to do with the timing of the exercise/burning or more to do with total intake less total calories burned for the day. For those of us with blood sugar issues, its recommended that we exercise within a certain period of time after eating, so as to be fueled for our workout and to lessen the potential blood sugar spike of our meal. I know that if I eat shortly before bed, it does make a difference what I've eaten; anything with a lot of "food energy" will make it harder for me to sleep as my body kicks into a higher gear to digest and metabolize the calories. Some foods have been shown to be soothing, though--foods with tryptophan, a little protein, and something slightly carby works for some people--maybe that's the blood-sugar drop that follows the carb spike, I don't know. I don't think anyone knows exactly how it all works, but going to bed hungry will keep you awake, too, so one should probably do what's best for one's individual body/appetite.

I've replaced chips and things with nuts--a quarter cup per day is healthy as well as salty and crunchy, gives you those good fats that help to keep your HDL up, especially walnuts and almonds--and soy crisps, a low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie alternative that has only 110 calories in a pretty generous serving. What's important, though, is to get out of the habit of feeding our faces while watching TV or doing something similarly mindless and inactive--eating as a habit, as a nervous tick, as time-filler, an anxiety or frustration reliever, as an oral fixation, all those bad habits that just have to be broken for us to have success getting weight off and keeping it off, permanently. Eating needs to move from being just something we DO, or something recreational or self-medicating or whatever, to being how we fuel and nourish ourselves as needed. Not that we can't get a lot of enjoyment out of those times that we do fuel and nourish--we should. But we need to look at when and why we're eating as well as what.

Maybe the answer is to do less looking for substitutes that allow us to continue to snack at will and just do less snacking, overall. Which is hard to do, especially when one craves something like salt or when we've been using food for so many other things for so long, but if eating less = weighing less, then snacking less will contribute to that. Or, one could use the many-small-meals eating method, rather than the three-squares-and-snacks method; that way, it's almost always time for something that one is supposed to eat as a part of one's nourishing diet, so there's less looking for something supplemental during the longer stretches between meals. That's been working very well for me.

Sorry to ramble on so much! I just got to thinking about this as I was typing. Eliminating mindless eating is something I've had to work hard at, and I'm convinced that it's in part what's helped me with my weight loss. I'm sure you've heard all this before, but some things bear some repeating. :) I really think changing how we think about food and eating and when eating is appropriate and when it isn't is an important part of getting control of our weight and health for life.

As long as you are within your calories for the day, eatin at night has not been a crime to me! I often save something, usually my porridge and eat it at 8pm, its sprinkled with cinnamon, takes ages to eat and I look at it as speeding my metabolism up when Im asleep! I also heard that Turkey is great to eat before bed, Ive often had that with some pickle!Another good one for me was sweet rice cakes and a low cal hot choc, this only adds to 150 cals and takes quite a while to eat, after all, we are not usually hungry, its just boredom! Obviously I have had my weak moments, last night I had 300 cals of sweet popcorn at 9pm but thats not too bad for me, considering that I usually binge, I was very controlled for once! I know its sweet but the fat and calories are not horrendous, plus it takes ages to eat as you can just nibble away while watching tv! Tonight though........... NO treats for me, that was a one off! I used to be so good and just switch off after my evening meal, I will get there again, it just takes time to train your body and mind! Good Luck, H x

What I think it´s that chips are a bad help for your diet. They give you nothing as food, won´t you prefer some delicious garlic and tomato toast instead? My hint here is: don´t bring chips home, the first thing you should do is keep yourself under control at the supermarket... don´t go there hungry. And everytime you are about to eat something, weight it and count calories. Be conscious, my friend.
most of the time I make decaff with flavored sweetners and milk...........or a cup of hot tea sometimes takes the munchies away.

In my cupboard I now have rye krisp crackers, 100 cal pak snacks and Fiber One bars, and also (freezer) I have some pure juice popsickles.  These are my evening treats.

also I keep lots of fresh fruit, it solves my sweetness craving.  I have oranges, pears and kiwis.  The navel oranges are a specialty orange (forget the name) and peel easily and are so sweet.

sometimes I shake parmeasan cheese on my air popcorn........with a little spray so it sticks.

And, I try to quit eating 3 hrs before bed.
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I am proof that eating at night does not make any difference to weight loss.

I am terrible when it comes to eating at night and would rather save most of my calories for the evening.

I tend to eat around 840 calories until around 7pm and then eat a further 800 ish until I go to bed.

I try and stick to 1700 calories a day and I used to weigh 172 lbs and I now weigh 115lbs. When I was dieting properly I used to eat 1400 calories a day but now I am just maintaining my weight.

I manage much better eating less during the day but at night I feel weak and tired sometimes and need to eat more.

I do go to sleep quite late around 11.30 to midnight or sometimes even 1am. I sometimes eat minutes before I go to bed and it never affects my sleep if not it helps it as I feel fuller and my stomach is not rumbling. 

I hate feeling hungry when I go to sleep as that really disrupts my sleep.


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