One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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How do you curb nighttime snacking?

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Question of the weekI have been in night time snacking mode for a few days, ok, maybe weeks, now. Ahhh who am I kidding? Forever.

You know you’re watching TV, still full from dinner, when you “just want something” but you don’t know what. I can’t be the only one to utter the “I just want something” phrase. Tonight I cured the craving by melting chocolate chips on some graham crackers (sorry.. I probably shouldn’t have popped that idea in your head.) lol

Anyway, for me this is bored eating or trying to stay awake eating. Both things that can be solved by simply going to bed. But that’s not always realistic.

While losing I’d account for my night time habit by saving points and snaking on popcorn and/or light ice cream sandwiches. That worked but since maintaining I’m thinking my nightly snacks are going to catch up with me. Especially the handfuls of chocolate chips and graham crackers.

So I’m curious. Do you have night time snack issues? Do you indulge? How do you curb nighttime snacking?



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Discussion

There are 50 comments so far.

    Beth

    March 2, 2010

    I had been told to drink hot liquids after meals to aide in digestion and it will help keep you feeling full…..I kind of pooh-poohed the idea….but tonight I tried it….and it has helped! I made a mug of green tea with a little honey and I stayed out of the kitchen all night!

    Dev

    March 2, 2010

    As a general rule, I try not to eat after 8…..but if I absolutely have to have something I try to stick to gum, diet squirt, fruit, or hot tea. I think in my case, it’s more mind over matter. I know I’m not hungry, but sometimes I just MUST have something.

    YourInnerSkinny

    March 2, 2010

    I love snacking as well. Seems I’m always eating… Seriously, ALWAYS EATING.

    At night I stay away from anything carby (even thought they’re my fave!). Veggies and dip are great to keep around. A smoothie. A protein shake. Some chicken or ham or turkey. Yogurt. A few slices of low fat cheese. Foods that are high in protein are good because they fill you up. And if you DO need that carb fix, a pita and some hummus is tasty.

    Krista S.

    March 2, 2010

    I like making vanilla red tea lattes with nonfat milk and sugar free DaVinci or Torani vanilla syrup. I brew a vanilla rooibos tea bag in 1/2 a mug of water in the microwave and then I pour 6-8 oz of cold nonfat milk & 2-3 pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup into my small French press coffee maker and I pump the press several times to create a heavy foam. When the tea is done, I put the foamed milk in the microwave for 90 seconds and then I mix it into the tea. It’s really thick and rich and keeps me satisfied. If I’m extra munchy, then I make a 100 cal bag of popcorn and top it with buttery flavor cooking spray and nutritional yeast. YUM.

    Evelyn

    March 2, 2010

    Since cutting out unnaturally low-fat products and incorporating reasonable amounts of naturally occuring fats (quality olive oil, butter, coconut oil, cooking chicken with skin on and then discarding it) with my meals I no longer have the urge to snack in the evenings. Something about having plenty of naturally occuring fats I have found leaves me more satiated after meals and less in want of “something else”. And I haven’t gained any more weight (maintaining a 35-40…I never weighed myself at my heaviest…pound weight loss for the last 8 years now)from using regular fat products either and I’ve been slowly making the switch over the last year and a half.

    charlotte

    March 2, 2010

    Nighttime snacking is my Achilles heel!! I get the kids in bed and out comes all the stuff I won’t let them have;) My only fail-proof method is to go to bed early. My reasoning skills get more and more…er, generous… the later it gets!

    Mehgann

    March 2, 2010

    I’m a snacker, and this week has been the WORST since I started losing weight! I was down 26 lbs, but I am pretty sure I have gained some of them back. I haven’t had the nerve to get on the scale the last two days. Eek…

    I love hot tea, so I think I will try that one!

    Caroline

    March 2, 2010

    While I don’t do this all that often and I should, I brush my teeth after dinner. I find that once my teeth are brushed I don’t have the urge to eat. I know it sounds weird but it works. Note to self…start brushing your teeth after dinner rather than before bed.

    Runeatrepeat

    March 3, 2010

    I am really really trying to stop my night time snacking habit. Brushing and flossing after dinner helps.

    Brushing my teeth really helps me as well. If I need something, I’ll usually head for the vegetable tray.

    MarrgieAnne

    March 3, 2010

    Since I have been allowing myself a ‘planned after dinner snack’ I rarely want it. If I have this night-time snack I usually choose a small serve of Greek yoghurt with diet jelly/jello and fruit and try to eat it at least 2 hours before going to bed. It seems to be working well for me. Before I would join my husband, who has 2 large slices of toast, by eating a well filled sandwich then wanting more. I heard somewhere years ago that a 4pm snack of brazil nuts and dried apricots would help prevent the evening munchies. Worth a try but I did not find it worked that well.

    dawne

    March 3, 2010

    I curb the nighttime snacking by making myself have a cup of tea and if I still want the snack after I am done, then I have the snack. It works most of the time…

    christina

    March 3, 2010

    Hot decaf tea has helped dramatically – hardly ever is it that Im hungry. So I enjoy my tea and then if I still want to munch I will go brush my teeth and floss and if that doesnt work I get online and post on my blog or go to my mommies group website and whine about how I want to eat… that typically works!

    WaistingTime

    March 3, 2010

    The best thing for me right now is to keep busy away from the darn TV! I am spending a lot more time on my computer in the evenings for that very reason.

    Jodi

    March 3, 2010

    Every night I have between 3 and 6 sugar-free hard candies. If you suck them slowly, they keep your mouth busy for a while, and satisfy the sweet-tooth. They do nothing for actual hunger – but I’m usually not actually hungry in the evenings – just want something. These do the trick.

    Paige

    March 3, 2010

    When I was little, we had something sweet after dinner every night. Sometimes it was a small bowl of ice cream, other times it would be a few cookies. As a result, I still want something sweet every night. Instead of trying to cut out the sweet thing, I actually count it in as part of my dinner when I decide how much to put on my plate. Usually, my “sweet thing” is a small container of yogurt topped with a few cheerios and some blueberries. It comes in at less than 200 calories and hardly any fat. That way, I feel like I’m having something sweet…but it’s something healthy instead of sugary and fatty.

    Heather

    March 3, 2010

    I actually like my after dinner snack! And I almost always have 2-3 points even after dinner for a little something. The usual suspects are 1 point selections: 94% FF popcorn, Jell-O Mousse Temptations, Murray’s Sugar Free Chocolate Cookie Bites, Hostess 100 Calorie Snacks (Chocolate Cupcakes, Carrot Cupcakes or Crumb Cakes), FF Pringles, a light string cheese, a Good Humor No Sugar Added frozen treat. I guess my “trick” is that I save the “treat” for the end of the day, so it feels like an indulgence, but, in reality, it fits within my Plan budget.

    Janice

    March 3, 2010

    I am a snacker all day long. My nighttime snack is usually hot air popcorn with a little spray butter and some salt (I have to have a little salt on my popcorn). Sometimes, it is toast but I usually like the crunchy popcorn and I think it comes from the idea of eating popcorn while watching movies. Who knows…but that is usually my snack. Whether I am hungry or not.

    BigTickles

    March 3, 2010

    I usually brush, floss and gargle right after dinner. If I am really snacky, I will have a cup of green tea. That usually works for me.

    Jaye

    March 3, 2010

    I don’t buy snacks. I don’t buy popcorn, cookies, chips, crackers. I only buy food for pre-planed meals. Saves space, saves money and saves calories.

    Now, if I am really really really wanting a snack, I will walk 2 blocks to the grocery store and buy it that night. But since we are under snow, the thought of walking to the grocery store is not very appealing. Before I go and buy grocerys I stop and get gas and get a snack so I do want to buy snacks while shopping.

    If I don’t have it I won’t eat it….

    Lori

    March 3, 2010

    I plan for my evening snack, usually a piece of fruit, and eat it by 8 at the latest. Then I just keep my bottle of water in hand for the rest of the night. If the munchies come at me stronger than usual I will just go back to the bedroom and read because I know I won’t eat anything in bed, who wants to sleep on crumbs all night.

    All Women Stalker

    March 3, 2010

    I don’t snack at night because I hate feeling food in my tummy when I lie down to sleep. O.o

    Mari Larkin

    March 3, 2010

    Wow. There are alot of resolved people out there who control their eating at night. We usually watch a TV show before bed, and that is when we want to munch. On our plan we usually get some form of a snack as long as it falls in the 100 – 200 calories. This is usually lite popcorn. It’s the beer or wine that causes us to stumble the most. Hard to resist on some hard days!
    Think after reading all your comments from today, I’m resolved to try harder at night to resist.

    I’m a bad night time snacker. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to break the habit so I try to allot some points for it every day. When I know I need to stop eating because I’m eating for absolutely no good reason, I try to drink a little hot tea, then brush my teeth. It works most of the time.

    Laura

    March 3, 2010

    The nighttime snack thing is a problem for me, too. Last night I had the points for it, so I had a snack with no guilt. Other times, I knit easy patterns while watching t.v. It is an easy way to keep my hands busy and get small projects accomplished. Not everyone is a knitter, I know, but it is a useful trick. Another trick is to do EASY sudoku puzzles while watching t.v. Another thing I will do is fold laundry while watching television. Busy hands = no snacking.

    Loren

    March 3, 2010

    I tried brushing my teeth to curb snacking, but that only worked so well. Now I rinse with Crest Pro Health mouthwash (the blue kind) and that helped a lot. It makes things taste funny for a couple of hours after rinsing.

    CertifiablyFit

    March 3, 2010

    I have lost about 100lbs in the last 3 years and have been maintaining for several months now. Since the start of my journey, I have always had a nighttime snack after dinner. I spread my food intake over the day and eat 6-7 times a day. I have no problem with having my nighttime snack but I keep it in the 150-200 calorie range and makes sure I have balanced my intake throughout the day so that it won’t put me over what I should be eating. I say if you are someone who finds yourself wanting a nighttime snack then figure out a way to fit it in to your healthy eating plan. In my opinion the more we try to fight what our body is telling us, the more overboard you end up going with it and then the guilt we feel for failing to resist leads to an even more issues.

    Danielle S

    March 3, 2010

    I tend to have a vita top or vita brownie!!!

    Erika

    March 3, 2010

    Oh how I understand “I just want something.” A few tricks I’ve discovered that work for me to tame the night time cravings are: have some hot cocoa (since it’s hot it takes awhile to drink and I still get my chocolate fix) or hot tea, brush my teeth about an hour before going to bed (that’s when I’m most likely to snack) or paint my nails (won’t dig in a popcorn bag with wet nails) (or some other hobbie that involves hand work like knitting).

    I am always craving “dessert” at night and usually allow some low-fat ice cream or something similar. I know if I cut it out I would lose those last 5 pounds though!

    Mischelle

    March 3, 2010

    Night time is the worst – my philosophy that is engraved in my head – “What no one sees me eat doesn’t count” UMMM, yes it does count and it shows on weigh in days. The thing I have to keep saying as I drink yet another glass of water is “Nothing tastes as good as skinny looks”. I am a night owl and usually am up until 1-2 am every night – not good for the health/weight loss either. I’m a work in progress and that is ok – just keep plugging along every day.

    Jeri Lyn

    March 3, 2010

    Wow, most everyone seems to have better strength than me. I like to have something sweet @ night, I know that, so I plan for that. I don’t count points, but I do count calories so I allow for a 100-200 calorie dessert each night. That normally works for me. Sometimes if i’m overtired or stressed I do start craving a second dessert (come on let’s be honest), but then I do try to head straight to bed. NO SECOND DESSERTS!!! Well usually!!!!!!!!!! :)
    Stay strong Roni, you are great & an inspiration.

    Jill

    March 3, 2010

    I brush my teeth very thoroughly and then floss and then rinse with mouthwash and maybe even use a whitening strip. After that I don’t want to mess it up by eating.

    Chris

    March 3, 2010

    While it is still a few points, I LOVE my red wine. I find that if I allow myself a glasse of red wine after dinner while I am watching TV, I don’t want anything else to interfere with the taste of my wine. A small glass is only 2 points, and I find it so satisfying at the end of a long day, and definately keeps me away from higher point snacks. I love days when I have enough points left for 2 glasses :)

    love2eatinpa

    March 3, 2010

    if i get hungry at night, i try to have a cup of tea or coffee, chew a piece of gum or suck on hard candy. those things usually do the trick.

    Amber Lynae

    March 3, 2010

    Night time is the worst. I am normally very reasonable with my daytime eating. But at night “I just want something.”

    Jzbell

    March 3, 2010

    I have to agree with the others who say they just go ahead and plan for that. I love a sweet little something after my meals. If I consciously pick and portion something, I’ll eat it and be satisfied. But if I grab the box or the bag or just mindlessly graze in the kitchen, I get into trouble… even the Girl Scout cookies and the B&J ice cream is not so bad if I only eat a single serving.

    One favorite lately is Luigi’s Italian Ices… they come in several fruity flavors, individual 100-calorie cups, and I split it with the boyfriend. No reason to feel guilty about that!

    But Chris – I do love my wine as well. =)

    PT Girl

    March 3, 2010

    It’s one of my worse habits. My husband brings ice cream, cookies, pecan pies and chips into the house all the time – drives me insane. I am human and break down… but I love Cheerios and air popped popcorn so I try my best to stick to those types of treats.

    Nicole

    March 3, 2010

    I have been dealing with this issue for quite awhile…eating after the kids are in bed; hungry or not. It was how I filled my quiet time…t.v. & food.
    After starting to regain the weight I struggled to get off I decided to put it into the hands of a “Higher Power.” I’m not going to get all religious on anyone but as a practicing Catholic my 6 y/o & I were discussing what to give up for Lent. I always give up candy each year but this year I’ve decided to give up eating after 8p.m. By the time dinner is cleaned up, the kids have theirs baths, homework is done & the kids are in bed it’s 8; therefore, no more food for me. The first few nights were rough…I felt like I was missing out on something???? But now I actually feel good. I’ve heard my stomach growl in the morning for the first time in a long time. And the fear of being “struck down from above” (years of Catholic school
    guilt) keeps me honest :)

    Helen

    March 3, 2010

    I have a hard time of this, too! I try to make the snacking very small but indulgent, like one or two small pieces of Dove dark chocolate, with some chamomile tea in a pretty teacup.

    Kasey

    March 3, 2010

    As a lifestyle coach for clients trying to lose weight, night time snacking is a topic we discuss ALL the time!!

    I think the best way to avoid overeating after hours is to ensure you are filling up with high-quality protein all day long (think small portions every 2 hours).

    When your body feels satisfied, you are less likely to crave fattening extras!! Also, if its a psychological thing, adjust your favorites to include a lower calorie substitute.

    For example, if you love ice cream, try frozen yogurt or plain yogurt with berries. If you like salty things, opt for healthy pop and portion out amounts to your family members (so you don’t eat the whole bag)!

    For more tips, checkout trim360.com

    Reinaldo

    March 3, 2010

    I make celery and carrot sticks a few hours before. Add some hummus. Dip in.

    Yes, I know, yuck. But really you dont need something “tasty”, you just need somthing to chew on without even see or taste what it is. Mindless eating at its fullest. After a while it becomes a really good taste. Also chewing hard raw carrots really makes you full.

    Also I dont keep crackers or cookies in the house.

    Nina

    March 4, 2010

    I’d say, as you get bouts of night-time snacking since you can remember, you should ask yourself if it is a habit you want to get rid of. If yes, try to become aware of it and find a replacement.

    If not, accept them, plan ahead and develop recipes. Prepare something healthy and delicious for those moments. This way, you don’t feel guilty about it and you don’t start weird and high-caloric experiments.

    When you feel like chocolate, try to melt a little on a banana. Eating one half or even one whole is nice, but at least I would get sick if I ate more. Other fruit also works, but banana is the most filling, it’s like two or more bars of chocolate but saves you the calories. A drink of hot chocolate with low-fat milk and not so much sugar also often does the trick.

    Or maybe you should drink some water first? Hunger is often mistaken for thirst. And even if you still feel like eating something because your craving is inspired by your mind rather than your stomach, you cannot eat that much after drinking water because your belly is filled a little already.

    Annalisa

    March 4, 2010

    There’s a few changes I made recently that has helped….I build it into my daily allotment, If I feel snacky I change rooms to signal that I’m all done, read instead of watch TV (New Years Resolution), or go to bed.

    Green tea and candy canes. I figured it out over Christmas and stocked up on candy canes when they were on sale. I can’t believe how it curbs my late night snacking and satisfies me too, I am usally a salty gal but I think the time it takes to eat, and the crunchiness really helps me.

    Tiffany

    March 4, 2010

    I go to bed….works the best for me and I know when I wake up, I have 24 more points to eat. This works most of the time. I lay there with my belly just asking for it, but I really can wait til the morning. I think that NONE of us know what it really feels like to be starving. It is just wanting something.

    Connie

    March 5, 2010

    I am a night time snacker. I don’t think I can ever get rid of it because of the “relaxing” effect of it but I am learning to live with it.
    I usually have some fruit with my husband while watching TV. Some sunflower seeds in shell to keep me busy. After that if I still want something, I usually start from Good Earth team (sweet cinnamon flavor does the trick) -> A cup of HOT almond milk with cinnamon really fills you up. After that usually I am really full.
    Once a month if I really want to binge, I eat 1/4 flatout with laughing cow. Even I give in 4 times, It is 1 flatout (100 cal) + 4 laughing cow (140 cal). It is 240 cal, which is a lot. But it is binge night and much better than bread, nuts, butter and chocolates — together can run up to 500 or more!

    Alison

    March 6, 2010

    When I was in losing mode the nighttime snacking got really out of control where I’d save more than half of my points for dinner and beyond!

    I think deep down it came from a fear that I would get hungry when I was sleeping and then I’d be unable to sleep. I’ve had experiences where I would wake hungry (mainly b/c my calorie consumption was so low).

    I’m challenging those fears by eating a slightly bigger dinner and not snacking at night – on some nights. Instead I’ll have some tea which fills my tummy and gives me something to savor and enjoy. FYI Harney & Sons hot cinnamon spice/sunset tastes like big red gum and is very sweet (so sweet you have to wonder if it really does have calories). I have a big collection of teas.

    I do still snack some nights. BUt other nights I’m learning to not eat and embrace the feeling of going to bed slightly hungry. It isn’t so bad!

    I’m trying to teach myself not to binge. I have times in the month where I do end up bingeing (and I’m not talking about a laughing cow and flatout – I’m talking about whole jar of peanut butter and half a box of cookies for instance). It’s getting better and I think part of it is learning to forgive myself when I overeat. Learning to focus on my spirtual life and the power God has in my life instead of food. And trying to eliminate the diet mindset and focus on healthy eating instead.

    Last night I had some pita puffs and chocolate. Maybe I “shouldn’t” have eaten them, but it was controlled for me and I’m not beating myself up today. That is all I can do for now :)

    K

    March 13, 2010

    Somethings that have been working for me is to make sure that I have a dinner that has a reasonable amount of healthy fats, protein and quality carbs. Also the biggest one that has really helped is working out later at night about 9pm. Not only does it curb my snack sensors but it also seems to help me drop weight quicker. I also find that trying to be too strict just doesn’t work. I’ve found better dessert choices. Such as one commentor mentioned vita brownies, or strawberries with fat-free whip cream. But I find that if I buy certain types of foods that are tempting than I have to pass. So chips, a whole cake, or boxes that have lots and lots of product don’t tend to work for me.

    Seb

    May 26, 2010

    Make snacks less yummy. Use a mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, such as Corsodyl in the UK. Chlorhexidine kills bugs, but it also blocks the sensations of saltyness and bitterness. This makes many snacks much less palatable and easier to resist. The effect seems to last about 3 hours.