Wanted to add : It isnt a short term fix ,you will have consistently work on it , I am much better now sometime last year I used to eat 800-1000 calories at night alone - root cause is because I was stressed and anxious during the day which gains strength all the more at night because there are no distractions.
Pounds lost: 0.0
Fitness Minutes: (1,100)
8/13/20 2:10 P
I too struggle with this at times found that consistent stress busting and relaxation helped. Tracking calories what I ate during the night also helped because it helps my brain to realize for a fact how much I ate. Still when I have been stressed and anxious during the day I tend to eat at night....
Is your therapist able to suggest something else you can do to distract yourself into relaxing? A fidget spinner or some sort of craft maybe like knitting or crocheting that takes two hands? Or maybe if you use tv time to do some simple bodyweight exercises like squats/planks/pushups/etc? I don't know if you've tried meditation but there are many free apps you could use for guided meditation. It took me a bit to find it relaxing, but now I really enjoy it.
Healthy choices and actions have positive impacts, even if the scale doesn't move!
I found a book that has proved very helpful. . . Brain Powered Weight Loss by Eliza Kingsford -- I bought the Kindle version.
She advocates knowing your best DISTRACTIONS -- things you can easily turn to instead of the behavior you want to change. For me, my best distractions include: -- Drinking water (or a flavored beverage) -- Cleaning something (like a junk-drawer or a cluttered shelf) -- Doing a quick chore (get the mail, pay a bill, etc.)
She also has you identify self-soothers (other than those nite-time snax). Here are some of my examples. . . -- Music, entertainment (like a good movie) -- Soothing, fragrant hot tea (or, on a warm evening, iced tea) -- Soaking my feet (or going all the way with an at-home pedicure) -- Taking a nap -- Finding a book to read
She also advocates finding ways to ENHANCE the moment (this is to get you out of boredom which often preceds overeating), again, my examples. . . -- Petting my cat (she's always up for this) -- Intentional, mindful breathing -- Hand massage, with nice lotion -- Filing my nails (always a good use of time) -- Using aroma-therapy (a diffuser or a roller-ball application intended for skin) -- Going out in nature (today I saw a bunny & heard a woodpecker)
I'd recommend the book and the exercises. They've been VERY beneficial for helping me focus on the habits I WANT in my life.
The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
-- Leo Buscaglia
current weight: 166.2
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/24/20 1:46 P
Thank you so much for the very detailed advice!! :)
There are a few things here that I can't attempt just due to the complexity of my health situation that is just too detailed to get into (basically I have GAD and a few other health issues I don't want to get into, but that is why I have a regular therapist. I have a super stressful job, but it also brings me a lot of joy and I wouldn't give it up for all the weight in the world so I go to regular sessions to keep the stress down so I can still do what I love)
Routine is one thing that actually helps me with my stress and eating control, going out of my routine with most likely make me out of sync again (just like when COVID first happened) and I have ADHD so asking me to meditate is like asking a baby to never cry (however I didn't mention that so I am sorry that is my fault)
I will be more careful about my daily intakes though. It is true that sometimes I won't eat everything I packed for my lunch to try and leave calories for the snacking later, which in turn doesn't actually help you are right. :)
Edited by: QUEENZECAT at: 6/24/2020 (13:44)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/24/20 1:34 P
Thank you for the advice!! This I will try tonight, but instead of eating the soup before I eat dinner, I will save it for after as that is when I start to want to eat everything. This way I get to eat when I am craving it but if I have a low-cal broth soup I can stay within the calories that I leave for after dinner. (I just ALWAYS go over that amount, but it's usually around 200 so I can probably have 2 bowls if I want)
Make in advance any of the low calorie soups on this site. Start your meal with soup, eating it as slowly as you can. Then, when you have your mail course, you've already been eating for a bit and your brain may be getting the message that it's not famished any more. Loads of studies have show that you consume fewer calories overall if you start a meal with soup and, as has been noted below, taking your time and focusing on your eating will also keep your total consumption down.
Many people have an issue with "being great all day" and then caving during the evening because they are actually eating too little during the day. It's also not just about calories, it's about eating what keeps you full as well. Cravings are wanting something specific, be it salty, sweet, beef jerky or ice cream. Anything and everything nearby tends to be hunger or emotional eating.
If you can't devote your attention to just one thing, look into mindfulness practices or meditation. Trying to do two things at once is a recipe for not paying the least bit of attention to at least one thing that you are doing, so the other thing that you are distracting yourself with is obliterating any chance you have to pay attention to your actual hunger cues.
If you can try to drastically switch something up. Have a substantial snack when you leave work and go for a long walk, swim or bike ride when you get home before dinner. Or have dinner, but then head out for a long walk. Basically plan on doing something each day that is drastically different than what you are doing now - volunteer, exercise, pressure wash your house, garden, anything that gets you out of your routine. It can be very hard to keep the same routine but change one big thing, so a big change that takes you out of that scenario in the first place. Think along the lines of someone going to rehab, then a halfway house and then into a supportive environment rather than trying to make big changes in the same rut they were in before. You have a very strong habit of doing one thing and mindlessly munching in the evening, so doing the things that you usually do without mindlessly munching is going to be very difficult. Distracting yourself by delivering Meals on Wheels, going for a swim or coaching a little league team is going to get you so far from reading on your couch that it will be a little easier to keep your hands out of the bag of chips.
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a pretty interesting read. You may also want to read up on, or discuss with your therapist, emotional eating. Eating is a fuel your body sort of thing, not a relaxation technique. It sounds like you need to find something that you truly enjoy being present doing in the evening to relax.
Exercise should not be about looking at your food choices with rosier tinted glasses. Find something that you enjoy doing or that has a non x amount of calories burned goal. Go on a walk to see a night blooming plant or the sunset on a nearby lake or in a different neighborhood to pick out your dream house or to pick up litter from a stretch of road or to catch up with a friend. I did a Zooma challenge this year and one of the runs was an alphabet scavenger hunt. So you had to find an item that started with a, then b and so forth. Really try to come at this sideways or figure out the opposite of what you are doing now.
Either keep snacks out of the house -or- Leave some calories for a snack.
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." ~ Randy Pausch
"There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results." ~ Art Turock
"We have a saying in Tibet: If a problem can be solved, there is no use worrying about it. If it can't be solved, worrying will do no good." ~ 7 Years in T
Fitness Minutes: (0)
6/23/20 2:34 P
My struggle isn't how I view food, or what I eat as I am generally healthy and grew up learning to appreciate all foods and flavours.
The reason I can't lose or maintain a healthier weight because I over-eat at the end of the day, and I've been struggling with this ever since my first full-time job after college. I'm great all day and always hit a good cal count by dinner time. However, after dinner when it is my time to relax, I want to just eat EVERYTHING. (EDIT NOTE: I do usually leave about 200 cal after dinner for this snacking)
I have tried everything to distract myself so I don't do this, but the reason this doesn't work is because I always have to do 2 things at once, so if I choose to read or play video games, I can still eat at the same time. I have even tried to vape with no nicotine because some people say that it worked for them, but I just lose my willpower at the end of the day regardless. (EDIT: I have ADHD which is why I have to overstimulate myself when relaxing)
My therapist says it is because I have a mentally exhausting job, but it still doesn't help my cravings at night and my job is a huge part of what makes me happy so that isn't the issue.
So my question to you all is, how do you stop yourself from eating at night OR what do you munch on other than popcorn to stay within the count without just going to sleep? This is my 'me' relaxing time, so am I just doomed to always overeat while I am working full-time?
P.S. I exercise but it just makes me feel less guilty eating more, doesn't solve the over-eating problem.