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Losing and winning the battle with the late night snack monster.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I eat most of my calories just before I fall asleep. I settle down for the last few hours of my day and invariably, she comes from under the couch- the late night snack monster. I hate her and she won't leave me alone.

I know that when you eat your calories is irrelevant- that your body can't tell time. But knowing that the belief that eating food after 8:00 pm will go straight to fat is a myth- doesn't make me feel any better. If I just quit snacking and went straight to sleep, I'd waste away in short order.

I like crunchy stuff. I like salty stuff. That's what I crave and if I have time to watch one of my favorite shows from the DVR late at night, I snack. I promised myself I wouldn't, told my self I couldn't- but then of course I do it. I read all the does and don'ts on SP. Don't bring the bag to the TV they say. Do you know how much time is wasted getting up over and over to get another 2 cups of popcorn or weigh out another serving of Synders mustard pretzel pieces? I lose the flow of the show and before you know it- I don't even know who has the immunity idol! Then I get frustrated and need to eat some chocolate or something.

I'm fortunate that I only eat around 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day and so that leaves some room for snacking, but when I get up around 2,300 to 2,500 calories, I don't lose weight. Maybe I'm even allowing for it and setting myself up for the late night snack binge by keeping my calories down. Food for thought (pun intended)

But here's what is different today from days of old. I don't eat butter laden popcorn in a 5 gallon bucket. I don't eat potato chips. I don't eat chip dip. I don't eat tortilla chips or nachos or cheese puffs. I don't eat Doritos and I don't eat sun chips. I know that I have to have the crunchy stuff and that nothing else will do, but that doesn't mean that I have to single handily be responsible for the next Lays stock split. Instead, what I buy and have around these days, is Quaker rice snacks; sweet chili is my favorite but I eat the cheese, the BBQ the ranch- they all rock. The Meijer brand? Just as good. I eat reduced fat cheese nips or cheez-its. I love the pop chips especially the original and the BBQ. Skinny pop popcorn is real good or I make my own with only a tbs of oil. I eat Quaker mulitgrain fiber chips and get 3g of fiber while I'm at it. All of these snacks are satisfying and quite healthy. I even love those original Pringles Light fat-free chips! Only 70 calories in 15 chips- amazing! and unlike some- the olestra doesn't send me to the crapper so I'm good to go on those. Try them and see if they work (or don't) for you.
I've also learned, although it cost more- to buy the smaller 3 serving bags. If I mow the whole...I mean- WHEN I mow the whole bag down- I've only eaten about 360 calories and 4 to 6 grams of fat instead of masochistically plowing through 2/3rds of the larger bags.

So these days, although I still need to slay the late night snack monster- she's not completely foiling my healthier living agenda. She comes, I feed her, she's happy, she leaves- and while I'd be better off if I never saw her again- and although she thinks she is- I'm no longer letting her have her way with me. Losing weight is nice, but my real goal is-- not gaining any. Thanks to stocking up on better, healthier snacking alternatives and then eating less of them- I'm meeting that goal
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • CAMAEL100
    Sounds like you are not doing too bad. Have you tried cutting the association completely. That is the need to eat while watching TV? When you turn on the TV, your mind is telling you that you need to eat something. I was told that by a hypnotist that I went to years ago. Our mind associates eating with certain other actions and we need to sever the connection completely.

    Mine was stopping at a shop every morning on the way to work and again on the way home. I changed my route and cut many calories!!

    I have to say also that some nights I go to bed so I am not tempted to snack.
    3300 days ago
    I am definitely experiencing this too. I think the best thing to do is just find better snacks. There are some popcorn brands that list the calories for the whole bag (I can't remember which one it was, but I got it from BJs, one of the light popcorns). I have more of a sweet tooth though I tend to keep the foods I can't stay away from out of the house.

    You seem to be doing pretty well with your nighttime snacking, exchanging unhealthy snacks for healthier ones... I believe just being aware of it does a lot to deter the behavior, enough to stay on track at least.
    3307 days ago
  • NADS1959
    Thanks for the comments! mplane, the relaxing thing- I think you are on to something there. Just don't know how I could relax during the day... maybe I just have to think of a habit to replace it with like slimwish suggests.
    3307 days ago
    WAY TO GO!
    3307 days ago
  • MPLANE37
    I was a night time eater too. I found out that, it was totally related to relaxing at night. Obviously one cannot stay tense even at night, so the solution is not "not relaxing at night" but trying to relax during the day, a few times, for short periods of time. That way, at night there isn't an extreme need for relaxing, just a moderate need, and hopefully with little to no food being involved.
    3307 days ago
    Congratulations...I've always heard if you take something out of your diet or life, you need to replace it with a healthier alternative or habit. Otherwise you are at risk for falling back to the same old food, behavior, or habit.

    You are doing great. Keep it up!

    3307 days ago
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