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Help with the evening eating

(19 Posts)
Shedpaint Mon 24-Aug-20 14:43:43

I have struggled with this for years.
I don’t necessarily sit and eat bars of chocolate or crisps- it can be normal food as it were (yoghurts, bread, cereal etc but would concede it’s much more carby than my normal intake so it’s not all hunger based) but it’s the volume that is the issue.

I’ve been trying to set a calorie target and I’ve sort of stuck to it (fading a bit after a few weeks) but in order to hit it I have to eat almost nothing in the day so I save it all for the evening.
I realise this is very unhealthy and unsustainable and it’s the evening I need to tackle.
If I eat less in an evening I often find I’m lying in bed with a very definite hungry feeling in the pit of my stomach although interestingly if I hold off I’m often not hungry again by morning.

I’ve got the point where I don’t feel hunger even eating almost nothing all day but then even after a healthy protein and fat packed high fibre evening meal I just can’t settle without constant grazing. I drink water or fruit tea and distract myself but feel what I recognise as hunger late into the evening even if it actually isn’t- thats how it feels.

It’s psychological but seems to have some physical side effects now (as above re being satiated at night).

Has anyone tackled this?

Eating more in the day makes no difference at all and just leaves my overall intake higher.

Hoping for some breakthrough!

OP’s posts: |
Galaxxy Mon 24-Aug-20 14:59:39

2 or 3 balanced, filling, healthy meals throughout the day, within a time frame that you're 'fasting' overnight for at least 12 hours. Make sure you're getting plenty of healthy fats (eg olive oil, avocado etc) and plant protein. No snacks. Absolutely no need. Your calorie goal sounds waaaay too low if you can't eat more than one meal? Is it 800? If so I don't think it's sustainable for long periods of time, say longer than 2 weeks. Also acquaint yourself with hunger. If you have a filling breakfast, a small but nutritious lunch and then a good, filling, balanced tea, you should feel reasonably hungry before you eat. Hunger (normal, healthy hunger where you're not medically starving) isn't painful. It's a vague itch type feeling that really won't cause you any harm (provided you are actually eating well at the right times throughout the day). Really analyse that feeling when you feel it and consciously note that there is no pain, tell yourself it isn't causing you real distress. A cup of herbal tea, a glass of water etc can help. I think its often a case of deconditioning as societally we are now so used to feeling very very mild hunger, often psychological, and instantly fulfilling that that 'itch' that it creates a psychological dependance on not feeling true hunger ever.

Galaxxy Mon 24-Aug-20 15:02:08

Forgot to add, try to keep mealtimes regular so your mind and body knows when next meal is coming and isn't having a hunger panic because it's worried about when it will get the next meal, if that makes sense!

PopAVit Mon 24-Aug-20 15:07:08

Don’t have temptation in the house or put it away in a cupboard.

Fill up on veg and protein.

Have a snack of a boiled egg.

Take photos of yourself as a reminder that you want to lose weight.

Use my fitness pal.

Sairafina Mon 24-Aug-20 15:17:48

If evening grazing is an issue, try brushing your teeth after your evening meal - I hardly ever want to snack after the minty feeling!

Could you trial going to bed earlier/waking earlier and enjoying a healthy protein filled breakfast?

Shedpaint Mon 24-Aug-20 15:21:35

Thanks for the replies

I’m not sure I was clear
I don’t have a low goal- it’s about 1400
And this is an issue whether I am trying to lose or not.

I eat a decent evening meal but then keep acting in the evening- not snack type food that I could just not buy- it’s typical household essentials- yoghurt, bread, salad, you name it. I can’t just have no food in!

Eating healthy meals in the day does not stop me feeling a huge compulsion to eat in the evening.

I was looking for other ideas.

Thanks @Sairafina the teeth brushing does work- I just struggle to get out the kitchen to do that as I know it will signal the end of my eating!

OP’s posts: |
AriettyHomily Mon 24-Aug-20 15:29:11

Can you IF but shift the window? Skip breakfast and lunch and just eat in the evening?

PopAVit Mon 24-Aug-20 16:21:03

Chew gum.
Eat a sugar free mint.
Use willpower.

Look up some helpful videos on YouTube.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 24-Aug-20 16:23:48

I found that I just had to stop. That's it. When I started to lower my portions which included evening snack I actually even ended up in a bad early few times.
After a week, I was fine. What I do is taht I have set evening snack time and pre plan what it is. I know there is something coming and it helps to calm it. But yeah. Basically you have to stop and break the habit.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 24-Aug-20 16:24:59

I also did 10 squats every time I caught myself by the fridge... My arse is wonderfully round now!

TheSunIsStillShining Mon 24-Aug-20 16:27:15

try ditching counting the calories. I have a long standing gut issue, can't eat loads of foods and in general have to be very careful. I think I"ve probably tried every variation of nutritional plans (not diets) there are.
I do what you do out of necessity* when i have to go to a workplace so I know what you are talking about.
What works for me
- eat small portions during the day and specifically keep an eye on blood sugar levels - what raises it quickly, what will have more of a prolonged effect (I think GI diets can guide you on this)
- I don't eat breakfast, but I do snack on some cashews (10-15) around 10 or a tiffin or 2
- lunch: instead of sandwich go for salad with a topping (chicken, tuna, egg, potatoes)
- dinner should not be any bigger than lunch. You have to change your mindset from "this is my one big meal and i have to eat as much as possible" to "this is just another small meal in the line of meals i have". The first will trigger a basic survival instinct that than means you will crave more because your brain thinks it needs to eat as much as possible, because it will be a while until your next proper meal.
- i ditched the concept of "proper meals" - mostly due to the loads of things I can't eat. This means that I look at food as sustenance and calorie intake, not as a way to indulge or reward. This doesn't mean I don't cook tasty foods and don't enjoy them, but my attitude has changed.
- know what contains what. Be your own nutritional expert. It takes about 2 books. The basics are not hard or complicated.
- make sure you eat healthy, vitamin rich foods and that there is no missing elements.
- at one point i had to do a food diary (for a year) and it really helps to assess what nutrition you might be missing and have a think about how you can supplement it some other way.

*i have an input/output issue as well, so if I eat a proper breakfast I will have to have output options a few hours later. And I do not go for longer in office toilets! Same for all meals above a certain -very small- size... It's a bugger.

QueenCT Mon 24-Aug-20 16:29:36

Can you pick something to graze on? So save some calories
10 cal jelly
Popcorn (lots of fibre!)
Freddo bar
Low cal sorbet or IC

QueenMabby Mon 24-Aug-20 16:36:14

I found that the trick that helped me was not to say I “couldn’t” snack in the evening but that I “didn’t”.
So I would never say to myself “I can’t eat anything else after my evening meal”. Instead I just tell myself that “I don’t eat in the evening”. I frame it mentally as a choice rather than a restriction and that works for me.

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 24-Aug-20 17:05:07


Can you pick something to graze on? So save some calories
10 cal jelly
Popcorn (lots of fibre!)
Freddo bar
Low cal sorbet or IC

Popcorn can be high calorie so carefully on that. I was so disappointed by the microwave ones😂 bastards

QueenCT Mon 24-Aug-20 17:12:23

@SchrodingersImmigrant yeah I get the salted ready popped bags and weigh it! Sainsburys sweet and salted ready popped isn't too bad for the amount you get

SchrodingersImmigrant Mon 24-Aug-20 17:33:19

That's good to know! Thanks!

Lovelydovey Mon 24-Aug-20 17:35:03

Clean your teeth early in the evening and drink water only. Soon becomes a habit!

And make sure you’ve eaten enough during the day to keep you going throughout the evening.

Yayalala Tue 25-Aug-20 19:36:17

@Shedpaint I am the same as you. I do well during the day but dinner and the snacking afterwards lets me down. I feel like I am looking forward to dinner and evening as my main meal to the point I just can't stop eating when I get there.

I do better if I eat late, around 8-9pm but that's too hard for the rest of the family. DH wants to eat around 6pm but I get hungry again by 8pm and start raiding the kitchen.

I think I will try what @TheSunIsStillShining suggested and train myself to accept dinner as just another small meal rather than the main one. I tend to sit in front of TV all evening too so maybe I will try to stay busy to distract myself.

Good luck!

Shedpaint Tue 25-Aug-20 20:03:36

@Yayalala so good to hear from you- that’s it exactly. I can hold off all day without much bother but I enjoy my evening meal so much i just don’t want it to be over grin

That is the same no matter how much I’ve eaten in the day so I do have to restrict day eating else I’d just gain a huge amount of weight.

I also prefer eating super late to minimise munching time but not very conducive to family eating sadly.

OP’s posts: |

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