It’s Q & A Saturday! This is a special weekly post of answering reader questions in more elaborate detail.
This weeks reader question, " I'm calorie counting and know I need to stay between 1200-1500 calories in order to lose the weight I want, and its been going well. I'm pretty satisfied with my food choices, but seem to have hunger pangs in the evening even after I have already had dinner and my healthy snack. Have you experienced anything like that and can you provide me any advice on how to handle it?"
Yes and yes! When my babies were small and toddler aged I was drained from busy nonstop days of taking care of dependent children who needed me constantly. I would have crazy hunger at specifically 8:31 pm every night.
Why is that time so specific? I remember it precisely as the time all the children were in bed for the night and hubby and I were ready to sit down to watch some TV together. All of a sudden like clock work I would be ravenously hungry! After discussing it at length with some counsel of a wise accountability partner I discovered it was strictly out of habit. The kids were peacefully asleep and it was my time to relax. Relaxing meant happiness, calmness, joy, comfort. And what did all those feelings bring about for me? Always eating in some way. Getting the picture?
It was HABIT! My body just expected a snack after the kids went to bed in order to relax. You see hubby and I also used to eat snacks in front of the TV all the time before I started my weight loss plans after my first son was born 12 years ago. So what did I do about it you ask?
The Water Test
One thing I did to combat the want and need to eat since I knew I really shouldn't be hungry having had a snack 30 minutes earlier was the water test. I drank..... no I had to guzzle because I only like to sip, I guzzled a full glass of water then waited 15 minutes. If after the 15 minutes I still had hunger than I could ONLY eat some protein like an egg or vegetables.
Evaluate Your Last Meal
There have been times I know that I was legitimately hunger so evaluating what I made for dinner was something I had to look at. Fish is wonderful, but often doesn't fill me up for long. On those nights of having fish for dinner I needed to make sure I had a healthy carb like brown rice, barley, or quinoa and double up on my veggies. I then planned a healthy snack an hour before bed. It worked for me!
Talk Back to Your Food
And then there were sometimes for no apparent reason I just wanted to eat at night. On those nights I truly had to talk out loud to myself, fight against the desire to snack on unhealthy choices and talk back to the food. Sometimes you just have to say NO! I will not let food control me! No I will not give in! No I won't EAT you! I will only feel a few minutes of fleeting joy and regret after!
And the most JOYFUL feeling after is when You DON'T give in. Each time you don't give in to snacking when you know you don't really NEED it.....YOU.GET.STRONGER. Those times will build one upon another and it will get easier to say no because you know you've done it once so you can do it again!
I hope you can find some encouragement today and take away some tips to help if you also struggle with unnecessary snacking, especially at night.
Share your thoughts with me or questions 🙂