Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Late Night Villians

Does anyone else have the problem of late night eating?

Seeing as I love to put food, and lots of it, in my mouth at all hours, I decided to challenge myself to not eat anything after 7 pm. Here is a typical night for me:

NW Denver, 8 pm: I’ve had a healthy, scrumptious dinner with my family and I’m so proud of myself for making it through the day having eaten well. I put the kids to bed, finish up with some last minute chores, then plop myself on the couch for a book or to watch some ridiculous reality show (most likely the latter…Bachelorette anyone?).

Then it starts.

The grumblings that very quickly turn into screams for SWEETS, SWEETS, I WANT SWEETS! or GIVE ME SOMETHING SALTY, DAMMIT! I’ll spare you the gory details, but once it starts, it’s hard to stop. The other night it was SIX OREOS and a half bag of a king size bag M&Ms. (I hear you. A half bag, that’s not so bad right? It was only a half bag because I had eaten the first half that afternoon.) Not kidding.
As you may know, late night eating can lead to weight gain. In fact, a synopsis of a study was highlighted recently in the New York Times. Check it out here.

When I give in, I not only feel bloated when I get into bed, but I feel the same the next morning. I really notice a difference on those nights and mornings where I’ve avoided eating. (A cup of hot herbal tea has helped me ward off cravings.) And it’s hard, people!

So, I’m going to see if I can make it an entire week without consuming any calories after 7pm. Let’s see, that would put me at June 22….and I have a wedding to attend this weekend. Crap! Does alcohol count?

Who is with me? Come on, I need some support and I’m happy to provide it too!

Cheers, Jeannie


  1. oh my goodness. for me, the after 8 munchies are my only chance to sit down for the day and enjoy what I'm eating. I'm either rushing to get to work, rushing because i AM at work, or dealing with the husband and kid. not all enjoyable food experiences. I love a bowl of air popped popcorn while I'm reading or watching Chuck or something totally mindless. But, no butter, no salt. I know, weird, right? Good luck. If you can do it, maybe I can give it a shot too! Still working on those last 5 baby weight pounds that just don't want to go!

  2. i read that, ideally, you should stop eating 3 hours prior to going to bed, so that time would obviously vary depending on your sleep routine. i do notice that when i eat late, even if it is healthy fare, that i do not sleep as well and i often feel sluggish in the morning.

    digestion is an arduous task so if you eat prior to bed your body has to spend precious energy breaking down your meal, rather than resting. at any rate, it's good food for thought jeannie!

  3. i am with you!

    i don't often get the munchies late night. i've noticed that i like to take in the most food during a four hour block in the afternoon.

    if i'm late on breakfast or take lunch too late, or skip it altogether... i will not eat right or feel right.

    my problem is my schedule makes for late dinners. i'll cook the meal, but i may not sit down to eat until 8:30pm sometimes.

    if that happens, i am totally sluggish the next day and rarely get a good night's sleep.

    oh and i can't find the ginger pb recipe i used, but found something roughly similar, i always play around with how much or how little of anyone ingredient i add, so please do the same:

    3 tablespoons canola oil (i also make it with olive oil and it tastes just fine)

    2 teaspoons minced garlic (i abuse garlic if there is such a thing as too much of it, so i definitly use more than prescribed)

    2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root (i heart ginger, so there is a bit of ginger abuse too)

    1 lime (this is an option for me)

    1 tablespoon tamari, or to taste

    1 T of peanut butter

    2 pounds firm tofu

    Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic and ginger, and cook for 1 minute. Add tofu to the pan with tamari (soy sauce), and stir to coat. Cover, and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Add 1T of PB and cook for another 10 minutes.

    Squeeze lime juice over the tofu before serving.

    Feel free to add veggies like broccoli, mushrooms, snowpeas, or carrots (I do, especially mushrooms and carrots) and garnish with crushed peanuts to make it look fancy :)

    Once you get your "base Tofu/PB/Ginger/Garlic" mix you can adjust as you see fit with each additional veggie.

  4. Thanks Chimmy! I can't wait to try that one.

  5. PS - Danny and I have a date tonight. The babysitter is coming at 7:15. I think I might fail my first night. How sad....

  6. well, I think oprah said nothing after 8pm? maybe try that instead first?
    i'm hopeless - how lying on the couch exhausted can make me want to snack so much is beyond me... chocolate and hard candy were rotting my teeth, so I tried ice cream for a while. HA! this extra weight is never comin' off at this rate!