I was wondering how many of you have odd schedules and find yourself eating in the middle of the night as well as during the day.
I start and end each food day at midnight, so if I snack after that then I count it towards the next day's calories.
I also start my new food day at midnight, but usually won't eat anything until I wake up. Midnight is basically the cut-off.
no i dont eat past nine and my day starts when i wake up
For me, my day starts when I am "up for all day." For example, during the 2-plus weeks of the Olympics, I might have stayed up until 6:00 a.m. and then slept until noon. So my day started at noon, because I was "up for all day." However, I might have fallen asleep at 8:00 p.m. and have awaken at 3:00 a.m. and have eaten breakfast and watched the Olympics, etc. and have been "up for all day." So my day would have started at 3:00 a.m.
Thus, I determine my day's eats based on the period between when I am "up for all day" and when I fall asleep for my longest sleep of the day.
I find myself eating a lot during the middle of the night, so I get confused as to what I count for each day. But, I kind of do what shane_paladin does. So, for example if I fall asleep at 12:30 and wake up at 1am, eat something, fall back asleep at 2am, then wake up at 5:30 am, fall back asleep and get up at 7:15am for the day, I count the first night snack for the day before and the second night snack as the new day.
And, yes I realize this is a horrible schedule, seeing as how I eat most of my calories during the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. It's something I am trying to change. It's just hard because I get in such a rut and get really anxious during the day.
I never eat after my dinner meal, am usually asleep by or before midnight, and always weigh myself in the morning when I wake up and after I use the bathroom.
If you maintain regular habits, it is easy to define your "day." It becomes a little more challenging if you're on a swing shift, or if you stay up all night partying, or do anything that upsets your awake/asleep schedule.
I worked 3rd shift for a long time. I always counted "breakfast" (at 7:30 p.m.) towards the following day. "Lunch" was at 1:00 a.m. and I usually didn't actually log anything until I got off work at 5:00 a.m. So Calorie Count would already be on the day that I wanted to log for, anyway. If I logged breakfast before I went to work, I would have to remember to change which day I was working on before I added my food. "Weekends" (not usually Saturday and Sunday, though) were tough to try to log, because I wouldn't be up at the same hours. I eventually just started to consider my days off work as cheat days, so I wouldn't have to figure out what day to log them as. Third shift sucks sometimes for so many reasons. I think I hated the phone calls while I was trying to sleep more than anything else.
I use midnight to break the days up. If I eat in the middle of the night (say 2 or 3 am) I usually take it from my calorie budget for that day. However, if I think I was mid-night snacking because I didn't get enough calories the day before, sometimes I will split the difference and assign half to the day before. My thinking is that if the reason I was so hungry at 2 am was because I didn't get enough calories the day before then it doesn't make sense to be overly restrictive again and perpetuate a cycle. Using this approach has actually dramatically reduced the frequency with which I wake up hungry and I can still look at calories in vs. weight over time.
[Note - my goal is mostly maintaining]
I end my day when I go to bed. If I have a snack at 2 AM I put it in the previous day and start the next day when I wake up with either breakfast or a pre workout snack.
For purposes of weight loss or maintenance it makes absolutely no difference when you start your 24 hour period as it's determined by calories consumed and burned over time.. If you have a few more calories oneday and a few less the next it all averages out