Weight Loss
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Why am I so hungry at night?


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Hi All!

I am so frustrated, I stick to my plan all day long. I sometimes feel hungry after breakfast or lunch so a small snack is no big deal. Once my husband gets home and it is time for dinner (which I cook at home 5-6 nights a week) I eat normally. But then the  night time trouble begins I want everything under the sun. I want cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream!! I work out really hard and keep my intake in check all day long just to ruin my hard work at night!

Do you think it could just be emotional? I have no problem staying within my calorie range all day long, so why the dramatic change in the evening? I spend my days at home (I am a SAHM) so it can't be the change in environment,,, I need help !!! 
21 Replies (last)
maybe because you need to eat more during the day?
try saving up some some calories for the cravings at night. give your self a reasonable snack to munch on and you may not feel so deprived at night.
I think part of it is that I get bored at night you know sitting around watching TV. If I try to save calories for at night then i really go crazy, on the other hand eating more during the day does not slow me down at night either! I am sure it has to be out of boredom...

Maybe I should try to be more active at night, but once the kids are in bed I am exhausted from the days activities!

Thanks Though
#4  
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I am exactly the same way! I usually tell myself not to eat at night...and then I sit there and do nothing and think about food until I eat everything in sight! Its horrible and I don't know how to control my cravings!
#5  
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Are you getting enough protein throughout the day?  I find on days that I don't get enough of it, by nighttime I am starving and make poor food choices.  Your body can't store protein like it does carbs and such so it is important to get enough throughout the day.
Eating a small breakfast, a really big lunch, snacking on veggies and lite dip, pickles, and tofu thoughout the day, and then eating a moderate size dinner with a planned dessert an hour later has helped me a lot with overcoming my nightly eating. I know I will crave a treat an hour or so after dinner, so I plan for it. Even if it's something ridiculous: like last night, I knew I wanted a Snickers Ice Cream Bar (actually has less cals than the regular candy bar!) so I accounted for that and ate less calories for dinner.
I'm not giving up sweets, I have no desire to do it. This is a compromise I can live with.
One more thing... when I'm too strict with myself, all willpower goes out the window and I'll sabotage myself. A plan that allows you to eat what you want, no matter how ridiculous, as long as it fits your calorie budget is the only thing that has worked for me.
Maybe try to eat more filling foods for dinner.  I find that after an enormous bowl of rice & beans, or lentils & veggies, that I'm too stuffed to even think about dessert.  Another thing that helps me control this kind of "mindless" eating is whole psyllium husks ... it's a soluble fiber that swells in your stomach and helps you feel full.  If you try this, it's essential to drink lots of extra water so you don't get dehydrated.  Last suggestion is maybe you aren't eating enough throughout in the day ... so your body is trying to make up for being underfueled earlier.  If you find yourself feeling hungry during the day, maybe you just need to shift more of your calories to breakfast and lunch.  Good luck ... I know from experience how hard it is to break this kind of habit!  ;-)
I had a problem similar to yours. Sip on a diet caffiene free coke. It helped me.
I used to have the same problem, and the only thing that worked for me was getting rid of all the processed sugars, period. And I'm not talking about for a week, or a month, but for a while. Then you lose the tastebuds for them. It's really interesting.

What helped me the most was replacing those sweets with fruit! A clementine REALLY goes a long way, or half a banana with soy nut butter, mmmmmmm.

But yeah, I definitely get the munchies at night if I haven't eaten enough during the day. Make sure that's not the issue, either. :)
I think knipp hit it on the head.

The last thing I eat during the day is my "dessert."  It's usually 1 cup of grapes, some yogurt, and a cheese stick.  It totally puts the finishing touches to my day's menu, and leaves me wanting nothing else.

And the suggestion to have it about an hour after dinner is also a good one -- even longer than that.

a large, juicy apple would also be a good way to end the day -- the chewing, the sweetness -- might be just what your body wants.

you can plan it in as part of your calorie budget. 
#11  
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My problem isn't in the evening, it's the middle of the night. I won't be hungry when I go to bed, but then I'll wake up at 3 am or 4 am STARVING! So much so that I have to get out of bed and eat something, ANYTHING. I usually have a glass of milk or a piece of toast and go back to bed but them I'm starving when I wake up.

This is my first day with this website so I'm hoping to find some things that will help. My biggest problem is that I'm hypoglycemic so if I'm hungry, it usually means that my blood sugar is dropping and I can't just chug water. I am looking to lose about 50lbs and have been struggling the last few years to find something that works. I'm only 23 but I am struggling to stay active. My mom and I go to the gym twice a week together. I'd like to go more, but I've got some pretty severe back and hip problems. I used to be in fantastic shape, but since I graduated high school 5 years ago I've gained 70 pounds. I'm 5'8" so I don't look like I'm as heavy as I am, but I feel it in my clothes.

I've become very depressed about my weight and am having a hard time finding hope and motivation. I've tried for over two years to lose weight but I just keep gaining it. Any help would be appreciated!
Hi yellowdaisy, a few suggestions:

1) Get the cookies, cakes, pies and ice cream out of the house! I'm serious! If they aren't there, you won't be able to eat them. You may not have to do this forever, just for a month or two until you wean your sweet tooth. Or, at very least, switch to low-fat choices in single-serving sizes you can keep close control of... and slowly wean yourself down over time.

2) Turn off the t.v.!!! All the commercials tend to make us hungry. Also seeing skinny fit people over and over can actually make us depressed about ourselves, lowering our self-esteem, making it easier to reach for the cookies, because we are feeling bad about ourselves and ALSO because they provide a serotonin boost (i..e, improve our moods).

3) If you can't turn the t.v. off because hubby likes to watch it, then take up a hobby like knitting or other crafting, that will keep your hands busy. Remember that fidgeters tend to burn a lot of calories.

4) Clean the kitchen after dinner and make it shiny and sparkly and mentally "closed" for the evening. Sometimes this works... I won't want to dirty a dish, not after I've already started the dishwasher.

5) Are you an emotional eater? How is your marriage? I ask because I used to be an emotional eater during my first marriage. In my case, it wasn't sweets - it was crunchy foods like popcorn and cereal. I was angry at my then-husband and suppressing my anger to be the "good wife." So I'd stuff my face and crunch crunch crunch instead of expressing my anger. Just something to consider.

Or perhaps you reach for "comfort food" late at night because the day is done, kids tucked in bed, and you feel you deserve a reward now? Or is it the way you relax and unwind? Can you think of other, non-food ways to relax and unwind, like a hot bath? Or maybe you are just so dog-tired, what you really need is an earlier bedtime and more sleep?

6) Allow for a bedtime snack in your allowance (as everyone else has suggested). Just make it a healthy, low-cal one. I find that mashed sweet potatoes with a bit of light whipped cream works great, it has fiber so it fills me up, and it's very sweet. Plain low-fat yogurt is another one: it has a mouthfeel similar to ice cream. When only chocolate will do, I have a stash of little bite chocolates at only 25 calories each... but it's the real stuff. Mmm. If you like to bake, try your hand at angel food cake. If it's cookies that you love, try the refrigerated cookie dough and instead of making a full batch, just bake one at a time.
Hi whtrose, you might want to start your own thread, for additional support and advice, but I can relate to your story!

Like you, I get sugar swings and I can often wake up in the middle of the night starving, or have trouble falling asleep in the first place. I know they say not to eat after dinner, but I HAVE to eat and I feel better if I do. I also sleep better. So go ahead and keep snacking - just make sure it's a small, healthy snack with a bit of carbs and a bit of protein. Milk is perfect. Also try a handful of nuts.

To deal with the hypogycemia:

1) Stick to complex carbs, i.e., whole grains, which are richer in fiber and absorbed slower. Concentrate your carbs later in the day, to help you sleep. Simple, refined carbs will only make your hypoglycemia worse.

2) Boost your protein intake. Have some protein at every single meal and snack time.

3) Reach for fiber-rich veggies and fruits.

4) Stay away from processed foods.

5) Spread out your calories, eating 5-6 mini-meals instead of three big meals. This will help even out your blood sugar.

6) Get exercising. Regular cardio can really help with this. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking a day will do wonders, and no gym required!! Just make sure you're not starving before you exercise, I've had occasions where I'll almost faint because I run out of steam. Walking is also a great activity to help with back and hip problems (which by the way I have a long history of myself). Just make sure your shoes are the right shoes for you... you may have pronation issues that aren't helping your hips and back. Or you may have a leg-length discrepancy and need a heel insert (see a physical therapist who can evaluate you). I've also found yoga is excellent for this. Also, I would steer clear of the weights until you get the hip and back problems sorted out.
Excellent post, jenmcc. And very well-written. :-)
#15  
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Thank you jenmcc, I will start my own thread for additional support. I can use all I can get right now. I'll just copy my original post.

Thanks again.
Hey there Yellowdaisy779,

I've been here for a few weeks, but until today haven't "said" anything.  I'm not a SAHM, but I do have 4 kids (ages 8, 6, 5 & 3) and a husband to feed when I get home.  It's impossible to get rid of all those foods that are so bad for you when you have young children and another adult in the house. Here's what I've managed to do to help w/ those nasty late night cravings and dinner in general.

1. I decided that I wouldn't eat after a certain time at night. My goal was 8pm, but I started w/9pm. Then slowly upped it 15 minutes. So the first week it was 9pm, then the next week 8:45, etc... I'm at 8 pm now, and let me tell it can be tough, when I want something sweet and it's after 8pm. I just tell myself, oh well, you can have it tomorrow. Then I would read or get on-line and go to a weight loss sight. Oh, and my favorite, I when I wanted something I would jump on the scale. Oh yeah, that works every time.

2. My husband and I made a deal. He cooks for himself and the children and I clean up. He also has to put the leftovers away. I'm terrible at picking!

3. I went out and bought some of those 100 calorie snack packs. I was amazed at what's out there. Hostess cupcakes, Lorna dune cookies, etc... Yeah, they still aren't good for me, BUT give me a bag a chips and I WILL eat the whole thing. This can also help if you save some calories for your late night cravings. You know exactly how many calories your putting in your body. They make everything smaller (for example the cupcakes have 3 bite size cupcakes), but because there are 3, it makes me feel like I'm eating quite a bit, and I eat one then leave and will have another one, and then the last one. The only problem I have w/my snacks, is my kids!! I have to be sneaky. How is it, they can't hear you when you tell them to put their jackets on but let them be upstairs in their rooms, and you downstairs in your room and they can hear the dang wrapper opening!?!

Well...I'm not sure if this going to help at all, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

Good Luck~
#17  
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I know that I have a cup of coffee and that really fills me up. Then I drink alot of water also. I always have the 100 calorie packs around and will snack on those as well.
Coming from another SAHM.. It sounds to me like "boredom cravings"; at least thatā??s what I like to call them. Just try keeping busy or try eating something healthier like yogurt, nuts, or even sugar free candies. I buy a bag of sugar free candies to suck on when Iā??m craving sugar real badly! Works like a charm! Good luck you can do it!
If you can get rid of all of those snacks, try to buy ones you don't like. MY husband also has problems with blood sugar & eats late at night, especially something sweet.  Here I thought he was the odd one getting up at 3 am to snack & then going back to bed.

I would agree with the above find a healthy snack to get you through the night, but try finishing it up with something low cal & sweet.  Sugar-free ice pops are only 15 cal, sugar-free snow cone syrup 5 (not to mention these keep the kids entertained).  So your body's needs are met & your mind finishes up on something sweet.
Good luck.

do you check blood sugars?.....Im a diabetic I stuggle with samme issues...

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