I Eat at Night and Lose Weight

How’s that for a title, eh?  It’s not actually something I’m particularly “proud” of.  It’s also not really something I advocate.  And so, if you’re currently in the habit of NOT eating after, say 8 PM, I want to be the first to say, “Good for you!” and also, “Keep at it- that’s awesome!”

But, me?  I eat.  Between the hours of 8 and 10 PM.  Many, many nights.  Yet, it doesn’t cause me to put on weight and, in fact, I just successfully dropped enough poundage to slide back in my size 6 dress… all while eating at night.

 

Here are my 5 tips for eating at night without sabotaging a weight loss plan, whatever that plan may be:

 

  1. Recognize if you’re HUNGRY or SNACKY.  There are times when I am really, truly hungry after 8 PM.  Since I often serve up supper at 5 PM, this is not surprising.  Our kids have early bedtimes and we like to have some time to play with them after, so this early dining time works best.  The downside is that Mama often gets the tummy grumbles long before the grown-up bedtime rolls around.  Still, there are definitely times when hunger is not what drives me to the pantry– sometimes I just feel like munching on something.
  2. If you’re hungry, EAT, but eat real food.  I frequently heat a cup of soup or toss together a sandwich if I’m truly hungry.  Eating an endless amount of Doritos to try to fill a tummy that craves real nutrients just isn’t the smartest way to go.  Sometimes,  a cup of berries or a diced apple with some cinnamon will do the trick.  Other times, I need more of a “meal” type thing like the soup or sandwich I mentioned.  It doesn’t usually take much and I end up a much happier and more satisfied chica.
  3. If you’re snacky, consider if something else would make you happy.  Sometimes, I can play a video game with my hubby or crochet something and that keeps my hands busy enough to not be reaching for treats.  Other times, I realize that, really, I’m pretty darn tired and I should just go in and go to sleep.
  4. If only a snack will do, pick something you love.  If you’re desperate for chocolate, go ahead and eat some of the good stuff.  If you really want some chips, have your very favorite kind.  I am of the mindset that, if I’m going to indulge in treats, I want to fully and completely enjoy it.  I’d rather “spend the calories”, if you will (though I’m not really a calorie counter), on something I’m going to love every moment of.
  5. Realize that there is no “one way” to lose weight or eat healthy.  Are there “better ways” to do things?  Of course.  Are there tried and true methods?  Absolutely.  Still, it’s completely useless if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you.  Eating at night is just one of those things my guy and I do together.  I know this.  The key is finding a way to make it work so that it’s still pleasant, enjoyable, non guilt-inducing, and in a way that won’t sabotage my entire diet/exercise regime.

 

Eating at night?  Yep, though it may not be PC, it works for me.

 

How about you?  Do you eat/snack in the evenings or do you cut off the food after dinner?  What works for you?

 

 

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13 comments to I Eat at Night and Lose Weight

  • Great tips! I loved what you said about no one way working for everyone. I used to stop eating at 8, but my husband’s schedule changed and now, I delay eating dinner to almost 7:30. It’s really challenging to stop eating right after that, so I don’t know what’s working best nowadays. Thanks for this post.

    • I think that how/when I eat is constantly evolving… we definitely ate later dinners back when I worked full-time and we had no children. I have a feeling our schedule will change again as my kids get older and involved in more activities, too. Or, like you, my husband’s schedule could change at any point and necessitate an adjustment in things. I think the challenge really is finding something that works for the season that you’re in. :)

  • Great point about the difference between being hungry and just being snacky. I have found at night, a spoon of peanut butter often helps when I’m hungry. :)

  • Mellodee625

    I have never in my life gone on a diet. When I was younger I didn’t need to and later it was never a critical need. I have a small frame, and I don’t eat a lot besides I have a decent metabolism. Nevertheless, I have always believed that if you use good sense and know your body, having an ice cream cone or whatever Every now and then, isn’t going to hurt anybody (I’m talking weight here, not diabetes or other health conditions). It when you have an ice cream cone every day that it is problematic.

    I’m probably not the person to be saying anything, given my weight history, but some people just don’t seem to understand the concept of restraint!

    :)

    • I’ve never truly “dieted”, but– given my eating disorder history– it’s critical that I avoid that mind-set anyway. I’m very much an “exercise to lose weight” kind of a gal. Well, that and nursing babies… that peeled oodles of weight off of me. ;)

  • You know what? I think you are mistaken, there is not a “better way.” Eating healthfully and spending your calories wisely is the smartest way to go for lifelong happiness with your weight. I kind of think that eating after a certain time thing is a gimmick. If you eat 2000 calories and burn 500 you get 1500 whatever time of day. I think the problem for most of us is we choose the bag of doritos (giant bowl of ice cream, jug of wine) and fool ourselves into thinking it’s just one portion when it’s really probably quadruple a portion.
    BTW you look AWESOME!! Great work! I’m starting tomorrow for sure on my exercise plan.

    • Aw, thanks Heather! I totally agree with you on the whole net calorie thing. I guess it’s more that I’m sure someone would tell me I could likely be even slimmer and more healthy if I had, say, kombucha (sp? I don’t even know.) and kale when I snack at night. Or that my eating plan is a failure anyway because (gasp!) I just ate something dripping in refined sugar. I just wanted to get a disclaimer in there that I am not, and have never claimed to be, the be-all and end-all when it comes to nutrition advice. ;)

  • jan

    giggle, she even posted a picture as evidence :) Good for you!! Unfortunately, in my house, we eat the full dinner at 9pm every stinkin night … I just choose not to eat a meal at that time, but a little of this and that with no snackys before hand. I need to get the Hubby and family OUT of that rut (all older kids, 18 and 20). I refuse to let myself have a goody snack BEFORE I eat dinner. Just because I know ….

    • We have the occasional 9pm dinner when we do a late night date night at home after the kids go to bed, but I think I’d have a hard time with as a daily routine, too. (And, yeah, I just had to post the pic ;) … I’ve held onto that dress since before my (3) kids days. I was kind of shocked to be able to put it on!)

  • Susie G

    Great tips and I especially love #4. For heaven’s sake, eat something you enjoy! My daughter calls anything less “sad fat.” We love “happy fat.” :-D

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