Destroying Your Diet Between 7:00 and 10:00 PM
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I can be spot on when it comes to dieting during the day.
Eating out for lunch or dinner? No problem. I am positively virtuous in my food choices!
Snacks between meals? No problem. I’m not tempted by a candy bar or a cookie.
Grocery shopping without a list and when I’m hungry? I can handle it. No backsliding at the bakery counter for me!
But sometimes, sitting down after dinner in front of the television (with those food commercials) or with a book to read? That’s it, I’m done – bring on every fattening food in the house – and if there is no fattening food – I’ll assemble, make or bake it!
Why do I, why do so many of us, so easily slip into binge mode after a perfect diet day? For me, it’s the faulty thinking of:
• I’ve been good all day, I deserve this
• I’ve had a stressful day, I’m earned the right to a few snacks
• I can handle having just a bite or two
• I’m bored
• I’m tired
• I had a small dinner, I need more food
• I don’t care
• I’ll start fresh tomorrow
Ask any of my close friends and they will tell you that “Linda is totally committed to her diet. She never waivers.” They might even add “She’s become a bore about eating only healthy food.” And they are right – until I am sitting alone beginning about 7:00 PM. That’s when good Linda is taken over by the Linda who buys in to all of those aforementioned excuses.
Happily, that night time diet devil does not appear every night. But, sadly, when it kicks in with:“Just a bite, just a taste, it won’t hurt,” it’s very hard to resist.
So what do I do? I succumb, but within certain parameters. When the hungry horrors hit, when the binge is unavoidable – I eat. Yes, I still binge, but on the lesser of the evils.
… air pop popcorn. Perhaps one bowl, but likely two (no butter or salt).
… cut up fruit with yogurt – lots of fruit
… frozen fruit bars – several of them
… sugar free gelatin – the entire bowl
… low calorie pudding cups – several of them
… oranges (my favorite fruit) – two or three of them – or an entire container of strawberries or blueberries
And if I’m really going off the deep end, I …
… eat left over chicken
… create an egg white omelet
… drink several cups of low calorie cocoa
… have pita pocket with a smear of peanut butter or some light cheese melted on top
The diet gurus say: “everything in moderation.” Sure – convince me of that one when I’m working on my second bowl of popcorn!
The common denominator with my nighttime binging is that – although I can go overboard – my food choices are the lesser of the diet evils. I don’t need three oranges, four frozen fruit bars or an egg white omelet at 9:00 PM. But if choosing those lower calorie options keeps me from baking a tray of brownies, eating a pint of ice cream, or devouring the kids’ snacks, I’m okay with that.
I was told once that dieters should shut down their kitchens at 7:00 PM. And I couldn’t agree more. But – it’s not that simple. Unless I go to bed at 7:05 PM, my kitchen is open and calling to me.
I’m not advocating eating at night. And I’m not recommending my evening food choices as being the perfect binge alternatives. However, if you have an occasional “I’m out of control” evening, consider lower calorie food options. That egg white omelet might just get you through a tough patch and to bed time without totally blowing your diet.