Night Time Binging – The Right Way!
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When my head is in a good place diet-wise, I can stick to my diet pretty well all day. It’s not easy, but I can refuse the bacon with breakfast and the French fries with lunch. A reasonable and appropriate diet dinner? Not a problem.
Then comes the evening “settling in.” It’s the end of a long and busy day; a time to relax on the sofa in front of the television or with a good book.
Minutes – literally minutes – after the dinner dishes are put away, my mind begins the dreaded “Snack Foraging” mentality. “What can I find to nibble on?” “I’ve been good all day, what little diet-appropriate treat can I have now?” “I’ve saved calories, now to eat something I really want.” An evening snack is not a bad thing – most diets even allow it.
So what works for your final food intake of the day?
For me, the old standby “Have a piece of fruit” simply does not cut it. The last thing I want after dieting all day is a lousy orange (tasty as they may be). Well, in complete honesty, I do have an orange (or two or three) in the evening, but that’s often becomes the first course of the evening binge. After the orange, I launch Foraging Part B, which can take me to the inner depths of the refrigerator and cabinets.
When a binge begins, any food (even a box of slow cooking pudding or frozen cookies) can become the Holy Grail of night time eating. And let’s face it, how many of us on the binge eating slippery slope have needed to “run an errand” to the local convenience store and happened upon the freezer with ice cream?
Now I suspect you’re hoping that I’m about to impart pearls of wisdom on how to avoid binge eating. Sorry, even though I’m down 110 pounds, I do not have the answer for you. My struggle is as difficult as yours. But, I won’t leave you hanging on this. Here are some things that I do to fight the evening binges.
- My house is fairly clean of pudding and frozen cookies. And I’m too lazy to go to a store at night and seek out a an ice cream sale. If you live alone, controlling food on the shelves is easier. With a snacking family, it’s harder to clean out your home except to not buy that which you love to eat.
- I hate to say this because I’ve always thought it was a cop out, but having a cup of tea (or other beverage – no, not wine!) really does help.
- I do nibble at night. I’m into air pop popcorn (sorry no butter or salt, just plain) and I eat a lot of it.
- I like diet ice cream bars. Not the watery ones, but the ones that are like ice cream. They are about 90 to 100 calories. I’ve even been known to dip them in a little low calorie whipped topping (just enough to make it feel like a treat)
- If I make it through the evening without overeating (say I’ve come in late from a meeting), I’m not above having a bowl of low calorie cereal (under 120 calories). I measure it (no – do not eat by the handful out of the box).
- And finally – I do not allow self-guilt. If you have had a sterling diet day and you have left room for a few “fun” calories at night, that’s okay. If you get into those frozen cookies and eat a couple of them, don’t throw in the towel and then finish the entire package. A few cookies won’t destroy a good diet day. Feeling like a loser and eating all the cookies might.