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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 07:22
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default How to wage war on the evening?

Hello everyone,

Those of us with behavioural or emotional eating issues (and there are a lot of us) often suffer in the evenings. Sometimes is seems akin to "colic", ie what happens to those babies that cry for the first few years but are never diagnosed with anything. For some strange reason, 6pm comes around, and internal chaos sets in. Or whatever. It's bound to be different for each person, but you know what I'm talking about. I have incredible self control at work, or out and about. But once at home, where I'm supposed to be able to relax.... you guessed it. All **** breaks loose. Or, if I do find a way (eg carb counting, exercise tracking) to control eating in the evening, I obsess over it until I make it dysfunction. Sound familiar to anybody?

I must "defeat the evening" if ever I am to change something. But before I officially wage my war, I would like to know if anybody else out there has an evening problem. If so, do they have good ideas for how to get beyond it? And if you are one of those rare, lucky folks who actually no longer has to worry about a past evening-problem, can you share with me what you think were your keys to success?
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 08:13
TucsonBill's Avatar
TucsonBill TucsonBill is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 339
 
Plan: ≤ 20 carbs & IF
Stats: 292/235/170 Male 72 Inches
BF:
Progress: 47%
Location: Tucson, AZ
Default

I only eat one meal a day, but I make it my evening meal. I spend much of the day thinking about it, planning it, shopping for it and then slowly preparing it. I eat is slowly savoring every bite and I eat until I a full. If I should happen to get hungry again before bed time, I just start thinking about what I'm going to have the next nite

Audio books also help me fall asleep at nite if I need something to take my mind off something keeping me awake.
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  #3   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 08:24
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default

Hum yes, the whole intermittent fasting idea. I've been listening to Fung on youtube a litte bit. Its pretty convincing and logical. But I think that usually what we are addicted to is what needs to be weeded out, and I will totally binge that evening meal. It might not be carbs, but I'll eat the whole damn goose. So I hear you, and I'm thinking that fasting is more and more attractive. You are not the first person to mention it to me. But I might do the opposite.... like no food after 3 pm. So anyway, item number one in the arsenal:

1. Intermittent fasting (either excluding dinner, or gourmet dinner-centric).
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  #4   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 08:31
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,196
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

I used to have trouble with evenings but that is a thing of the past. A lot of things made a difference. First and foremost changing to a very low carb diet brought my hunger down to something more manageable, not that ravenous gotta eat and gotta eat right now. For this to have an effect you have to be very diligent in your diet and not let those carbs start sneaking in. Secondly I learned to just notice the cravings without giving them any energy, without telling myself how much I wanted/needed this or that food. Instead I told myself that cravings just come and go so if I could just notice the craving but not act on it it would pass. It might come again and very quickly but each time it came it would also pass as long as I just watched it and didn't tell myself anything that made it harder to experience. Finally I set a rule, no eating after 6PM and for the most part I stick with it, plan my eating around it, don't let myself deviate from it or only minimally when life events intervene and I eat something a bit later than usual.
What you tell yourself about the craving makes a big difference so try to give yourself different messages about how cravings are temporary and you can ride them out. Eventually it will be true and not so hard.

Jean
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  #5   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 11:06
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JLx JLx is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,089
 
Plan: Eat less, less often
Stats: 242.5/213/207 Female 66
BF:High wt, 276, 255
Progress: 83%
Location: Michigan U.P., USA
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Quote:
And if you are one of those rare, lucky folks who actually no longer has to worry about a past evening-problem, can you share with me what you think were your keys to success?


I guess I am one of those "former problem" people as I very rarely eat in the evening. I actually don't have much of an evening, now, for one thing because I go to bed early and get up, or at least wake up, very early. So my evening meal, which I always eat even when fasting, as I fast dinner to dinner when I do fast means I don't get hungry before bed. I had to force myself to go to bed earlier back in the day after I read a book about cortisol and stress. The author said to respect the body's natural circadian rhythm, reduce lights at night, go to bed early, etc. Perhaps circadian rhythm is a factor?

Dr. Jason's Fung information about the importance of "when to eat" as well as "what to eat" was also very influential to me. I quit eating so often, including evenings, which was just a self discipline thing, very hard at first, easier now.

When I first started IF, dinner to dinner, I did eat too much at that only meal of the day, but then it became routine to just eat a normal meal. If it's protein you are afraid of overeating, then perhaps the answer is to make sure you get good fiber with your meal, either as vegetables or a supplement, such as acacia or glucomannan. Fiber gets dissed by many lc'ers because it's associated with grains, but soluble fiber especially can be beneficial.

Quote:
...dietary recommendations for women during their premenopausal and postmenopausal years can help maximize metabolic and appetite control....

Overall, it appears that incorporating a greater proportion of soluble fibers into a meal delivers generally more metabolic, appetite and energy intake control benefit to adult women than a similar amount of fiber with a higher ratio of insoluble fibers.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5389022/


Research into the gut microbiome is in its infancy, but I think it's clear enough that it's important to feed those gut bugs with appropriate fiber.

Dr. Davis on the subject, in chronological order:

Fertilize the garden called “bowel flora” http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2014/...ed-bowel-flora/

The finer points of prebiotic fibers http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2016/...s-finer-points/

Are there raccoons in your garden?http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2016/...in-your-garden/

Foods rich in prebiotic fibershttp://www.wheatbellyblog.com/2017/...ebiotic-fibers/

The answer for you is probably going to be found in why you eat in the evening? Habit? Hunger? The power of suggestion? (TV)
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  #6   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 11:52
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
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Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default

Thanks for all the feedback. Here is how the list if filling out:

1. Intermittent fasting (either excluding dinner, or eating only gourmet dinner, or rules like no eating after XX pm).
2. Very-low carb limits (helps control appetite)
3. Talk to your cravings. Learn to recognize them and address them. Let them know they are not important and can be dealt with. Watch them come and go.
4. Eat before bed (in a planned manner) to control sleepy-time hunger issues.
5. Respect a decent sleep cycle; avoid circadian perturbation.
6. Fiber maximization (including soluble fiber supplements)
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  #7   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 12:28
JLx's Avatar
JLx JLx is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,089
 
Plan: Eat less, less often
Stats: 242.5/213/207 Female 66
BF:High wt, 276, 255
Progress: 83%
Location: Michigan U.P., USA
Default

Well, I think fiber maximization might only be helpful if the problem is one of appetite, not feeling full after a meal, lack of satiety, cravings, nervous energy, boredom. I am a believer that gut bugs can have a clear influence on cravings, for instance as I took a probiotic that had me craving sugar, real sugar, something I hadn't eaten in several years. On a blog, I heard other people saying that same brand seemed to awaken certain psychiatric symptoms for them too. Prescript-Assist this was, which other people swear by.

Can you pin down why you want to eat, or what specifically?

I joined a real life weight loss group last year, and evening eating is apparently a big problem for people. I'm sort of the "information director" for the group, so I'll be reading this board with interest to bring back info to them, though none of them are lc.
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 12:47
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default

Why I want to eat? Sometimes it feels like true hunger. Sometimes there is no reason... it is a compulsion. Sometimes I'm not aware that I am eating. At certain times I have thought, wow, I don't know how to enjoy anything other than eating. I should learn how to take pleasure from other types of sensory input. There is no specificity. It can be anything. I grew up on fruit and milk for snacks. Never had too much over processed food around me.


So um to answer your question, no I cannot pin down why I want to eat. "What" does not seem to be part of the equation for me.
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Oct-28-17, 15:06
kathleen24 kathleen24 is offline
Monday came.
Posts: 4,348
 
Plan: my own
Stats: 275/130/155 Female 5'4"
BF:ummm . . . ?
Progress: 121%
Default

Hi TFU,
I have found I do better if I avoid evening eating, so with the rare exception, I do. It's still a bit of a problem for me mentally sometimes, because I have to go downstairs for evening chores (feed the fire, feed the cats), which takes me through the kitchen, which reminds me about food.

Some of the things that help me are to make a practice of doing things that give me joy. For me, these are swimming and playing music; everyone's going to have their own list. Doing these things daily help me manage the emotions that I have dealt with in the past with food.

Another thing that helps me is cleaning my teeth. By the time I've brushed, used the waterpik, and flossed, I usually throw in washing my face and it seems to signal to me that the eating time of the day is over.

I also keep an electric tea-kettle up on a dresser with a box of tea, sweetener, a container of sliced lemon, and a big mug. Having everything together and easily available means I don't have to go into the kitchen and I don't have to search for these items, so a cup of tea is just a minute away. This can settle the odd tummy rumble and satisfy hunger on several different levels.

I also remind myself that I will be hitting the scale in the morning, and by that point I've usually got the evening in the bag. It's about creating routines, like a scaffold that will allow me to climb to safety, and whose routes I know by habit.

This might seem a bit silly, but I also have a practice of planning my outfits. After years of `does it fit/is it clean/is it in good repair' being my only standard, I've got more clothing options, which I found kind of overwhelming. So taking the time in the evening to try on clothing, see how this skirt looks with that blouse or sweater, etc., gives me more confidence about my appearance, serves as a distraction from the kitchen, and reinforces the progress I've made in weight loss.

I like your `colic' analogy. Like the crying child, our pain is real even if the cause is not apparent. And like the crying child, we are worthy of compassion, in this case from ourselves. Keep looking for ways to support yourself through this, analyze the problems and look for your own solutions, and you will look back on this with gratitude that you gave yourself this gift of restraint.

There have been many times I have faced my eat-or-not-to-eat choice, and frequently ate in response to the opportunity. Several months ago I realized that, given the opportunity to choose, I make crappy choices. So why put myself through that? Don't decide in the moment.

A few days ago I ate things available at work that weren't optimal for me. So--mega-choice? I don't eat it if I didn't bring it from home. Next day someone popped in my office with a menu and said, "We're ordering out . . ." I didn't even look at the menu this time, just said that I'd brought lunch, thanks.

There has never been a time when confronted with the late-night eating decision and having said no, that I regretted it the next day. That's my biggest tool right there--how will I feel about this later if I eat it now? After the pleasure of the moment has passed, will I be happy that I ate this?

There have been many times I've look back and thanked myself for having made a compassionate and clear decision to avoid the food. And slowly, that is the person I am becoming, one choice at a time.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Oct-29-17, 00:17
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default

Thanks K24!! The arsenal is filling out. I'm going to add water and supplement.s

The arsenal in the war on the evening:

1. Intermittent fasting (either excluding dinner, or eating only gourmet dinner, or rules like no eating after XX pm).
2. Very-low carb limits (helps control appetite)
3. Talk to your cravings/behaviour issues. Learn to recognize them and address them. Let them know they are not important and can be dealt with. Watch them come and go.
4. Eat before bed (in a planned manner) to control sleepy-time hunger issues.
5. Respect a decent sleep cycle; avoid circadian perturbation.
6. Fiber maximization (including soluble fiber supplements)
7. Avoidance behaviour. Avoid evening eating. Avoid the kitchen.
8. Do things that provoke joy in the evening (music, exercise, ...).
9. Brush teeth and floss early in the evening, a concrete signal to brain that eating is over.
10. Have a convenient tea station handy. Herby hot water can calm eating urges.
11. Visualize the future: the scale going down, etc.
12. Try on tomorrow's outfit in the evening. Clothes planning, which helps visualization and confidence.
13. Drink a lot of water, often.
14. If you are trying vitamins/supplements, be compliant dammit. Find a routine that ensures regular dosing and notetaking.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Oct-29-17, 08:55
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,220
 
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/175/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
BF:
Progress: 25%
Location: NE WA
Default

I've had a problem with overeating in the evening for years. I do # 1 (no food after lunch which is usually around 1 or 2 p.m.), #2 (20g or less), #3 (OA & 12 steps), #8 (we play Upwords, watch movies, or read), #10 & #13 (lots of water during the day & herb tea or broth in evening if needed).

If lunch turns out to be scanty or non-existent, I have to work VERY hard to not overeat in the evening. A simple salad turns into eggs or meat, then nuts, then cheese if it's around, & so on. There is something about being close to bedtime that turns on the desire to eat & eat & eat.
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  #12   ^
Old Sun, Oct-29-17, 10:57
TiredFedUP's Avatar
TiredFedUP TiredFedUP is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 910
 
Plan: currently at <50g carb/d
Stats: 208/203.1/136 Female 5ft 9.5in
BF:
Progress: 7%
Location: France
Default

Hi Bonnie,

I kinda have this gut feeling that #1 is probably pretty important. I wouldn't be able to do it right away. I'd have to set a time-window of "not-eating", and then gradually widen it until dinner is excluded. So I'd probably start with the gourmet option that would get later and later in the day/night, and smaller, until it started disappearing. Did you start exluding dinner cold turkey?

Thanks for posting.... it looks like the arsenal list is on the right track.
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Oct-30-17, 11:50
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Momma Bear Momma Bear is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,212
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 198.5/172.0/140 Female 60"
BF:
Progress: 45%
Location: Vancouver Island
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Hi Tired,

Sounds like you are on the right track. I recently went to eating once a day, dinner time to dinner time and though weight loss has been slow (for me), I do feel much better.

I gave up eating in the evening a long time ago; the kitchen closed after dinner and that was it. I usually read in the evening or doodle (zentangle). Tangling keeps both my mind and hands busy. I drink coffee and water during the day and tea in the evening. It's the only time that I drink tea so I associate it as my evening ritual.......... ( day is done, oh, good, I get to have my tea, now)

I highly recommend reading "Delay, Don't Deny" by Gin Stephens, "Fast Five" by Dr Bert Herring and "How to have your Cake and Skinny Jeans, Too" by Josie Spinardi. Check out blogs, podcasts and you tube. Plenty of information out there.

It's one day at a time. You've got this!
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Oct-30-17, 12:03
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is online now
Experimenter
Posts: 45,310
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
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Intermittent fasting makes binge eating worse for me. Just something to consider if you're thinking about it.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Oct-30-17, 12:53
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is online now
Forum Moderator
Posts: 19,206
 
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

Hi. A few more thoughts:

- My binge eating went way down with getting the sugar, starch and gluten out of my diet. If you haven't gone gluten-free yet, consider trying it. You're probably most of the way there. It turns out that most of my binge eating problem was physiological. With time, my brain figured out that there's no buzz out of the 'replacements' like shirataki noodles or pork rinds, so they really hold no power over me. I enjoy them, but they're just food.

- I haven't had that feeling of "everything falling apart" in the evening since I was deliberately starving during the day. Now, I go ahead and eat a huge breakfast at work at around 7:00 am (I'm currently on a very early morning shift.) I'm rarely hungry again before 2:00 or 3:00, after I get home. Are you eating enough during the day?

- As for the emotional side of it, I had to put the binge eating out of a job. Take care of the reasons you might be trying to get lost in food. What are you trying to avoid? For me, a lot of it was procrastination. I was trying to avoid doing something that needed to be done. I've gotten into routines with respect to housework and other must-dos. Try flylady.net for inspiration.

- Related to the suggestion of brushing your teeth as well as the suggestion of Flylady, I close the kitchen after dinner. I wash my dishes as I'm cooking, even if it's just a simple quick meal. My kitchen is very small. I love it looking neat and tidy for me in the morning, so after dinner when everything's cleaned up, I'm far less likely to mess it up just because I want to boredom-eat.

- If I really have the munchies, like at PMS time where my hunger goes way up, I give myself permission to go ahead and eat. You're not always going to lose 2-3 lbs per week, nor are you obligated to try, nor are you a failure if/when you're not interested in the intensity. Remove the moral judgement from yourself.

Best of luck.
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