If you do a Google search, you’ll find loads of websites with lists of tips, and the latest tricks to help you stop munching after supper. Some seem like they might even be a good idea, and others… well, just totally off the wall ridiculous.
I’ve done that search a kazillion times, the problem is, they NEVER worked. not for me anyway;
Even after my initial lifestyle change, (when I eliminated processed foods and excess sugars from my life, added more fresh fruits and veggies lean proteins and mountains of leafy greens, and started eating balanced meals every 3 hours), I still couldn’t keep my internal cookie monster in his can after 7pm.
A few examples of “tips” I came across:
“Have a cup of tea instead”
Sure. I love tea, and as I’m in the kitchen making it, I’ll ALSO grab that bag of chips that I actually want.
“Brush your teeth when you’re done supper”
Okay, I can do that. Then I’ll just have to brush them again after I eat those cookies that were sitting in the cupboard. And are now in my belly.
“Breath deep and do some light stretching”
This is supposed to stop me from wanting more food? I love stretching, I’m a wannabe yogi and I try to breath consciously throughout the day regardless of my cravings.. But if I really want some chocolate, stretching is just going to be another thing that gets in the way of me and my bar of bliss. Do you know what happens when things get in the way of cravings for this girl? No… and you don’t want to.
“Just don’t eat it”
Um… Okay, have you ever had a craving before? Right.
“Don’t keep junk food in the house”
This is true, yes… And something I did live by for a period of time, but I found that when I wanted something that badly, and didn’t have anything in the house at all that would satisfy that craving, I would end up getting angry. Which is pretty mentally unhealthy, right? It wasn’t a good way for me to get over my addiction to food.
I am not the only one in this house. The hubby still wants a handful of chips after supper occasionally, so of course, he’s allowed to have it. The thing is he would have no problem sticking to that one handful. If I had to follow this rule, he wouldn’t get what he wants either. Which would probably make him angry. Do you know what it’s like to have everyone in a household being hungry and angry? It’s not pretty.
Those kinds of things weren’t what I needed to hear.
I didn’t want to learn how to ignore my cravings, I wanted to learn how to stop having them.
Step 1. I kept a very detailed food diary for a couple weeks, including what I ate at exactly what time, how much, and what exercise I did that day.
Step 2: Examine. I noticed on days that all I had was a smoothie as a snack, I would gorge at night. Interesting. I also noticed if I waited too long between meals and got really hungry (I pretty much turned into the devils daughter, ask my husband. But that’s besides the point) I would reach for whatever was closest and easiest, which was usually a bag of chips, and then the rest of the crackers, and then this and that and this and that. It was never ending.
Step 3: I took this info to my naturopath and it didn’t take 5 seconds for him to see that I didn’t have enough fat in my diet. Bingo.
When I switched to a healthy lifestyle, I did include sources of good fats so I was eating what I thought were balanced meals, I just wasn’t getting enough of them. I never added any fat to my smoothies, they were always a simple blend of milk/fruit/greens/protein, which is why I would gorge the night after having one.
Not having enough fat is also the reason I got so hungry so quickly! Now, with more in my diet hunger comes on much more gradually, and I’ve got time to figure out what I actually want to eat instead of needing something/anything NOW NOW NOW.
Now, I stuff my face, slowly and gracefully of course (HA! Was that serious? I’m not graceful at anything) often. With the right foods.
As a side note, I believe in living life in balance. I still eat treats every once in a while and if I really want something else to eat after supper, I have it, I just don’t feel the urge to do this very often anymore. In fact, I ate 2 handfuls of popchips while I wrote this entire post. I laugh at the irony. hahaha. The difference now is that I can stop at 2 handfuls, and, I know that tomorrow I’m going to be perfectly satisfied with my tea and some light stretching after supper, without a chip or chocolate bar on my mind 🙂
Now that is peaceful.
I am not a doctor or dietician, so please do not take my words as medical advice. This is simply my experience with a life-long issue and how I overcame it. Perhaps with a little food journalling and experimenting, you can too!
As always, please check with your family doc or naturopath before making any drastic diet changes 🙂
What is something you had to overcame in your venture to health?
Or something you still wish to overcome?
Hugs Kisses and (sometimes) Cookies,