Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Beating late evening and night time snacks....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-08-2013

Are you someone who has trouble with late evening or mid-night snacks?

There are 3 issues.

1.  How much of these do you eat and how often?

2.  What do you eat when you do this?

3.  Are you preventing the worst of these effectively?

I am someone who DOES get the midnight munchies!

So, in self-defense, I’ve learned how to overcome the worst of the effects.

I still struggle with them.  But I no longer have weeks where they add pounds of weight or do it several weeks in row.

1.  How much of these do you eat and how often?

If you do this once or twice a week and eat nonfattening foods and never in huge amounts, it’s not a problem.

If you do this five days a week, it’s imperative it not be fattening foods and that you mostly keep the amount under control.

2.  Health OK protein foods ARE OK in moderate amounts as snacks.  Nonstarchy vegetables and nuts and other foods high in fiber ARE OK in moderate amounts as snacks.  Low to low moderate amounts of foods high in health OK fats ARE OK as snacks.

Such foods are not fattening and turn off hunger well. 

a) Here are such snacks:

A small dish of nonfat Greek yogurt with walnuts plus some raw cauliflower florets works for this. 

Some raw broccoli florets and a small dish of nonfat cottage cheese and some full fat plain yogurt from 100% grass fed cows and a small serving of guacamole by itself.

Coleslaw plus a small serving of Alaskan canned salmon and some diced raw onions.

A half a cored organic apple and a small serving of Irish cheese that is from Kerrygold and grass fed cows.

(Whole Foods carries each of these foods.)

Such snacks turn off hunger well enough you can likely stop without overdoing them after you eat just one.

b) But there are two categories that are NOT OK. 

In fact, they are so fattening for late night snacks, it’s best to NOT have them in your house or home!

If you have a food that, even if it’s health OK, has a decent amount of fat and you find it so good, you can find you have no control over how much you eat and often eat 3 times or 4 times as much as you should even when you start out not intending to, you WILL add fat weight that week.

Not having such foods in the house is the only answer. 

I once did really well with my fat loss for about 6 weeks and then allowed myself a spoon or two of unsalted almond butter an evening since that fits the profile above.  It has no added sugar; it is a very health OK fat; and it’s high in protein and fiber. And, it does NOT have excessive sodium.

It SHOULD have been OK.  But I was a bit hungrier than usual after the fat loss; and it was so addictively good to me that I found myself averaging 4 to 7 spoonfuls and evening no matter my original intent each night.

In two or three weeks, I gained all that fat and weight back!  Oops.

I stopped buying it and having it in the house and eventually lost back the fat I gained.

The second category is even worse.  If you have a not OK super fattening sweet treat of some kind and a large amount of it in the house, if you get stressed, you may well do as I did with the almond butter and find you eat half the large container or the whole thing.

Thinks like whole cherry pies and chocolate cakes and half gallons of your favorite ice cream are best eaten once or so a month only and as single servings and then not the whole thing –& in a restaurant!

If you get the bad night time munchies and they are in your refrigerator, it can be a cause for you to eat the whole thing or half of one.

THAT is triply bad.  The ingredients in these foods in large quantities don’t only cause instant fat storage, they directly harm your health!  Your feeling of control over what you eat takes a big hit.  And, then it DOES do things like cause a 6 pound fat gain at one sitting!  Oops!

Here again, the key is to simply NOT have these foods in your home. 

2.  Such foods come under the category of foods that should not be in your home at all.  Not only are these foods made deliberately addictive by the food companies, they are reliably fattening and harm your health.

You may want them as very occasional treats.

But your fat loss and health depend on you knowing not to eat them the rest of the time and not buying them at the grocery store or bringing them home.

Too often these foods make you fat AND MORE hungry too!  All soft drinks both regular and diet do this.

These aren’t just fattening snacks, they are fattening 24 hours a day every day of every week.

3.  A recent study found out what is going on with this by the way.

They found out that if you are stressed or you eat a lot of sugary fast carb foods and very little protein, your body makes extra Neuropeptide Y. 

Extra Neuropeptide Y tends to make you extremely hungry and for just those kinds of fattening  foods.  It also makes you feel less stressed and sleepy after you eat them.

So if you eat better, very low carb – hardly any sugar & lots of health OK protein and fat foods, or cut your stress a bit or both, your Neuropeptide Y gets lower and you have far less uncontrollable midnight munchies.

4.  Two other possible helps are to:

Take the herbal supplement, valerian, if you find yourself too awake and stressed at night. It does work.  But the active ingredient literally smells so bad, you need to put the container into a sealable jar when not in use.

Having an empty tummy can cause you to wake up hungry.  So if you have ALREADY had a snack on our OK list or one like it, and that happens,

Drink two small scoops of a fiber product called PGX in a glass of ice water very well stirred with a fork or whisk.  I’ve tried it and it does work and I like it with some powdered cinnamon mixed in.

It’s enough trouble that I don’t use it often.  But when I’m tempted to eat an extra snack and feel that empty feeling but not enough to go through the PGX routine, I find I can simply get a bit of ice water and can succeed in going back to sleep.

In both scenarios, I no longer need to eat a night time snack where once I would have done so.

So having that PGX powder always on hand has helped me.  

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