Sunday, July 24, 2011

SparkPeople Follows With Evening Eating Article

I thought it was most timely to get an email this week from SparkPeople with an article entitled: "Is Evening Eating Destroying Your Weight Loss Efforts?"  Sometimes things come together at the right time and this certainly is a fitting follow up to my last post. The article speaks to a person who is able to control eating proper breakfasts, lunches and even snacks - but then coming home hungry only to eat a large dinner, dessert and perhaps a more than adequate bedtime snack, like a whole bag of chips!  Evening is a time we want to relax and let go of the day's stress. Our resistance to temptation is at an all-time low.  Coming home from a busy day and mindlessly eating whatever is within reach can become a chronic habit and destroy our efforts at losing weight.

The SparkPeople article offers some simple suggestions to think about. The first and foremost step is making sure you get adequate sleep. 8 HOURS of sleep. Statistics show overweight people get 1.8 hours less sleep than people of normal weight. Sleep regulates two hormones that effect appetite. When a person is sleep deprived, the result is excessive hunger. (I normally sleep 4-5 hours a night, and have for the last decade.)

The article suggests these tips to normalize sleep and fend off hunger:
  • Walk the dog
  • Pay bills
  • Call a friend - chat it up and laugh!
  • Keep your hands busy doing a craft
  • Try a relaxing exercise video like tai-chi or yoga
  • Have a low calorie soda (no caffeine) or relaxing tea (hot or iced)
  • Make a list of low carb snacks. Prepare these ahead of time. Select one and eat one serving but no more
  • Finish eating all foods 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Take a bath 
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine, going to bed and waking at the same time every day, even on weekends.
  • If you have trouble going to sleep after 20 minutes, get up and pursue another activity like reading until you tire. Do not watch TV or use the computer. Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine close to bedtime; avoid nicotine all together.

You CAN control your night time eating with thoughtful PLANNING ahead of time. You CAN fix low calorie pudding or jello in individual dessert cups. You CAN cut up melons or wash berries and put them into individual snack ziplock bags.  You CAN cook up a veggie dish like ratatouille ahead of time and put into single serving size plastic ware to be reheated as a snack later.  MAKE a list of foods you'd like to prepare ahead. GET all the ingredients. PREPARE the snacks and store in refrigerator. MAKE sure to include the snacks on your meal planner. If you are in need of a meal planner, go to SparkPeople to review their online nutrition tracker (a free service) which NOW also includes a Blood Glucose Tracker!

Put those HIGH CARB FOODS - breads, crackers, chips, rice and tortillas in the garage freezer. The harder they are to get to in the evenings, the better your weight loss efforts will be.  YOU CAN DO THIS . . . plan ahead this week. BUY the FRESH fruits, rinse them and have them ready to snack on. GRILL some zucchini and sprinkle parmesan over the top. Store in a plastic container and have this as a single serving snack when you need it. YOU CAN fit this strategy into your lifestyle right now. YOU don't have to wait!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking a look at my blog. I have been enjoying your posts. I have been trying to eat better. You have some very good information in your blog!