The Witching Hours

Timing is everything, as the saying goes.  And for me, it holds true for dieting as well.  I do well much of the day, but in the evening hours, between dinner and bedtime, my craving monster and willpower-busting demons come out to play.

Almost every night I struggle.  I finish dinner, sated, and immediately my mind goes to what I can eat next.  And over the course of the next several hours I think about food a lot.  Sometimes I eat, sometimes I don’t.  But rarely is it because I am actually hungry.  Habit, surely.  In my honeymoon diet phase I didn’t snack like this at night and I just didn’t think about it all the time either.  So I know I can stop.  I know I can!  These witching hours are the time of day I am most likely to overeat, most likely to give in to cravings.  I can do a lot of damage in a few hours:(

The evenings pass soooo slowly when my focus is on eating.  Or NOT eating.  I felt myself falling into old snack habits with my new healthy foods and quite frankly it was time to put on the brakes before things got out of control.

Then I found perfectly timed inspiration from two fellow bloggers.  Melissa wrote a great post about her own struggles with nighttime snacking.  My immediate response was that we should join forces and make a pact to conquer this thing.  And then Sarah started a challenge to do just that – help each other with accountability and goals.  Aha – I said.  It is meant to be:)

So I am jumping on the challenge bandwagon and my number one focus will be:  no overeating in the evening!  I am still working on some clearly defined goals to accomplish this.  For now it will be about things I am going to avoid eating that I have been triggers for binges.  So no bread for snacks, no protein bars unless caught away from home in desperate need of a something to tide me over, and no Triscuits anytime anywhere anyhow.  I’ll see what that does for me and my missing witching hour willpower and go from there.

I’d love to have you join me!  The more the merrier.  Power in numbers.  You can go to Sarah’s blog to join her challenge there or just commit on your own.  What do you need to focus on right now?



Filed under cheating/overeating, dieting, goals

34 responses to “The Witching Hours

  1. Nighttime is my most difficult time, too! While I don’t mind so much when I’m actually hungry, I can easily slip into old habits if I’m not mindful.

    Love this cartoon. Funny, and poignant at the same time.
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Makeover Monday: Flip-flops Flop =-.

  2. Fabulous idea, Karen! I have struggled with this lately as well. So I’m all aboard for this challenge!
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Three cheers for Friday =-.

  3. Hi Karen,

    thanks for the link & joining in the challenge – I think the success will be based on the support we give each other over the coming weeks.

    I like your “no evening overeating” goal — it’s very specific, very clear.
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Very very small babysteps =-.

  4. Evenings are my downfall too. I can resist just about anything during the day, but I eat after dinner. Recently I haven’t had problems. My husband has me playing MMORPGs with him at night now. It keeps my mind off the popcorn that I would usually eat. I just have to keep busy, but I really hate being busy at night. I like to relax.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Harvest Monday – 10 May 2010 =-.

    • Karen

      I think that is my problem… the relaxing at night with a book or in front of the TV. But no MMORPGs for me!

  5. While losing I just didn’t eat after suppuer, no matter how hungry I was. I didn’t trust myself enough to stop and now I see that as a bit sad. I’d rather be hungry than dare eat . The problem came when I started to work on gaining muscle, you have to eat before bed to preserve it and can’t let yourself go hungry. That’s where I started having trouble again since I hadn’t “allowed” myself the privilege of eating at night in so long. Still haven’t found my happy medium yet, but I will. But then again, I still haven’t tapped into my bio hunger all the time yet either.

    Good luck!
    .-= Rita @ The Giggly Bits´s last blog ..My Goal Weight Just Found Me =-.

    • Karen

      It kills me that a few months ago I was so in control about just a little snack in the evening. I hate the idea of nothing at all after dinner, but maybe that is what I need to try next.

  6. every now and then I fall prey to those witching hours…oddly enough, I seem more inclined to graze when I am feeling content…weird. I usually leave a few points at the end of the day, and then just spend a bunch of time in my head, figuring out just how I am going to use them if at all. 🙂
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..Let the Fun and Games Begin…. =-.

    • Karen

      I don’t count points but was doing something similar for a while, saving my added grains and fruits at the end of the day. For a treat. It worked well for quite a while. I am not sure what changed. Sigh.

  7. Boy does this post speak to that which I am currently dealing with. I am starving most nights. Not really, but it sure feels like it. I hate thinking about food all day long. Anyways…this post resonates with me. I will commit to only having one cheat meal a week. The rest of the days, I MUST journal all that goes into my mouth! Thanks for the kick in the butt!
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..It’s Monday! Game on until 7/23/10 =-.

    • Karen

      Well this is another technique I could try – the one cheat, planned and allowed, each week. I wonder if that would keep me on track the rest of the time? Glad to know I am not alone in this:)

  8. Good for you about the abstinence program and joining the challenge! Good for you about no more triscuits!!!! Bravo!

    Right now, I’m firmly committed to three meals a day, no seconds and nothing between meals. So far, that has curbed evening snacks and for the most part even thinking about it. May just be my honeymoon phase…. frightening thought…

    In my old diet days, I used to brush my teeth immediately after eating dinner. That seemed to be a signal to my brain that there would be no more eating. It really helped with the after dinner “I wannas….” Maybe it would help you too…

    You can do this!
    .-= Peacefulbird´s last blog ..Refrigerator Poem =-.

    • Karen

      I could not imagine no snacks at all between meals, myself. But maybe that is a function of what I choose to eat at the meals? I think I should try brushing, it would be such a simple fix if it helped.

  9. Ini

    Well, I struggle with not eating after dinner too. I have been able to control it for a while now. For one thing, I go to gym after work (and dinner). I drink a protein shake after work out and that is it. I think what helps is that I am too tired when I am back and try to sleep ASAP. Also what helps often is playing favorite songs. My mind drifts with the music and I forget about snacking. Whereas if I read or blog, the urge to munch gets stronger.
    So, I think indulging in something non-food but a ho favorite may help here. Brushing teeth also helps to an extent.

    see you there at round’s challenge. Wish you all the very best. Since you have identified a problem, I am sure you will resolve it too.

    .-= Ini´s last blog ..Spring Focus – Day 2 =-.

    • Karen

      For me, anything computer related actually helps. I don’t eat then, at all. And a few months back I found myself retreating to the keyboard a lot more in the evenings. But that also meant retreating from the family. I can really see a link though between my leisure evening activities and eating. Maybe I should try a walk after dinner. When the darn rain stops!

  10. Oh, I so relate. My honeymoon phase is over also, and my resolve against evening eating has been slipping – although, I don’t feel too bad about it if I am truly hungry, have calories left to spend, and eat healthy (a big request to fill).

    On vacation this was especially hard because we were up so late and 3 hours ahead of our usual body clock. Excuses, yep, so I’m trying to get “back in the saddle”
    .-= Sskar´s last blog ..If I Were A Mom =-.

    • Karen

      For me it was the opposite – on my two vacations I did not eat after dinner at all. So unlike me. That is interesting for me to think about… makes it seem more likely that I just need to break the habit that I have.

  11. Hi Karen,
    One thing I do is that I save my fruits for between dinner and bedtime so that I can “look forward” to having something to eat in the evening. Especially because my family is normally pigging out all night!

    But I remember cravings. I don’t have them anymore, but I remember the mental anguish of literally not being able to get to bedtime without bingeing!
    .-= Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla´s last blog ..Human Garbage Can =-.

    • Karen

      That is what I was doing too:) My fruits and grains. The grains seem to be the problem. I guess you can call me a carb addict because it is always those that lead me to eat more.

  12. I think that it’s interesting how we all go through these ups and downs. I see so many people just charge through- I wish I were like them!
    .-= beerab´s last blog ..It comes in the most different ways =-.

    • Karen

      And it makes me a bit crazy to think that I did it for so long… before I started little slips. I remember posting about 10 weeks on plan with not one cheat! Aargh.

  13. sunnydaze

    Looks like we all struggle with this. Add me to the list, too…

  14. What do you suppose makes you more likely to overeat in the evening? Is it that you’re so busy that you don’t have time to snack throughout the day? (I know for me, that tends to happen.)

    Good luck with your challenge.
    .-= karen@fitnessjourney´s last blog ..The Biggest Loser to Launch a Line of Athletic Apparel =-.

    • Karen

      Nope – I just have more willpower during the day, most days, somehow. Honestly Karen, I think it is about inactivity and the darn TV or reading a book. But I just haven’t wanted to give them up. I should be able to enjoy both without eating!!!

  15. Genie

    Not reaching for something sweet after eating dinner. I feel like–darn it–I deserve it! If I give in, it blows my day… Gotta give up that “I deserve it” notion. Food is not a reward; food is not a reward. I need to type this 2,000 times, and get rid of all of the chocolate in the house.

    • Karen

      Well for months I ate one little sugar-free chocolate pudding cup after dinner. Same reward mentality. Same need for chocolate and some kind of treat. It worked for months. But it worked for me. Then. Sigh.

  16. I still need to come up with what I’m going to do for the spring challenge … I’ve got a lot of things to choose from unfortunately. My nighttime eating habit was something I broke only by not eating anything at all after dinner, but I’m an all or nothing kind of girl. It took a while, but I don’t struggle with it like it I used to.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..don’t you love … =-.

    • Karen

      I wonder if I should try that but I shudder just thinking about not even one healthy snack at night! Maybe I need to be more specific in my goal as to what I can eat in the evening. Until I get used to it too.

  17. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » Getting Serious

  18. Pingback: Waisting Time , Archive » Hot 100 – Week 2 Update

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