Late Night Snack

9 May

Unfortunately (or fortunately…) this post does not refer to the Ben and Jerry’s flavor of the same name.

As I am transitioning into healthier living and eating, I am trying to notice my bad habits and act to correct them. I’m a night owl, and I’m often up until midnight or so despite getting up at 7 or earlier for work.  I just like staying up late, I always have. After law school, while studying for (and passing!) the bar exam, I found my productivity was better if I slept 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. One of my worst habits is eating late at night, since I’m awake for several hours after I eat dinner.

Credit: Flickr user Rich Anderson

Sure, sometimes eating a later dinner is unavoidable. I work until 5:30-6 every night and I have a commute that can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, depending on the lovely DC Metro. I or my boyfriend (or both of us!) cook dinner nearly every night. Depending on the process, it can be late when we actually eat. Some nights, like this Thursday, I have an evening meeting which makes eating earlier totally impossible.

But this post isn’t about those times. This about those evenings where I make and eat dinner, relax in front of the TV to cheer on my Gators, or to watch NBC comedies on Thursday, or Sports Night on Netflix. Then simply, due to boredom? Or not listening to my body’s cues correctly? I get “hungry.” Usually I’ll go for something salty, but every once in a while it’s something sweet.

The other evening was the perfect example. The boyfriend was out, I was watching a basketball game I cared about, and all of my mealtimes had passed. I got out a candy bar purchased a while ago from the fridge. Just ONE piece, I told myself. I ate it, faster than I thought I would. Well, now I had better even it out. Another piece down, only a few minutes passed. Three more pieces later, I had eaten more than half of an incredibly rich candy bar, and I had nothing to show for it.

I was up late and felt ashamed for eating from boredom or loneliness or misinterpreting my hunger.

Not only that, eating late is associated with some bad side effects. One study showed that eating late at night led to twice as much weight gain as eating the SAME number of calories during the day!

So, starting with tonight, no more late night snacks that turn into de facto late night meals. Instead, I’ll reach for a glass of water to satiate my stomach.

Does anyone else have issues tackling late night hunger?

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One Response to “Late Night Snack”

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  1. All by Myself « My Fizzy Water - May 11, 2011

    […] chips without someone to ask me when my next meal is. I can grab unhealthy choices like that candy bar and hide away any evidence of its existence. Over time, I’ve learned how to hide evidence of […]

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