I can relate to the night time hunger thing, especially with how it presents itself. It's not stomach hunger, but for me it feels almost like my muscles and organs are asking for energy, primarily carbs and some fat. Sounds odd, but I really don't know how else to articulate it. For me, it tends to happen if I've had a very active day and have eaten what I normally would eat on a less active day, and once I'm chilling out on the couch my body goes "hey, what, we're in a deficit here. Are you trying to cheat us? Gimme more now!". Otherwise it can be pms-related.
I find most of the time if I try and ignore it, it backfires spectacularly (ie I find myself pawing desperately through the fridge at 11pm, or within 5 minutes of congratulating myself for not "giving in"). So I generally just honour it and find I want some dried fruit and almond butter, or banana and yoghurt, and then sleep soundly.
So in my case, trying to resist it and over-analyse it makes it much stronger, which I think is a bit of a hangover from when I used to make myself go to sleep hungry all the time. And I'm at a stage in my eating/body-image journey where I'm so tired of second-guessing all my food decisons that as soon as my body says "I want-" I'll just eat whatever sounds appealing, and I am much, much better at not then beating myself up over it.
But, that's me, and I'm not unhappy with my weight or any other effects of my eating patterns at the moment. It sounds like this is a concern for you though, especially as it's happening most nights. So I definitely agree with skwigg and the others. Focus on eating more during the day, for a few days at least (it can take a while get back to an energy balance and for your body to trust it'll be fed enough at certain meal times), and developing other habits to help you sleep better and satisfy your brain that it'll still get what it wants with a night time snack.
That's a good point, jaded. I also don't deny or second-guess hunger at all anymore. If I want something, I eat it. I find that a far better solution than debating and resisting. I probably eat less overall by having some immediately than by trying to reason it away and having that backfire.
Wow Jaded, you totally get that feeling. That is such a good description. I feel exactly the same. I noticed last night, I didnt eat enough during the day and allowed myself to have a good dinner with lots of carbs and full fat cheese, and that feeling went away. However, it took a larger than normal amount of food, and Iooking back, if I spread those calories out throughout the day, I would feel much more satesfied around bedtime.
I agree with not resisting it though. Even when I get to that point of big hunger, I acknowledge that I need more food (obviously), and eat and smile. It is what any naturally thin person would do!
I think since I am trying to lose the last 15-20 pounds, and boy is it coming off SUPER slow like a pound a month (I think that is good though), it would benefit me to have more regularity (which I am slowly moving towards), to create more of a defiecit.
Yes to building new habits. Right now, the meditation app, headspace, has been a fun way to wind down for me. Open to other suggestions though!!
Great conversation! I sometimes get a little light growl shortly before bed and usually I just ignore it. Sometimes I do have a snack (cereal is a common one), but I really check in first and make sure it's not a craving vs. real hunger.
"If there's hilarity, I charge extra." ~ Veronica Mars
When I quit dieting and started this journey of happy eating, I lost 15-20 pounds at the rate of about half pound to one pound per month over a year and a half or so. I'd lost these pounds many times before but this is the first time they've ever stayed gone, easily, for years. I'm sure it's because this is the first time I ever enjoyed the process so much that I kept all of the new habits in place. I liked them much more than what I was doing before, so there was no temptation to quit my approach or do something totally different once I'd lost the weight. I didn't need a break. Most people who lose weight quickly through dieting do because the methods aren't sustainable, aren't a good fit for real life. So, when life intervenes the pounds come back.
That's a babbling way of confirming that your rate of weight loss is fine, maybe even key to ending weight struggles forever.
Thanks Skwigg! I agree with you. In the beginning, the rate of loss really bothered me but I've come to realize how much more safe this kind of loss feels. It isn't external locus of control-attached to a diet, workout program, time of the year, vacation or event. It is, for once, an extension of me and the internal changes I've made. I also appreciate the fact that I've also become an expert at maintaining, which is huge, considering how difficult it used to be with those painful weight rebounds. I am taking it super slow, changing habits bit by bit, eating more comfortably, noursihing myself with all kinds of foods in the amounts my body needs, and only exercising as a part of my day. I took a huge rest from overdoing it (overexercising and thinking way too much about food) and the weight, and my stress levels, began to drop, and I am infinitely happier. I know, going forward, for anything new I try, like exercise, I will prioritize staying power and lack of stress, over everything.
I'm happy I found this topic. Jaded, natalie, i can so relate to the description of the night time hunger. So in my case, i get normally 'normal' hunger signals (growling, empty stomach etc) before lunch and dinner. I eat until i feel satisfied. Then sometimes, even if I have a 4th meal/snack in the evening,when im laying in bed, i just can't fall asleep even when I did feel very sleepy beforehand. Normally i'm quite warm myself, but then in bed im not warm? Like jaded says ''like my muscles and organs are asking for energy''. If I don't get a snack I could lie awake for a couple of hours =/ Then if I go out, have a snack (apple / raisins / yogurt / crackers / banana / nuts etc). Then going back to bed, I feel warm and cozy and fall asleep quite soon.
The thing I find quite weird is that I in the past I didnt have this problem. Also I feel like the habit sustains itself: when I go to bed not having a snack I notice im not sure I will fall asleep right away.. which isn't helping. When I do have a snack im sort of reassured. I just want to be able to have a normal big meal in the evening (between 18-20u) and be done after that, going to bed at 22-23u.
But for now I accept it and its okay. Most important for me is not binging / being satisfied / regular meals / a happy balance :) .. I feel like it isn't a big deal when i don't resist it, like the others said.