My Struggles with Snacking

From the time I get up in the morning until about 6:00pm, my appetite is under control (aka, pretty normal). I eat breakfast, lunch, have a small snack in the afternoon and all is good with the world. Then, 6:00pm rolls around and the snacking begins.

I think maybe this started as a result of cooking dinner for my son, who eats at 6:30pm. Before he arrived on the scene, I used to eat dinner around 7:30/8:00pm and don’t really remember snacking so darn much. Now, I eat dinner with my son, but that only partially explains the snacking… I mean, I get that I may be getting hungry around 6pm while I’m cooking, but what the heck is going on after dinner?

I struggle (and I really mean struggle) with the desire to snack on generally unhealthy items from 6 until about 9pm. I can’t have chips and cookies in the house because one turns to two, two turns to 50. I wish that were hyperbole. On the days I get my snacking under control, I still find myself at the refrigerator door or the pantry door looking around. I sometimes lose track of how many times I check for a snackable morsel. On the other days, I find salty or sugary snacks and try to stop after one or two, but generally eat way more than I should.

Busy days are good days – I find myself interested in snacking less and sometimes don’t snack at all. But, for the snack monster days, some coping strategies have been:

  • Eat fruit or veggies because the calorie count is low and I feel like my craving has been addressed. I stick with grapes, berries, carrots, things like that
  • Clean up. Anything. Clean the kitchen, put clean clothes away, put my two-year-olds toys back in the toy bin (where they should already be, but that’s another topic)
  • Follow up on my personal emails. I’ve volunteered for a good many things and usually have something I need to do, but that doesn’t take nearly as long as I probably need it to

Do you have any snacking advice? Please leave a comment. Maybe you can help me break my bad habits. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “My Struggles with Snacking

  1. I know everyone has problems with the snack attack every now and again, but somehow I was able to “train” myself into shutting it down at night. I eat dinner between 5 and 6 (my husband eats between 8 and 9), and my dinner is usually very high in protein to sustain me. I eat my dinner, have a little dessert right afterwards, then that’s it. I’m done for the evening. I think it’s a mental game in the beginning, but once your body adjusts to turning it off after you’re absolutely done, it no longer seems to be an issue. I think it’s kind of like training for anything else really, practice makes perfect. I’ve had to fight viciously with myself, saying, “no, I’ve had dinner, I’m not really hungry,” and it can be hard, but persistence and consistency is key. If I’m running late with my dinner, and if it gets to be around 7 or so, my appetite still shuts down and I have to force myself to eat a little something because I’m simply not used to eating that late. Sometimes my husband will say, “Here, try this,” and it will be after I’ve had dinner. My answer is always a firm no thank you. Because once I’m done, I’m done. Anyway, that’s just how I handle it. Another thought is you’re snacking because you are more tired than you realize, and you’re eating for fuel… I remember what it was like to have a 2-year-old, and it’s exhausting.

    • Yeah, the interesting thing about it is that I’m not really hungry. Could be that my sweet tooth is acting up (I do like a little flavor here and there), but I’m trying to do something similar to what you’ve described. Basically, I’m trying to stop and ask myself if I’m actually hungry. If so, then ok, maybe a small snack. Most of the time, I’m not. Now, am I tired? Uh… Yeah. Lots of running + 2-yr-old = tired. 😉 I’ve been trying to get to sleep earlier, but it’s not always easy to tell my brain to slow down. Sigh! So much training!

      • I have a sweet tooth too, but I read somewhere that if you follow dinner with mint (like a mint patty), that’s supposed to help turn off the munchies too. Try that little trick as well. I always have them on hand and one actually satisfies. And I know it’s hard to get your rest with a little one… that’s a toughie.

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