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Food Intake

I lost the first 100 pounds without a hitch.  I mean, I gained some weeks, but my losses were steady for the most part.  And now? Well…Now I write a weight-loss related blog without a lot of talk of weight-loss beyond “I know what I should be doing, and I really need to start moving forward again.”  But that knowledge isn’t enough to succeed in reaching my goals.

My workouts have been killer since I arrived in Los Angeles!  In addition to working out at Slimmons, I’ve also been doing cardio for 50 minutes a day and walking 3 to 4 miles or more every afternoon/evening. And today, I’m adding my new bike into the mix.  I’ll be taking my first ride to Slimmons this evening.  (More on that later.)

I’d be melting away if I were better food choices.  I’ve made plenty of good ones, but I’ve also made some that aren’t so good so I started tracking them here yesterday.  And I’m going to track everything that I eat everyday which will provide a new measure of accountability for me.  In my food journal, you’ll see more than you’ve ever wanted to see in regards to what I’m eating.  If I eat it, I’ll own it.

I’ve been staying away from cupcakes this week, reminding myself that I don’t need them…that I’m usually underwhelmed when I eat them…I’ve had 3 cupcakes (err, part of 3 different cupcakes) in the last 10 days, and I’m comfortable staying away from them at least for now.  But one area that I am working on is evening eating.

For some reason, I have no trouble eating a healthy and balanced breakfast – maybe because it has never been my favorite meal.  And my lunches has been pretty solid too, but I’m eating dinner too late.  I’ve cut out most of the late night snacking that I did even as I lost the first 100, but I think I need to regulate my food intake more in the evening.  I tend to save the majority of calories for the evening (when I feel like eating) instead of spacing out my intake throughout the day.

I’ve always accepted the fact that I like to eat late at night, but I know that there are smarter ways to approach eating so my goal for the week is to eat nothing after 9pm. Does that sound like a reasonable goal?  I stay up pretty late so 9pm seems like a good plan, at least for this week.

I’ve been mindful about my food intake for over two years, but I need a new jumpstart in my personal accountability. And sharing what I eat with anyone willing to look seems like a good way to do it.

Do you regulate your eating by closing the kitchen at a certain time?  Do you have any tips to offer those of us who struggle with late night eating?

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Ryan Yewell
    August 16, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Heya Kenlie,

    Hmmm… Something happened with my comment, so not sure if you’re going to get a double-up here, or if this is the only one that goes through…

    I do have a rule, it’s “if the body is telling me it’s hungry, I’m going to feed it” This of course is followed by the rule “check to make sure I’m not EMOTIONALLY hungry, then that’s something else…”

    That being said, as bedtime approaches, there definitely is a variation of that first rule that I follow.

    I tend to eat something small, with built-in portion control, and very natural, like an apple, or an orange, or a banana.

    I usually eat fruit, only because it tends to satisfy my craving/hunger without triggering a binge. Things like wholewheat tortillas, or bars, etc. those are my trigger foods, especially at night with nothing to do but what TV/surf the net, so I stick to something that will satisfy (fruit) but not overindulge… I just can’t eat something like raw veggies, it makes me feel like I’m depriving myself and then a binge is more likely.

    I also sometimes make sure I’m not just thirsty, although drinking before bed means sometimes a late night trip to the bathroom, but that’s better than a binge on too much late night snacking.

    Hope that helps!
    You’re going to kick butt on the 2nd 100 pounds once you find your mojo, you are an inspiration!
    Ryan

    http://www.1year100pounds.com

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:28 am

      I responded to your email and think I covered everything there, but I’m happy to see the comment anyway. =)

  • Reply
    kim { notcrazy }
    August 16, 2011 at 5:03 am

    my first comment 🙂 i’ve been reading for a little while and want to tell you WOW! you are a HUGE inspiration (and i don’t mean that literally ;)). i am currently at my highest weight EVER at right around 330 lbs and am just starting to seriously work on losing it. it’s so hard for me to even start because the amount i need to/want to lose seems like so much – almost un-doable *sigh* but stories like yours give me hope. hope that i can do it, too.

    i completely understand the struggles you’re talking about here. i’m the exactl same way. i have (almost) no problems during the day when it comes to making smart choices and not eating that much. if it were up to me, a large cuppa café latté would totally be enough until 11 am or so. easily. now, the evenings are a completely different story… i overeat at night all.the.time. to a point where i feel sick to my stomach. i did it last friday even after an hour of cardio which i thought would motivate me to NOT eat that much…. it’s such a struggle. i’m trying to cut the carbs at night and not eat after 8 pm. i usually go to bed between 11 pm and midnight so i figure that should be okay for me.

    thank you so much for being an inspiration!!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:29 am

      It is doable for both of us…Earlier today Richard Simmons made a great point after our workout. He said that without discipline we won’t have anything worth while, and I’m going to keep that in mind as I move forward.

  • Reply
    Pj geek
    August 16, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I love hearing about you transition to Ca-life is meant to be an adventure. I 100% relate to the food issues. It seems like all the good intentions and planning of the day are forgotten by the end of the day . I’ve usually worked all day or played all day and I have trouble sticking. Since your there in Ca you have some options to you that may be something to consider just to mix things up and get you back on track….I’m always reading about some of the meal delivery systems and specialty fresh- to- go places that people use for tastey portion control that seem to be available in California only. These are not your nutrisystem / jenny craig type things but similar. I ‘ve used one local here in Atlanta and one national one off and on, and I did lose a bulk of weight doing that. If nothing else, it really makes you aware of portions and takes some of the screwing around away. For me , the cost is prohibitve so I tend to be compliant with it until I start realizing I’m able to make my own healthy choices and do. Keep us posted. Pictures?

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

      That might not be a bad idea for some, but I know what I’m doing. I just have to remind myself to do it everyday, you know?

  • Reply
    Dawn
    August 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

    I think part of the reason I got to the weight I did was later night eating. I ate the majority of the days intake after 3pm and before bed.
    I dont have any hard and fast rules but eat my main meal of the day somewhere between 6 and 7.30 and don’t eat again. How? Well like all other diet successes, by just doing it. Willpower has to be one of the things in the recipe for success. Just do it. Not as easy as it sounds, I know. I’m finding the eating part of this a lot easier than the exercise bit. Finding/Making time for exercise ought to be the same for me, just do it. Not as easy I find.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:31 am

      Yep…I often say that we need willingness more than anything including motivation. The motivation comes when we’ve made ourselves available to it by being willing to get uncomfortable. Wow…I’m working on practicing what I preach..

  • Reply
    shelly
    August 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Hi Kenlie,

    I have been following your blog for over a year now and am a great fan – it seems to me that you live your life regardless of any weight issues and I think that is more than admirable. I realise that there are privacy issues but would love to hear more about your new life on the west coast – do you live walking distance to the sea? will you go back to school or begin a new career? forgive me if I am being impatient – perhaps you are planning to tell all in your own good time. I will keep checking in – I hope the life change is a great one!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:32 am

      I do live life regardless, and I’ve always been proud of that. But with each pound I lose, I’m able to live it more fully..and I want that so badly. I’ll share more about what’s happening in my world when I know more…Thank you so much for being here! 🙂

  • Reply
    T_Lee
    August 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I have the EXACT same problem with scheduling, too.
    I’m really not a daytime eater, so I have to concentrate on not loading all of my calories up at night. It’s a touch-and-go process, haha. I try to eat my last snack by 8:00 (though I’m a little flexible on it)- and I manage to do that during the week… Weekends, well… not so much (since I’m up later, etc). C’est la vie, I’m getting there

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:33 am

      Keep trying, right? That’s what I’m doing…

  • Reply
    katie
    August 16, 2011 at 9:06 am

    Try drinking a vanilla protein shake (mixed with water) maybe around 9pm .. you’ll be up a few more hours and your body will get some protein and you hopefully won’t feel hungry…
    The one I drank is EAS 100% whey protein powder… only has 3 carbs and 1 sugar + 23g protein! I’m sure there are other kinds out there.
    link: http://eas.com/product/100-pct-whey-protein-powder
    vanilla was the most “tolerable” (chocolate is the WORST) but basically i put 1 scoop in a shaker cup, added 8 oz very cold water, shook the crap out of it.. held my nose and chugged. After a while it gets better. If you want to add a few carbs, do it with skim milk , it’s infinitely better but I think that at night you’re better off with water.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 12:34 am

      There are so many things that I enjoy eating. I love veggies, chicken, egg whites, etc that I never have to eat something that’s gross. I just will not do it..lol It just takes a little more effort, but I think it’s worth it..:) I hope you’re enjoying it more now though! And it sounds like you are. 🙂

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    August 16, 2011 at 9:31 am

    I think eating dinner before nine is a good goal. I don’t usually go to bed till 11 or midnight so we try to have dinner around eight at the latest.
    As far as late snacking. If I am hungry, I try and eat some fruit. Something that is sweet but will also satisfy my being hungry. Also, eat a small amount, put some in a bowl and put the rest away. That way you won’t be tempted and know you only have whats there.
    I also read, some people will brush there teeth after dinner. Then they won’t be tempted to snack or eat later? I don’t know if that would work for me, but just an idea!! Good luck!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      I think it’s a good goal for me too. I just have to work on getting home before 9 to eat it…I’ve done it day days in a row so I’m working on 3 now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Laurel
    August 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Instead of a snack after dinner, I often have an iced coffee around 9PM (after the kids are in bed). It’s a treat without too many calories (just a bit of milk and flavored sugar free creamer), and it’s filling.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm

      Nice idea…Does that caffeine just wear off before you go to bed? I don’t drink much of it so I wonder what it would be like..

  • Reply
    fatboy kris
    August 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Generally speaking, you need more food in the morning to get the day going and less food at night when you are winding down. I typically eat breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner and snack. The last snack is around 9:30pm. It is optional and limited by the number of calories I’ve already eaten for the day.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      That sounds very reasonable Kris…I’ve been eating that way too, but need to work on eating earlier which seems to be going okay so far.

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Kenlie,
    I finish dinner by 8pm whenever possible and have nothing afterward. I struggled more when I had an after dinner snack. I think it was triggering me to want to keep eating. Once I took it out of my plan I found it easier not to troll the kitchen in search of food after dinner. It also helps to have a large glass of water after I eat. Sometimes it is tea (mint, plain) but water is my choice. I write my food down everyday and I share it with one other person. It helps me remain honest and accountable. It has been a growing process for the past 5 years.

    Jane
    Keepingthepoundsoff.com

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      I think sharing it with one other person is a great idea. I’m sharing it on my blog now , and I think that’s going to hold me accountable in a major way..

  • Reply
    Peg
    August 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    I’m a night eater too! I’ll make it through the day just fine, but come evening I start picking. My dinners aren’t as healthy as they used to be either. I returned to the East Coast last month and it is even harder since my soon to be hubby’s idea of dinner is meat and some form of potato, no veggies etc. I’m working on him (and me), but it is tough!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

      Uh oh….I hope you’re eating the veggies anyway! Maybe he’ll follow your good example. 🙂

  • Reply
    teresa
    August 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Oh, I so hear you about night time eating.
    I do think that all your great workouts are still paying off. You’re building muscle and doing great things for your cardio-vascular system. It’s not wasted time.
    When I was living alone (before child and hubby), night time eating was so hard for me to curb. Even now, I just went through 2 years of eating after she went to sleep because it was my free peaceful time. And food is my comfort and reward, right?
    So, now I just don’t go back into the kitchen if I can help it. Easier for me becaues I’m so tired at night.
    I would suggest you plan a good night time snack. Protein… hardboiled eggwhite and an apple. I don’t really know. you find something that works for you and with your knowledge of nutrition.
    It’s not bad to have a 100-150 calorie snack at night. It keeps your metabolism working. But it has to be only so many calories and it has to be the right ones.
    Good luck. I hope you have a more rewarding week on the scale.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions. It sounds like a lot of people understand where I’m coming from, and that’s comforting. I’m working on turning it around now.

  • Reply
    Jill
    August 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I’ll have a drink of water if I’m hungry or go straight to bed. Sometimes, I’ll make a fruit smoothie with almonds blended in, if I’m hungry at night; or I’ll have a hard-boiled egg. I usually have a bunch already made for the week for salads, snacks or random hunger pangs. If I want something crunchy I’ll have raw, unsalted nuts. (not peanuts). I once read that cashews have a property that help with mild depression, so I eat those often.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      I had never heard that about cashews..wow. I think I seriously learn something new everyday.

      Planning ahead is important too. I have friends who plan out the entire week, and it works really well for them.

      • Reply
        Jill
        August 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

        I’ve been working on maintaining a menu. Writing it out is the fun part….actually cooking it… that’s the challenge. Do you have a menu? I’d love to see it.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I don’t shut down the kitchen. I used to have a problem with late night eating and it was because of boredom. Now that I workout after work and then get home by 8pm to fix dinner and eat, it’s time for bed. I don’t stay up late and eat, I just go to bed instead!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      I tried going to bed early, but that doesn’t work so well for me yet. That’s a great method though, and maybe at some point, I’ll be better at it.

  • Reply
    Lisa
    August 16, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    I am a late night eater even after surgery. I like to have good low cal foods RAEDY for my evening eating. Non-fat yogurt is a new love. They have all kinds of dessert flavors at only 80 calories. Add some non fat whipped cream and you have an awesome dessert!

    – Lisa
    http://inweighovermyhead.blogspot.com/

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      I like fat free vanilla Greek yogurt. Yum! =0)

  • Reply
    NZLisa
    August 16, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Hey there Kenlie, love reading your blog and I hope you enjoy your time in LA – wish I was there with all that you can do!

    I too am struggling big time with food issues – it is hard to get back into the groove isn’t it.

    Maybe I need to start writing what I eat down – this has never been a strong point for me.

    Enjoy the warm weather – it is freezing here in NZ at the moment!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      The weather is definitely nice here! And there are a lot of great opportunities here too.

      I’ve been pretty good at logging my food, but I’m trying to get back into a better groove with it again by logging it on my blog. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I’m no nutritionist, but do you think your night eating is triggered by actual hunger caused by not eating enough during the day? Your breakfast and lunch seem really light…just an observation when peeking at your food log. I have no idea what your calorie goals are or what type of nutrition plan you are following. But just the same as overeating can stall weight loss, not eating enough can do the same (I’m sure you’ve heard that before…)

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      I have heard that before, yes…I’m still trying to adjust to eating more during the day and less at night…

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    August 17, 2011 at 1:16 am

    I totally struggle with it – I think because I’m at work all day, really busy, so when I get home I’m like, “WHEEEE ME TIME! LET’S EAT!”. And then sometimes I’m bored, or preoccupied, or angsty and a pile of crackers seems like a big old therapy session. Which it’s not. So I gotta work on that too.

    PS – I just bought Mini Baby Brie Bites for the first time! A Kenlie-Recommended Purchase!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:46 pm

      How do you like them?! I think they’re fantastic! =0)

  • Reply
    PlumPetals
    August 17, 2011 at 5:06 am

    As a chronic insomniac I know all about nighttime eating — luckily I have stopped. I don’t eat anything after 8:30 p.m. Another good thing to do is just make sure you don’t have munchies around the house – or at least that you have easy healthy alternatives so that if you absolutely have to eat something, then you’ve got a choice.
    Also I learned little tricks like if I felt like getting a snack I’d do 20 jumping jacks before heading to the kitchen, or I’d go brush my teeth … drinking decaf coffee was another way to soothe any cravings 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

      I love the suggestions to do something else first.

  • Reply
    auntiekim
    August 17, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I’m really bad about spacing out my food too. I love breakfast food, but not so much a fan of eating anything in the morning. I always have a protein shake. Tastes good, lots of protein, meets my needs. I do well at lunch. But nighttime? That’s eatin’ time and I have a harder time with it. I’m not eating a lot in terms of quantity (I had RNY) but the urge to snack sneaks in. I’m not a big snacker or grazer throughout the day but for some reason I want treats at night. I allow myself fruit, 100cal packs or skinny cow/WW ice cream and I’m done by 8:30 tops. But it’s hard. I wish I lived in LA so I could try Richard Simmons. I used to do the tapes back when they still made VCRs. So much fun!

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