My short-term goal for the next couple of days is to approach evening eating ‘mindfully’.
One of my biggest problems is eating in the evening. I have breakfast and lunch under control. I take a healthy approach to dinner. Then 8 PM hits, and I lose control!
- In the evening I am tired and less likely to be in control
- I usually watch TV in the evening and that includes commercials
- I usually don’t approach the evening with any kind of plan
I track my eating on most days. Recently I found an ‘app’ called ‘MyFitnessPal‘ (http://www.myfitnesspal.com/) that helps me to keep a record of what I have eaten. It also tracks nutrients so I will know at the end of the day if I haven’t had enough calcium or fibre. I have tried a number of apps to track calories, but this is the best I’ve found. Gradually it builds a dictionary of your usual foods, so entering the food gets quicker with time. The app also allows you to track exercise and the water you drink.
The downside of this app is the lack of a way to track food-groups consumed. For that, I have a quick free app called ‘ CheckOff Diet Tracker’ (New Angle Technologies LLC). It lets me set my goals for each food group as well as for exercise and water. Then I can quickly check off the foods I have eaten and know what I have remaining for the day.
Ways I can be mindful about my evening eating:
- plan a snack; pick a food group remaining after the day – usually this is a milk choice but sometimes it is a fruit or vegetable
- eat my snack at the table instead of in front of the TV
- pay attention to the texture, smell and taste of the food
- keep an activity close at hand to keep occupied (for me, this is knitting, watercolours or reading)
- keep a notebook nearby to record eating impulses – describe the circumstances and my responses
- go to bed at a regular time instead of sitting mindlessly
My approach to any goal is my ‘plan’. On my ‘plan’, I can write down ideas and track my progress. I can also use the ‘plan’ as a reminder to steer me through a difficult stretch.
Recording how I am feeling can help me understand what triggers my evening eating. Usually I am not hungry.
Below is the page of my planning book. A spiral notebook with plain pages works for me, although I am bad at drawing straight lines!
You can copy and use the page too, if you want to plan your evening eating. In a couple of days, I’ll show you my completed page and how I did.
A simple ‘Hunger index’ is 1 to 3, where 1 is not hungry (just ate), 3 is ravenous (stomach growling), and 2 is somewhere between.
Do you have problems controlling your evening eating? What are your solutions?
Best always, Alexandra