4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

rsz screen shot 2014 05 24 at 52737 am 4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

note the mustache in the corner. 

 

I recently heard the statistic SIXTEEN PERCENT of us eat or drink while watching television at night.

Yep.

That’s me.

I may be a mindful eater, but you’ll always find The Chairman and me snuggled on the couch at night with food stuffs alongside us.

Million Dollar Listing LA? Brooklyn 99? The New Girl? my eyeballs may be feasting on them but my mouth is always otherwise engaged.

Always.

Child to bed. Charming taken out to do his “business.”  Mama grabs snack and hits the couch.

I’m a card carrying consistent member of the 16% club. 

4 reasons nighttime snacking works for me:

  •  My snacking isn’t mindless.  I may be focused on Fredrik, but I make a MINDFUL choice before I turn on the TV.  I stop, ask my body what it wants and bring a portion of snack with me—never the entire container.   Researchers found people who eat while watching TV consume approx. 228 calories more than those who did not.  I contend I don’t do this because I leave the container in the kitchen.

rsz screen shot 2014 05 24 at 53718 am 4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

 

  • I enjoy it.  I savor the sensations.  I adore my time of snacking, destressing and watching trash TV.  Life is short Jack LaLanne lived to age 97.  He ate little, ingested no caffeine & never tasted dessert.  LaLanne’s motto was: If it tastes good–spit it out!My grandma lived to 101.  She was active, ate dessert, and if it tasted good she left it in her mouth.  For me it’s the old joke about ascetic-living:  “I may live longer if I don’t night-snack—and it will feel longer, too.”   I refuse to do the Oprah/Bob Greene stop eating at 7pm.

rsz screen shot 2014 05 24 at 54408 am 4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

bacon = almost beef jerky.

  • It’s not junk Be it a frozen, protein shake or oatmeal cookies my nighttime TV snack has some nutritional value.  Experts say television sparks our memory to “skip” what we’re eating.  Ive taken time to prepare my snack (sometimes considerable time)–there’s no way my memory is “skipping.”  Especially since I typically leave clean up till after TV-time.

rsz screen shot 2014 05 24 at 51946 am 4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

 

  • I’m a ME-expert.  Ive mentioned “researchers” a few times and I’m all for listening to them.  I’m a firm believer in reading, listening & info-gathering.  Still, before I make any decisions, I grow still.  I listen to my body.  I remind myself I am the expert of me.  And, for now, this expert brazenly believes being a member of the nighttime-BRAVO-watching-snacking-sixteen percent is OK.  I’m doing what I can when I can.

rsz screen shot 2014 05 24 at 54805 am 4 reasons NIGHTTIME SNACKING works for me.

Ive considered this habit of mine a great deal since I first read the statistic and have realized this:

Night-snacking works well for me because Ive had 44 years in this bod and intuitively know what it needs.

Now you.

  • Are you a member of the sixteen percent club? Are you, too, surprised the number is so low?
  • What is YOUR mind-candy, trashtastic TV show of choice? Im always looking for new ones…

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Comments

  1. says

    I am trying to give up the battle against night snacking and adopt a mindful approach. I do have a bad habit of settling in with a box of cereal or bag of chips, but I’m working on dishing out a serving or savoring a few squares of dark chocolate instead.

  2. says

    I like my nighttime snacks too. For me it’s usually a small dish of ice cream but I’m not sitting there with the entire carton in front of me. I don’t care what the “rules” say- a little treat at the end of the day is going to keep me sane and that’s far healthier than eating “clean” 100% of the time to me. So I’m right there with you snacking away while enjoying a nighttime trashy TV show :)

  3. says

    I’m a big snacker too, but you’re right– as long as the container doesn’t come with me, I’m ok with it! And I love The New Girl too! That show is ridiculously funny!

  4. says

    that’s me!! but actually, we eat dinner late. like 8:30 ish and sometimes we just plop in front of the TV. but we take our time. Carbs after 7? WHAT? jk! My great grandma lived to 104! She ate pizza every day, practiced tai chi, and stayed up till midnight.
    ;-)

  5. says

    Nighttime snacking does not work for me. But we all are so different and have to do what works for us! Plus, I think your post highlights the importance of being mindful, no matter when we eat… :)

  6. says

    No nighttime snacking for me… I typically eat a big enough dinner. That being said, if I go out to eat, I typically TAZMANIAN DEVIL my kitchen when I get home because at restaurants the portions are TINY TINY after I make my adjustments to the meal!

  7. marcie says

    Have you shared your oat meal cookie receipe before? I’d love to be able to keep some on hand for my snackers.

  8. says

    Love this post Carla! Your snacks look very yummy too. Obviously night time tv watching snacking works for you. I also like to snack while I watch tv, I haven’t changed my snacks to anything super nutritious (though I’m thinking of trying some of the options you shared!) but I have actually changed the shows I watch. At this point I am more conscious of the things I put into my mind then my body, but the change in what programs I put on to chill out to has made a big difference in my mood afterwards :) Again great post friend! I love how in tune you are to your body and life goals…

  9. says

    Pistachios baby!
    But I always portion them out and put the bag away. Otherwise I’ll eat the whole thing. Addictive little buggers…

  10. Susan says

    Great post.

    Yes, I have a snack every night after dinner. In fact, when I am hungry (no matter what the time) I eat. I think the key is to eat only what you need and make good choices!

    I have a degree in nutrition and all these “rules” about not eating after a certain time, or working out on an empty stomach drive me crazy! Probably because they don’t work for me. LOL.

  11. says

    Whole wheat fig bars and a glass of red wine. Or sometimes whole wheat wine bars and a glass of fig wine. I LIKE TO MIX IT UP, OKAY?

  12. says

    So I was a night snacker that was NOT mindful–so for me right now, I am avoiding snacking after dinner. My go to after dinner item is tea– to help me wind down from the day. So far it is working.

  13. Carla says

    and it was definitely a process for me to get there.
    is a process?
    I swear just when I think this is all figured out–it’s not :-)
    life is a process and I WIN SOME and LEARN SOME.

  14. Jill says

    Yeeeeees! Thank you for the validation! This has been the most challenging eating habit for me to reconcile but you articulated what I have evolved into! A mindful night snacker. That’s it. Last night it was carrots, hummus and pretzel crisps. And a fairly lame scary movie with Halle Barre that didn’t require any mental attention. YES MA’AM.

  15. says

    i eat when i’m hungry – whether itz at 6am or 12am in front of the tv, in the car, etc. :) and we love the shows californication and nurse jackie right now!

  16. says

    I ALWAYS have a snack at night too. I’m just the kind of person that enjoys a little something sweet at the end of the day, but like you, it’s something like fruit, yogurt, a healthier chocolate concoction I whipped up, etc. I’ve read so much recently about it not matter what TIME you eat, it’s about WHAT and HOW MUCH you eat. So if that means I have an apple and peanut butter every night, then I’m a happy camper!

  17. says

    Where do you get the Egg White Ch(ips)? I’ve never seen those. I’m definitely in the 16%. I figured the 16 would be more like 96! :)

  18. says

    I am a member of that 16%… and in my case it’s probably the worst thing I do to myself all day. I really need to get out of the habit, but I have so many other bad habits… One habit at a time I suppose!

    I like Divas on the E channel. Actually I’m an E channel addict.

  19. says

    While we may part ways on the snacking (I don’t which is what works for me) we are sisters in Bravo watching. RHONY is my number one; Frederik and co. are up there, and I also love Flipping Out. Trash TV at its finest!

  20. says

    Definitely a night time snacker – every night! :) It works for me because I am like you – I am mindful. I portion it out & bring it with me – NOT the whole container of anything. It is a healthier snack. I am mindful about it.

    I think so many are not mindful about it & many are stressed at night too – just bring a container or box or carton with them & lose sight of how much they are eating & actually this happens to people during the day too. :)

  21. emmaclaire says

    Definitely a night-time snacker, and definitely just a portion of whatever I’m indulging in. But not usually in front of the TV. We have family TV time during dinner on Fridays and Saturdays (and yes, I know what all the “experts” say about eating dinner in front of the TV, but it’s our weekly treat), so my night snacking happens in front of a book in bed. I’m a great fan of Cascadian Farms Graham Crunch – 110 calories in 3/4 cup, satisfies my sweet tooth and makes my mouth happy. Of course, when the scale creeps, it’s usually the first thing to go, but lordy, I do miss it!

  22. says

    I don’t often eat after dinner, but that’s because I usually eat dinner around 8-9pm. And sometimes, during long training weeks, I still need a before-bed snack.

    I agree though, I’ll rarely go for complete junk when I snack late, and I always portion it out. A bag of something + me + the tv/laptop = food gone without me noticing. If I grab a bag of carrots/broccoli/snap peas (like I have in front of me right now), I am OK with eating a lot of it mindlessly. Not so much with pita chips or pop corn or the like. :)

  23. says

    I’m a huge night-time snacker – sadly I prefer things like popcorn and Dots!!!
    Currently I’m watching MasterChef while eating some of those Dots!!

  24. Jo says

    I eat at night, always have, always will. When I’m hungry, I eat. I plan out my calories/nutrients so I know what I can have, how much, etc. I never got the whole 7:00 thing either. :)

  25. says

    Only 16%??? Wowser. I am definitely included in that 16%, but unlike you I actually do so much damage in those few hours. I eat like an angel all day, for it to go to pot at night while watching Devious Maids. I also do the ‘dish out a bit and leave the rest in the kitchen’ thing. What happens though, is that I then need to keep getting up to replenish said smaller vessel of offending foods multiple times during my show. lol.

    Hopefully I will have this AHA moment that you have had and start making better choices:)

  26. says

    I don’t snack at night during the week. Eating too late makes me wake up in the middle of the night with indigestion. This is only a recent phenomenon in the last year or so. But I still get super-snacky on weekend nights because I stay up wayyyy later. So long as I don’t sleep right after eating, I’m good to go. Now send me some snacks, beyotch. xo

  27. Mary Anne in Kentucky says

    I’ve always been a non-snacker. If I eat at all, I want to eat a lot, a whole meal’s worth. When “six small meals a day is healthier!” was all the rage, I listened to my body and said “No way.”

  28. says

    I would have thought that percentage would be higher as well. I actually only watch tv for about 30 minutes a day while I have dinner IF I’m not doing anything else for dinner. I also only watch educational television for that 30 minutes. I used to watch more… and eat more. It was gross =)

  29. says

    I always snack at night because it is planned into my eating. We eat dinner somewhat early and I get hungry around 8 o’clock. So I have something to eat. I don’t watch too much TV, though. I will play video games or be reading on the porch (in nice weather).

  30. says

    Yesssssss!!!!! This is SO me! My nighttime snacks are a MUST. That is my time w/hubs and I refuse to give it up. I always know what I’ll be eating (popcorn, Greek Froyo w/Quest Bar, cheese and crackers, chili nachos, etc) and it’s always based on my personal macronutrient needs (either to fill in a gap, or because I’ve hit my goals for the day and simply allow myself some tasty treat)…People always ask if I eat before bed, I tell them YES…I’ve even been known to eat IN bed :P…shhh, don’t tell Oprah (or Tosca ;) )

    I so love this…sharing for sure :D

  31. says

    Waving arm wildly in the air! Yes, I’m a member of the 16% club! I’m totally surprised it’s so low.

    I Want to Marry Harry is my current trash TV. It’s a train wreck!

  32. says

    I’m a member too! But I need to make sure I’m really hungry. Often my mouth just wants something, and that’s when I try to turn to gum and/or tea. I don’t have a problem eating past a certain time, but I need to keep asking myself if it’s worth it (do you REALLY want ice cream, or will something else do?). If I want it and enjoy it, good! But if not, it’s likely a mindless choice for me. Mindfulness…been working on this lately!

  33. says

    That’s great that you can still meet you target weight and eat after dinner. Personally, I can get away with this for part of the year when I am maintaining our working to put on some extra muscle. During these times casin shakes, popcorn, or my no-bake protein bites are all late night favorites. However, when I am working on cutting weight these are all out of the question. Currently I am 10 weeks out from my first NPC men’s physique show. I still have about 5 pounds to drop and I have learned my body sheds fat best when ith dinner is my last meal of the day.

  34. says

    This is a great post. It just shows that statistics can be meaningless if you don’t actually think about how they apply to a person’s situation (i.e., this 16% of people that eat or drink while watching TV). They’re not necessarily doing something unhealthy. But on the other hand, they may be. It all depends on what you’re eating, how you eat it, etc. You see numbers get thrown around all the time, but we’ve got to dig deeper and figure out what they actually mean. Thanks for sharing!

  35. says

    I LOVE THIS. I am such a night time snacker, can’t go to bed feeling the least bit hungry. And this is so true, I hate when people tell me I shouldn’t eat late. I say, look at me, does it look like it’s caused a problem? hahah :)

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  36. says

    Love snacking all the time (including at night). Sometimes if I don’t snack at night I wake up around midnight hungry and have to get up and eat a spoonful of peanut butter!

    Trashy tv… Pretty Little Liars. I know it’s ABC Family but it’s so good!

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