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Breaking a night-time snack routine embedded from childhood

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Breaking a night-time snack routine embedded from childhood

Old 06-06-19, 07:53 AM
  #1  
burnthesheep
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Breaking a night-time snack routine embedded from childhood

To start, I'm not a big guy. I run between 150 to 160 lbs at 5' 10" most of the time. Which is fine.

However, I think I've got a messed up balance in terms of diet that drives me to have a less than enjoyable experience holding a good "race weight".

Since early childhood, as early as I can remember, I always had an evening snack. Probably around 8PM. Our family growing up religiously ate at 5:30. One theory I have is that this dinnertime is just too early and you get some cravings later. Then, that snack time is about the least optimal time of day for a snack ever. Right before bed you don't need anything, your body is just going to take that and store it as fat.

One idea is to have a healthy snack somewhere else during the day and shift the lunch/dinner hours later in the day. So that dinner is maybe at least 6PM to 6:30PM.

I'd have to work at moving the dinner hour later with the family.

What's opinions for this? It's not just about trying to be a skinny bike racer. I don't feel it's good for you to snack later at night from a sleep standpoint or health standpoint. It's almost pointless.

I'd appreciate ideas. Since childhood is a long time habit to break.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:04 AM
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IMO the timing doesn't really matter. The issue with late night snacking is that you're going to be asleep anyway, so there's no real need to feel satiated late at night. In terms of relieving hunger vs calorie intake, you're not getting much bang for your buck.

Moving the snack to another time in the day may help you feel more full throughout the day which is nice. But, absent of change in total calorie intake, I don't think it will make much of a difference one way or the other in terms of health or weight.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:48 PM
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Just eat something with low carbs but is satiating. Jerky or a piece of cheese with some almonds etc.
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Old 06-06-19, 04:20 PM
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I eat a huge big dinner consisting of slow digesting carbs and slow digesting proteins in the evening at around 8 PM. Dinner is my largest meal of the day. I never experience any hunger at night
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Old 06-06-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
Right before bed you don't need anything, your body is just going to take that and store it as fat.
If this is the assumption you're operating under it's incorrect, at least as generalized as you've stated. There's no specific reason your body would turn food right before bed directly into fat, that's not how human metabolism works. My family was a 5:30 dinner time family too and I was also a 8-9pm snacker growing up. I fell out of the habit for a while during college but come back to it from time to time as I enjoy a nice bowl of cereal a little before bed. I seem to sleep better and have a more balanced feeling of satiation the next day - dependent on my overall activity level of course. Anyway my point isn't to tell you how to live your life, just don't be so hard on yourself for what is probably a fairly benign and ineffectual habit.

As far as breaking the habit I found that being engaged in something else during my snack window pretty much eliminated the opportunity as I was only really craving something from a little before 8pm to a little after 9pm. If I was doing something else and didn't notice the time passed it was easy not to eat anything. Or you can try what pro tour riders do - a lot of seltzer water, sleeping pills and an iron will not to eat.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:58 PM
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Late night snacking is fine but if you want to lose weight, just be sure you stay within your calorie limit.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:16 PM
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25g of chocolate flavored whey protein right before bed has worked perfectly for us. There's some probably BS theory that it stimulates HGH in your sleep but who knows. Works though. We don't get hungry in the night and only 100 calories. Legs feel better in the morning. We try to eat at 6:30 and have an afternoon snack, maybe 4:00. The snack makes a smaller dinner feel fine. We shoot for a 9:30-10 bedtime.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:56 PM
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It amazes me how many people think eating before bed makes you fat. I had a guy tell me I was wrong and that he lost weight by not snacking before bed. I asked him if he eat his snack earlier. Mmm maybe the not having the snack at all is what did it.
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Old 06-07-19, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
....................... I'd appreciate ideas. Since childhood is a long time habit to break.
Protein before bed ------- YES ???

https://pi-nutrition.com/is-protein-...ed-beneficial/

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a2671...muscle-growth/

https://life.spartan.com/post/protein-before-bed
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Old 06-07-19, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
It amazes me how many people think eating before bed makes you fat. I had a guy tell me I was wrong and that he lost weight by not snacking before bed. I asked him if he eat his snack earlier. Mmm maybe the not having the snack at all is what did it.
There was a fun and very, very long thread on a CrossFit forum a few years ago. A guy started eating a bowl of ice cream before bed every night and lost weight. A lot of theorizing and experimentation ensued. Some people also lost weight, others gained. After some analysis, it turned out that it was just CI-CO.

When the guy ate ice cream before bed, he didn't wake up hungry and ate less during the next day. Other people had varying results, but IIRC more weight gain than weight loss.
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Old 06-10-19, 06:18 PM
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Funny but I was thinking about this very thing yesterday.

My thinking is that it does not matter at all when you eat as far as fat storage goes, as long as you do not over eat, because you do not use the food you eat right away regardless. To my understanding it is:

1. Digested
2. Used to replace glycogen in muscles and liver
3. Stored as fat

That process takes time if your are eating slow release carbs or protein. You don't eat and then instantly gain usable energy from it unless you are eating fast carbs/starch/sugar.

Conventional wisdom suggests you should eat a big breakfast because you are going to be more active during the day but that energy is coming from stored glycogen, not the breakfast (unless you eat fast carbs/sugar). The morning energy comes from the replacement of glycogen that occurred the night before. This is the thinking behind carb loading the night before a big event. So, if I'm correct and that's a big "if", when you skimp on your evening meal the day before you will be climbing out of a big energy deficit the next morning unless you try to play catch up by eating fast acting carbs/sugars. I think this is why some people struggle with poor food choices during the day - the body is demanding instant energy to get out of the hole - especially if you skip breakfast as well.

If you eat in the evening your body has 8 hours to replenish glycogen before morning activity. Then it is steady small amounts to continue the replacement process during the day. The key in the evening is not to eat more than you have burned during the day.

As long as you are using your glycogen stores and don't overeat, the food digested should go first to that process, even at night. I think people blow this though when they do not exercise and overeat and blame it on the time of eating instead of the amount of calories in/out.

Those are my thoughts on it.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 06-10-19 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-19, 07:52 PM
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I have a bad habit of snacking between supper and bedtime. However I find drinking hot tea curbs my desire to snack.
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Old 06-11-19, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Funny but I was thinking about this very thing yesterday.

My thinking is that it does not matter at all when you eat as far as fat storage goes, as long as you do not over eat, because you do not use the food you eat right away regardless. To my understanding it is:

1. Digested
2. Used to replace glycogen in muscles and liver
3. Stored as fat

That process takes time if your are eating slow release carbs or protein. You don't eat and then instantly gain usable energy from it unless you are eating fast carbs/starch/sugar.

Conventional wisdom suggests you should eat a big breakfast because you are going to be more active during the day but that energy is coming from stored glycogen, not the breakfast (unless you eat fast carbs/sugar). The morning energy comes from the replacement of glycogen that occurred the night before. This is the thinking behind carb loading the night before a big event. So, if I'm correct and that's a big "if", when you skimp on your evening meal the day before you will be climbing out of a big energy deficit the next morning unless you try to play catch up by eating fast acting carbs/sugars. I think this is why some people struggle with poor food choices during the day - the body is demanding instant energy to get out of the hole - especially if you skip breakfast as well.

If you eat in the evening your body has 8 hours to replenish glycogen before morning activity. Then it is steady small amounts to continue the replacement process during the day. The key in the evening is not to eat more than you have burned during the day.

As long as you are using your glycogen stores and don't overeat, the food digested should go first to that process, even at night. I think people blow this though when they do not exercise and overeat and blame it on the time of eating instead of the amount of calories in/out.

Those are my thoughts on it.
All this. You can manipulate this too for specific adaptions as well https://www.velonews.com/2017/07/pod...trition_443630
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Old 06-12-19, 12:14 AM
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Like @wolfchild, I've been eating dinner later in the day, often between 8 and 9. I got a job that is fantastic in many ways, but shifted my schedule a couple hours. And then I'm satiated for a couple hours.

Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
As far as breaking the habit I found that being engaged in something else during my snack window pretty much eliminated the opportunity as I was only really craving something from a little before 8pm to a little after 9pm. If I was doing something else and didn't notice the time passed it was easy not to eat anything. Or you can try what pro tour riders do - a lot of seltzer water, sleeping pills and an iron will not to eat.
Agree about occupying yourself. A musical instrument, evening walk, whatever.
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Old 06-12-19, 08:29 AM
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Also, it seems if I'm reading an actual book in the evening, I don't snack. If I'm watching TV, spending too much time here at BF or doing other stuff on my computer, then I snack.
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Old 06-12-19, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Funny but I was thinking about this very thing yesterday.

My thinking is that it does not matter at all when you eat as far as fat storage goes, as long as you do not over eat, because you do not use the food you eat right away regardless. To my understanding it is:

1. Digested
2. Used to replace glycogen in muscles and liver
3. Stored as fat

That process takes time if your are eating slow release carbs or protein. You don't eat and then instantly gain usable energy from it unless you are eating fast carbs/starch/sugar.

Conventional wisdom suggests you should eat a big breakfast because you are going to be more active during the day but that energy is coming from stored glycogen, not the breakfast (unless you eat fast carbs/sugar). The morning energy comes from the replacement of glycogen that occurred the night before. This is the thinking behind carb loading the night before a big event. So, if I'm correct and that's a big "if", when you skimp on your evening meal the day before you will be climbing out of a big energy deficit the next morning unless you try to play catch up by eating fast acting carbs/sugars. I think this is why some people struggle with poor food choices during the day - the body is demanding instant energy to get out of the hole - especially if you skip breakfast as well.

If you eat in the evening your body has 8 hours to replenish glycogen before morning activity. Then it is steady small amounts to continue the replacement process during the day. The key in the evening is not to eat more than you have burned during the day.

As long as you are using your glycogen stores and don't overeat, the food digested should go first to that process, even at night. I think people blow this though when they do not exercise and overeat and blame it on the time of eating instead of the amount of calories in/out.

Those are my thoughts on it.
8 hours to replace muscle glycogen. However during the night your brain is actually very active and burning calories. It gets those calories from liver glycogen. Normally in the morning your liver is about 400 calories low on glycogen. Here's a little primer on how that all works during sleep, with a focus on fat burning: metabolism and energy use in sleep

The discussion in the link explains why it's a good idea to have protein before bed and again with breakfast. It also tells why you feel crummy without a good breakfast. Depleted liver glycogen makes me cranky. You don't have to replace the whole 400 calories all at once, but it's fine to do that. I always have 400 carb calories before a long ride day.
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Old 06-12-19, 03:37 PM
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I don't feel hungry when I wake up in the morning. I can easily hop on my bike and do a fasted ride or workout on just a cup of coffee...however I do eat a large breakfast of about 750 calories of mostly carbs and protein with a little bit of fat about 60 minutes before I get on my bike and ride. The main reason I eat breakfast is because I don't want to loose weight and muscle.
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Old 06-21-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
A guy started eating a bowl of ice cream before bed every night and lost weight.
I had a very similar experience. At a point in time not too long ago I was eating a fair amount of ice cream before bed, several times a week. I was able to easily maintain my weight if not lose some. However, my cholesterol levels went way up. Now I limit myself to once per week for ice cream.
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