So I've been trying to follow the whole "eat only when you're hungry" idea, but I have found an issue with it. If I don't eat breakfast, since I'm not hungry (which is often the case) I find that by the evening, usually after dinner, I start snacking.... A lot... If I eat breakfast, then I usually don't find myself snacking (or at least not as much).
So my question is this: is it better to make myself eat breakfast, or snack right before bedtime? Are there foods that are better to snack on when it's late?
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I'm not sure I understand where's the problem. Do whatever works for you. Or are you victim of the "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" fallacy?
I've never eaten breakfast, and I got rid of lunches when I started IF year and a half ago (16 hours off, 8 hours on, 7 days a week). I have a pretty big snack an hour before bed, sometimes just before bed, and it doesn't cause me issues.
I find this is usually just boredom. It's a habit that you can break if you wish. Really nothing wrong with eating late though. I eat one "meal"/day most days of the week and that can take me right up to bedtime.
I find a better option is to make your snack part of your dinner. I like some dark chocolate and a few nuts in the evening. So rather than waiting for a few hours, I just eat them like a dessert directly after your dinner. It avoids grazing and may work for you?
It depeneds on what yer snacking on. I have spinach, carrots and celery right now that will nourish my body all night... its almost two am. But its light on the cals! When I wake up ill eat a banana or smoothie with coffee then for lunch do a protien smoothie before an easy jount with my pups at the park. Dinner is light because I always snack. I usually will just make extra of whatever my dinner is so I have left overs to much... so snacking is light too... but I always snack if I wanna I just keep it light and keep track ... try to space out stuff.
I feel you on the night time munchies. I find that if I have a light appetizer while I'm cooking dinner (usually a small glass of wine and a few olives), I end up both eating less dinner and not wanting to snack later.
I can't sleep if I'm even a little bit hungry and I know that even if I can force myself I will wake up at 3am craving breakfast and wont be able to get back to sleep until I've eaten!
To me this is the perfect case for IF. You don't eat breakfast because you're not hungry. You make a hard-and-fast rule about no eating after 7pm (say). I think you'll find, or at least I did, that the after-7pm hunger is usually bogus, psychological, and passes if you ignore it, at least if you eat a nice large dinner. For me at least, I don't eat if I'm hungry after 7pm, and the next morning I wake up, and am not hungry! (If I am hungry, I might eat, but if I don't the feeling usually passes.)
It's an option to try anyway.
Perhaps you don't need either.
What time are you eating dinner and what are you eating at dinner? It always felt to me before going paleo that I'd be eating two dinners - normal dinner + peanut butter and jelly on half a piece of bread and then some dark chocolate and then a tiny bowl of cereal and so on. The 'dessert' part ended up being as caloric as the dinner part half the time.
Amp up the protein and fat at your dinner. Make it as sating as possible. As far as what's better, if your goal is weight loss, do some experimenting. One week with breakfast, one week without. Figure out what you're taking in on both and go from there.