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Old 02-23-2010, 06:27 AM   #1
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For those of us with night time cravings...

There have been a few threads lately that mentioned problems with night time binging. This got me thinking about an article I read in Runner's World recently. It talks about some of the road blocks that keep runners from training due to lack of motivation. Here is an excerpt:


Mental fatigue lowers dopamine, a brain chemical that makes you feel energized. Plus, blood sugar dips again between 5 and 7 p.m.

Don't confuse mental fatigue with physical fatigue. Researchers from Bangor University in Wales report that short-term mental fatigue doesn't impact the physical function. So it's your mind—not your body—that craves downtime. And running is the perfect antidote. "Running elevates your nervous system, which increases your sense of alertness," Moffitt says. Resist the urge to skip your run by packing your gear, changing at work, and going directly to the gym or trail. Even better, join—or start—an after-work running group. Keep your energy up with a snack before your run.
While you may not be a runner, there are a couple of points to note:

1. Since mental fatigue and decision making are related, you might be making bad food choices because of lower dopamine levels. So, in a why, it is a lack of "will power", but there is a definite chemical reason for it.

2. Recognizing WHY we're making bad food choices can help us solve the problem. As the snippet suggests, exercise will increase mental alertness and help us make better decisions.

One possible solution: Have a light LC snack in the car on the way home. Once you get home, exercise before you eat dinner.

While this requires some effort to become a new habit, it can be done.

Hope this helps someone.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:32 AM   #2
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I get hideous cravings in the late evening,, and try and realise it for what it is ( need for rest/sleep and NOT food) and GO TO BED!
If I'm desperate and want to stay up and watch a movie, then I have a cup of tea, and if it gets REALLY Bad I stick to nibbles like celery and a bit of cheese....hmm though I suppose the cheese not so good
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
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Paul, thanks I appreciate little snippets like this... I'm all about the science. I'm not a runner but a brisk walk w/my nordic poles and the dog definatley does the trick!
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:41 AM   #4
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Nice thread. I have found that I have to make myself exercise after getting home and before dinner. I usually feel much better when I do, but it is definitely a struggle sometimes.

Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:48 AM   #5
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Thanks Paul. I found mustering the energy to workout after dinner works well for me. The exercise usually dampens my appetite and makes me less likely to overeat due to not wanting to undo the work I just did. Also I have a routine for relaxing after my workouts that I visualize and only do on workout days. So in mind that routine in itself is the reward if that makes sense.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #6
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Along the lines of the "snack on the way home," I recommend making a big pot of low carb soup and heating/eating a bowl of it immediately when you get home. It tends to take the edge off that tendency to make bad choices at that time.
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:04 AM   #7
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Bump for porcupine73
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Old 06-23-2010, 08:21 AM   #8
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Thanks for bumping it Paul. I'll see what I can work in. Generally I have 20-30 grams protein powder right when I get home then in about 20 minutes do weight lifting before dinner. Since it stays light so late this time of year I could try going outside for a while after dinner, maybe to walk, maybe that would help to cut down on that late evening snacking. The late evening snacking for me seems to be fat cravings. If I eat enough fatty things I do feel satiated then.
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