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Any tips for overcoming habit of eating late and/or overeating??

I find myself fighting the same dilemma- my lifestyle in nyc inevitable results in me not having the opportunity to have a meal for dinner or for that matter a late lunch till after 6 or 7pm. And by the time I prepare it- it might be 8 or 9pm by the time I sit down to eat. I find myself although my stomach is saying its full- even were I not to eat (I think b/c I’m so backed up inside) I’m still craving more food- especially dessert. And I find myself guilty of eating something too close to bedtime. Does anyone else struggle with this? Have any tips? I realize it must be a mind over matter thing. But even when I am calm and seemingly grounded- I’m guilty of dipping into the raw honey jar, biting into an apple, eating way too much in one sitting only to be way backed up and noxious gas, night sweating, etc.


  • CarmentinaCarmentina Raw Newbie

    I believe it’s fundamental to find time for oneself to just relax and have something to eat, even on the go. Either at a park or at the desk – wherever. We need fuel to help us go. Your body is craving energy food in the evening that it’s not getting during the day. You somehow have to find new habits where you’re more balanced and in tune with your body’s needs. Old habits die hard and you might be either so used to not eating or so stressed out that your stomach rejects food during the day. I consider it a question of pleasure – the pleasure of pampering myself!!

  • SamiliciousSamilicious Raw Newbie

    I was going to post a topic about the same issue that I’ve recently developed! I used to be strict about not eating after 6 to 7:30, but now, I just don’t care and I fill myself waay up near bed time.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    i know someone who works close to bonobo’s in nyc and gets take out from them for dinner. could you afford to do that a couple times a week?

    do you have time to make yourself something in the morning for dinner? i work at night usually, so i always make dinner while i’m drinking my morning juice. if you have less time, morning is a good time to start soaking those seeds so they are ready for the night.

    pack snacks. pack fruit, celery, carrots, whatever you like…

    pack liquids. drinking water with lemon juice, or having a fresh juice, or some kombucha will give you energy without needing to sit down to a meal during the day.

    make dehydrated stuff on weekends to have on hand during the week.

    drinking some water with lemon juice or a little ACV after dinner really helps me feel full, and if i do indulge in dessert i’ll usually want less of it.

  • Carmentina- I would agree with you that it is essential to relax. But what I notice happening with myself is that my body much of the time is exhausted and saying rest- but my mind is saying one small raw meal isnt sufficient you need to eat more- so I do- and then my digestion suffers and now I am bloated, constipated, breaking out daily. It would be one thing if I could just take a bit of something and leave the rest- but I am the woman that eats a pint of acai sorbet in one sitting- and like 3 helpings of raw homemade pudding.

  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    Orgfood – would it be possible for you to just eat fruit in the late evening? When my schedule leaves me unreasonably hungry late at night I generally have some mono fruit for dinner, and I tend to have no problems with sleep or digestion.

    Eating something heavy late at night when I’m hungry is always really tempting, but I am prone to eating too much of it if I do eat something complex, and then I don’t sleep well or feel well in the morning. However, I’ve noticed that fruit (particularly oranges, pineapples, or melons) seems to work great for me on those days when I haven’t been able to eat dinner at a reasonable time.

  • I live right around the corner now from Raw Soul. And I love preparing my own dishes- as I’m finding myself more and more dissatisfied with the dishes others make at the Raw restaurants. But even so- its not that I dont have the means to get raw food- the issue is that I am overeating and overindulging- and cant seem to crack at not doing so. Others seem to assume because I am skinny that how could I overeat – but I do. Last night for example I made a raw pesto dish from here- and was eating with celery sticks and tomato having realized the recipe was not really so much a salad as I had wanted. Then the next thing you know I’m bringing out the bee pollen and flax oil and eating that- even though my stomach was full (and all the more since I’ve been extremely gasey and bloated for whatever reason the last week). I head out to do grocery shopping and see that the store had raw halvah that I had wanted to try. Mind you its nearly 930pm by this time and I told myself my mealtime was up after dinner as I was clearly full and I know eating in between meals taxes your digestion and close to bedtime inteferes. But of course- I am snacking on the raw halvah on the train on the way home- and then dipping into the honey jar and coconut butter when I get home.

    And then the other dilemma is I’m thirsty all the time- even though I drink lots of water- but trying to compensate for the thirst having eaten so soon before is so difficult- that I’m parched all the time trying to wait 3hrs before drinking any fluids so as not to interfere with digestion.

    ehhh yi yiii..

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    your body is telling you to drink and you are following your mind, which read something in a book about waiting. i used to do the 3 hours waiting thing too. not a good trade off. drink when you are thirsty and slowly you will find yourself gravitating towards liquids first and then food… but solve one problem at a time.

  • I guess I was worried that I was further inducing the digestive stress by drinking in between meals- thank you for reminding me to take things one step at a time.

  • michigan romanmichigan roman Raw Master

    green tea supresses appetite

  • Kombucha tea is also great—very satisfying and quite good as an appetite suppressant.

  • KrystaleKrystale Raw Newbie

    Fruit late is not a good idea, it’ll sit on top of other things and ferment. I’m not a big combining stickler, but this has done worlds for me. If you are thin than you may not be overeating. Maybe you’re miscombining for your digestion and it’s causing the back up and gass. I’ve read that miscombining rather than quantity is the real cause of many peoples digestion issues. Me, I’m still trying to eat more and more raw. All battles are hard.

  • worleyhimself2worleyhimself2 Raw Newbie

    mineral dense foods. like greens, and sprouts. eat more veggies.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    try eating small meals more often throughout the day. keep plenty of fruit in a backpack, and eat every 3 hours. that’s how i overcame my nighttime ‘binges’ on raw food.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    I know folks say never to eat after a certain time, OP, but honestly, if you are really hungry, you should eat something. Late at night, I try to stay with mostly raw veggie soups and/or an apple. Sometimes a handful of nuts is great. I don’t think fasting for hours before sleep is as good as some think. Very low blood sugar disturbs sleep(just as an over-load of sugar does). Experiment and find what’s good for you. I almost always have a snack before bed and have still been loosing weight.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    I pack a huge lunch the night before with plenty of snacks. I try to make my lunch the bigger meal and then just have a light dinner. Maybe have a smoothie for dinner instead of breakfast. I have also found that some chamomile tea really settles my stomach when it’s gassy or bloated. also tummy comfort tea does the same.

  • I personally need to eat not long before bed, or I wake up almost too weak to get to the kitchen (ironic that I wake up when I lose consciousness again often before managing to eat when this happens!) My metabolic rate just wants more than a nice green salad with avocado to keep my body functioning through the night. That said, if I eat not long before bed (and make a good choice) I can wake up, drink water, go for a walk or run, and make myself a smoothie all before I feel the hunger pains.

    My main issue is that I often eat non raw foods at night, most often when studying. Emotional eating is a problem almost everyone faces, and to overcome it, we have to identify why we feel the need. Though I still grab a few too many cookies or some form of fat or carbs at night, I will use my triggers as examples. Boredom and sitting in the family room watching tv has been, for years, a food zone. My family used to often eat dinner in front of the tv and with movies I would always have a snack. For me, the room is a place of mindless eating. To help it, I try to avoid the family room or to be mindful about what goes into my mouth. A feeling of emptiness is also an issue for me. To me, I treat emotional or spiritual emptiness similar to an empty stomach- hello super sweet cooked chemicals. To combat this aspect of my life I have re-added the practise of meditation into my life and hope to get back into yoga. I am also trying to make over my personality, finding fulfillment in more than the material, and trying to change my often catty internal commentary. Raw foods is actually a step towards this: getting in touch with the basics of my body and mind.

    Though emotional eating late night is far from behind me, the identification of my issues is the first step in overcoming it. I hope that you can figure out your causes and work towards overcoming them as well! Good Luck ;)

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    The best thing to eat at night is fruit. It digests quickly when eaten alone (not combined with fats) – eat fruit an hour before bed, and it’ll be digested by the time you rest.

  • Thanks for the further suggestions everyone. I am glad to hear I’m not alone with this habit of eating late and/or overeating. Bitt- what is tummy tamer tea? Is it sold at healthfood stores?

    Nicci- I agree with you with finding the emotional aspect and working through that- do you have any particular meditations or regime you do- that has helped you?

  • I also find that I’m not eating until 9pm most nights. By the time I leave work, go to yoga, commute out of the city…it gets late fast. So what I’m trying to do is prepare the food even if it is late, eat a little, and bring the rest for lunch the next day.

    Overeating, which was always a problem for me on cooked foods, has not been an issue with raw for some reason. Still, I understand the overwhelming desire to have more and more. Sometimes our cravings are misplaced, and we’re looking for something other than food to fill up on.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    I am also thin, and I eat a lot compared to a lot of people my size. I have found that if I am hungry, I need to eat! I ate a fairly “heavy” snack at 11:00 pm last night, and I slept better than I have most of the week. Part of what helps my digestion is plenty of water! I usually make sure I drink at least a full glass about 20-30 min. before each meal, and then I only usually have to wait 15-20 min. after the meal and I feel thirsty again. Drink when I am thirsty, and eat when I am hungry – that’s what works for me. Also, when I feel non-hungry/backed-up inside, I use a warm water enema. I just dump out the saline stuff that comes in the enema bottle, rinse it out and fill it with warm water to use for the enema. Ginger is also good for digestion.

  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    One of the reasons I realized I was overeating during my transition to raw foods was because of a lack of direct sunlight. I live in St. Louis, and in the winter, it SUCKS! I am a warm-weather addict by heart, and only live here because of school…I stay cooped up all winter and the only sunlight I feel I ever see is when walking briskly from car to building to building to car. If you think about the fundamentals, it makes sense: plants are photosynthetic, and so is the human body. When we are eating raw foods, we are doing our best to provide those similar chemical reactions that the sun creates within us, but there is no real substitute for direct sunlight and naturally ocurring vitamin D, no matter how many sprouts you eat! I was overeating, especially at night, because I was trying to make up for the lack of sunlight…overeating on nuts and dried foods especially. When I made this realization, I started to force myself to walk places and flat-out stopped buying things I knew I would overeat on—if you don’t have it within your reach, you will not eat it! As spring approaches, I think and hope that you will find that eating raw without overeating is much easier.

    I also understand the odd scheduling. I go to a strict arts conservatory, combined with a morning shift job, that leads to 18 hour days at least. (thank god I’m graduating in a couple weeks!). My poor body gets so confused. I think that at the root of the problem, overeating often is an attempt at compensating not only for a lack of sunshine, but a lack of sleep. If you are getting enough sleep, is it good, quality sleep? There is a difference. Even though raw foodists need less sleep than non- , people in general still need to rest properly when they are being overworked.

    In terms of what to eat when you feel a craving coming on, it sounds nerdy, but maybe put a sign up on your fridge or on the cabinet, “what do I really want?” It will make you stop and think about what your body really is wanting. Change the sign frequently so that you don’t become immune to it. You may pause and consider not only what you want to eat, but what you do not want to eat and how you do not want to feel after eating it. This will be very helpful!!! Perhaps try some tea first, and then if you still feel deficient, then go for food. Celestial seasonings puts out a tea called Bengal Spice, and it is what I drink at night if I am feeling a craving—it is very smooth and sweet and rich, but still tea nonetheless. Warm apple cider vinegar in water with cinnamon is also great. Spicy foods induce hunger, as does sugar when eaten dried, so nix those in the bud.

    My last bit of advice is to eat a later lunch/earlier dinner (whatever it would be for your lifestyle) around 3pm or 4pm if possible. This will leave you feeling satisfied for several hours, and make you only want something light once you get home at night. Soups are a great light dinner, and sit well in your stomach without requiring too much energy for digestion.

    Hope this is helpful! I only have so much to say because I struggled with the same thing recently for way too long…!

  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    Alix1962>your cat is adorable!!!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    The tea is called “Tummy Comfort” tea by traditional medicinals. It’s meant for kids but I love it. Come to think of it, I haven’t needed it in the past few weeks since eating raw. Whoopee!

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