Advice needed from my readers

I’ve been working out regularly since December with minimal breaks and though I’m fitter, stronger and better (see what I did there?!) I’m struggling with visible results.

After thinking long and hard about my diet and exercise regime, I can conclude that this is down to the fact that I’m eating too much. I eat ridiculously healthy, I don’t think anyone could eat healthier if they tried, but I do eat four meals a day.

Since I was a kid, I’ve always eaten before bed every single night. 90% of the time, it’s a bowl of low sugar, whole wheat cereal and 10% a piece of brown toast with natural PB on it if I’m out of milk. However, I have a feeling this seemingly harmless little bowl of cereal is hindering my progress.

It’s always a touchy subject for me to talk about with anyone, because people automatically assume I think I’m overweight. This is as far from the truth as you could possibly get, trust me. My eating habits and mentality towards food is very healthy, but I know, just as anyone who’s into fitness knows, that if you still have a little weight on you, muscle definition will not happen. So by eating supper (the cereal, just in case people think I mean dinner!), I can’t help but feel this is my downfall with my progress.

“Just cut out the supper then!” I hear you cry, but here’s the kicker – I get so hungry come bed time – if I don’t eat, I literally cannot sleep. I will drift in and out of the stage before actual sleep where you have peculiar thoughts and you aren’t feeling quite compos mentis but my sleep will go no further, as if my body prevents me until I eat. If I eat, I then fall asleep easily.

So what’s a girl to do? I eat a big breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a big tea (dinner for my American readers) and yet I’m still really hungry come bedtime because of this habit that I’ve cemented. Does anyone have any recommendations? I mentioned it to a doctor, they then asked me eating disorder type questions *big facepalm* and told me that eating that bowl of cereal won’t harm me so long as it’s low in sugar. I eat the natural appetite suppressants I’ve read about online (healthy fats, apples etc.) and nothing helps. Any advice?

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22 thoughts on “Advice needed from my readers

  1. My doctor has told me that a calorie at 6 am is the same as a calories at 10pm, your body doesn’t know the difference. How many cals are you eating a day? Your intake is either too high or low. Mine was always too low until my doctor really got on my case.

    • To be honest, I’ve never sat down and correctly calculated my calorific intake, but from the bits I do know about x being y calories and whatnot, I’m guessing my intake is too high and therefore the problem. I’m most likely not hungry, it’s just a solid habit I’ve created. I think I’m going to try and reduce the size of meals, but have them more regularly to see if that helps keep the hunger curbed. Hope you’re well, lovely lady!

  2. Calories are the same no matter the time of the day…. I am by no mean an expert. I actually have a similar issue… But I keep hearing the key to getting your muscles to pop more is to eat more protein…

    • I think I’ve perhaps not made my question/post as clear as I could have because a couple of people have mentioned that a calorie is the same any time of day, which I appreciate. It was more the problem of going over my calorific intake for the day, not so much eating at night because it’s bad for me, you know? I’m eating 40g of protein a day minimum which is the RDA for my gender and BMI, so I’m not sure that’s the problem. For instance, I would love visible abs and my abs are almost steel-like, I could be punched in the stomach and it not hurt as bad as it would have before (no one test this theory on me please!! 😉 ) but because I’m still carrying a little bit of timber on my middle, it doesn’t matter how good my abs are because they’re hidden by meat.

  3. My understanding is that the body knows a small difference and here is what my trainer guy said…

    “Even though a calorie is a calorie, our bodies slow down at a certain point in the day and cease to process food effectively — especially while we sleep and are in a fasting period.” He told me to try not to eat after 8:00 — that time based on when I told him I go to bed; which is midnight.

    The following is an article that looks like it covers all of your weight and sleep concerns:

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/497873-what-happens-when-you-eat-complex-carbs-before-bed/

    and here is advice on what TO eat before bed
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/282294-healthy-foods-to-eat-before-bed/?utm_source=popslideshow&utm_medium=a1

    In closing, the trending ritual is snacking throughout the day, not meals. Even if you have your breakfast, the one meal you should have, can you snack sporadically through the late evening instead of, or keeping you from the cereal and the toast?

  4. Calories are all the same, but there’s a chance that eating grains before bedtime could be spiking your blood sugar which can lead to insulin resistance/weight gain. Maybe you could add almonds to your cereal and slowly switch your nightly routine from cereal/bread to almonds and fats of some kind and see if that helps. Or if you don’t have a problem with dairy, maybe a big glass of milk or a bowl of Greek yogurt could do the trick.

    • I think you’re right, Emily. I’m going to have more regular small meals spaced throughout the day instead of medium-big meals and see how that goes. If I’m still hungry come night time, I’ll try almonds instead of cereal. Thanks for the suggestion!

  5. Personally, from what I have read in your posts, I think you need to conquer your mind. Don’t take it the wrong way; I don’t mean there is anything wrong with you. It’s just something we, as women, tend to do. Over think, over stress, over analyze. A lot of scientific studies show that we are the ones in our way when it comes to weight loss and a lot of us simply need to change our minds ALONG with our eating habits, exercise habits, etc. of course. From your posts, I know that you are extremely conscientious about eating and fitness. You are doing everything right IMO, but the one thing us as women don’t spend enough time on is clearing our minds of all the clutter we put in there with incessant thinking, analyzing, etc. Maybe you simply need to change your mind. Because other than that, you are my idea of a perfect and perfectly fit and healthy girl. You just need to think you are. But, that’s just me. And I hope you are not offended by my words because I really admire and respect you . As someone on my own weight loss journey, I look at you and you are amazing to me. Your strength, not just in fitness, but also willpower.

    • No offence taken and thank you for the kind words. I think you’re right, mind clutter doesn’t help and if I’m worried about something, I won’t sleep whether it’s work or food or anything. Thanks again for your input!

      • I only say it because I am exactly the same way. I worry and think myself to death at times and I know it effects the body so I do try to control myself by meditating, yoga, fitness, etc. and also eating healthily, spending time with friends, and talking to people about what bothers me. I feel like it’s really important you know? I’m so glad you were not offended! And no problem, I am always happy to help if I can. Esp. because I deal with a lot of these issues myself.

      • After being in therapy for five years (I was a teenager with a lot of issues to work through!) talking about what’s on my mind is of utmost importance to me, even if I find it hard at times. Eating healthily is thankfully on autopilot but seeing as I work from home and I’m a bit strapped for money at the moment, I tend to forget about my social life and then suddenly realise I’ve gone a week or so without seeing anyone outside the house and make sure I go spend time with people I love. All these self care things are so very important. Meditation is still something I keep forgetting to remember but I’m getting there. 🙂

      • Yeah I know what you mean. I can get like that. I work a lot and tend to hang out at home on weekends. Even gaming online with friends if I can’t go and see them will help me feel more connected, but I do try to hang out in person with family and friends when I can because social interaction is really important. Studies done show that those with strong social lives live longer so it must be worth something. Meditation is something I used to do all the time and now I have a hard time finding time to do it so I’m right there with you!

  6. Have a big glass of low fat milk just before bed? It will fill your tummy, but none of those cereal calories. Or just cut out a little from each meal throughout the day, and still have your cereal before bed 🙂

    • I think you might be on to something here, perhaps being more conscious of how much I eat in anticipation for a bedtime meal/snack is the best route to take. I would try the milk idea but I’ve found out I’m allergic to dairy and soy milk is a little gross on it’s own and almond milk has sugar in it. I’ll see how I can figure out reducing a little off my dinner/tea to allow for later on. Thanks!

  7. Have you tried joining a calorie tracking site like My Fitness Pal? There’s a great community there for support and it allows you try track macronutrients which will allow you to notice patterns and make food adjustments.

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