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Weight Loss NHS
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My snacking is terrible

I’m watching my calories and I’ve found I use so much in the evening and night. My will power goes out the window and I eat junk food. It makes me feel good at the time but the next day I regret it. This has been a long term issue for me and I just can’t seem to stop it. I don’t want to give up, but I can’t seem to stop it ☹️

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Hello Tulip1977 can I ask what sort of junk food are you eating? Is it stuff that’s in the house or you going out/ordering it in? 😊

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I don’t buy any junk food for me but I have it in for the kids. I’m not buying take aways. For example I ate some of the kids crisps before bed, had two pieces of fudge and bread and butter. I just went crazy. X

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If your kids are trying to help ask them to change their habits too. Perhaps they could have ‘good’ snacks instead of crisps. And they don’t need chocolate. Eating in a new way does take a lot of work at the beginning- but low fat isn’t always the best. It does sound like you need to increase your breakfast and lunch calories so that you’re not snacking in the evenings. Also take up a hobby that keeps your hands busy. Knitting or sewing can be a great distraction and you won’t want to get your hands greasy. Keep at it though it’s going to take time but at least you are aware of what the problem is. X

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What are you eating for your meal beforehand? Some foods will trigger an urge to eat more whilst others will help us feel more sated.

If you're not using the Daily Diary at the moment, it could be a good place to get feedback on what you're eating and when.

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Ok I’ll write what I had today on the daily diary. I’m on holiday so it’s a bit harder to get all the wholesome foods in the supermarket here. Thank you Tiggerr x

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Didn't realise you're on holiday (lucky you! :) ). That's not going to make things easier.

I've mentioned later on about not beating yourself up and that probably goes double whilst you're on holiday. Holidays are hurdles in themselves so be kind to yourself.

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Are you eating enough? If you are following the NHS 12 Week plan then the 1400 calorie target suggested is a just generic amount, please check your own personal calorie target using the BMI checker, it’s often higher than you think. We always advise starting towards the top of the range, being hungry is the biggest cause of weight loss failure as it leads to unplanned snacking 😕

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I don’t think I’m eating enough in the day and I’m really hungry in the evening/night. I’ll try and up my calories at breakfast/lunch and dinner. I’ve been reading quite a bit about how a low fat diet means more sugar. That’s not good I seem to be finding out. Thanks for your help x

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Please run the BMI checker too nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyw...

It will suggest a target range of calories for you based upon your height age weight etc

Making this whole process as painless as possible is key 😊

Good luck

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Tulip you have just started - it isn't easy when there are treats in the house for the children. Maybe you could rearrange your cupboards and keep a cupboard for you with more suitable things.

I agree with IndigoBlue, you probably aren't eating enough - come back and tell us what your calorie range is once you have worked it out. The link to the BMI calculator is in the newbie pack we gave you.

Also make sure you are using full fat foods, not diet food. It is far more filling and will stop you wanting to snack :)

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2158 is my max calories for the day but I’m spending a lot on junk food in the evening. When I get home off holiday I’ll sort the cupboards out, that’s a good idea. My kids are trying to help me. My daughter said I have to give them ten pounds each if I snack at night, lol! Xxx

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In reply to your daughter, tell them they have to give you £10 each for every 1 pound you loose 😁

If your kids are really trying to help, then how about having a family challenge of all of you being healthier and the treats being cut down to just a few times a week. You will save money and the kids will benefit as well :)

Another thing to do is to put things in the freezer, the things you can freeze obviously, not sure the crisps would work 🤣 and only bring out enough for the children the night before they are going to have it.

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All the advice is really helpful. I’ll try and take it on board. I suffer with depression and anxiety which effects my motivation so sometimes I just go for the easy option which is not always the best. Hopefully by getting involved on here it will help with my knowledge and choices xxx

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It is hard when snacks are freely available for others! In addition to the helpful comments made above, perhapsthe following suggestions might help? Make sure you have alternative snacks available for yourself so that you don't end up feeling left out. Make sure it is something you really enjoy though so it doesn't feel like punishment! Perhaps there is something you really like but the kids don't? (For example liquorice, a nice herbal tea, etc) also what has helped for me (I don't have kids but a partner with a miraculous metabolism) is that he buys snacks that I don't like but he does that way I don't get tempted. If he does get something into the house we both like he makes sure to give me a little bit then eats the rest so it isn't around to tempt me. Lastly, and your kids might hate me for this now, but maybe consider switching them gradually onto healthier snacks? They are most likely active and growing now I'm sure, but they'll be grateful when they're older that you taught them healthy snacking habits that can stay with them for life!

Sorry if none of this is helpful, I hope you can find a strategy that will make you more confident in responding to this scenario! Best of luck!

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Reading all your replies, you've got a lot going on. Try not to worry about sorting them all out at once.

If you're not eating enough during the day then maybe focus on that to start with. If that still doesn't work, then as I mentioned earlier, look into the types of food you're eating later in the day as they may be triggers.

I get 'down' easily (not sure if it would be classed as depression) but I'm trying to spot those times and find other solutions rather than mixing a cup of butter and sugar together :O

What I'm trying to say is don't beat yourself up if the jigsaw doesn't come together in one go (it never does) but try to make one or two bits fit well and then work on a few more.

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Thank you Tiggerr x

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Hello Tulip1977. I am just the same! I eat quite well all but last thing at night as I make packed lunches etc I wolf down anything edible. Ive tried not having biscuits, crisps etc in house but still wolf cheese, bread etc. I am going to try to get ready for bed first including cleaning my teeth and see if this helps.

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Brushing my teeth helps me . . . But also getting out of the habit of evening nibbling. It takes time and practice but you can do it 😊

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That’s just like me MrsFattyArbuckle. I’m the same with bread, cheese or whatever I have in. Like loads of bananas for some reason. I just get a high from eating later on in the day for some reason. Xxx

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I think its just a habit with me but its a strong one to break. I often nibble on cheese late at night then dont sleep well but still do it the next time! I am trying to break it. 1 thing I have done is buy only cheese slices so at least I dont eat a big lump. Cheese and butter are my big temptations. I dont have a sweet tooth. Let me know how you get on.

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I can see what you're trying to achieve but if you're not aware already, processed cheese (cheese slices) have double the amount of salt which can be a contributory factor to high blood pressure.

Not the end of the world in a balanced but could pre-cutting natural cheese work for you?

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If only I could trust myself when I was cutting it!

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Ahhhh, that could be a problem :) What stops you from opening the second slice of cheese? I find them moreish once I've had one :(

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I buy ready sliced cheddar and it’s similr salt to normal cheddar. . .

fattyarbuckle if you don’t have a sweet tooth that’s great! Have you considered a low carb high fat eating plan? Have a look at this phcuk.org/wp-content/upload...

And this healthunlocked.com/lchf-diet

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Hi Tulip, I think you are sharing my body! Like you, it’s the evenings when my best intentions go out of the window no matter how much I try! What I do is bank the calories during the day when I have less of an appetite so I can have a treat in the evening. I know that many people say you should have a good breakfast etc but I have never eaten first thing in the morning and have always been hungrier in the evening. Another thing I do is if somebody ( usually my husband who is super slim no matter what he eats) is eating something high calorie I ask him if I can just have a taste. So, I had a mouthful of scone and cream this week, a crisp , a bite of some chocolate. It seems to help me feel less excluded from treats. I think losing weight is not just physical but psychological, too. I have also found that as the weeks go by I am not craving the sugar anywhere near as much although I could have easily given in last night ( it was a bad day yesterday ) so went to bed (away from the kitchen) and read a book!

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