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the need to snack

May 4, 2012

Yesterday morning I told myself: “Today is the day I’m going to stop mindlessly snacking after dinner.” 

I repeated my resolve as I had a protein shake for breakfast and my usual shrimp/avocado roll at lunch. I repeated my resolve through 20 somewhat torturous minutes testing Maya on spelling and subtraction. I even repeated my resolve during a chat with Ali about why he can never again let Maya wear tights to school without a dress on top of them.

No, I never thought I’d have to have that conversation either.

Anyway, when Maya was finally in bed and it was time to watch Million Dollar Listing New York (highlight of my week) my resolve went straight out the window leaving me with, “I totally need a snack.” 

As I ventured to find something to eat, I watched as my husband broke out the box of mini-ice cream cones he randomly bought at Trader Joe’s, put one on a plate, and went back to the living room.

Me: “Those are really small. How do you stop at just one?” 
Ali: “I just think about the hydrogenated fats.” 

Maya is a snacker too…but she snacks while hiding in the furthest corner of the house so she doesn’t have to share.

As I pondered the fact that Ali knew what hydrogenated fats were, I grabbed a box of raisins and followed him to the TV. 10 minutes and about 40 raisins later I was back in the kitchen looking for some chocolate. And then 5 minutes after that I realized I needed something salty. And then … well you get the picture.

So what I want to know is why I have no interest in snacking all day but have zero self-control after dinner? Anyone?

100 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2012 12:39 am

    I have the same problem but mines is in the afternoon where I snack and fall asleep.

    I’ve given up trying to figure it out.

    • May 4, 2012 4:52 pm

      I think that I am so busy in the afternoon that I don’t feel the need to eat…it’s when I stop moving at super speed that I have a problem!!

  2. May 4, 2012 1:44 am

    Wish I knew! With no children around, I now don’t stock ANY unhealthy snacks. And when I do buy sweets and stuff I get pitying stares when i ask ” How many pieces in 50 gms?” These are usually demolished at the first traffic light 😦

  3. May 4, 2012 2:58 am

    It is a global ‘female’ problem – you are not alone, as many will confirm in their comments here. Self-control my ladies.

    • May 4, 2012 4:53 pm

      We all have self-control when it comes to different things…like I can control my need to purchase gadgets. Ali? Not so much.

  4. May 4, 2012 3:12 am

    I have the same problem. As soon as my fanny hits the couch at the end of the night I start thinking I need something to eat. It’s a huge problem!!!!

    • May 4, 2012 4:53 pm

      I’m sorry you share my problem but I’m glad you can relate!

  5. May 4, 2012 3:49 am

    If you have the problem of snacking in the night, then I have problem snacking in the wee hours of the morning. Like I have pastries and cakes for breakfast. It’s weird isn’t it?

    • May 4, 2012 4:56 pm

      I’m not sure why but the morning poses no problem for me…although I do crave pastries all day long. 🙂

  6. May 4, 2012 4:06 am

    Yeesh. If you figure it out, let me know! My resolve holds fast until about 4 pm and then I inevitably ruin my efforts while cooking dinner. I blame my family.

    • May 4, 2012 4:56 pm

      I avoid this problem by not cooking good dinners. 🙂

  7. May 4, 2012 5:02 am

    Me too me too!
    Do you really want an answer!?


  8. May 4, 2012 5:52 am

    I’m the same way! I find if I have something cold (like a frozen fruit bar) my cravings are pretty satisfied. Plus they take a longer time to eat than other foods. But, this could just be a weird “me” thing. lol

    • May 4, 2012 4:57 pm

      I wish I craved frozen fruit bars or fruit…but that’s the last thing I can get myself to eat at night!

  9. Sejal M permalink
    May 4, 2012 5:57 am

    Yes!! Why? For me I somehow convince myself that I DESERVE a snack after a day filled with toddler tantrums and baby poop-splosions. So, after they are asleep, poor tired mommy NEEDS a snack.

    • May 4, 2012 4:58 pm

      The good news is that the tantrums and explosions stop eventually. The bad news? I’m still snacking and the tantrums and explosions are over!

  10. May 4, 2012 6:09 am

    I have no answer for you, Ameena. I have the same problem and strangely…not all the time. Some nights, I’ve made a filling enough dinner that it doesn’t happen. Then there are nights…Sometimes a hot cup of tea will work for me. It will at least keep you away from the chocolate for a while! 😉

  11. May 4, 2012 6:11 am

    I like the show Selling New York (HGTV) better. Have you seen it?
    I usually get hungry when/after I randomly watch Restaurant Impossible. Is it possible you’re hungry because you watch Million Dollar Listing New York? You know because you’re not in NY yet and you really really want to move to NY.. 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    • May 4, 2012 4:59 pm

      I’ve seen every episode of Selling NY as well…love them both. But I do love the drama of Million Dollar Listing!

  12. May 4, 2012 6:34 am

    We all have our trigger times. Mine is the dreaded 3pm hour for sure. I am ravenous for something sweet. Usually I can get away with a healthy snack like fruit and yogurt, but inevitably some chocolate will have to be consumed.

    • May 4, 2012 5:00 pm

      3 pm is usually a busy time for me so I have no need to eat then…but yes, chocolate will have to be consumed at some point during the day!

  13. May 4, 2012 6:37 am

    First of all, no dress on top of her tights, HAHA! Secondly, I love Million Dollar Listing NY – I pretend we are in the market for a city pad. Thirdly, I do the same thing so I’m no help. Last night after dinner (a fat mexican dinner!) I had spicy hummus, yogurt, and a scoop of ice cream.

    • May 4, 2012 5:00 pm

      I know this isn’t the point of your comment but hummus might be something for me to ponder snacking on… 🙂

  14. May 4, 2012 7:00 am

    Ali has an interesting take on snacking that I wish I could master. Indulgence, but the ability to quit. How do men do that?!?!?

    Because yes… mindless snacking is my downfall. 😦 Especially on a slow day at work…

    • May 4, 2012 5:01 pm

      He can eat 5 buttermilk biscuits in a row but he has no need to eat after dinner. We all have our faults I suppose…

  15. May 4, 2012 7:10 am

    YES! I have no desire to snack during the day but the minute dinner is over, I need something sweet. I’m with you, my friend.

    • May 4, 2012 5:01 pm

      I’m sorry you can relate!! We need to figure out a solution…

  16. May 4, 2012 7:17 am

    i don’t really snack too much after dinner but i always give myself exactly what i’m craving so i don’t keep going to the kitchen in an empty attempt to sate my real desire. if i want chocolate then i go get a square. i’m a salty-sweet snacker so it’s usually a piece of that with some cashews or walnuts with a glass of wine 🙂 i try to have ‘adult snacks’ haha

    • May 4, 2012 5:14 pm

      I used to just want a square. Now I want an entire bar….or two.

  17. May 4, 2012 7:30 am

    i hate it when that happens!!!

  18. May 4, 2012 7:38 am

    Late night snacking for me has to be a piece or two of dark chocolate, or a hot cup of cocoa.

    So I have to end the day with something sweet how much ever stuffed I am after dinner..

    Same story.

    • May 4, 2012 5:15 pm

      I don’t necessarily need something sweet…I just need something.

  19. glamorous glutton permalink
    May 4, 2012 7:57 am

    It’s all habit, but one I find really hard to break! GG

    • May 4, 2012 5:16 pm

      I think I need to go out more often so I am not sitting around after dinner feeding my habit. Literally. 🙂

  20. May 4, 2012 8:09 am

    I must admit I enjoy my post-dinner snacks, but it’s definitely a habit more than anything. Often, I’m not even hungry.

    Maya is a smart one. I don’t like to share either. 🙂

  21. May 4, 2012 8:29 am

    I keep meaning to tell you that you need to watch Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis. Have you seen it? It’s on Bravo right before or after the Million Dollar NY show. Seems like you’d love it. It’s a cross between HGTV and a snarky gay guy who cracks me up. Definitely check it out…seems right up your alley.

    I love your view!

    I wouldn’t worry about the snacking. If you get up before dawn to exercise, you can eat whatever you want. Chocolate or otherwise!

    • May 4, 2012 5:17 pm

      I’ve never seen that show…I will set my DVR. 🙂

      The problem isn’t really weight gain but just a general feeling of “I feel gross…I just ate 40 raisins, chocolate, chips, etc.) That’s mostly the reason I want to stop!

  22. May 4, 2012 9:45 am

    Oooh, mini cones! Those are awesome. As is TJ’s cheesecake. And mochi balls. And well, all their frozen desserts.

    PS: How come your house is so clean and fabulous? Ours looks like it’s inhabited by a bunch of grungy frat boys 😦

    • The Mom Chef permalink
      May 4, 2012 11:47 am

      Amen about the house. And yours…. I highly doubt it. Of course, if it is, what a bummer that you don’t at least get the benefit of the frat boys too.

    • May 4, 2012 5:18 pm

      The truth is that I have a little help once a week. 🙂 Couldn’t do it without her.

      But I agree…I bet your house is super spotless!I know you!

  23. May 4, 2012 9:50 am

    I am not a snacker but my hubby is– oh my- if you see his stash of snacks next to the bed you’d laugh!!

    • May 4, 2012 5:18 pm

      At least I keep mine in the kitchen. Or I have been able to so far…

  24. May 4, 2012 10:12 am

    Love the topic, as you know, Ameena. I just handed in a chapter of the book about witching hours. It’s 4pm or after dinner for most women. Sometimes we have to decouple habits (stop the tv/snacking), other times it’s too little for dinner or as someone above said because we feel entitled. Try 1 week sticking to tea if you’re really on a mission to change things. Sorry to be serious/preachy. Maybe it’s the stress over NYC apt pricing!

    • May 4, 2012 5:19 pm

      Not preachy at all…I need intervention! Thank you for the tips. And yes, I know all about NYC apt pricing…I can imagine your stress right now!

  25. The Mom Chef permalink
    May 4, 2012 11:46 am

    Because you’re not doing anything. I don’t know that i know of anyone who keeps running the way you do. I think snacking is directly connect to our butts hitting a couch. As soon as we sit down on one, there’s a trigger in our behinds that sets off the snack synapse in the brain. If you watched soap operas during the day instead of doing all the things you do, it would then too.

    • May 4, 2012 5:20 pm

      A snack synapse…love it. And I agree…it’s when I’m bored or still that I want to eat. Otherwise I hardly think about it…

  26. Sam @ Mom At The Barre permalink
    May 4, 2012 12:01 pm

    I’m exactly like that with the late evening snacking! My solution is to avoid keeping any unhealthy snacks around so when that time approaches I won’t be raiding my kitchen like a mad-woman. Tea helps.

    • May 4, 2012 5:20 pm

      Love this tea suggestion…I need to get on it because you and several other commenters have mentioned it!

  27. May 4, 2012 12:09 pm

    I am SUCH a snacker. This sounds just like my evenings! Sometimes I force myself to have an apple before going straight to the chocolate. And drinking tea.

    • May 4, 2012 5:21 pm

      Another suggestion to drink tea! Not sure why I haven’t thought about it before…thank you for the idea!

  28. May 4, 2012 12:27 pm

    i have similar issues.. i don’t snack during the day, but after dinner, i need dessert, usually something sweet.. chocolate chips, walnuts, cashews, i’ll eat anything really. do you eat breakfast? i don’t and this may be why i snack at night cuz i’m hungry, but i also think it is comforting to sit in front of the tv and reward yourself after a hard day’s work.
    omg, i was laughing so hard when you mentioned Ali let maya go to school with tights and probably a top… i’ve tried to get away with it, i can’t… i so need leggings. 🙂 too funny!

    • May 4, 2012 5:22 pm

      I do eat breakfast…usually I drink it actually. Smoothies are easy.

      I agree…I feel the need to reward myself for getting through the day. Bad habit!

  29. Leaura permalink
    May 4, 2012 1:16 pm

    We all go through this at some point, and the answer is quite simple: we are not eating enough calories during the day. Ask a nutritionist, they will probably reply the same. One can’t, and shouldn’t, be afraid to eat what’s entitled to them, calorie-wise, during the day.

    • May 4, 2012 5:22 pm

      I have a feeling this may be the case with me…the problem is that I just don’t have time to really think about eating during the day. If I can work on that maybe I’ll stop the after dinner habit? It’s worth a shot.

  30. May 4, 2012 1:40 pm

    Totally with you on this – especially the bouncing between sweet/salty! I find that the days I get super snacky in the evenings its that I haven’t eaten enough during the day/meals haven’t been satisfying enough.

    • May 4, 2012 5:23 pm

      You are the second person to suggest this…really good point!

  31. May 4, 2012 2:31 pm

    Well, I’m bad about wanting to snack all day! But it does get even worse during the night. I like watching TV while I snack which is part of the problem. I think it’s a mind thing too. If you expect dessert or a snack and are used to getting it then you will continue to want to. I’ll eat dinner and immediately reach for a snack. I’m not even hungry! Mind things. Sorry, I have no answers!

  32. May 4, 2012 2:41 pm

    I have the same problem. Especially when I dont have a night course to be at, I just sit on the couch and snack. In the summer I freeze grapes, so at least I’m snacking on something healthy, but right now, its chocolate and cheese all the way. I have yet to find a way to stop it – other than guzzling wine.

    • May 4, 2012 5:24 pm

      I wonder if I can get myself to stop popping chocolate in my mouth if I try frozen grapes?

  33. May 4, 2012 4:20 pm

    Oh my goodness. I get it. In fact, you are not alone. Though not exactly the same as what you wrote….I am an emotional eater… big time and today I had a little snafu that left me feeling, well…. emotional in the not cool way. I promised myself it was okay to have one brownie and then I should go cry properly and then maybe journal after that. Well. I cried alright… then I ate several more brownies… something salty…. more brownies and then the cycle continued. Bleh, is the word for how I feel.

    On the positive side, that is a super cool view from your window. 🙂

    • May 4, 2012 5:25 pm

      I’m so sorry Currie…emotional eating is a difficult thing to deal with I’m sure.

      To a certain extent I can relate because bleh is often how I feel after eating my raisins/chocolate/chips….

      Feel better my friend!

  34. May 4, 2012 4:44 pm

    I do the same thing! 3:30-4:00 is like the witching hour…

    • May 6, 2012 5:43 pm

      Late afternoon seems to be more common for people than my after dinner time…

  35. Gayatri permalink
    May 4, 2012 8:01 pm

    Oh Ameena. I know exactly what you mean. I had a healthy fat free home made dinner of portobello marinara and a Mediterranean chickpea salad at 7pm. By 10 I’d eaten a chocolate pastry and a croissant. What’s worse is I hid the croissant from my husband.

    Clearly I need help.

    • May 6, 2012 5:44 pm

      When I get up and down to get chocolate after dinner I wonder what Ali thinks! I wonder if I should hide it from him too…

      Clearly we both need help.

  36. anywherethereisanairport permalink
    May 4, 2012 8:26 pm

    So here is my serious 2 cents. I find that I want to snack after a dinner that was lighter in the volume category. If I eat a dinner that was HUGE – not necessarily in calories, but in size – I don’t want to snack. If I eat something that is twice the calories but less volume – then I want to snack. This makes no sense – but this is my theory. And yes, I just finished my nightly chocolate. But at least it wasn’t the entire bar. And ironically I also ate raisins tonight. I never eat raisins. But hey, I kind of like thinking we are snacking together. 🙂

    • May 6, 2012 5:45 pm

      Raisins sort of hit the spot. Followed by a spot of chocolate of course!

      Interesting theory but I can say that I usually want to snack no matter what I eat for dinner.

  37. May 4, 2012 10:22 pm

    I think TV has something to do with it 😀 It’s like, the urge to snack comes to keep busy while sitting idle and watching the screen, hehe 😛
    If I get such need to snack way after dinner, I go brush my teeth. That way I don’t eat coz I know I’m gonna be lazy to brush again 😛

    • May 6, 2012 5:45 pm

      I know that if I brush my teeth I won’t keep eating but I physically cannot force myself to get up and brush my teeth! Because I want to keep snacking away!!

  38. May 5, 2012 5:44 am

    Another great and hilarious post Ameena, thus demonstrating why I am nominating you for The Versatile Blogger Award…;)

    • May 6, 2012 5:45 pm

      Thank you Rufina! I can’t wait to check it out. 🙂

  39. May 5, 2012 6:01 pm

    Beats me. I snack all day long.

  40. May 6, 2012 12:09 am

    well, for me it’s the wine. Bad wine.

    • May 6, 2012 5:46 pm

      We all have our vices, right? Wine, chocolate, chips…

  41. May 6, 2012 11:11 am

    do you like dates? they are very, very sweet and I find 1 or 2 dipped in a tiny bit of almond butter helps my cravings. You get that salty/sweet combo.
    My dreaded time is around 3pm. Around that time, it is natural for our bodies to dip into a bit of a low energy slump, but my body seems to think it is a perfect time to crave cake!!

    • May 6, 2012 5:47 pm

      I love dates but for some reason I don’t want them after dinner. I want raisins and chocolate. But maybe I can retrain myself…thank you for the suggestion Crystal!

  42. May 6, 2012 11:35 am

    I don’t know why it works this way – that you can go without snacking all day but desire snacks in the evening. I like popcorn (homemade, microwaved in a Nordicware bowl with no oil) for a snack with a bit of melted butter and salt. That takes care of my salty craving and I’ve read a report recently that claims there are a lot of health benefits (fiber, antioxidants) in popcorn. It’s a guilt-free snack for me. If I’m having a glass of wine with the popcorn, I don’t need anything sweet. If I’m not drinking wine, then I go to the freezer for one or two spoonfuls of my Chocolate Sorbet, and my cravings and I are satisfied for the night. Bonne chance! Good luck with your snack habit.

    P.S. Loved the tights without the dress. What fashion sense men have!

    • May 6, 2012 5:48 pm

      Someone suggested mixing popcorn with chocolate chips…which sounds quite tasty. (Even though I’m not usually a fan of popcorn!)

      I’ve never had chocolate sorbet before…I wonder if I should check it out? Or if I’ll like it too much and then just add it to my nightly stack of snacks. 🙂

      • May 6, 2012 5:55 pm

        I am not a fan of movie theater popcorn or of the microwave popcorn that you buy in bags. I use Jolly Time popcorn kernels from the supermarket and the microwave popper bowl, with butter and salt. Try it some time. It’s different than the theater or microwave bag popcorn. You may like it.

        Chocolate sorbet is so intense that a small amount will satisfy you. Trust me. I have experience with chocolate!

  43. May 6, 2012 1:23 pm

    I have the same problem. Though, I do know that the few times I’ve immediately brushed my teeth, flossed, mouth-washed, and then whitening stripped my teeth after dinner, I don’t snack because of the hassle of doing all that again.

    • May 6, 2012 5:50 pm

      I agree…that is a great way to stop eating. But just trying to get myself to get up and brush my teeth seems to be impossible!

  44. May 6, 2012 3:56 pm

    –Me. too.

    I think my body is just used to having a chocolate chip cookie at 8:00 PM!! Xx

  45. Deeps @ Naughty Curry permalink
    May 6, 2012 9:24 pm

    its a universal problem… i wish somebody would research it and come up with a cure, the world would be a much happier place 🙂

  46. Lady Jennie permalink
    May 6, 2012 11:11 pm

    I am not at all tempted after dinner (we also eat late here) but my time is right about the children’s snack time (3:30 to 5 or so) because I keep thinking – how am I going to have enough energy to make it through the rest of the day? And … these kids are loud!

    No dress on top of the tights! (giggle)

  47. May 7, 2012 12:31 am

    You don’t have a snacking problem-you’re just a grazer:)
    That’s my excuse, anyway!

  48. May 7, 2012 8:26 am

    I blame it on the TV. I have noticed that I crave for snacks when the TV is on. I like Maya’s snacking spot. Do not disturb!:-)

  49. dixya permalink
    May 7, 2012 11:23 am

    If I have nothing to do, thats when I find myself eating mindlessly. I try to stack up healthyish snacks and have stopped pondering why theres endless cycle of sweet, salty cravings!

  50. May 7, 2012 6:05 pm

    I need to curb my snacking too! I just bought some nettle and oatstraw tea so maybe next time I want to snack I can drink some tea!

  51. May 7, 2012 8:38 pm

    Trust me I hate myself everyday for loving them so much..LOL

  52. June 22, 2012 5:13 am

    omg. I was so addicted to that show too!! It’s ridiculous how I started seeing a 2 million dollar condo as a “deal” while watching it!

    • June 25, 2012 8:24 pm

      Same here! I suddenly have a totally different threshold!

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