February 02, 2020

A 30-Day Challenge: No Snacking After Dinner (and some goal dresses!)

I haven't counted calories in a long time, but it's become apparent that I simply cannot get back to my goal weight (or at least a comfortable weight) without doing that. So, I am doing everything I can to get back to old habits.

When I was eating my best and feeling my healthiest, I ate breakfast at 8:00, lunch at 12:00, dinner at 4:00, and some sort of treat at 8:00. Eating on a schedule was super helpful, because I love routine. Now that Jerry is on straight day shift, however, our schedules are different and we've been eating dinner at around 6:30.

I prefer to eat earlier, but I don't want Jerry to have to heat up his dinner every day after work. So, for the past year or so, most of my calories are consumed between 6:30 and 10:00 or so. After dinner, I'm not hungry; I usually just eat snacks out of habit.

One of my 40 Goals by 40 Years Old items is to complete a 30-day challenge. I've done longer challenges (the 3-3-3 running plan, not drinking for a year, etc). However, it seems like the 30-day ones are harder for me--I have no idea why that is.

So, starting tomorrow, I'm trying a 30-day challenge to stop eating after dinner. That means the cutoff time will be around 7:00. I don't think there is anything wrong with eating after dinner, but I don't want to eat when I'm not hungry. Food doesn't taste as good and it's just a bad habit. After the 30 days, I will see if I can introduce something small as a treat at around 9:00, and I'll just eat a smaller dinner so that I'm hungry for it.

For the purpose of this challenge, I'm not going to have any caloric drinks after dinner, either. I can have unsweetened tea or La Croix water (sparkling water which is flavored but not sweetened).

What do I hope to get out of this challenge?

I am hoping that it'll break the habit of eating when I'm not hungry. I'm also hoping it'll help me get used to eating on a schedule again. For the last couple of years, I've just been eating whenever, hungry or not.

I think intuitive eating would be the best way to eat, but I just can't seem to do it right now. I did really well with it in 2017, but I fell into old habits and now it's hard to go back.

So, for the next 30 days, I'm going to be done eating after dinner. This is going to be so hard for me! A true challenge (which is what I wanted when I wrote out my list), but I hope that I can do it. I'll also be getting back to counting calories. I've counted here and there this month, but only for a few days at a time. I want to work hard at being consistent.

As I've been sorting and organizing photos, I've come across lots of mirror selfies when trying on clothes that I've bought at thrift stores. I've never been one to wear dresses (as in, I never wear them), but looking through the photos, there are a couple of dresses that I'd really like to wear, hopefully by the end of summer.

This is the dress I wore as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show

I've never worn this dress, but I love it

Again, never worn; but it's super comfy and perfect for summer.
I also love the sort of retro look.

I actually wasn't even at my goal weight when I wore these--I was 138 pounds at the time--so I don't think it's unrealistic. I like the way I looked at that weight and it's not as intimidating as my original goal weight of 133. I would be happy just being under 145 (a "normal" BMI).

But anyway, I'm feeling motivated going into the next 30 days. I'm not sure that I feel "determined" just yet, but I'm hoping the motivation can carry me through a few days and then the determination will come to see through the whole challenge!


  1. I recently saw a cardiologist for some issues I'm having and one of her main recommendations for heart health was "no eating after 6 or 7 pm." I asked her about it and she said studies have shown poorer heart health in women, especially, who eat late at night. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/11/191111084918.htm

    I've always felt better going to bed without a full stomach, so I started implementing this habit, as well as "no drinking my calories." Along with calorie counting--which, like you, I've always found to be the most reliable way to watch my weight--I've dropped 6 pounds so far! We eat dinner around 5 pm or so, and I make sure I have a bowl of frozen grapes for my after-dinner fruit, and so far so good! Tea is a must have in the evenings, as well. I feel a lot less bloated at bedtime, which is great.

  2. If you are eating later and going on more of a schedule maybe you need a planned snack at 4pm - ish to get you thru until 6:30 for dinner. I notice when I let myself get overly hungry at any point during the day I have trouble with eating when I'm not hungry later. It's like my brain is still hungry even thought my body isn't!

  3. I'm joining you on the challenge - same deal - no need to eat after dinner; I'm not hungry, probably bored and should just go to bed and read!! Good Luck!!!

  4. Not eating after dinner made a huge difference for me. Hope it helps you too!

  5. I'll totally join you on this challenge! Close that kitchen!!!


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