February 08, 2020

Update on the "No Snacking After Dinner" Challenge

It's only been about five days since I started the challenge, but I thought I'd write a little about it here and how it's going so far.

In case you missed it, I decided to try a 30-day challenge as part of my 40 Goals By 40 Years Old list. The goal is to COMPLETE a 30-day challenge. I've attempted to do several in the last couple of years, but I just can't seem to do it! I've done longer ones, but there is something about 30 days that is the most challenging for me to stick with.

As anyone who reads my blog knows, I love setting goals and doing challenges for myself. I can't even tell you how many notebooks I have filled with lists of goals. And I bet I've only completed about 5% of them, hahaha.

So, for this 30-day challenge, I decided to try not snacking after dinner. No snacks and no caloric drinks. Tea and sparkling water are okay, but other than that, nothing. I used to eat dinner at 4:00 and then have some sort of treat or snack at 8:00, but with Jerry's work schedule, we eat dinner at 6:30 now.

I was expecting this to be REALLY difficult to do, because I tend to eat most of my calories at night. Not binge eating (it's been a very long time since I actually binged!) but just not eating much during the day and then eating way too much at night.

I've also been counting calories this week to hopefully drop some pounds before my 10-year anniversary of losing 100 pounds. It'd be nice to get back to that weight (153) before the anniversary. I can't remember the date off the top of my head, but I believe it's the end of July or early August.

Anyway, about this week so far...

I was very surprised at how easy it's been! Having dinner at 6:30 (and making a home cooked meal) has made me not hungry to the point where I don't even really think about food after dinner. Usually, after we eat, Jerry, the kids and I will play a board game and then Jerry and I talk and watch one of "our" shows.

Something that has really helped me not to snack is playing Peak or Lumosity on my phone. When I play that, I usually chew on ice, so eating food isn't on my mind because I'm not physically hungry (and I'm keeping my mind busy).


Last night, I completely forgot that I wasn't supposed to snack after dinner! Jerry was off work, and we ate earlier than usual. Then the kids wanted to play a game, and everyone grabbed a snack. I took a couple of the fun-size bags of Oreos (they're like 130 calories each or something like that). It wasn't until after I ate them that I realized I'd forgotten not to snack.

So, I'm going to start my 30 days over today.

I think I'll plan to make dinner at 6:30 every day, even on the days Jerry is off work. That way, if I stick to the routine, I'll be less likely to forget.

Something that has been helpful as well is adding vegetables into our routine. The kids aren't thrilled that I'm implementing a rule that they can have snacks during the day, but they can only have one "treat" (which they like to have before bed).

I made a huge platter of veggies and ranch dip (just fat free sour cream with a packet of ranch dressing mix stirred in). I think seeing it this way makes it more appealing, and the kids have actually been eating from it (not much, but a little is better than nothing). And I have been eating a small plate full of the veggies with lunch every day. (Interestingly, the only thing I don't like are the carrots, which are actually the kids' favorites. I like the peppers and broccoli the most, but I also like the mushrooms and cucumbers, too.

I've been adding veggies into dinner, too (the kids don't complain about that). I just made my regular General Tso's Chicken recipe, which I normally don't add vegetables to, but I thought broccoli would be good in it. And it was easy, because my rice cooker has a steamer basket on top, so I just cooked the broccoli there before adding it to the chicken and sauce. It was SO good!

If whatever I cook doesn't have vegetables in it, then I have a small salad on the side. I love balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing (the vinegar is strong, so a little goes a long way). So, I just toss some spring mix greens with the oil and vinegar, and then I added a few almonds simply because I love almonds in salad. Not super exciting, but it was delicious and I I got in some more vegetables.

The challenge has worked out well so far (well, other than last night, haha). Of course, it's only been five days. I'll write more updates as I go!)

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