Coming home from work is the worst...



  • JennyRATL
    JennyRATL Posts: 199 Member
    edited November 2017
    Sorry if any responses hit you hard. :( Just take the meat and leave the bones is what I say! Meaning take the good advice and leave the bad or what doesn't motivate you. Sometimes what we type doesn't come out the right way.

    So. Yes, dinner is hard for me, too. Actually all meals are unless I plan, plan, plan! If I don't plan, it would be all pizza, burgers, fries forever! I make a weekly menu for all of my family's meals and I save them monthly so I can go back and get ideas if I space out or am uninspired.

    I need that afternoon snack to help me curb the urge to overdo it at dinner. Almonds or a rice cake with pb helps me.

    I try to plan in at least two meals a week that will provide enough leftovers for those busy nights or the ones that I just can't even bother. And I will sometimes change them up, like taco meat one night can turn into spaghetti sauce ( i promise you can't even taste the taco seasoning once you put it in skedi sauce!)

    And if I don't use leftovers, I freeze a lot or make double portions of things like soup and sauces.

    I try to keep salad stuff on hand always so if all else fails, I can just make a big salad. I'll throw in some chicken breasts in the oven while I help kids with homework or whatever. Then add that to salad for density so I'm not hungry an hour later.

    But I think I rambled about cooking when you really wanted to talk about bingeing at night! I just try to make dinner my big meal so I can feed the beast!

    And YES! Get that 14 working!!! :D I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old. I don't ask them to help with dinner often because it usually takes longer with them helping! But I do ask them to help with clean up, laundry, trash and other things that take up my time.

    As far as my calories, I try to input all of my meals first thing in the AM, so I know what I'm up against...if I need to push for a hard workout or I can take it a bit easier if I'm not feeling great or I know a particular meal is going to be high cals. I can manipulate my meals if I want to stay under my calories for the day.

    Hope this helps some!
  • fitoverfortymom
    fitoverfortymom Posts: 3,452 Member
    Eating before dinner was definitely a struggle for me. Munching when I got home from work is when I consumed some of the most junk of all. Now I have an afternoon snack around 2pm. When I get home from work, I almost immediately start cooking dinner so I don't have any time to graze--and I make sure I have a dinner plan, so whatever dinner is fits in my calories. Typically I save a small number of calories for a treat after dinner and before bed.

    If I'm feeling especially hungry before dinner, I'll have a sparkling water. The bubbles help me feel full-ish.

    Especially now that it's fall/winter, I use my slow cooker a LOT. I get everything started in the AM (I usually measure everything at night and put it in the slow cooker in the fridge the night before). Then, as soon as I get home, dinner is already ready.

    OP--you've won half the battle already by identifying your weak spot--now you just need to come up with a strategy you can use every day to bridge that tough time.
  • Shanel0916
    Shanel0916 Posts: 586 Member
    Not sure how you feel about coffee but usually that is how I manage in the afternoon. I try not to snack because that leads me to overindulge in the snacks.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,515 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I'm not sure I understand how dinner is any different than any other meal. We pretty much know in advance what we're having for dinner throughout the week which is how we plan our grocery shopping...we make dinner...we eat dinner...just like we make breakfast and lunch and eat those.

    I guess I don't get it...

    Your insight just validated how much of a loser that I feel.

    I think you're reading too much into my comment...I'm just trying to understand why dinner is a particular issue.

    Dinner is my main meal and typically the largest meal of my breakfast is usually pretty small...lunch is a little bigger and then I have a late afternoon snack. I love dinner as that is where my wife and I can be more creative...our breakfasts and lunches aren't typically very exciting and/or are leftovers from the night before.

    This is all a learning process...I learned early on that if I wanted to eat at night then I needed to manage things better during the day.

    You may also want to re-evaluate your calorie targets...people typically struggle with aggressive deficits...slow and steady is easy and typically wins the race.
  • kelsberry92
    kelsberry92 Posts: 9 Member
    Honestly, I agree. Do you remember coming home from school as a kid and starving!? That's how I feel after work lol. The struggle is real!!!
  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    FIRST make sure your calorie goal is reasonable and not too restrictive. (0.5 to 1 lb loss a week)

    Pre plan and log to make sure you stick to your calorie goal.
    Chew gum while making dinner, and/or drink diet soda or sparkling water.
    Eat your pre logged serving. Get up and put away your plate.

    If you are still hungry 20min later have some fruits or vegetables for a snack.
  • midlomel1971
    midlomel1971 Posts: 1,282 Member
    I'm so with you on this! It's my worst time. I come home and I have to fix dinner. I'm ravenous. I'm getting out snacks for the kids and they straight into my mouth as well. Everything I cook goes straight in my mouth, as well. It's bad. I snack on carrots on the drive home. Then when I get home I chew some gum while I'm cooking so I don't eat everything in sight. That helps me, but only when I remember car snacks and gum.
  • 2011rocket3touring
    2011rocket3touring Posts: 1,346 Member
    My daily allotment ends up around 2k calories (depending if I exercise) and the evening is problematic for me too so I leave 1000 calories for dinner. Yesterday I had a bit over 100 left after dinner!
  • 2snakeswoman
    2snakeswoman Posts: 655 Member
    This is my struggle as well, only I don't have a job. Around 3 PM the munchie monster rises up inside of me and demands that I go to the kitchen again and again for a bite of this, a sip of that, a small slice of cheese, on and on and on until it's time to cook dinner. I'm not hungry by that time but I keep eating.

    Or at least I did. I'm scared straight right now because my doctor has diagnosed me with prediabetes and borderline blood pressure. I want to back out of those conditions, not continue on to diabetes 2 and high blood pressure. So right now it's easy for to ignore MM. I'm definitely going to remember some of these strategies for when I start to lose focus.

    Years ago when I was doing the old Weight Watchers exchange program to lose the pregnancy weight gain, I noticed that I walked in the front door every evening around 11:30 PM after work and went straight to the kitchen to snack. I decided that I was going to have to change that habit if I wanted to succeed, so I started by going in the back door instead of the front door. It was my first signal to myself that "we are changing the old habit". I'd go in the back door and up the stairs to my bedroom. Then I'd watch an episode of MASH as I got ready for bed. Sometimes when you want to change a bad habit, you have to change up the things you do around the habit as well.
  • Bchlvr64
    Bchlvr64 Posts: 89 Member
    This is my struggle too. Thank you for putting this on here. A lot of good advice here. For me, it helps tremendously if I have a plan. Even if just my own mental note of what I'm going to have for the next day. Also, like some have mentioned, intermittent fasting has helped by giving myself some limits and/or boundaries of when I eat.
  • maybe1pe
    maybe1pe Posts: 529 Member
    I used to struggle with this. What I find works for me is this; I don't like eating breakfast on work days so I don't eat until lunch, just coffee before then, and I eat lunch between 12-2PM (sometimes earlier sometimes later just depends on when I feel hungry). I get home from work at 4 but my SO doesn't get home until almost 6. So I take my mind off of the slight hunger by exercising a little. I take my dogs for a walk for 30 minutes or do a home workout video for 30 minutes. Make sure I drink a glass of water and if I'm hungry truly hungry I go grab a bowl or cottage cheese with fruit or a bowl of greek yogurt with granola. Protein is filling to me so cottage cheese and greek yogurt are perfect macros to fill me up for a while until dinner.

    I also pre-log all of my food for the entire week on Sunday. Including my cottage cheese or yogurt snacks. And I eat those things only. Might slightly adjust an amount up or down based on desire or hunger level but make sure to stay in my goal.

    I have also done it where I make all of our dinners on Sunday. That way when it's dinner time I don't have to wait for my food to cook. I just warm it up for a couple of minutes and dig in. Have you considered trying something like that?
  • day213
    day213 Posts: 18 Member
    edited November 2017
    When I got home, then through dinner were my hardest times. I would be so hungry that I would snack on whatever was I was making dinner. Handfuls of pretzels, chips, seriously whatever was sitting there. I started to eat the last part of my lunch way later than I used to. So today I'm having a Greek yogurt after 2pm. It has helped tremendously. If I feel I really, really need to eat something, I eat a hard-boiled egg. Granted, I've only been back on MFP for the last month (so I haven't been frantically eating before dinner for the last month) but that is where I "ruined" good eating days consistently in the last year. I had enough and needed to take control.
  • Graelwyn75
    Graelwyn75 Posts: 4,404 Member
    I have the most issues with hunger and cravings in the evening too and since I tend not to get hungry in the daytime much, I just save all or most of my calories for evening. You can try the suggested afternoon snack solution, or you can look into IF (Intermittent Fasting) and see if that could work for you. Also, having a healthy snack ready for when you get through the door is always a good option, like some Greek Yoghurt or a protein shake or a bit of chicken, a hard boiled egg, a little cheese with an apple or somesuch.

    Just try each method, switch things around and eventually you will find what works. Enjoy the experience of experimenting and remember, no-one is perfect and no-one has infinite willpower. It doesn't make you a bad person or a loser, although I can totally relate to those feelings when experiencing a loss of control.
  • AdelleDazeem
    AdelleDazeem Posts: 12 Member
    I always overeat when I'm tired. A freezer full of homemade/prepped dinners and an afternoon coffee daily changed everything for me. I love the book Fix Freeze Feast for healthy bulk freezer meals.
  • laur357
    laur357 Posts: 896 Member
    Another thing to consider . . . . are you truly very hungry or is eating as soon as you walk in the door a habit?

    Eat a small snack before you leave work, then try doing something different or out of the ordinary when you get home that keeps you out of the kitchen for a short time. Take a 10-15 minute walk, read two or three chapters of a book, or pick a room (not the kitchen) and do a quick cleaning. Doing this for a few weeks can help you focus on something else and break the association of Home From Work = FOOD. Kind of a cognitive behavioral therapy exercise. I figured out that I wasn't actually ravenous walking in the door when I got dogs - I changed my routine to walking them as soon as I got home instead of heading to the kitchen to make dinner right away and my before dinner/dinner prep snacking became much less frequent.
  • RachelElser
    RachelElser Posts: 1,049 Member
    Dinner is the hardest meal- it's right there! It's so yummy! Eat some more!

    What I have found helpful is put in my food before I eat, and do something right after dinner. Get away from the table where I eat!

    I also have a snack at 3 ish, to help keep my levels, well, level. An protein and a fruit- egg and apple, cheese and orange, jerky and apple- that kind of thing.
  • icedwolfe
    icedwolfe Posts: 2 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I'm not sure I understand how dinner is any different than any other meal. We pretty much know in advance what we're having for dinner throughout the week which is how we plan our grocery shopping...we make dinner...we eat dinner...just like we make breakfast and lunch and eat those.

    I guess I don't get it...

    Your insight just validated how much of a loser that I feel.

    Don't feel stupid about what other people think. You are just sharing your weakness in search for the strength to fight it. That's actually kinda cool. I'm not so open about my weaknesses.

    It's hard for me too, to control myself sometimes. I guess there's no secret, you just need to say "no" to yourself more often.

    Hope you find the strength you need! Cheers!
  • ruqayyahsmum
    ruqayyahsmum Posts: 1,506 Member
    Dinner/evenings are when i feel hungry

    In the morning i prep food into the slow cooker and set it off

    I have a coffee as breakfast

    Lunch time i eat salads. They are normally under 200cals

    I have an afternoon snack usually grapes and a light cheese stick

    Dinner i can serve when i want it as my slow cooker has a keep warm function but its normally by 6pm as i eat with the kiddos

    That usually leaves me with a few hundred cals for evening snacks

    And i make a pint of sugar free jelly each day. Its 36 calories for the pint and helps fill me up when i dont want to spend calories on other foods
  • Spliner1969
    Spliner1969 Posts: 3,233 Member
    Crock pots rock. My wife and I have been working opposite schedules lately, and even though the kids are raised and out of the house it's hard not to give in to fast food when she's not there when I get home. I cook as often as she does, maybe more so that's not the problem, the problem is cooking a meal for two when I just have to cool hers and put it away until she gets home. So we learn more and more to toss something in the slow cooker in the morning, that way I can have a plate when I get home for dinner, and can put it on warm to keep it ready for her when she gets home. We didn't start using it all that much because we had such a large crock pot (used to have 3 kids at home). So we went out and bought smaller ones for different occasions. Anyway, food for thought.. a pork roast, beef roast, or even chicken can be slow cooked in them while you work.
  • greenlizard72
    greenlizard72 Posts: 76 Member
    Evenings are my hardest time as well. Mostly because during the day I am busy at work, focused on other things. When I get home, after my chores, I’m just relaxing. Idle hands...