After dinner and evenings have always been the hardest times for Jamie to maintain her control. She finds that she has the urge to snack all evening long and often struggles very hard to not overeat after dinner. For Jamie, it wasn’t that she kept getting hungry over and over after dinner; rather she had a very strong and compelling urge to eat at those times which didn’t seem to have much to do with hunger. Jamie finally sat down to try to figure out what was going on in the evenings so that she could get her eating under control during that time.
Jamie thought about the rest of the day and realized that it was much easier for her to maintain her control up to and during dinner, and that she was often pretty easily able to stick to her planned meals and snacks. Upon further reflection, Jamie began to formulate the hypothesis that the reason the day was so much easier for her than the night is because during the day she always knows when her next meal or snack is coming, and therefore she is able to “hold out” until then. Jamie knows that food tastes better when she is hungry and she enjoys sitting down to meals and snacks with a reasonable degree of hunger. Jamie realized that her biggest pitfall was not planning her evening snack or snacks well enough (because she would often just have a general plan of having some snack sometime) so therefore she wasn’t able to tell herself to just hold out until the next planned time to eat, because there wasn’t necessarily a next planned time to eat.
This concept of “holding out” was very important for Jamie because it shows that she clearly has the ability to exert control over herself and her actions. Jamie realized that it wasn’t that something suddenly overtook her in the evenings which made her want to eat constantly, it was just that subconsciously she didn’t know when her next meal or snack was coming so she wasn’t able to respond effectively enough to the sabotaging thoughts that were urging her to eat.
Once Jamie figured out what was going on, it made figuring out a way to solve the problem pretty easy, and she gave herself a lot of credit for being able to do this. Jamie decided that it would probably work best for her to plan two evening snacks – one a little while after dinner and one right before bed so that she would always have a next snack for hold out for during the evening and night.