Question re late-afternoon crashes

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miffy
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Question re late-afternoon crashes

Post by miffy » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:28 pm

I just started reading about No S a few hours ago, and I like what I'm reading.

No matter what eating plan I've ever tried, I always crash in the late afternoon, and the only solution I've found is food, i.e., the forbidden-by-No-S snack.

Does anyone else here have this problem? And, if so, is there another, non-food, solution?

Toughing it out is a fine idea, until you have to tough it out every day for months. Then it doesn't work anymore. For example, I followed Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live regimen for 3+ years, made sure I had X and Y at every meal and never ate sugar or grains, and yet still had this late-afternoon-plummet phenomenon.

Also, while I'm posting here, are fluids an exception to the No S rules? Because I seem to be reading posts about having herbal tea or juice (maybe water-diluted juice?) between meals. Or perhaps I've misinterpreted something, which is very possible! :)

Thanks for any light you can shed on these matters. Much appreciated.

wosnes
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Post by wosnes » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:44 pm

My suggestion for the late afternoon crash would be protein and/or fat with your lunch. I've followed Fuhrman (and Ornish and McDougall) and found that when I added fat, including animal fats, back into my diet, I didn't feel a need to snack. Also, I felt better than I did when I severely restricted or eliminated them.

Water, tea, coffee, juices and milk are exceptions to the "no snacking" rule, UNLESS the liquid is loaded with sugar (sweetened juices, cola, and others). That doesn't mean you can't add sugar to your tea or coffee, it just means that you can't overdo it.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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Post by linda45 » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:57 pm

No S doesn't specify just 3 meals . Have a small meal mid- afternoon that fits the guidelines. I have to have a mid- afternoon snack/mini- meal with protein & complex carb. I' down 50 lbs since Aug 30/10. This program really works- trust your body & enjoy the freedom & simplicity.
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Post by Who Me? » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:31 pm

I allow myself a tiny planned "elevenses" meal on workdays, because otherwise I'd get the shakes.

miffy
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Post by miffy » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:40 pm

Thanks to everyone for your replies.

I wasn't aware that no snacking didn't include unsweetened juice, which might solve my problem, although even unsweetened juice is not without calories. I find it interesting that juice is okay for a non-snack "snack" but that an apple would be a snack and therefore not part of the plan. Hmmmm.

To wosnes: I did McDougall many years ago, too, and it was not the right plan for me. As for Fuhrman, it's extremely time-consuming--not to mention costly--to maintain his regimen. However, even though I'm no longer vegan, I am vegetarian. I appreciate your protein and fat suggestion--and I've tried that (along with a zillion other ideas!), but it doesn't work out for me. But I continue to experiment and will keep your suggestions in mind.

Again, many thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.

I've spent the past week reading reviews and synopses of several books on nutrition and weight loss and have become more and more cynical and disbelieving. Not only does every so-called expert contradict every other so-called expert :roll: but when I read that rice (the staple of the majority of the world's population--most of whom are thin) is one of the prime causes of elevated triglycerides and therefore heart disease, I had to laugh.

Reading this website was a breath of fresh and reasonable air.

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Post by wosnes » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:48 pm

The difference between a piece of fruit and fruit juice is chewing. Something you have to chew between meals is considered a snack.

I'm an omnivore now, but I don't eat meat more than once a day and sometimes not that often. It just depends.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

miffy
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Post by miffy » Sun Apr 10, 2011 4:59 pm

wosnes wrote:The difference between a piece of fruit and fruit juice is chewing. Something you have to chew between meals is considered a snack.
wosnes: I understand now. Thanks for your reply.

Kevin
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Post by Kevin » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:08 pm

First, if you need a small meal late afternoon for a while - or even forever - have one. It's better than failing and binging. Way better. I do four meals sometimes when we're going to eat late, I breakfasted and lunched early, and I just know I'm going to defeat myself. I don't always, but sometimes I do. It doesn't really impact weight loss because I'm not loading my plate at dinner.

I would be careful making fruit juice your afternoon nourishment. Milk might be better. Juice is slightly less sugar-intense than sugary soda, but it's up there (although it has other nutritional benefits that soda doesn't have).

30-40 grams of carbohydrate from fruit juice *might* make it worse depending on how your body responds to that much simple carbohydrate. You might end up in a worse place.
miffy wrote:Thanks to everyone for your replies.

I wasn't aware that no snacking didn't include unsweetened juice, which might solve my problem, although even unsweetened juice is not without calories. I find it interesting that juice is okay for a non-snack "snack" but that an apple would be a snack and therefore not part of the plan. Hmmmm.

To wosnes: I did McDougall many years ago, too, and it was not the right plan for me. As for Fuhrman, it's extremely time-consuming--not to mention costly--to maintain his regimen. However, even though I'm no longer vegan, I am vegetarian. I appreciate your protein and fat suggestion--and I've tried that (along with a zillion other ideas!), but it doesn't work out for me. But I continue to experiment and will keep your suggestions in mind.

Again, many thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.

I've spent the past week reading reviews and synopses of several books on nutrition and weight loss and have become more and more cynical and disbelieving. Not only does every so-called expert contradict every other so-called expert :roll: but when I read that rice (the staple of the majority of the world's population--most of whom are thin) is one of the prime causes of elevated triglycerides and therefore heart disease, I had to laugh.

Reading this website was a breath of fresh and reasonable air.
Kevin
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"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

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Post by Who Me? » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:05 pm

I'm unconvinced that an apple is bad and apple juice is good. Im not sure this makes any sense at all. Juice is way more processed and un-food-like.

But that's just my opinion.

Kevin
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Post by Kevin » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:18 pm

You are right, of course.

Some of what we do on No-S is only for the sake of the habit. There are other ways of restricting calories and losing weight. This just happens to be an elegant, liveable one.

Who Me? wrote:I'm unconvinced that an apple is bad and apple juice is good. Im not sure this makes any sense at all. Juice is way more processed and un-food-like.

But that's just my opinion.
Kevin
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"Respecting the 4th S: sometimes."

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Post by NoelFigart » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:04 pm

This isn't about the calories. Kevin is right. It's about habit.

Of COURSE an apple isn't worse for you than apple juice from a nutrition standpoint. That's not the point!

The point is that we're trying to develop the habit of eating only at discrete, specific meals. (I choose three, but people might have reasons to choose another number).

The No-S diet isn't a magic formula, but a way to shine a spotlight on eating behaviors. Ferinstance, the plate. If you're eating, say, three meals a day, you see what you eat right in front of you. It's real hard to fool yourself about how much you're eating. Snacks muddy this.

Can you count every single calorie and input opportunity? Sure. There are people that do it quite successfully and if it works for them, that's really cool.

Then there are those of us who prefer to spend mental energy on other things on a regular basis, and we choose another path that will require less micro-attention in favor of a macro-solution.

As far as the energy slump? It might be that for you, a mini-meal is the solution. If it doesn't interfere with your weight, cool.

But I'd examine how balanced my lunches are, and how much time is between lunch and dinner before deciding you have to do that.

(For my own part, I'm always sleepy in the mid-afternoon, too. That's when I have a cup of coffee. I don't necessarily recommend drugs to keep going, but it IS what I do. I expect there's some old-style Spaniard in my blood that's yelling at me to take a siesta).[/b]
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Post by wosnes » Sun Apr 10, 2011 10:48 pm

Who Me? wrote:I'm unconvinced that an apple is bad and apple juice is good. Im not sure this makes any sense at all. Juice is way more processed and un-food-like.

But that's just my opinion.
Actually, I don't agree with it, but I rarely need an afternoon (or any other) snack, so I don't worry about it!
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

sheepish
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Post by sheepish » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:20 am

I think it's worth trying to work out why you have these late afternoon crashes.

Are you just not eating enough food at lunch, in terms of volume?

Are you not eating the right type of food at lunch? (not enough carbs, not enough fat, not enough protein, these can all be the case for different people)

Are you eating lunch too early? (try pushing it back an hour and see how that feels)

Are you eating dinner too late? (try pushing it forward an hour and see how that feels)

Are you bored in the late afternoon? E.g. maybe you're starting to think about going home time, if you work standard hours. Could you schedule something interesting to do around that time or go for a walk or something?

Finally, maybe you're not actually physically hungry, you just expect to be hungry so you imagine the feeling. It's possibly worth just trying to blast through it a few times (having tried the other possibilities) to see whether it goes away if you don't indulge it. I used to have a snack frequently in the late afternoon and I now mostly manage to power through it, partly through recatagorising it in my head as "dinner anticipation" rather than "need for snack."

Of course, it is possible that you just need to add a mini-meal in the late afternoon but I'd definitely exhaust the other options first.

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Post by Nicest of the Damned » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:28 pm

I went through this with the nori seaweed I used to eat for snacks. I figured, it doesn't have significant calories, and it's healthy, it must be OK. But when I was honest with myself, I realized that snacking on seaweed was threatening the barrier between "eating times" and "non-eating times". The idea with No S is that there are a few times during the day when it's OK to eat, and you don't eat during the rest of the day. From what I've heard, this was how most people used to eat back in the day, and stopped doing around the time the obesity rate started to climb. I decided it would be easier for me if I broke the habit of eating whenever I wanted to, and just started eating at the set times.

It's not about the nutritional value of what you're eating for a snack. That has nothing to do with anything. Your snack could have zero calories and 100% of all your daily vitamin requirements, and it wouldn't matter. It's a question of habit, not calories. The target here is the practice of eating at random times and places throughout the day.

Are you sure the late afternoon crash isn't emotional? Does it not happen when you're busy? If that's what happens, it might be boredom, not a lack of food, that is the problem. I find that how hungry I feel between lunch and dinner is pretty much a function of how bored I am. If I've got a lot to keep my mind occupied, I don't feel much hunger. What I ate or didn't eat for lunch isn't nearly as important as how bored I am to how hungry I feel.

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Post by jellybeans01 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:14 pm

You do have to make this work with your life if it is going to be forever. If you need 4 meals, maybe smaller than do that. You can still do the no snacks, seconds and sugar. Also I have a glass of cold milk or juice and that seems to help me.

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Post by Thalia » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:09 pm

In addition to undermining the "I don't eat between meals" habit, eating a piece of fruit or some vegetables as a snack makes it easy to move produce off of your regular meal plate, leaving room for less nutritous, higher-calorie items to take its place -- because you don't need fruit in your lunch, you get it as a snack.

That said, I don't drink juice between meals during the week, because I think it adds more sugar and calories than I need to be drinking. I have a small glass of o.j. with breakfast, and that's my juice intake for the day.

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Post by ksbrowne » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:28 pm

Hi Miffy,
I had the same problem with crashing in the afternoon. What I did, and occasionally still do, is have a small afternoon snack as a temporary measure, until my body gets adjusted to less food. Usually just a couple of pieces of cheese with a couple of Triscuits. Or a handful of peanuts.

As I said, this is a temporary measure. It's not like, "Oh, it's 4 o'clock, time for my afternoon snack." It's only if I'm truly hungry. I find that I need it less and less. Eventually it's going to go away completely.

I do better with small, gradual changes.

Kathy

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Post by snapdragon » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:49 pm

I was worried about the same thing and I have discoverd that after a few days of not snacking I didnt need one at all anyway. It was all in my head. But if I say work out extra hard or am eating dinner later than expected I will drink a cup of skim milk (protien).
I have been told over and over and over how bad it is to get hungry and how important eating 5 times a day is I was afraid of not snacking, and crashing like you said.
Try it for a few days and see what happens.
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Post by Nicest of the Damned » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:29 pm

snapdragon wrote:I have been told over and over and over how bad it is to get hungry and how important eating 5 times a day is I was afraid of not snacking, and crashing like you said.
Being hungry is not a red emergency alert situation, for someone with a normal metabolism (ie, this doesn't apply to you if you have a condition like diabetes). If you ignore it and just be hungry for a couple of hours, it will be a little uncomfortable, but that's all that will happen. You will not starve to death. You will not wreck your metabolism. It's not really that much worse than sitting through a boring meeting.

As evidence for this, I submit all the people who have ever fasted, for religious or other reasons. Jews who fast on Yom Kippur make it 25 hours without either eating or drinking. Muslims who fast for Ramadan make it for more than 8 hours (exact amount of time depending on latitude and time of year) without eating. Some Christians fast, too. Nothing bad happens to the majority of people who undertake these fasts. Our religions would have dropped this as a requirement many years ago if fasting were seriously damaging to health. For that matter, you've probably, at some point in your life, had some illness that made it so you couldn't or didn't want to eat for at least 24 hours (I certainly have). You survived it.

My theory as to why we tend to regard hunger as an emergency is that food companies (and maybe some diet plans that sell food) have trained us to do so through advertising. Of course a company that sells food would like it if everyone's immediate reaction to hunger were to eat something, preferably their product.

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Post by wosnes » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:05 pm

Nicest of the Damned wrote:
snapdragon wrote:I have been told over and over and over how bad it is to get hungry and how important eating 5 times a day is I was afraid of not snacking, and crashing like you said.
Being hungry is not a red emergency alert situation, for someone with a normal metabolism (ie, this doesn't apply to you if you have a condition like diabetes). If you ignore it and just be hungry for a couple of hours, it will be a little uncomfortable, but that's all that will happen. You will not starve to death. You will not wreck your metabolism. It's not really that much worse than sitting through a boring meeting.

As evidence for this, I submit all the people who have ever fasted, for religious or other reasons. Jews who fast on Yom Kippur make it 25 hours without either eating or drinking. Muslims who fast for Ramadan make it for more than 8 hours (exact amount of time depending on latitude and time of year) without eating. Some Christians fast, too. Nothing bad happens to the majority of people who undertake these fasts. Our religions would have dropped this as a requirement many years ago if fasting were seriously damaging to health. For that matter, you've probably, at some point in your life, had some illness that made it so you couldn't or didn't want to eat for at least 24 hours (I certainly have). You survived it.

My theory as to why we tend to regard hunger as an emergency is that food companies (and maybe some diet plans that sell food) have trained us to do so through advertising. Of course a company that sells food would like it if everyone's immediate reaction to hunger were to eat something, preferably their product.
The only reason diabetics need snacks is to keep from developing hypoglycemia due to their medications. If they happen to be treating with diet alone, they don't need a snack, though it's usually suggested.

I've been saying that it's the food industry that tells us that breakfast is the most important meal and that we need to snack for years. Funny, since people in other places around the world either eat smaller breakfasts or don't eat it at all.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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Post by NoelFigart » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:20 pm

wosnes, breakfast lover that I am, there is strong historic evidence to point away from the "hearty breakfast" idea in our not-so-manual labor culture.

What we think of in the US as a traditional breakfast (eggs, bacon and all that), is culturally for people who have been doing 3-4 hours of manual labor before eating. (Milk the cows at 4:30, do chores, breakfast at 8:00).

In fact, if anyone is up for some fascinating reading, do check out Food Timeline. Three squares is still fairly recent history and a sign of affluence.

i.e.
Three meals a day were accepted as reasonable by most later sixteenth-century writers, such as Andrew Borde, although he thought that this was only good for the labouring man: anyone else should be content with two.
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Post by Mrandy1 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:46 pm

Have a v8! (preferably the low sodium one)

I'm sort of enjoying late afternoon hunger pangs!---I feel like I'm beating the urge! same as when I quit smoking, while difficult I loved overcoming the urge to smoke--(now smoke free 1653 days)
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Post by oolala53 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:13 pm

Wow, I can't believe how far down the line I am in just one day.

I crashed in the late afternoon and then on into the evening for YEARS ( most of my adult life and long before No S) with just a few months of exceptions. Miraculously, I found that for awhile at the beginning of No S a cup of mocha stood me in good stead and often now I don't need anything. but I don't push it. If I'm hungry, I have it. Otherwise water and waiting.

I taught yoga, still practice meditation, took macrobiotic cookings classes and still cook more different grains and veggies than the mainstream for sure, and tried for years to be a vegetarian. I wish I could be because it is easier on the planet. But eating animal protein has made a huge difference in my satiety with meals and my reliance on sweets. I was going great guns with No S last year until I went away on a retreat where is was vegetarian. I felt great when I was there and didn't actually anticipate a problem, but I've been careening until just recently since then. Many more successes than failures, and getting better all the time

That being said, there are plenty of successful vegetarians here. Who knows, after a year of no wild S days, I may attempt to become one of them.

I hope you see that this is actually a small issue in the scheme of things. And, though you have ahd a lot of experience, this one might be new.
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Post by wosnes » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:22 pm

NoelFigart wrote:wosnes, breakfast lover that I am, there is strong historic evidence to point away from the "hearty breakfast" idea in our not-so-manual labor culture.

What we think of in the US as a traditional breakfast (eggs, bacon and all that), is culturally for people who have been doing 3-4 hours of manual labor before eating. (Milk the cows at 4:30, do chores, breakfast at 8:00).

In fact, if anyone is up for some fascinating reading, do check out Food Timeline. Three squares is still fairly recent history and a sign of affluence.

i.e.
Three meals a day were accepted as reasonable by most later sixteenth-century writers, such as Andrew Borde, although he thought that this was only good for the labouring man: anyone else should be content with two.
I was just reading an excerpt at Amazon from a new book How Italian Food Conquered the World by John Mariani.
Otherwise, the church preached frugality in extremis. In the monasteries, monks had vegetable and herb gardens, but largely depended on the local farms and towns to provide their sustenance, except for the mendicant orders, which depended entirely on begging. Not until the sixth century, when the Benedictines changed the rules for monks' diets, were they allowed to eat two meals a day; prior to that, monks subsisted on a single meal of porridge, dried biscuits, and little else. Still, only one meal was allowed on fast days, which could number at least two hundred per year.
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do. Not that the nature of the thing itself has changed but our power to do it is increased." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You are what you eat -- so don't be Fast, Easy, Cheap or Fake."

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Post by Nicest of the Damned » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:02 pm

If you look at different cultures around the world, you notice that there is not one single eating pattern that dominates everywhere. Different cultures eat at different times. That tells us that there isn't a single, optimal pattern of meal times for humans, or, if there is, it doesn't really make much difference if you adhere to it. If there were a single, optimal meal pattern, everybody would have picked it up from contact with other cultures, the way cultures adopted other useful discoveries like writing.

The link shows that the claim made by some diets that, if you sleep right after eating you'll gain weight, is bogus. French and Italian people generally seem, from the hours their restaurants are open, to eat dinner later than Americans. They don't start work much later, and they presumably need the same amount of sleep we do, so they probably don't go to bed radically later than Americans do. French and Italian people are not, on the average, fatter than Americans.

Moral of story, don't worry about micromanaging when you eat if you're still eating too much.

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