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Need suggestions - late night food

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Need suggestions - late night food

Postby rivenriver » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:57 pm

Hi all. :)

Well, I'm in a bit of a pickle. Let me explain.

For those who don't know, I'm a uni student, and I live on campus in a fully catered hall. This has pros and cons as far as the diet goes, but the best thing I think (aside from not having to cook and having so much choice at meal times) is it makes it much easier to eat ONLY at meal times. I'm the sort of person who eats food if it's there - living with the dining hall means I can not have any food available to me between meals if I choose. I could go and get an apple or a glass of milk, but that's about the limit, and it helps me stay on track. After dinner, the dining hall closes, so I don't even have those.

What I do have is a cheap canteen open between 8 and 10, 6 evenings per week. There's also a vending machine outside my door, for all other hours of the night. This makes chocolate and etc available when it's not wanted, which is tricky, but I'm getting there.

Now, my dilemma.

As a student working late at night, there are times when you are genuinely hungry. Like right now, for instance. Study is hard, it takes it out of you, and although most of the time for me it's just craving, sometimes I'm really hungry. And it's tricky telling myself it's too late to eat, because concentrating is harder when you're hungry, and I need to concentrate to get my work done.

The vending machine has one appropriate thing in it, beside all the chips and chocolate - a packet of mixed nuts, dried fruit, and seeds. I've gotten it a couple of times, and it's good. It fill you up, and it a good alternative to the sweet stuff. Problem is, right now I don't have the correct coins for the machine. I've got enough for lollies though. But I don't want them. (Well, I do, but I'm trying not to tell myself that...) The other thing I have is a kettle and some cup-a-soups, which aren't quite as appropriate for this sort of thing.

So. Here I am. I'm studying, I'm hungry, I'm planning on studying a few more hours, and being hungry is making it difficult. And I have no good food available to me.

Here are my options, I think.
1. Go hungry. Best diet-wise, worst study-wise.
2. Buy the lollies. Makes me feel a little better, but ruins any good eating I've done today.
3. Eat the soup. But I don't really want it.
4. In future, make sure I have enough coins for the nuts. Problem is, this means I also have enough coins for the chocolate, and if my resolve is weak...
5. In future, have some similar things kept in my room for this situation. But, as I said earlier, if it's there I'll eat it, that's why I try and keep my room food-free.

So yeah, not sure what to do, either tonight or tomorrow night or the next... Not sure if the situation will repeat, but it might.

Any idea? Comments? Suggestions? Advice? Please?
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Postby rivenriver » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:14 pm

Haha - well, tonight's no longer an issue. I've stupidly convinced myself I'll have time tomorrow, and am going to sleep.

Nevertheless, I'd still like to hear what anyone has to say. For next time, y'know? :)
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Postby yummymummy » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:25 pm

At a guess Im thinking you need low carb foods for that full feeling and energy to keep studying so nuts and seads would be great, but if you just need something junky to get thru the study blues maybe some low carb bars or some sugar free lollies???
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Postby golden » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:47 pm

Not the healthiest things, but they're good for students haha

- Sugarfree V, or even the other varieties... keeps you awake and reasonably full too actually
- Coffee... all other food kinda tastes yuck with coffee so you'll just have the kjs of the coffee
- Flavoured pretzels, better alternative to chippies
- Popcorn- ditto
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Postby golden » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:48 pm

^^ Oh they were the suggestions for "keep food in my room next time"

In the meantime, try to making drinks and you'll probably forget about the lollies.
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Postby milkyway » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:57 pm

Hey Marti - are you sure you're really hungry?

I've known studying to be mentally taxing, but not physically. Are you sure you're not just using that as an excuse to indulge in your fave foods? Sorry if that (and the rest of my post) sounds harsh - I'm just trying to challenge your reasoning as we often need to break down those preconceived ideas we have to break old bad habits.

The lollies won't make you feel better. Sure they'll give you that inital sugar hit but then you'll have the crash and your studying will be worse for it. They won't even make you feel full. You'll still be hungry. They'll probably just make you feel guilty fo eating them. Even worse, if you're eating sugar at this time of night, it will probably affect your sleep which means even worse study tomorrow. So don't ever tell yourself that being hungry is worse than indulging in lollies!

Have you tried drinking a couple of glasses of water first to see if you're a bit deyhdrated or not? It might give you the feeling of fullness you're looking for :)

How about getting yourself a fruit bowl so that you've got bananas and apples on hand for times such as this? Or some other healthy snacks? Having the mindset that you're going to eat the food in your room means that you ARE going to eat the food you have in your room. Tell yourself you're NOT going to it. And at least if you binge on oranges, it's not as bad as ice cream and chocolate biscuits!

Do you have a friend in your dorm room that you trust? You could give her your healthy snacks and tell her that she can only give you the snacks in cases of extreme hunger late at night and even then, only a reasonable portion (e.g. one apple).

The thing is, in the future when you're not at uni, you're going to be living in a house/flat where there will be food available and all around you 24x7. You need to be able to live with food around you and not eat it. Maybe you're not ready for that just yet, (one step at a time!) but it's something to keep in mind.

Hang in there hun!

Otherwise, going to sleep is probably the best solution ;)
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Postby Mandie » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:13 am

There's been some really good comments above.

I'll just add - Cruskits, especially the corn ones, taste great and are really low calorie. You can get low calorie spreads for them too, and they fill you up...

Or try having some healthy snacks like fruit around...

Or try having low-cal stuff like pita chips and stuff.. maybe hide it under your bed, out of sight, out of mind?

Good luck Marti.. stay strong! Study time is tough (am going through it myself now).. but you CAN do this!
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Postby Sas » Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:15 am

As Mandie said there are some really good comments here.

One of the things I found when I was at uni was I started to feel hungry (or think I was) when I was starting to get a little bored and over study. I used to try changing what I was studying i.e. do another subject or even get up and go for a walk or do some push ups and sit ups. It took my mind off study for a few mins and freshened me up.

Other things that yo ucould have for snacks are celery and carrot sticks with a low carb dip. Nuts are great too... perhaps get some salted ones to fill the salt craving. Also, low carb bars or even some diet chocolate?
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Postby rivenriver » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:21 am

Thanks everyone for the helpful replies!

Yes, I was actually really, legitimately hungry. I know this cos I tried telling myself I wasn't, and I drank a lot of water, but the feeling in my stomach was one I recognise, and I wasn't craving chocolate or chips or anything, I just wanted some sort of food. So yeah, I know what you mean about just thinking you're hungry, cos I do that too, but I actually was this time. Cos dinner was at 5:30, so by 11pm, I think I've probably used up a fair bit of it. Also cos I only had a sandwich for dinner last night. Plus, I've heard that intense study actually does burn a whole heap of kilojoules! So maybe some of it was actually burned! Not that I explained any of this before, you're sooo right to pull me up on it! ;)

Those are all really good suggestions though - I'm definitely going to try some!
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Postby candycane » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:07 am

I try and eat at regular intervals - i know how u feel in some respect (full time study + full time work) so its hard. Especially with exams comeing up!

7am - breakfast, 10am - snack, 1pm: lunch, 4pm: snack, i get home at about 6 and i might try and have a ainsley harriot soup or something if im starving, then i have dinner between 7-8. If im hungry later i might have a yoghurt coz that will fill me up as well as curb any sweet craving.

If u eat at regular intervals i find your body kinda gets used to when its going to eat so it gets hungry at the appropriate times, and your fueling your metabolism constantly so providing u eat the right things you will have continuous energy rather than spikeing with the sugary foods.

If u plan what your going to eat for the week or even the next day its easier to stick to i think.

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Postby candycane » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:11 am

PS: try not to eat things high in sodium because it tricks your body into believing that its still hungry - and drink plenty of water. If all else fails go for a walk to distract you, which i do frequently when i'm studying anyway so i can get my mind around what i'm learning :)
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Postby SarahC » Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:11 am

Maybe whenever you have spare change, go get the nuts straight away, while you are feeling strong, then you'll have them for later and will not have any spare change hanging around to be used on chocolate.

Apart from that, maybe a trip to a supermarket to stock up on healthy snacks that you can use in an emergency. Or steal a few apples on your way out of the dining hall :)
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