T Nation

Evening workouts = diet dilemma

I typically work out around 7pm and finish around 8:30. Between finishing my workout and going to bed around 11, I am hungry as hell and crave carbs.

I’m following JB’s Massive Eating recommendations, with the cals scaled back because I find them a bit excessive. I usually eat P+C for breakfast, then two P+F meals during the day, a pre-/post-workout P+C shake, a P+C dinner, and then a P+F snack before bed.

My problem is that most nights I find myself waking up between 2am and 4am and craving carbs. I usually eat a fair bit of cereal or other carbs at this time. I know this isn’t a good time to be eating carbs but, to be honest, I find it tough to resist.

My goals are performance-based and, though my strength and conditioning are progressing well, I’m gaining a little bit of fat. Since I’m a weight-classed athlete, I obviously want to head this off at the pass.

Do any of you have any strategies for planning meals around evening workouts and/or avoiding night-time binges? Working out earlier in the day is unfortunately not an option due to the hours I work. Thanks for any help.

Don.

Hey, Don, the body starts to get into habits. Until you break your current habit, you’re going to keep waking up, going, “Hey, where’s that cereal?”

One of my little tricks is to mix some guar gum (a soluble fiber) with Crystal Light. Your tummy will be full, and you can head back to bed. Guar gum was a trick I learned from Dan Duchaine of Body Opus fame.

Yep, that’s exactly what I use to do as well. I would take some fiber with a flavor to it. Try HDT’s fiber product or like Tampa-Terry suggested add it to crystal light. Other than that, believe or not, the best tool is "WILL POWER."

Before fights, I crave everything I cannot have and I want everything I can’t have all the freakin time. Oh well, I’ll live and because of that I am in shape and definately feel, and look like it. The nighttime thing is perhaps the worst time of all, try some diet rite soda. It works wonders for me at times.

Da Boxer

How much carbs are you getting in during the day? maybe you aint getting enough? i think the firbe idea is a good one
you could also try something like 5HTP before bed. i sleep like a baby on it, and it supposedly reduces carb cravings. just a thought…

Thanks for the responses. I have to admit that willpower is clearly going to be a big part of the solution to the problem. Anybody know where I can purchase guar gum? Would I find it in the supermarket or the pharmacy? Cheers.

I take a natural sleep aid I got from Hi-Health, its their own brand, it contains 5-HTP, Melatonin, bunch of other sleep-enhancing stuff. I take 1 pill and sleep like a rock, reducing my carb cravings, since I never wake up to have them…