I saw “Jen” today in the office, and her challenge has been curbing her evening time grazing. She has been struggling to fit TRE into her lifestyle, she has small snacks after dinner and this has been her habit for years. She certainly doesn’t do this every night, but a few nights a week, especially if it’s been a hectic day, she relaxes by snacking all evening, typically while watching a show. Her evening routine is entirely her own, and it is cherished, because she has little time for herself during the day, most of her day is spent care giving for others. Because she rarely gets to enjoy food during the day, her cravings are then compressed to the evening.
Jen and I worked together this afternoon to come up with a workable strategy for her, in order to implement TRE so that she won’t need to rely on blood pressure and blood sugar medication her entire life. We began by targeting the grazing, she finishes dinner relatively early, by 5:30pm but this leaves her with an extended period of time to just enjoy a few bites here and there of things sweet and savory. She may only have a few bites of chocolate or a few chips, but this snacking goes on until she’s getting ready for bed.
We decided to have a hard stop time for grazing. She decided she would make her stop time at 9pm since she typically grazes until 10pm, by having a 9pm stop time, she’s going to look at the time before she snacks in the evening, to see how close it is to her stop time, so she can prepare for it. We’ve adjusted her grazing back by one hour, and over the next few weeks, we’ll adjust her back another hour. Her goal end time for eating is still 5:30pm, when her dinner ends, but cutting back on the grazing is a challenge and something that needs to be done in a gradual manner so she doesn’t experience too much discomfort. TRE is not an all or nothing lifestyle change, we adapt it to fit what you are currently doing, and make adjustments until you make it to your goal stop time. It’s a process, but anyone and everyone can do this!