Hello there. Could your evening hunger be striking because
you're undereating? Also, were you ever checked for gestational
diabetes during your pregnancy? Here's a calculator that works
out how many calories you need to take in every day in order
to maintain your current weight:
If your intake is far short of this figure hunger will be at you.
I think the safest loss per week is 2 pounds or 7000 calories
(or less if you're exercising), which is a maximum of 1000 less
calories a day (with intake never to be lower than 1200 cals daily).
If your weight-loss has stalled it might be an idea to look at the
proportions of the food groups you're eating. The quickest and best
way I know of to diet (and eat on a permanent basis) is to follow a
basic 'insulin resistance' diet. Generally this involves breaking your
meals up into 6 or more units, and balancing each to include protein
and a certain ratio of carbohydrate at the core. The effect of this
is to keep blood-sugar levels from soaring or falling so low that you
want to stalk the cupboards for refined foods
Here are a few available books on this on amazon.uk:
Diets like this go against conventional dieting wisdom in that they
recommend standard levels of calories from good (unsaturated) fats,
proteins and carbohydrates -- which creates less wear and tear on
the body (e.g. less cholesterol sources force the body to produce its
own, a job that gives rise to higher levels of artery plaques). A good
insulin resistance diet contains between 10% and 30% of fat (peanut oil,
olive oil etc), and will help stubborn fat reserves to melt away (once the
calories are kept below the status-quo level).
I wouldn't eat any kind of refined sugar when hungry at night, as this is
liable to set off an 'insulin rollercoaster', where insulin levels rise sharply
and cause a sugar-dip, making you crave for more sugar. If you're happy
that you're including all food groups in good proportion (i.e. no over-reliance
on either proteins or carbohydrates) then I'd fill the late-evening gap with
a balanced snack like an apple paired with low-fat cheese (carb and protein)
or brown-bread with low-oil/no-sugar peanut butter (carb, protein and good
fats). If your calories are too high at this point you could always break up
dinner into two portions and eat with a few hours between (you could
proportion themeals so that there's enough food left over to do this).
Exercising gently (walking is good) approx. 45 minutes after eating will bring
down the sugar level just before it reaches its peak. This will help prevent
the production of new fat and stimulate weight-loss. A trip to the doctor to
discuss diet approaches or be referred to a dietitician (if you don't fancy
getting into the fine details) could be a good idea too.