The Daily Beet

13 Dec Q&A with E2 Guest Contributor, Lani!

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Engine 2 has a wonderful network of guest contributors that will be sharing their expertise and tips with you! Today’s contributor is Lani!

Lani is the creator of The Body Transformation Formula and Fit Quickies™ 5 Minute Workouts. She has a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, and trainer. She has received awards for her instruction, created and starred in her own CBS TV Show, and her expertise in the area of health and fitness is called upon by examiner.com, as Fitness Expert for Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center, coach, Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Kickstart program, and Health and Fitness Lifestyle Expert for Vegan Mainstream.com. She is Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University. Check out her website for more information.

Every Tuesday Lani answers one of your questions… today she tackles evening overeating. Also, be sure to check out the information about an upcoming tele class with Lani, and Engine 2 team member, Natala!

Evening overeating:  What causes it and how to stop it

Mary asks:  Hi Lani, very excited to learn your insights. Seeing how you like to address the why’s of dietary issues in depth, I am wondering why it is that getting through the day eating plant strong is not a problem for many of us, but at night, ah, that’s another story. Looking forward to your help!

Lani Muelrath: Thanks for your question, Mary.  I answered it right on the blog when you originally posted it, with the intention of getting back to you with some more information because you ask a very important question that is not an uncommon problem.  Here I am!

First, I’ve got a question for you.

Is the evening the only ‘trouble’ spot during the day for you?  Observe carefully over the next few days and see if there are other points of hunger unmet during the course of the day.

More often than not when I ask a client to examine the rest of their day as well, these moments of intermittent hunger emerge.  A common trouble spot is mid-to-late afternoon.  We get a little hungry, or a lot hungry,  yet look at the clock or are too busy to stop and pay attention, and have a ‘snack’ to ‘tide us over’.  Not enough to really satisfy our hunger when it presents itself.

Or  maybe we minimize the ‘snack’ even and have something to drink, that really doesn’t satisfy our fuel needs.  I call this ‘medicating’ hunger, and it’s a carryover from diet thinking where we are trying to hold back by eating less or save up calories for later in the day.

Some or all of these may be part of your experience.  It’s hard to know without a closer examination.

But the result is the same.  We end up with what I call ‘stored’ hunger.  It accumulates through the day until BAM, we are overcome with the need to nibble on, and on, and on.  The unbridled and urgent hunger has a biochemical drive behind it, too. For some real insights into this, see 3 secrets to mastering leptin & ghrelin on a weight loss diet: Are your hormones hijacking your willpower?

Look carefully to late morning or early afternoon, and see if you can find times in there when you are hungry yet respond by a ‘tide me over’ snack.  This can happen mid-to-late morning, too.

This will also provide some insights from some case studies on how to offset this problem:  2 huge eating mistakes women make when trying to lose weight and what to do about it.

2 Strategies for freedom from overpowering evening hunger

1) Eat well, early, and as often as your hunger signals demand throughout the day. The clock has nothing to do with your hunger and fullness.  Try to just be a good animal by responding with quality fuel when hunger hits.  Watch the tendency to ‘tide over’ with a ‘snack’, or to delay satisfying or medicate your fuel-need signals.

If you do this well from early in the day, starting with a solid breakfast, then you will find that evening urge to nosh diminishing.  It happens every time.  At the same time, if you really are hungry in the evening, you should have something to eat!  Yet if you’ve eaten well during the course of the day, a moderate amount of food should satisfy you.  White knuckle evening hunger is a sign of not enough fuel during the course of the day.

2)  Change your evening pattern: Once you have addressed the ‘stored hunger’ need as in #1, you might find it helpful to create a different pattern of behavior in the evening to break the connection of eating behind tied to certain activities.  You may have developed an association of certain evening activities and eating.   Pre-empt this connection.  Strategies from clients in the past have been to schedule an activity class outside of the home on 2 evenings during the week, after dinner, or even moving evening activities to a different location or focus in their home during the usual time of trouble. This will not be able to override real hunger, yet can help you break the mental association with certain habits you have developed.

You will also benefit from the Holiday food & eating survival guide:

Part 1:  “Be choosy”
Part 2:  “How eating keeps you thin, aka stay well fed
Part 3:  “Eat BEFORE you arrive
Part 4:  “What you have is what you’ll eat”

FREE TELECLASS: On December 27 we will have an ENCORE Teleclass with Lani Muelrath & special guest Engine 2’s Natala Constantine in a FREE holiday gift hour long Teleclass!  We’ll be talking about:

How the big shift to plant-strong happened for each of us

Why calorie density plays such a huge role in your success

The psychology of weight loss and how you too can master it

To get a ticket to this complimentary call, go to this page now and sign up:http://www.lanimuelrath.com/fitness-programs/free-encore-teleclass-with-lani-muelrath-natala-contantine/

December 27 Teleclass with Lani Muelrath and Natala Constantine.

Even if you can’t make the call LIVE (available also on webcast) be sure to sign up anyway so that we can send you a recording of the call.

Thank you once again Lani! Do you have questions for Lani? Please leave a comment below!


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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 09:32h, 13 December

    Hey Everyone!

    To get your FREE ticket to the December 27 Teleclass with Natala and yours truly click here now:


    See you there! And remember to leave your comments and questions below for today and future columns!


  • Lani Muelrath
    Posted at 21:08h, 14 December

    It’s great to see the signups pouring in for our call on the 27th! Thanks everyone!

  • Allen Wilson
    Posted at 21:40h, 14 December

    My name is Allen Wilson and my partner and I began following a plant-strong diet after watching Forks over Knives roughly 3 months ago. Watching that movie changed our lives, and we are committed to sticking with it and sharing what we know with everyone that we know! I was already having strong, erratic heart palpitations and since being on this diet, they have completely vanished.

    One of the challenges that I have been facing personally is weight loss. I am a 6’1”, 42 year old male who started this diet weighing 164 pounds (not overweight). Since then, though, I have lost 24 pounds and now weigh in at only 140 pounds. I am afraid of losing any more weight, but the last few weeks I have seen a trend in weight loss of approximately 1 pound every 1 – 2 weeks. That’s in spite of me increasing the amount of food I eat each day, particularly foods like beans, quinoa and brown rice. Based on the research that I have done, I am underweight and while I feel great – I’m afraid I’m doing something wrong.

    I have recently (the past two weeks) added a little more avocado and walnut to my diet to try and increase my weight, but that did not happen – instead, I lost another pound. Other than that, and the two supplements which I take each day noted below, I follow your diet religiously.


    1. I take one pill, each day, of Life Extension’s CoQ10 with Enhanced Mitochondrial Support supplement (which is suspended in 1/15th of a teaspoon of Safflower Oil)
    2. I take one pill, each day, of DEVA’s Vegan Omega-3 DHA-EPA (which includes 500mg of microalgae oil)

    **I hope these are safe to take, which I discovered only after attempting to find ‘safer alternatives’ to what I was taking prior to this diet. Based on my research, they are strongly recommended supplements for aging adults.

    I cannot imagine abandoning this diet because I believe it to be right and sound, but I am genuinely concerned with the weight loss which I have, and continue to, experience – and desperately seek a little direction.

    Any advice, tips, references, direction, etc. which you could provide me would be greatly appreciated.

    • Lani Muelrath
      Posted at 20:55h, 15 December

      ,Allen ,

      Here are some suggestions:

      Make the Following Changes in this Order to Regain Weight in a Healthful Manner

      1) Eat more whole grain flour products like breads and bagels. Flour is more fattening than the whole grain because the change in physical properties that comes with milling causes faster and more complete absorption of the calories and a great rise in insulin response.

      2) Eat more simple sugars in the form of fruits, dried fruits and fruit juices. This will cause a greater rise in insulin in your body.

      3) Eat more high-fat plant foods, like nuts (and nut butters), seeds (and seed spreads), avocados, and olives. Fats are concentrated calories.

      4) Add high-fat soy milks and tofu products. These are higher in fats.

      5) Eat more high-fat soy foods. However, in general, these fake foods (like burgers, hot dogs, lunch meats, and cheeses) should be kept to a minimum because they are not very nutritious.

      6) Eat more food – this is often difficult because most people already eat to the full satisfaction of their appetite. Making more delicious meals and taking more time to eat may help accomplish this.

      7) Eat a greater variety of foods – new kinds of foods stimulate interest, which increases food intake.

      8) Add salt, sugar and favorite spices to the surface of your foods. If they taste better to you then you will eat more. Plus sugar adds calories (empty calories).

      9) Use salad dressing, barbecue and steak sauces (made without oils and animal products) over your dishes to make them taste better so you eat more. Many sauces also contain simple sugars that provide calories and raise insulin levels.

      10) Exercise less. We all know people who are exercise fanatics and they burn 3000 to 5000 extra calories a day – making it very difficult for them to eat enough food to fully replenish the expenditure. One simple way to gain more weight, and in some ways improve your overall health, may be to exercise more moderately.

      This is directly from a document from Dr. John McDougall and you can find the report in its entirety here:



  • Allen Wilson
    Posted at 17:23h, 16 December

    OMG – Thank you SO much for such a detailed response – that is just the kind of detail that a person like me needs and I was completely blown away that you provided it!

    I currently only eat a slice or two of bread a day, but eat like 3 – 4 apples/oranges a day. I can easily increase my intake of bread, and welcome the opportunity to increase my intake of nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives (some of my favorite foods of all). I’ll start there and then move further through the list as needed.

    Thanks again! I really, really appreciate your feedback!

    • Lani Muelrath
      Posted at 23:43h, 16 December


      Tbanks so much for your note and I’m very happy to see the help and hope you are feeling right now.

      I am sure your question would be helpful to others – it would probably be a good choice for a future Q & A column. OK for me to quote you and sign with your name?

      Let me know and thanks,

  • Allen Wilson
    Posted at 17:32h, 16 December

    For the record, I’ve gona ahead and poured myself a small side of walnuts to snack on (1/4 cup)! This is great!!!

  • Allen Wilson
    Posted at 10:09h, 17 December

    Absolutely, I do not mind that at all. It would be great to know that someone else is going to benefit from this information too!

    • Lani Muelrath
      Posted at 15:17h, 17 December

      Thanks Allen. Keep me posted.

  • Allen Wilson
    Posted at 19:43h, 25 December

    I wanted to take a moment and update you and ask another question, if I could.

    I have increased the amount of bread that I eat (I now eat 1 ‘thick’ slice of Banana Nut Bread most days – even have begun topping it with a little organic raw peanut butter) and have doubled my daily intake of Quinoa (the recipe that I posted on my FB wall a week or so ago) and now adding a 1/2 can of beans and 1/4 cup of salsa to it. I eat at least 2 – 3 cups of this each and every morning for breakfast.

    I also eat about 4 ounces of dried bing cherries each night before going to bed and drink roughly a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of Apple Juice each morning.

    I have also inreased my intake of nuts and seeds. I’ve introduced Hulled Hemp Seed (added to my Quinoa Recipe), Sesame Seeds (added to my Quinoa Recipe), Walnuts, Pine Nuts (added to my Quinoa Recipe). I’ve even recently gone so far as to create a fruit pie with a mixed nut base (walnuts, almonds, cashews, dates).

    With all of these changes, I have lost yet another pound – and now weight in at 139 pounds!!

    Yet, I believe that increasing my intake of nuts more would probably stop the downward spiral as I’ve begun to feel a little more satiated, I am a little concerned about doing this because I fear that it will increase my chances of heart disease. But therein may simply expose a lack of knowledge on my part as to why nuts & seeds are supposed to be limited in the first place.

    Thanks again for your help – it is simply amazing (and humbling) to have access to people like yourself willing to help people like us!

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