There is a way to stop this negative habit of nighttime “binge eating” that is destroying your chances of losing weight. Just because you have always done it… and maybe every one in your family has always done it… it is still just another one of those negative habits that CAN be broken.
Let me show you how to look at the “deeper” issues surrounding nighttime “binge eating” and take a closer look at what’s really going on here at this difficult time of the day. The answers may surprise you…
*** Question From Reader ***
“Hi Andrea I am on an antidepressant called Remeron, which people tend to put weight on while on it. I cannot be without it. I have a voracious appetite at night – probably because I am alone. Hubby goes to sleep real early. What are some good snacks to eat later at night that won’t put the lbs. on? I need some comfort food I think! Thanks! Lydia”
Here’s my answer:
Hi Lydia, Everything I’ve studied and observed in myself about late night binge eating revolves around this… When you don’t eat often enough DURING the daylight hours, at nighttime you pig out. Here’s why… During the day, it’s easy to stay distracted from your hunger and not think about it because you can preoccupy yourself with work or busy errands, etc.
During the daytime, you are also releasing a lot of stress hormones (like coristol) which slow your metabolism down. And if you’re drinking caffeine, this is also an appetite suppressant. So in other words… you are starving during the daytime but YOU DON’T KNOW IT. But as soon as nighttime hits, BAMM!… The hunger takes over you.
At Nighttime, Everything Slows Down And “Reality” Sets In At nighttime, your body and mind naturally go into a more relaxed state and the stress hormones start to decrease. This speeds your metabolism back up and your body starts to send out “HUNGER” signals because it’ s been starving all day long, but you haven’t been listening to it.
Nighttime is also the time when we are confronted by our true emotions. If you’re feeling lonely, sad or depressed, it’s easier to not think about it during the day because you are in “survival mode”, working and running from place to place and thought to thought… But at night time, there’s nothing much to do but to BE with yourself and your thoughts.
This can be a very scary place to be if you aren’t actively training your mind to dwell on the positive.
I read a book earlier this year called “Eat, Pray, Love” and in this book she talks about how she is repeating to herself over and over, “I will no longer harbor negative thoughts with my mind.” And by repeating this over and over in her head, she realizes that the word “harbor” has 2 meanings: a verb – to protect, and a noun – a harbor is the place where boats go in and out.
So she starts to visualize her mind as a sacred harbor, and she gets to CHOOSE which thoughts get to come in… Just like a guard of a boat harbor who gets to decide what boats can dock in the boat harbor and what boats get sent away… She is “guarding” her thoughts and saying “Yes, you can come in” and “No, you are being sent away back to the open seas”.
I like that visualization, and ever since I read it, it’s really been helping me to control what thoughts I CHOOSE to think about. Controlling your thoughts is not the easiest thing in the world to do, but everything worthwhile is worth putting some effort into it, right? Especially when it will give you such a big payoff and bring you so much happiness INSIDE your mind.
And that’s not all… Get Those Good Feelings With Healthy Choices Instead Of Destructive Ones We turn to food to make us feel good when our bodies aren’t able to make those “feel good” hormones on our own. The food you eat, your body’s activity level, and your mind’s level of peace and stillness ALL affect your emotional state.
We all have to play an ACTIVE role in creating our health and feel-good bliss, otherwise we fall apart. And yes… this happens to everyone. Just like every car needs a tune-up in order to run smoothly and efficiently… If you are not “tuned up”, then you will feel really crappy and want to escape from this desperate and lonely place. This is why we have all turned to food to comfort us when we are feeling so low.
The food is a drug that gives a numbing, dulling sensation and an artificial high, but it comes at the high price of our health and happiness. And because it is only an “escape”… It’s NOT a solution… The food will never give you that love you are searching for. Only YOU can give yourself that love that you need.
But the good news, is that when you give yourself health, and make healthy choices to feed your body, your emotions, your mind and your spirit… You are giving yourself the love that you crave. It really is that simple. Love is only complex if you make it. See for yourself…
5 Steps To Breaking Your Nighttime “Binge Eating” Habit
Here’s what I would do… You can try this as an “experiment” and let me know how it goes.
1. Eat 5 small meals of natural food throughout the day even if you’re not “hungry”. MAKE yourself eat 5 healthy, small meals a day and soon it will become your new habit like you’re on autopilot. And the thing about eating 5 meals a day, is you WILL be eating at night, but you will be eating the same healthy foods just like you were eating during the daytime.
These healthy foods will not trigger that “binge eating” like processed junk food does. And you will be feeding yourself the nutrition that you are starving for. So it’s not like you’re trying to starve yourself at nighttime, you just don’t want to be “binge eating” and eating MORE at night than you do during the daytime.
Do you see the difference? Eating a small, healthy meal is GOOD FOR YOU as long as it’s not processed junk food. And here’s what to do about that…
2. Get rid of all the junk food in your house. So you won’t be tempted to pig out on it because it’s just sitting there torturing you. In the beginning, it’s going to be difficult to break this negative habit and you need all the leverage you can get on yourself.
If you have to go outside of the house to get it, then it will be one more step you have to take and that might be the step that saves you from pigging out.
3. Eat as many dark green vegetables as you can! This will increase your seratonin (those natural “feel good” hormones your body makes) levels and make you feel happier. I have a friend that started eating a bag of those collard greens every day (the kind that are pre-washed and you can buy at the grocery store). She would saute them in garlic and olive oil (which is delicious) and her serotonin levels increased so much that she was able to get off antidepressants. It works! Eat green vegetables EVERY day as often as you can. This will boost your mood and your health.
4. Use your alone time to feed your spirit. Start reading beautiful spiritual-filled books that lift you up (I really love “The Power Of Now” by Echart Tolle, “The Seat Of The Soul” by Gary Zukav, and “The Seeker’s Guide” by Elizabeth Lesser). And write in your journal all your deepest thoughts – it’s healing to get it all out.
Or if you’re an artist, then create the beautiful art that is inside of you – it WANTS to come out and be seen by the world. So in other words, make your alone time “special” time that you get to feed your passion and spirit. You will start to cherish the time you have to spend by yourself because you will use this time as your “healing” time that is a gift.
5. Start practicing yoga and meditation. Turns out the modern world is not where stress, confusion and disconnection was invented… Human beings have been dealing with this for thousands of years, and probably since the dawn of consciousness. By studying the ancient science of yoga and meditation, you can learn how millions of others have overcome the struggle within themselves by connecting to the infinite love, light, peace and truth that is inside of themselves.
It’s inside of you too… I know it. So try those out and let me know how it goes. I’m sending you love and light to surround you on your journey into health!
From Sarah: Andrea is special. She walks her talk, and she’s been through it all (she’ll show you her pictures at over 200lbs – so don’t think she’s always looked the way you see her at first here) – to get her free newsletters – and Andrea is unique because of her videos – where she actually demonstrates everything she’s teaching. Just go here to get Andrea’s “Amazing Body Now” free newsletters->