How to Stop a ‘Crazy’ Cycle of Night Bingeing?

By September 20, 2012

During the day I have what I would say is a fairly normal and healthy diet but once nighttime rolls around I binge on anything and everything. I probably consume more calories in an hour at night than I would all day. I’ve slowly been gaining weight and it scares me but for some reason at night, all of my willpower diminishes. How do I stop this crazy cycle? – anonymous

Dear anonymous:

Thanks for your question. When we binge at night, it often has to do with several common factors:

First, we may be pushing ourselves too hard all day, giving ourselves no time for fun, joy and peacefulness. So, we tend to finally relax at night and “reward” ourselves with food. To help combat this, we need to learn how to build rewarding moments into our daily routine. Many people choose to pray or journal early in the day so they can set a peaceful tone for their day. It’s TRUE that just ten to twenty minutes of planned “time out” can make our day SO much more fulfilling, such that we aren’t as emotionally hungry later at night when we finally slow down.

Secondly, our feelings often catch up with us at night, especially if we’ve been ignoring them all day. We may binge in order to avoid feeling lonely, angry, hurt, afraid or sad. The alternative is to deal with these feelings in other ways which brings us back to the tools we talked about above AND reaching out to others. Talking to others, including a counselor can help you avoid “using” food at night.

I also recommend that you work with a professional nutritionist who is familiar with disordered eating. Read “Finding a Nutritionist” for guidance. This professional can tell you if you are really getting enough calories during the day. She (or he) can also tell you so much about how to choose and combine foods in order to help you feel satisfied during the day. It always amazes me how a skilled nutritionist can help us to end such a cycle with carefully individualized interventions. Please give yourself this gift.  Even if we think we know a lot about calories and fat grams – that’s only a tiny part of complete nutrition.

There are ANSWERS to break this cycle! You can do it with help.