Binge Eating at Night Causes Weight Gain
Night Time Cravings and Night Time Binging
For many of our HCG Diet patients, the calories come at night after the sun goes down. “I am mindful all day long and then as soon as the sun goes down, I lose all will power and these cravings begin,” says one of my frustrated HCG Diet patients. This is a story that I hear over and over again with my patients. What is it that happens in those evening hours when it comes to food? Let’s put a top to the binge eating at night!
There is actually a great deal of research out there on this topic and it is a fairly common problem. One study from the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that those who have night cravings/binges consumed more than half of their daily caloric intake at night. The causes of this problem are not easy to pin point. The most common triggers, are depressions, stress, hormonal issues, emotional issues, etc. Also, it is known that the hormone cortisol drops in the evening and when cortisol drops it is not unusual for sugar cravings to increase.
Are you a Night Time Eater?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you decide if you might need help in addressing these issues that relate to overeating at night. If you answer yes to most of them, we recommend getting professional to help you get a hold of these issues. If you are overweight, this could be a root cause of your problem.
- Do you have a tendency to over eat in the evening after dinner time?
- When you find yourself eating in the evening are you actually full before you start eating more?
- Do you ever wake up at night to eat?
- Do you wander into the kitchen in the evening when full and find something more to eat?
- Do you feel satiated when you wake up in the morning?
- If you have emotional feelings of sadness, anger, loneliness or any depression do these feelings become strong at night?
What Can I do to Help with Evening Food Cravings and Binges?
First of all, I often hear my HCG Diet patients tell me that “I am really great all day and then at night I want to eat everything.” When I dig a little bit deeper, I almost always find these patients do not eat very much during the day and then when evening comes they eat the majority of their calories. They wake up feeling full and therefore do not eat breakfast. I prefer patients listen to their hunger ques when it comes to eating. A better routine for these patients would be to eat during the day on a rhythm at regular times. I ask patients to eat balanced meals of mainly protein and vegetables and snack on vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds throughout the day as needed. When patients make this shift, I find that most will tell me that their night time binges subside. Patients actually feel so much better when they wake up in the morning if they have not binged in the evening. They wake with more energy and have an appetite for a nice, healthy breakfast. This is a wonderful first step to set new patterns. Eat in balance and rhythm.
Second, I strongly recommend my patients focus for two weeks intently on eating based on how you feel and not by the time of day. With that said, we would eventually love to see the rhythm of eating patterns begin to happen. I find that this usually naturally will start to occur for patients as they become mindful of eating patterns. If you feel you need something at night … cut up some low calorie snacks such as celery or cucumbers paired with a dip of Greek Yogurt with herbs and spices
Lastly, break any associations you have with food. Do you eat every night while you watch tv? Do you eat every time you step foot into the kitchen? If you eat while watching tv … try to snack on low cal vegetables. If you feel the need to eat when you go into the kitchen … drink some water or make a nice cup of tea. Tea can be extremely satisfying for those who have cravings.
The Natural Path is a Naturopathic Medical Clinic in NW Portland. Dr. Madda and Dr. Phillipo focus on the HCG Diet for weight loss and Bio identical hormone optimization for men and woman. They care about the results that there patients experience and enjoy providing patients with education to lead a healthy lifestyle!
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