I can’t stop binge eating at night.

Do you feel like you have to follow diet rules related to when you’re allowed to eat? Have you experienced nighttime eating, and feel ashamed, or don’t like that it interrupts your sleep cycle? Listen now for some experiments to help you along on this part of the food peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you the new PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey!

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Our body has no idea when the sun sets or rises… so why do we have these harsh rules about when we can and can’t eat??
  • Uninterrupted sleep is an important part of self-care!
  • We’re giving food WAY more power than it deserves.
  • The word “lifestyle” is often used to normalize eating disorders or disordered eating. Eating disorders LOVE to rationalize and minimize the impacts of eating disorder behaviors.
  • Low-energy availability: when someone’s moving their body more than the calories they’re giving it.
  • When we restrict heavily, the body will eventually try to save itself by EATING! Emotional eating, binge eating, etc. are all really common reactions to not getting enough calories. This is the way the human species ensures its survival in times of famine. Your body didn’t fail you; it did it’s job!
  • Food RESTRICTION leads to food OBSESSION.
  • Food insecurity: when someone can’t obtain food on a consistent basis, possibly due to financial difficulties. When this happens, it’s very common for people to not eat according to hunger and fullness, and instead to eat whenever food is around. This can lead to eating past fullness. It’s SO important to remember that we must fix ACCESS to food, before we can consider health.
  • Healing your relationship with food and having unconditional permission to eat is the MOST important part of healthy eating!
  • Do you feel like you have unconditional permission to eat? If not, you might want to explore intuitive eating with a registered dietitian.
  • Waking up in the middle of the night to eat is REALLY common for someone who’s not eating enough for many days at a time!
  • Be sure that you’re eating enough during the day (along with unconditional permission to eat)! This will help with the nighttime eating that wakes you up mid-sleep.
  • Hormones are a big part of our hunger signals… if you consistently eat food in the middle of the night, your body will start to think that’s meal time. And there’s NOTHING wrong with that! But if you want to be sure that you have high quality sleep, experiment with changing your circadian rhythms.
  • Work with a non-diet RD to help troubleshoot these different suggestions!
  • Try having something ready made for you, so that if and when you DO wake up in the middle of the night, you’re good to go!
  • Anxiety and stress are often are part of this issue. Investigate how these factors play a role in your night eating!
  • Try turning off all your electronics an hour or so before sleep, and develop a nighttime routine. This CAN include a nighttime snack!!
  • Your body is NOT failing you!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

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Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series.