I eat very healthy during the day, and at night even, but at night I just can't stop shoving food into my face. The foods I eat aren't overly bad, but I know that it's too much and it's drowning my weight loss efforts.
Can someone please give me some tips on how to stop this cycle?
I have a roommate so I can't very well put a pad lock on the fridge!
This is a very common problem for all people. The straight forward, obvious solution is resist the temptation. I know, easier said than done.
A lot of people will say you do this because you're not eating enough during the day, and that may be the case, but not always.
The key thing to overcoming this is changing your habits. The night time binge eating has become a habit and your body, brain, and mouth now expects the food. If you're like me it's also become a part of your night time getting ready for bed routine.
I've successfully beat the late night binge in the past but it took time and was done in steps. If you start out with small steps instead of "cold turkey" you're more likely to be successful and you won't feel like you're punishing yourself. If you stop eating at 11pm now, tomorrow and every night for the rest of the week stop at 10:30, then the next week stop at 10 pm, and continue the pattern of cutting back earlier and earlier each week until you stop at a time that is realistic for you. Over time the habit will be broken and you'll start to notice you're not craving things like you used to. As you're cutting back you're going to have cravings, the easiest way to work through them is to replace what you normally would have ate with something else, like water, flavored seltzer, or sugar free hard candy. Often when you think you're hungry you're actually thirsty.
Once you've got the ball rolling it's important to maintain your new habit. There will be days when you're schedule is off and you'll be forced to eat late, but if you do make sure it's a smaller portion of something healthy and then get back on track the next day, no excuses! Trust me, it's a slippery slope. I've been forced to work late for the past several months so I've been eating late and the night time binge eating is back in full force and I've gained so much weight because of it. Now I'm following the cut back routine and I'm gradually losing the weight, plus I'm finding my stomach feels better in the morning when I wake up (none of the gross bloated whale feeling from food fermenting in my intestines over night).
I hope this helps you and know that this is one of the biggest problems for almost all being struggling to manage their weight.
You're welcome. I thought of a few others things that might be helpful when a late night craving hits...
Find something to do that requires you to use your hands that will distract you from eating. If your hands are occupied you can't put food in your mouth. The action of doing something distracts your from the obsessive food thoughts and allows enough time to pass for the cravings to subside (I've read they only last 5-20 minutes, so find something that will take that long). I paint my fingernails and by the time they've dried the craving has passed. Plus I'm less likely to put food in my mouth with wet paint on my fingers (don't use scented polish. I did once with a lemon scented polish and all I wanted afterwards were fruit loops, lol).
Something else you can do is brush your teeth and take your time flossing. Taking your time flossing has the same effect of distraction and delay as the nail polish thing and if you brush your teeth you're less likely to want to eat anything afterward because it will taste gross.
When I find myself struggling with a late night craving I ask myself, "Do I really need this or do I just want it, and will I still be ok if I don't have it?" The answer is usually no, I don't need it and yes, I'll be ok without it. I've found thinking this way when shopping has saved me a lot of money, too!
Also, if it's late at night and a craving hits you can always just go to bed.
Being a type 2 diabetic has allowed me to study and understand the relationship between food (especially, portion control), blood sugar and insulin, the hormone responsible for providing glucose to the cells for energy.
The bottomline: It would be helpful to learn to associate movement with eating.
That after (or before) each meal or snack you should move to keep excess insulin in the blood stream from causing your body to store fat. What movement (walking, working, playing, exercise) does is help clear the blood stream of excessive amounts of blood sugar. Once normal blood sugar levels are detected in the blood, your body will stop secreting insulin.
I know what you're going to say..."I'm not diabetic". Since, I take no drugs, for diabetes or otherwise, I suppose I could say the same as you...but, I know better.
Everybody with a weight problem overshoots insulin due to their inability to control portions and the addictive and dysfunctional problems associated with high glycemic intake...foods high in carbohydrates.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.