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    Ways to Stop Late Night Binging
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP posted:
    Many of my patients are night stalkers. They're foraging around eating all night. Here are a few ways to help you to stop this habit:
    1) Never skip your meals throughout the day. Eat your meals and include snacks so that you're eating every 3-4 hours. People with the greatest problem with late night eating skip meals and then are ravaging the dinner food and keep on going all night long.
    2) Put up a sign on the kitchen door: "Kitchen Closed"
    3) Brush your teeth after dinner.
    4) Stay mindful while you eat. Avoid the TV, computer or talking on the phone.
    5) If you're eating due to stress, depression or loneliness, please get help and support to work through ways to cope that do not include self-destructive over-eating.
    Good luck!
    Dr Peeke
    Was this Helpful?
    191 of 272 found this helpful
    cliffie23 responded:
    Yes, this is when I eat the most even though I eat my 3 meals each day and I log everything I eat including what I eat at night. I still seem to have this craving to eat at night. I think it is because I am lonely since I lost my husband I have no one to talk to at night and I am a shy person. I have been trying to go for walks or walk on my treadmill at night so I won't eat. I am 260lbs. and I need to lose weight.
    jis4judy replied to cliffie23's response:
    Hi there I think I was lonley too when I was gaining weight
    my Dh works nights so I am alone nearly every night
    so I made a cut off time to prevent too much minching in the evening... it worked for me as long as I repect that cut off time..
    Hugs Judy:)
    feduptwice replied to jis4judy's response:
    ok this is what i do-i tape all the shows that deal with weight issues-X-weighted,I lost it, Biggest Loser, shows about obesity clinic and treatement of very obese patients-there is lots of them. So every time i feel tempted to binge i grab a bottle of water and watch one of those shows before bed.
    DanielleKolo1981 responded:
    I read. I got myself a library card and I pick those nice big hard cover books. It's much harder to snack with both hands occupied!
    Petesaddle responded:
    I have almost always eaten my food in front of a TV or computer. I never knew that this was a bad habit.

    Could you shed some more light on why it is not good.
    An_201884 responded:
    Dear Dr. Peeke,
    I can do great throughout the day, but when I sit down at night, the hunger channel comes on.
    My counselor asked what emotion I was feeling at night when I would think I was hungry.
    "I'm lonely" came out of my mouth. All these years of battling weight and the reason came spilling out in two simple words.
    I do keep busy through the day & am doing stuff for myself, but I'm dead tired when I finally sit. I'm not a phone hog & I've got many many e-mails & facebook things I've never opened yet - I just fall asleep. But it's when I'm sitting still and emptying my brain, that I start thinking & feeling emotions that I can put aside during the day. Raw hurt & lonliness come bubbling up and food is my displaced comfort zone.
    I try to be cheery & kind to others. I'm very grateful for my mom, kids & grandkids.Some people don't have anyone and that's really sad.
    I've been berating myself for wanting more, but it's hard. I'll listen to any suggestion. Thank you.
    amyzgr8 responded:
    I have a wonderful husband with whom I share a great life and try to eat healthy throughout the day and exercise 3-5 times a week, but still get the urge to snack/eat late at night. I've come to realize that it is some sort of anxiety. I could finish a great healthy dinner, yet I'm already thinking about the next snack I want. I was never like this before when I WAS alone, and I don't know why I am now. I would like to find a way to change this behavior since I gained over 40lbs in a year and now tip the scales at over 200lbs and have high blood pressure for the first time. Is there a medication that could help? I hate the thought of taking drugs, but there's only so much fiber you can eat and water you can drink. I'm eating without even being hungry!
    amyzgr8 replied to Petesaddle's response:
    That isn't good because of what the Dr. mentioned as "mindful eating". You should sit at the table and be aware of what you're eating and savor it so that you'll be satisfied. When you eat while focusing your attention on somenthing else, there is a tendency to eat more or eat poorly.

    Hope that helps."63A
    fedupagain replied to amyzgr8's response:
    I have to admitt that i cannot remember last time i ate that wasnt in front of tv or a computer screen. Other than BBQs out in my back yard I always eat on the run but i do know what and how much i am eating so maybe the only thing that i give up here is enjoying my food
    AngelCheeks1954 replied to An_201884's response:
    I have found that if I take up doing crafts at night while watching TV I can stop most of the late night snacking. Another trick I use is to chew sugar free cinnamon gum. Cinnamon flavor helps cut the hunger and cinnamon is a known help for anyone with diabetes. Don't beat yourself up when we are depressed or lonely all sorts of things creep into our minds. Continue with counseling and talk it out. Sometimes a natural herbal supplement will help get you through the hump of depression/snacking. I have heard the 5-HTP does both of those. Helps with mood and appetite control.
    Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP replied to AngelCheeks1954's response:
    Hi Angel and thanks for your reply. Keeping your hands and mind busy is critical when you're in the mood to let it rip with over eating. Gum is a real favorite of so many people who need to chew (esp under stress) and also get a bit of sweetness. If you're feeling lonely or depressed, clearly get help if you need it. Talking about it and obtaining appropriate guidance is key to healing and getting on with your life. The 5-HTP is the precursor to serotonin. Have some whole foods for dinner like lean protein and veggies and that will help boost healthy brain chemicals to feel satisfied and curb carb cravings.

    Good Luck, Dr. Peeke
    pamidoodle1 replied to amyzgr8's response:
    You sound exactly like me. I joined weight watchers and have lost 22 lbs. since feb. It is a real struggle at night. those old eating habits are still there in full force! I wear a pedometer at all times, and have found that when a commercial comes on I get up and walk in place until it is over. this has helped me to not eat. then if sometimes that doesnt work, I make myself turn the tv off and go in the other room and read or go to bed. I do give myslef a cutoff time also and that helps sometimes. Hope this helps.
    catgerry replied to cliffie23's response:
    Most overeating is a way of self-soothing ourselves. It's not surprising that many marrried women report a desire to overeat at night and in the evenings when their husband is gone or in front of the "tube", which is one of their big addictions. Feeling lonesome or angry can certainly send women to the refrigerator over and over. It will help to be aware of one's needs and motivations and try to tind other ways of satisfying them. Verbalizing them can be a start in the right direction too, and asking to have one's needs met.
    An_201885 responded:
    For any of you who have a problem with overeating, or who cannot seem to stop eating, or who eat emotionally, I urge you to look into Overeaters Anonymous. It is a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, and can help you learn to manage the emotional swings that make you want to overeat. OA saved my life.

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