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614508 tn?1265281722

Night Eating Syndrome

I'm 46 yrs old, 5 ft 6in & weigh 190 lbs. During my teens and 20's, I was involved heavily in dance (jazz, tap, ballet, musical theatre) and developed  anorexia. I did not weigh over 100 until I was 25 years old. During my 30's & 40's I started binging & purging...stopping only during my 2 pregnancies. Now I am in the routine of not eating all day (except for coffee & water) and binge at night (10pm onwards) consuming huge amounts of calories.  I feel like I'm nauseous the next day, like a food hangover.  I find it extremely difficult to eat in the morning...sometimes, I can keep a piece of fruit down at 3 pm. I don't eat with my kids/family (make excuses...large lunch, not hungry).  I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and am medicated but I'm not sure whether that affects the appetite one way or another.
Does anybody have any suggestions on how to stop this cycle?
6 Responses
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Avatar universal
Just a thought.... Maybe if you could manage to go a whole night without eating ANYTHING, or maybe just some fruit when your tummy grumbles, then you could start over fresh in the morning with breakfast, and just take it one meal at a time trying to make healthy choices.  I doubt a dr would recommend this plan, but it seems to me like it COULD work    =)    Good luck!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Yes, I've been through this and know exactly how you feel. There is a way to beat it, but you won't necessarily be comfortable with it at first. The reason you are bingeing is because you are restricting. It's a fact....restricting leads to bingeing. If you could consume a "normal" amount of calories through the day, this will really decrease the "need,want" to binge at night. You should start with breakfast though. When fighting eating disorders, it's going to take doing things you don't feel comfortable with. I would start with breakfast, and eat every few hours. It won't be easy, and you won't WANT to, but it's how you're going to get past the NES. It's important to include a variety of food groups and especially get protein in your diet. Let me know if you have any questions. Hang in there.
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614508 tn?1265281722
What would you suggest trying for a morning (gag) meal...protein? carbs?
Thanks,
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Avatar universal
I think the most important thing in the morning would be to get protein in, but it would be good to shoot for a balanced breakfast as a goal including protein, carbohydrate, fruit, etc. Good protein sources you may want to consider in the morning could be meat products or things like eggs, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, milk, etc. It just kind of depends on what you like really. Perhaps cereal with milk and a banana, or eggs, toast, and fruit? What do you like? Actually, one of my favorite things to eat in the morning is a parfait type thing. I put mixed berries in a bowl, then yogurt, and top with granola. It's really good. You could try something like that if it sounds good to you. Or you could start out simple with a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter? Any of that sound "do-able." I'd be happy to help you from my experience. Keep in mind I'm not a dietitian, however, I do see a dietitian and know a lot about meal plans and things that are recommended. So I will definitely help you the best I can if there's anything I can do. Like I said, I can really relate to what you're going through. Feel free to message me or we can talk here or whatever if you'd like. Thanks and I wish you the best of luck. =)

Ashley
Helpful - 0
614508 tn?1265281722
Thanks for the suggestions. What about timing???What should I be striving for an eating time after waking? One hour...two? Would grazing (eating small meals throughout the day be better than 3 square meals? Am I better to meal plan everything out (this kinda raises anxiety in me but maybe ultimately it would reduce the whole food anxiety)?
I like the parfait idea. I could make it the night before so it's ready and unavoidable. Look forward to hearing from you.
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Avatar universal
I have another question for you. Do you get enough sleep at night?? That could make a big difference with your eating habits as well.

I wouldn't wait a really long time after waking to eat breakfast. The reason being because when sleeping (assuming you're getting enough), your body goes into a fasting state. Your metabolism begins to slow because you've gone a longer period of time without eating than should during a day. So when you wake up and eat in the morning, this jumpstarts your metabolism. When your body trusts you to feed it regularly (instead of going all day without eating, for example), this will speed up your metabolism. Am I making sense?? If you eat within about an hour, that should be fine. Will it hurt you if it's not exactly within an hour everyday...No. I wouldn't wait several hours though because that's just that much longer you're going without eating on top of the time you've slept. In doing that, your body doesn't know if it can trust you to feed it again and this slows metabolism and causes you to store what food you've consumed prior. It's all a vicious cycle when this starts happening, because you don't want to eat, then go so long without eating that your body is hungry at night causing overeating. Ultimately, it doesn't matter as much if you eat 3 meals or 3 small meals and snacks as it does how much you're eating altogether. If you get enough calories with both, you won't be in starvation mode by night. It's whatever seems easier for you. Personally, I'm better off eating the smalls meals/snacks because I don't have to eat as much at one sitting, nor am I absolutely starving at mealtime which could cause overeating as well. It may help to plan things out ahead of time. If it would reduce anxiety of trying to figure out what to eat in the moment then you could at least start out by doing that? What do you think?? I'm glad you like the parfait idea. I really like eating that in the morning as well! Let me know how you like it! Good luck and I'll talk to you again soon.
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