For 10 months, I diligently changed to a healthy lifestyle eating a better food selection (counting calories) and exercising weekdays. I lost 75lbs. It was hard but I knew I could lose the weight if I just stayed focused. I'm proud of my accomplishment.
Now, I've somehow developed an eating problem at night. I have carbohydrate binges...too much yogurt, peanut butter, multi grain cheerios, 100 calorie flatbread with sugar free preserves. They are not unhealthy foods, I just crave (and eat) too much of them.
It's not like I starve myself during the day. My goal is 1700 calories per day. I watch my balance through Fitday.
I've tried all kinds of things to stop...journaling, brushing my teeth, drinking water, taking a a bath, calling a friend, exercising but in the end I binge and have been feeling like a failure eating twice my goal in calories. Needless to say, I've gained 10 lbs back and need help to stop.
Every morning I wake and say this will be the day that with steadfast determination I will overcome this eating problem, but at night I don't.
Hopefully, someone can share a success story with me about how they stopped.
Hi Moses, I've had a very similar problem. I would always do great during the days, then at night would overeat, then the next day wake up and this would start all over again. I also fell back into that pattern during my recent vacation, so it is definitely one that I have to watch out for.
I didn't have as much to lose as you, so first off let me say congrats and well done on your success. However, I can tell you that one thing that was different for me this time (and I did reach my goal for the first time ever...the vacation rebound now notwithstanding; I am still a few pounds below my goal weight) was to actually eat enough during the day. Before I was locked into the mentality that less was better, and that set me up to not eat enough earlier in the day (often skipped breakfast, etc., since I'm not really hungry in the AM) but binge big-time later on. Making sure I spread the calories out helped a lot. So did adding in healthy fats. Again, I had the mentality of the less fat the better...and that didn't work. So once I got my protein/fat/carb ratios right, I wasn't as tempted to binge at night.
The last thing I did was to recognize that this was my pattern and to go with it, not fight it, but in a healthy way. I plan about 3 snacks a night (I'm up late, so it's about 6 hours between dinner and bed for me). One is non-impact, like celery, cucumber, carrot sticks, etc. One has to make up for whatever ratio I'm low in during the day (usually it's fat and protein, so I have nuts, peanut butter, or cheese), and one is a snack I'll enjoy, like crackers or pretzels (I usually hunt for the whole grain) or yogurt. I make sure it's all in the calorie budget. The other thing I think helps is that I usually exercise in the evenings or at night, so it's harder mentally for me to binge and "undo" all that hard work.
When all else failed, I jumped on here and started typing...or I would search out healthy diet/exercise/food websites and read about how my choices would affect me, which was pretty motivating.
I hope this was of some help. I'm sure there are others who will have some great ideas for you also. I think it's a pretty common theme. Good luck!
And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.
I wish I had a success story -- a magic bullet for you, but I only have EMPATHY. This is, by far, my greatest downfall and I have employed many strategies to keep it from happening.
But I can tell you that I am literally working on it RIGHT NOW AS I TYPE. I am here to avoid doing the exact same thing. I'm looking for fellowship and friendship and something that "comforts me" more than food until the need to feed passes.
So I hope you're around and are waiting for news from someone who can tell you that maybe tomorrow I'll have a late night binge, but RIGHT NOW I am on-plan and using another way. It's 11:15 and I expect to be up until 12:15, then in bed. I'm going to sip some herbal tea and watch 1 hour of TV -- no more and no food with it.
I'll check back in before I go to bed and am sending "do not binge -- even on healthy foods" vibes your way.
The best I can tell you is right after I quit smoking my thyroid levels dropped drastically and I had this HUGE craving for carbs at night that I had never had before. In fact, I would wake up in the middle of the night to hit the cupboard and down some type of carb. It was HORRIBLE. When I got the dr. to adjust my thyroid levels it stopped.
The other possible help...possibly a pickle or a few green olives.
I am a binger, especially when I am stressed. My lunch yesterday was an entire bag (large bag) of chips with a full sugar soda. I used to binge on boxes of cookies. It does not go away, even when you have lost all the weight you want to. I have lost all of the weight I wanted and I am now maintaining (and have been successful for several months).
I truly believe what helped keep me from bingeing every day was having a day a week where I binged. I didn't track anything. Sure it made progress slower, but it saved my mind. I still ate a snack at night (I would wake famished and not be able to sleep), but it was usually very carefully measured out portions of protien and carbs. It doesn't work for everyone, but it really worked for me.
Anyway, I don't think it is about stopping completely, I think that you have to find something that works for you. If you have a craving, give in, but can you measure what you are about to eat and work it into your daily calories?
I do this too, last time I did it was half a package (4 oz) of swiss cheese! I stopped myself halfway through and threw the rest of it out, still left me 600 calories over budget.
Realize you're fighting basic physiology here too. Your body is hard wired to maintain weight, it's a survival mechanism. Your body just went through "famine" times, you dropped a ton of weight! Ok not a ton, but 75 pounds is 300 sticks of butter (I just love that analogy ). Your body is trying to "recover" from the "famine", so there is a cellular-level physiological drive telling your body to eat. Sometimes (and I think it's why I've stayed hovering at 149 for so long) you have to take a break from the loss, maybe even put a little bit on, and just focus on maintenance until your body feels comfortable at the new weight. After a few months, when your appetite feels more stable, then you can try losing again. Maintenance is just as hard, and probably harder than losing. But it can be done.
If I keep starting over, eventually it will stick, right?
Current weight: 140
Goal weight: 135
Oh boy this is something i have a HUGE struggle with. I always have and no matter what i try all i can think of is food after 7pm!!!! I even tried going to bed at 7.30pm when kids went up just to keep me away from the cupboards,although it worked i was depriving myself of some decent evening tv so stopped that!
What i do now is throught the day when kids at school i prepare a big platter plate of raw veggies and salads and some fruit. Just enough for the evening between 7-11pm. Then when the adverts come on and i feel the force of the foods pulling me (dramatic i know!) i just go the fridge and have a pick and mix of healthy things to nibble away on. This way i dont want the bad carbs or i will end up wasting all id prepared earlier. It helps keep me on track and doesnt allow me to go to bed feeling guilty.
In the cold months when the salad doesnt seem quite so appealing i make a big stockpot of chunky vegetable soup (celery,carrot,swede,onion,green beans,sweetcorn,tinned tomatoes,garlic,herbs and chicken stock),boil til tender and its really tasty. So when its freezing outside and you want some comfort theres alwys some easily heated soup on hand!! I usually freeze it in small containers that i can put in the microwave for a quick snack. Because its full of chunky veg it makes it really filling too.
If it gets a bit boring just swap and change the veg,salad and fruit to different varieties that make it more interesting.
Hope ive helped and Good luck. Takes time to break bad habits!