Help! Nighttime Bingeing

19 Nov 2015 0 Comments

Still making Mounds bars at night. Is that a clue: at night? Maybe I’ll do some Internet exploring on the subject.

I looked at several sites. I already do everything right (no skipping meals, etc.), so it boils down to “identify the cause.” 

Know the difference between emotional and physical hunger. Sometimes we eat at night because we are genuinely hungry, especially if we deprive ourselves of calories throughout the day. Other times, nighttime eating is due to emotional hunger. Identifying whether your nighttime eating is physical or emotional is an important step in dealing with the problem.

  • Does your hunger come on suddenly or gradually? Emotional hunger is more likely to manifest itself in the form of a sudden craving. Physical hunger comes on gradually.[1]
  • What kinds of foods are you craving? When you’re experiencing emotional hunger, you’re more likely to crave sweet or salty comfort foods than something substantial.[2]
  • Do you eat enough calories during the day? If you’re on a calorie restricted diet or if you’re skipping meals, then you’ll likely experience physical hunger at night. If you’ve had a full meal earlier, however, your hunger is probably emotional.
and that led to Dr. Oz of all people, saying:

Step 1: Ask Yourself: “Is My Hunger Coming from Above or Below the Neck?”

Most nighttime eaters know that even after eating a full meal, it’s easy to still feel hungry. Chances are this isn’t physical hunger, it’s emotional. You can tell you’re experiencing emotional hunger if it comes on suddenly (as physical hunger is gradual) and if you are craving specific comfort foods. When emotional hunger strikes, feed it with BAN – bananas, applesauce and nuts. Make sure to eat these in progression, not all at once. Start with the banana, cutting it up into small pieces to satisfy that snacking hand motion. Once you’re done, wait five minutes before moving on to the applesauce. If you’re still hungry, eat the applesauce next to mimic that sweet and creamy consistency ice cream gives us. Five minutes after that if you’re still hungry, move on to the nuts to get your salt fix. 

Step 2: Occupy Your Mind and Hands

Try to distract yourself with an alternative activity, other than eating. Do something that works both the mind and your hands, like knitting or a crossword puzzle while you listen to music or watch TV.

Step 3: Brush Your Teeth

That clean-mouth feeling is a great deterrent to keep you from mindlessly snacking. Toothpaste or mouthwash changes the flavor of food, so that piece of cheese or chocolate won’t taste as good after. Just be careful if you have heartburn, as mint is a trigger for it. If you do, choose a different flavor of toothpaste.

Step 4: Pick Your Poison

If all else fails and you still have a craving for something specific, pick just one thing you are craving. Whether it’s ice cream, some salty chips or candy, have one single serving of it and be done. 
So, I have nothing to lose and will try Step 1, the BAN plan. Sounds interesting and certainly not as bad as Mounds bars!!!!

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