Nighttime is often a real problem for people with compulsive or binge eating disorders. I’m no exception. Before my current stretch of success, I used to have very good days up until about 6:00 pm, and then I’d lose it and just start eating everything in sight. The chips that were eminently resistible up until 4:00 pm would start to beckon to me. By the early evening, their siren song would bewitch me and I’d be chowing down.
These days, a variety of factors have lead to an ability to resist, even in the evening during the hardest times. Part of what has lead to that is controlled giving in. Another part is my awareness of the calories I’m consuming in such binges. Before, I was working on the principle of calorie bankruptcy. What were a few thousand more calories once I’d “overspent”.
One thing I want to say is that I have not conquered the urge to eat at night. In fact, I often lie in bed thinking about all of the things I’d like to eat. And, I’m not talking about wanting junk food. Last night, I was thinking about eating tuna. Often, I’ll crave eggs. Frequently, I’ll also want cheese. It’s never the case that I want chips, cakes, etc. I want real food.
I’m not sure what brings this on, because I rarely eat earlier than 4 hours before bed. Sometimes, I eat within two or three hours so there’s no reason to be hungry. I’m guessing this is a biological rhythm, a circadian problem. My body says eat before sleep. It could also be some weird blood sugar issue, or, possibly even more likely, the fact that I’m cold at night now and my body is looking to gain heat through eating.
I should note that, when I was overeating all of the time, this daydreaming of food before sleep never happened to me. Maybe this preoccupation with food at night is a response to consistently losing weight. Perhaps this is some rebellious “feed me” activity.
At any rate, I never act on those desires to eat at that point, but it’s often a nightly battle. For one thing, it’ll completely wreck a successful day and I’ll hate myself for it. Additionally, at that point, I’m too tired to get up and prepare food. I always quell the voice that insists on food late at night with a promise of “tomorrow”. When tomorrow comes, I rarely want the food even when I can have it. I usually wake up and have a very small breakfast.
One thing that doesn’t seem to be a problem is ruminating on the food and thinking of the memory of how good the foods I crave are. I’m almost (ALMOST) placated by living through the memory of how good the food is. I’m just glad that thinking about it doesn’t make the desire more ravenous.