Weight Loss Support - Anyone else have or have had a night eating problem?

05-04-2010, 03:56 PM
Hi everyone!

I am on a 1400 calorie diet and I do well all day long, I stay on track, until after midnight that is. I gained 90 lbs over 2 years, being pregnant and that is where I developed my night eating habits. I would get huge cravings and night, get up and eat, then go back to bed. Well, this bad habit has stuck with me and I find myself getting up at all hours of the night and digging through the fridge, and this is ruining my diet that I can stick to all day long! I believe I'd be doing a lot better if could get this night snacking under control, I have insominia, so it is really hard just to stay in bed, awake. Does anyone else have or have ever had this problem? If so, what are you doing to stop it? Any stories and suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks everybody! Good luck at meeting all of your goals!!! Have a great week!!

05-04-2010, 04:29 PM
1400 calories is far too few for you, at your current size. Raise your calories to 2000 during the day--healthful, quality, whole-foods calories. (No sugar and white flour.) Not eating enough calories can contribute to insomnia.

Then, if you still have insomnia, perhaps try taking melatonin in order to get your sleep patterns back on track. I take just 500 micrograms of melatonin and it helps me immensely to get to sleep and stay asleep. Getting enough quantity and quality of sleep is vital to curbing hunger and losing weight.

Daily exercise in the morning may also help with insomnia. But avoid exercise in the evening.

05-04-2010, 07:26 PM
I can relate to your frustration. I am an evening binger by habit. I don't typically eat after heading to bed but the time just before bed is very challenging. I am still dealing with the binging but the thing that has helped me so far is to have a variety of low calorie options available. I picked up a large bag of sugar free (splenda sweetened) hard candy to suck on. I also make popsicles with crystal light and eat chopped veggies or plain pop corn. try keeping yourself busy by reading a book or doing some activity where you will be less likely to eat. I am not sure what to tell you about the eating during the night. It is certainly a learned habit because it is unusual for a body to seek food once it is settled for sleep.
I agree with warmaiden that you may not be eating quite enough calories and that can interfere with sleep and cravings. You should check out this calculator to see how many calories are appropriate for your weight and age.


If all else fails, you should see a doctor about the insomnia if you haven't yet. Perhaps you need a light sedative to help you sleep.


05-04-2010, 09:54 PM
Thank you both very much! Wonderful suggestions that I am going to try, first by increasing my cals, and then adding the other suggestions slowly as I go to see what works for me. Thank you both very much!!!!!

05-05-2010, 07:44 AM
Hi lorie-

I can relate soo much to your issue. For a long time I would get up in the middle of the night, eat something, then go back to bed.

I have finally broken the pattern of night eating but it wasn't easy. What helped me was telling myself to stay in bed when I wanted to get up to eat, grabbing a beverage instead of eating, and also the one I least recommend- substituting another activity like reading or going on the internet for eating. I recommend the other two first though.

You are not alone. You will see the benefits of weight loss once you cut out night eating, or at least I did.

Good luck! You can do it!

05-05-2010, 12:00 PM
Another night-eater here. My suggestions are in line with the others....great minds think alike and all. =D

A few different things helped me. Staying hydrated was a big deal. I sometimes get weirded out by how many times I find myself saying -and hearing- "be sure you're getting enough water," but it can be a factor for a
lot of us. I would wake up during the night thinking how friggin' hungry I was, so many times I was just really dehydrated (but that was when I was drinking alcohol pretty heavily).

Snacking at night can be done so your whole day doesn't get thrown off. Make sure your last snack is 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed. Things like yogurt, a banana or toast are pretty good choices. And I will echo the idea of making sure you're getting enough calories during the day.

Last, I have to say that Melatonin was wonderful for me and my husband. It's usually safe for most people, but you may want to check with your doctor before taking it.

05-06-2010, 08:24 AM
For quite a long time I would wake up in the middle of the night and absolutely had to have something sugary! One little bite of chocolate would do it, but if there wasn't anything to be found, I couldn't go back to sleep.

For me I realised it was too low blood sugar - eating an apple or some nuts right before going to bed helped immensely, as well as cutting out all sugar, wheat and also diet lemonade in the evening.

If insomnia is making you venture into the kitchen, why not make yourself a nice soothing hot cup of herbal tea - it gives you something to do, has zero calories, and if you get a calming tea it might even sent you straight back to bed to sleep better!

05-06-2010, 10:05 AM
Hey Lorie,

i have struggled with a similar problem that you face. throughout the day, but especially at night right before i hit the sack, i feel the need to munch on something, and it usually turns out to be whatever is in a package that is easily accessible. i usually find myself snacking on cookies, or potato chips. as far as waking up in the middle of the night, and snacking, this does not happen to me. all i can recommend, for your insomnia, would be to consult a physician and think about taking Ambien.

i found a way to stop my problems at night with eating. a friend of mine told me about this diet, called israelidiet. i take the stuff once a day and by night time i don't feel the need to snack on anything. i am very happy with it.

if you have any other questions, feel free to ask and i will try and help.

05-06-2010, 10:33 AM
I researched insomnia recently and there were almost as many books at the library on that as dieting! There are tried and true non-medical approaches to play around with -- particularly establishing a firm bed time and a firm wake-up time and developing a calming bedtime ritual.

As a perimenopausal woman, what actually seems to have worked for me was getting more soy isoflavones in my diet, in the form of tempeh. I understand there are similar hormonal things going on before, during, and after pregnancy, so that might be something to consider as well.

05-06-2010, 04:45 PM
Hi! I am a night time eater myself. Since starting my lifestyle changes, I still allow myself certain things, even at night. Most nights, just before bed, I have one serving of Chocolate Mini Wheats w/ 1 cup 2% milk. Sometimes I have a Slim Fast bar. My point is this....if you cannot break the habit, maybe try to find something manageable to put in your tummy. Maybe 1/2 cup fat free (or reduced fat) cottage cheese w/ a sliced banana in it? Or a high fiber english muffin, toasted, w/ some ICBINB spray and a dab of low-suger jelly (or a piece of low fat cheese melted on it) Something that you have prepared just for this reason. I know most people think that night time eating is terrible, but it hasn't impeded my weight loss and I feel satisfied.

motivated chickie
05-06-2010, 05:05 PM
At one time, I was having my own private eating party every night. I've tried a lot of things. At first, I bought low cal snacks for night, but it never worked. I'd eat the entire package.

The only thing that really works for me is not keeping anything snacky in the house. If I'm starving late at night and open the fridge, my options for a quick bite are basically salad or skim milk.

My last night time binge was a couple of weeks ago on leftover Indian food. I keep needing to relearn the lesson that nothing is safe in my fridge past 9 pm at night.

My solution sounds extreme, but it has kept me safe from many nights when I was weak and HAD to eat. It's funny, I still rifle through my fridge and cabinets at night thinking that a tasty treat will have magically appeared.

I don't miss night eating as much as I used to. At one time, I could not read before bedtime without a treat to eat at the same time. Now I read before bed and don't think about food at all. And my computer keyboard is no longer smeared with food crumbs as it once was.