Nightime Eating Disorder (NES) - 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet Weight Loss Community

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Old 04-25-2015, 03:11 PM   #1  
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Default Nightime Eating Disorder (NES)

Hey guys,

I have tried every diet under the sun (as I'm sure we all have). You name it, I've tried it. I am able to eat healthy pretty much all day. Typically dinner is a little off (meaning some simple carbs as sides). But prior to dinner it's greek yogurt w/ protein, whole wheat wraps w/ cottage cheese, chicken ceaser salads, etc...

No matter the diet, no matter what I eat during the day (could be 1,500 calories or 3,500) I wake up around 1am and am hungry beyond explanation. It's a primal hunger. My typical choice ranges from pb and j, crackers, m and m's, ice cream, left overs, milk, etc... sugar, fat, salt. No matter the diet I night eat. I tell myself every single night, just don't eat. When you wake up tomorrow you can have breakfast. Last night, I wasn't hungy at all at 11:30pm. But, I woke up at 1am incredibly hungry - so I ate and slept like a baby.

I work out a lot. Typically cardio for 3 hours per week and weights 4 times per week along with golf twice per week. It hasn't always been this way - the working out has been since November. I night ate the exact same way before.

No varibales seem to matter... the only constant is waking up with "primal hunger".

So today, I googled "I can't stop eating in the middle of the night" and a disorder called NES popped up. Apparently it effects up to 3% of all people. I think I am definitely one of them.

The question is this. Does anyone else deal with his? If so, have you had any therapies, special diets, tips, or medicinal solutions to this? I know the obvious answer is "just don't eat" and that is something I have not been able to do. Through the day I have tremendous control over food. I could not eat until 3pm easily.

Please let me know.


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Old 04-25-2015, 03:45 PM   #2  
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Night Eating Syndrome is an eating disorder. The gold standard of treatment for that is psychological and nutritional therapy. Do you have access to mental healthcare? I would start there- call them up and explain what is going on.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:28 PM   #3  
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I've been conquering this with a Ketogenic Diet. Once past the adaption part into ketosis the primal hunger in the night went away. You should check it out if you haven't already tried this.

Last edited by FinallyFree; 04-30-2015 at 08:29 PM.
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Old 06-30-2015, 11:26 PM   #4  
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I know exactly what your going through.. Years back, my doctor prescribed me Seroquil.. He didn't believe me at first when i told him of the side effects.. During the day i was fine, at night around 2-3am i'd wake up in a half fog, like i was sleep walking, but awake.. It was weird, and i would have these terrible cravings , for like carbs, fats, sweets ... Like i'd eat and eat , until i stopped, not necessarily because i was full, but like my body just gave, and i went back to sleep.. It was awful, i gained 50lbs at the time.. I persuaded my doctor to take me off , and i worked it off, but now others like me started speaking out about the same side effects, my doctor didn't believe.. Thank goodness.. Perhaps for you it's something psychological.. Not sure..

I pretty much weened myself off of eating at night by keeping Atkins Mocha Coffee shakes in the fridge.. Not just atkins but any kind of protein shake, i recommend you try.. It gives you a full feeling, and makes it easier to break the habit.

I might also suggest, and a friend of mine told me about this, get a physical by your doctor and see if it isn't a thyroid problem.. Alot of people don't realize that often times that could be the cause of their hunger, and weight gain, particularly late night eaters..

Last edited by fit_tiff83; 06-30-2015 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:23 AM   #5  
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I'm glad to see this thread pop up to the top. I had read it a couple weeks ago and forgot to look for it again.

This is really interesting to me. I've done this my entire life ever since I was a little kid. We're talking well over 50 years here. My dad owned a bar and when he came home after closing the bar, I'd get up and eat with him in the middle of the night. I've always attributed my middle of the night eating to early habits rather than a disorder. Might be a little of both.

I have tried to stop it a number of times and haven't been successful. In the couple years I've been working on cleaning up my eating I finally found a work around. I allow enough calories for a middle of the night snack. I plan exactly what I'm going to have and either leave it on a plate on the counter or in the front of the fridge. Most times I do well with eating my planned snack and leaving everything else alone. When I don't have a planned snack, I'll eat almost nonstop for 5 or 10 minutes. I'm not awake enough to pay attention to any hunger signals (or lack thereof!)

@Addictedgolfer - my patterns seem to be very similar to yours. Doesn't matter whether I've had sufficient nutrition during the day or not. Doesn't matter how active I've been. I've done it when controled on thyroid meds and not on meds.

My only solution for me has been to accept it and find a way to make it work in my daily nutrition and meals/snacks.

Hope you find something that works for you.

Last edited by Vickie Chickie; 07-01-2015 at 12:23 AM.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:36 AM   #6  
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I used to wake up in the middle of the night and eat. I can't tell if we have the same problem.
Mine was a chronic insomnia problem, I'd wake up and be awake for hours. Naturally, after some time I'd feel very hungry and eat.
This account for a lot in my weight gain.
For the insomnia I'm taking a prescription drug. That did it for me.
No waking up, no hunger, no eating.
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Old 07-01-2015, 10:17 AM   #7  
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I recently came across a blurb about NES in a magazine. The article suggested that it is caused by overly restrictive dieting. It doesn't sound like you overly restrict, do you? Have you tried eating during the day until you're fully satisfied without controlling your portions and calories? This might seem like over eating. But have you tried it?

I think a Nutritional therapist can help you or atleast get you started with the right course of treatment. I believe you when you say that you can't just stop eating, it's a real eating disorder.
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Old 07-07-2015, 01:53 PM   #8  
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As mentioned above finding a therapist would be the way to go. I eat at night as well and I find myself feeling guilty when I do, but I'm eating for different reasons, mostly going out with friends and they always like to stop by somewhere to eat at like 2-3 am.
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