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Question
Posted by: Owl | 2010/11/11

Late-night eating

Hi Diet Doc
I follow a very healthy lifestyle (balanced varied diet &  excercise) and never really have problems with cravings during the day. However, late at night I can barely control myself.. I train (quite hard) at the gym after work in the evening and follow it up with a good wholesome meal. For some reason, though, by 10pm-12pm I just want to EAT, especially sweet stuff or peanut butter! I find that my usual resistance just becomes non-existent and the more tired I am, the more likely I am to eat. Then, the next morning, I feel terribly guilty for eating/binging the previous night. I''m really sick of this feeling. Do you have any advice as to what I can do to strengthen my resistance at night? I''ve tried to make a commitment to not night eat, but I am failing. This is SO bizarre, since I am otherwise very conscious about and focused on what I eat. Please help.... :-(

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Owl
If you are doing very hard training then your need to binge on carbs and fats at night could be an indication that you are not eating sufficient to meet your body's demands for fuel. The harder you train, the more carbs you need to eat because carbs are our best source of readily available energy. For example, top athletes like the competitors in the Tour de France obtain up to 70% of their energy from carbs and they are probably the thinnest, fittest athletes I know of. So my advice would be to eat more carbs throughout the day concentrating on a mix of low-GI and high-GI foods. The low-GI foods should be eaten during the day to keep your insulin levels steady, while the high-GI foods (energy drinks or bars for example) can be eaten immediately after your training to help you replenish your glycogen stores and to recover. Then when you have relaxed somewhat you can eat the balanced meal. Click on 'DietnFood' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. If you find after 4-6 weeks of applying these recommendations that you are still craving sweets and fatty foods at night then you may have an eating disorder (nighttime binging) and need the assistance of a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area).
But first try to provide your body with sufficient carbs to fuel your physical activity.
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Mandy | 2010/11/11

You sound exactly like me....i binge eat way you much at night.

Reply to Mandy
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/11/11

Dear Owl
If you are doing very hard training then your need to binge on carbs and fats at night could be an indication that you are not eating sufficient to meet your body's demands for fuel. The harder you train, the more carbs you need to eat because carbs are our best source of readily available energy. For example, top athletes like the competitors in the Tour de France obtain up to 70% of their energy from carbs and they are probably the thinnest, fittest athletes I know of. So my advice would be to eat more carbs throughout the day concentrating on a mix of low-GI and high-GI foods. The low-GI foods should be eaten during the day to keep your insulin levels steady, while the high-GI foods (energy drinks or bars for example) can be eaten immediately after your training to help you replenish your glycogen stores and to recover. Then when you have relaxed somewhat you can eat the balanced meal. Click on 'DietnFood' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. If you find after 4-6 weeks of applying these recommendations that you are still craving sweets and fatty foods at night then you may have an eating disorder (nighttime binging) and need the assistance of a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area).
But first try to provide your body with sufficient carbs to fuel your physical activity.
Best regards
DietDoc

Reply to DietDoc

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