If you find yourself remaining strong, determined and recovery-focused all day long, only to come under attack from overwhelmingly powerful binge urges later in the evening, then you are definitely not alone!
You know that giving into those binge urges will only make you feel terrible afterwards and you know bingeing and purging won’t give you the sustainable relief and numbness that you crave, but for some reason you still you find them impossible to fight off.
The truth is that most people in recovery from bulimia nervosa find the evening and end of the day the most challenging time.
There can be many different things that contribute to powerful binge urges later in the day. Things like tiredness, stress, loneliness and real hunger can all play their part.
For many of us, late evening is the first time we actually get to relax and “switch off” after a long day in work, school or looking after our children. Our bodies and minds are crying out for relaxation and our old bulimic logic tells us to seek that relaxation in the form of a binge.
When I first started to recover from bulimia I would feel so completely exhausted after staying mindful and on track with recovery all day long that I’d just want to let go. I think we’ve all felt like taking a break sometimes.
Unfortunately taking a break from recovery is just not a realistic option, so what can we do to lighten the load later in the day?
Here are some of the things that really helped me to overcome binge urges later in the day while recovering.
Of course in recovery you’re undoubtedly already prioritizing structured eating but it’s important to understand the significance of eating enough earlier in the day. Eating regularly throughout the day really does help to curb those evening binge urges. In fact, if you continually struggle with evening binge urges it can be a great idea to slightly increase your food intake earlier in the day.
If you keep a food journal you should notice a clear relationship between food consumed earlier during the day and the intensity of your binge urges later that same day.
Eating in this way is really essential for curbing intense cravings later in the day because it allows you to feel full, content and satisfied for longer.
You should also find you have less energy dips, less mood swings and more importantly less intense binge urges when you eat in this way.
To really fight off those evening and late night binge urges pay special attention to the amount of fibre in your evening meal and snack. By including more wholegrains, fruits and vegetables you will maintain more stabilized blood sugar levels, feel fuller for longer and be far less likely to succumb to binge urges.
Remember to drink water too, because this really helps all of that wonderful fibre to do its job properly!
Things like boredom and loneliness can be especially powerful binge triggers so it’s important to think up some ways to occupy yourself later in the day. This could be something as simple as writing in a journal, catching up with friends at Bulimia Help or even finding a new hobby or pastime that keeps you busy for a couple of hours. If you have long, hectic days then try to think of something that will allow you to relax while still keeping your mind engaged.
If you know that you’re vulnerable to evening or late night binge urges then a little planning can go a very long way. Take some time to think about all of the small steps you can take that may help. For example:
At the start, giving in to these powerful urges will seem inevitable, but with enough practice and perseverance and by continually implementing great strategies like the ones suggested above you will find that evening and late night binge urges lessen.
If you’ve got a great tip for overcoming evening or late night bingeing then I’d love to hear it! Why not post your own tips and advice in the comments section below? Other members may really benefit from your advice and insights.
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The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.
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