For some people, it happens every evening like clockwork. For others it is an unpredictable occurrence that strikes when they aren’t expecting. It can keep you awake all night and make you feel groggy and depressed the next day. This phenomenon is known as Night Time Binge Eating.
A recent study by Harvard University reports that 2.8% or one out of every 35 adults in the US binge eats at night with similar numbers in the UK. As a recovery coach, I’ve seen first hand that night time has proven to be the most triggering time for nearly every person with bulimia.
So the important questions are:
Why are so many people binge eating at night? And how can they stop?
The answer to the ‘why’ question varies by each individual. This is why differentiating between a body binge and a mind binge is so important.
Basically, this occurs when the body is at a calorie deficit. Whether it is due to fasting, a restrictive diet or over exercise, the body isn’t getting enough food to match the energy expended.
Numerous peer-reviewed publications have shown that food restriction not only causes increased amounts of stress hormones, but is actually directly related to weight gain!
For most recovering bulimics, learning how to stop binge eating can be one of the most challenging, intimidating and confusing aspect of the entire recovery process.
I'll be honest with you, before I started recovery (and even for some time after that) I wasn't completely convinced that it was possible for a person to overcome binge urges.
"Once a binge eater, always a binge eater," I thought.
I imagined as a recovered bulimic I would spend the rest of my life in a perpetual state of recovery, always wanting to overeat but reminding myself not to, fighting with everything I had in order to avoid bingeing, but always hanging on by a thread.
But just like many of my other preconceived ideas about recovery - I was so wrong!
For someone with bulimia, what does it mean to be ‘in recovery?’ Why does it seem like for every step forward, we take another one back? In the midst of a confusing, frustrating and scary recovery, it is difficult to remove yourself from the situation and look at things objectively.
However, after recovery I am able to easily recognize my own thoughts that held me back. Maybe by sharing those obstacles, you can overcome them more quickly than I did.
My struggle with bulimia lasted 6 years, and my eating disorder history dates back even longer. It took me a full year to recover, which seemed like eternity thanks to some false beliefs and fears.
As you may know, I am now a recovery coach here at Bulimia Help. My recovery inspires me every day to continue sharing the message that a lifelong recovery is possible and within your reach. In order to accomplish this, you have to let go of those thoughts and false beliefs that are holding you back.
So here they are: the 10 thoughts that held me back during recovery.
No matter what stage of recovery you’re at right now, having a well thought out and rehearsed plan of attack is going to go a long way in helping you to remain relapse-free over the Easter Holidays.
Does having a bulimia dream mean you're headed for a relapse in real life? In this article we explore the origins of relapse dreams and their impact on your recovery.
If you struggle with diffusing "diet talk" before it triggers you into a relapse then try using these two simple strategies the next time you find yourself around triggering conversations.
Many people recovering from eating disorders find the idea of boundary setting terrifying, which is no surprise really.
After all, setting boundaries is all about valuing yourself as a person, putting your own needs first and avoiding being pressured into situations by others; three things that can be almost alien concepts when you’re still in the grip of bulimia.
So how do you learn to start setting healthy boundaries in recovery?
1. Think about the holiday boundaries you'd like to set
Boundaries involve deciding what you will and won’t do; they are about where you draw a line between what is appropriate and what is not. In regards to recovery, boundaries help you to set limits on what is recovery-friendly and what is not. So think about the boundaries that may help you to stay recovery focused over the holidays, perhaps asking a family member to not discuss weight or diets at the dinner table? What about making the decision to avoid participating in toxic conversations no matter what?
2. Visualize yourself enforcing your boundaries ahead of time
If you're finding it hard to imagine how you'll stick to your structured eating plan this Chrsitmas then this article is for you! These tips will help you to adapt your structured eating plan to accomodate the festive season, making it much easier to avoid episodes of relapse.
In this article we take a look at why sleep is so important for bulimia recovery and explore the 6 simple strategies you can implement right now if you’re not getting enough.
The holiday season is almost upon us, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner it’s important to prepare for any potential challenges along the way. Learn how to navigate those food minefields and diet obsessed relatives with my simple 5 step plan to surviving the holiday season.
In this week's special recovery article we look at why binge urges can be more powerful later in the day and I share some of the things that really helped me to overcome those evening binge urges while recovering.
5 simple steps that could really help you to break free from obsessive calorie counting behaviours in recovery.
After suffering from bulimia for almost 11 years it took me 15 months to recover using The Bulimia Help Method. To me those 15 months were a small price to pay for life long freedom, but I do understand that thinking about the time it will take to recover can be intimidating, especially if you're just starting out. So today we're going to take a look at the importance of "bigger picture thinking".
In this weeks special recovery article we take a look at the importance of reintroducing trigger foods in recovery and I share some great tips and advice on how to start eating all of those challenging, triggering, “unsafe” and “bad” foods again without relapsing!
Looking for some creative ways to make recovery-focused choices and decisions? Then come and check out this weeks special recovery article where we take a look at some interesting and unique recovery strategies that our members have successfully implemented in order to avoid relapsing during challenging situations.
In this week’s special recovery article I share some of my favourite strategies that will help you to deal with non-food triggers like diet talk, others weight obsession, fat talk and everything else in-between!
Check out my top strategies that will help you stop purging forever!
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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