The Struggle to END Night-time Bingeing
One of the most common complaints I get from clients trying to lose weight is, “I do so well sticking to my diet during the day, but then it’s the night time where all hell breaks loose and I can’t seem to control myself.” Upon further questioning though, it is clear where folks are going wrong. What I most often find, is that people’s definition of “doing well” with their diet is DRASTICALLY undereating during the day, so it’s not a wonder that once dinner rolls around, they may feel like a rabid dog in need of an iron-clad muzzle!
Some busy parents are more concerned with feeding their children a wholesome breakfast and getting everyone out the door, that they completely neglect their own needs. Other folks figure that if they’re trying to lose weight they might as well cut calories everywhere possible, and since breakfast can be a hassle, it’s easy to just skip it or go with something small and convenient. By now, we’re pretty hungry for lunch, but our busy parent is still out running errands after cleaning the house and it’s almost time to pick up the kiddos from school. Worker-bee has been slaving away at the computer and with the deadline approaching, decides to get some “diet friendly” pretzels from the vending machine, another cup of coffee, and continue the grind. Now it’s 5pm and frazzled parent is headed out the door again, this time to Timmy’s soccer practice, still not sure what dinner will be, while worker-bee is sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on 400 about to eat his/her arm off because he/she has had all of 500 calories today. When Mommy FINALLY gets the kids to bed no wonder she finds herself buried in a carton of Moose Tracks, half way through a bottle of wine! A few doors down, our working friend sits in front of the TV, box of cereal on one side, and an empty 6 pack of Bud Light on the other. See where I’m going with this? These may be somewhat extreme examples, but not at all uncommon. And please believe me when I say, NO JUDGEMENT here…been there, done that! Mental stress from the demands of our ever busier lifestyle, on top of physiological stress from either under eating, or simply from lack of enjoyment from the food we do eat all lead to night time munchies.
Many times I find myself wanting to SHAKE parents, particularly Moms, but not leaving out you hard working Dads too to make you understand how it is JUST as important and NECESSARY to take good care of YOURSELF as it is to make sure everyone else is cared for!!! How often do you put yourself on the back burner….oh wait…there isn’t a burner FAR ENOUGH BACK for where you place yourselves often times. So what ends up happening is while everyone else’s needs are met, your own fall by the wayside, which means your HEALTH has taken a hit, and then you beat yourself up for being in such bad shape…which only perpetuates the cycle of self-loathing and lack of care to better the situation. When we’re in this place, the chips and ice cream are a mighty comforting and easy, momentary distraction.
If this at all sounds like you, here is my answer to start the reversal process, whether you have a lot of weight to lose, or just want to feel better and have more energy. The two things I want you to take from this article are: 1.) Please do NOT STARVE yourself during the day and 2.) Learn how to say NO! Both of these boil down to learning that it is OK to take care of yourself. It is NOT SELFISH, nor are you lazy if you simply cannot get to every last thing on your task-list. In Part Two, coming soon, I will discuss in more detail what this looks like in real life. Stay tuned!