I wanted to stop night eating syndrome for YEARS and could never find a method that actually worked for me. I could go on about this topic for hours and hours, because I’ve got some of the absolute craziest stories, which I’m gonna share with you in this article.
If you’re reading this, then you’ve got your own stories that I seriously want to hear. This is the kind of thing I want to sit by a fireplace with all the other weirdos who are trying to figure out an answer to their night eating syndrome problems. I promise I’ll tell you what finally worked for me, but this article is gonna be fun to write, because I also want to share with you some of the embarrassing stuff I’ve done at night and foods I’ve eaten.
This is a sensitive topic I’m sure for many people. It really was for me for so long, because I’m a health nut. I work out regularly and I’ve been this way since college. But somewhere along the line, I started waking up in the middle of the night and eat the most random foods, but I’d be half asleep, so I couldn’t really remember doing it.
Does this resonate with you at all?
What I hated is that in the morning, I’d wake up, and then it would all come back to me, what I ate in the middle of the night. I’d be like, shit…I totally made a sandwich in my sleep. I devoured a bag of Cheetos. I ate half a cake.
And the worst part about the night eating is that it completely destroys progress towards your fitness goals. You work so hard during the day to eat the right amount of healthy foods, and you get your workouts in, only to sabotage it all in the middle of the night, when you decide to eat while you’re half asleep.
Crazy Shit I’ve Eaten & Done In My Sleep
Okay, one time I almost set my house on fire, or at least I could have! I woke up, put a pot on my stove and turned on the stove. There was nothing in the pot. But I went right back to sleep, only to wake up maybe an hour later? I can’t remember the exact timing right now, but my house was smoking like crazy.
That sure as hell woke me up. I went into the kitchen to find that the entire bottom of the pot was completely blackened, and I had to throw it out. But really, the whole experience freaked me out and it took me a while to actually fall back asleep. I have no idea what I intended to put in that pot.
This next one is gross, and it made me kind of disgusted with those breakfast ground sausage rolls for years after I did this. This one night, I woke up and opened my fridge. I grabbed a raw breakfast sausage tube and started scooping out the sausage with a spoon, cause somehow, in my head, I thought it was peanut butter. The next morning, I realized what I had done, cause my stomach was completely warbly and gross feeling.
But, for the most part, the things I would eat in the middle of the night are your favorite junk foods that you won’t really tough if you’re a health nut and following a nutrition and exercise plan. These are foods like chips, candy, cake, ice cream, sandwiches, and even leftovers from restaurants.
Things I’ve Done To Stop Night Eating
I’m not even kidding here. I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of plastic rats. Yes, rats. These are the kinds of rats people probably buy to decorate their lawns for Halloween.
I bought these plastic rats because I figured that when I’m half asleep, if I see rats inside my refrigerator, I’ll be grossed out and just go back to bed. Nope, I just went to the fridge and tried to avoid touching them as I reached for the sandwich or whatever food I wanted.
I’ve also taken foods that I think I would eat in the middle of the night, and put them in faraway areas that I wouldn’t walk to while sleeping, like the entrance of my house. My foyer area. I’ve taken foods that I think I’d eat in the middle of the night and wrapped them in one bag, then wrap that bag in another bag, and then put that bag in another bag too. I’d still find a way to get the food though.
I’ve seriously contemplated finding some kind of lock that could be put on the fridge but never did that cause I’m sure I’d find a way to unlock it in my sleep.
I almost forgot to mention, I went to a professional hypnotist in downtown Chicago to help me stop too. I still kept eating in the middle of the night.
What Finally Worked For Me
What finally worked for me was discovering a new eating plan that I decided to stick to. It was easy because I could eat what I wanted. I was also very determined to make this work. This new eating plan really got me focused on making sure I was following a very specific calorie intake every day. I really believe the calorie tracking is so incredibly key to this.
Prior to this, I never really tracked calories seriously. So, it was easy to justify eating more, even while half asleep, cause I didn’t really know exactly what I was putting into my body during the day anyway. I “sort of” did, but that’s not enough. You need to KNOW what your calorie needs are if you want to drop body fat, or even if you want to just maintain your current weight. When I finally understood numbers, everything changed.
I got a food scale and I installed MyNetDiary onto my phone, so I’d be tracking all my calories throughout my day, and know exactly what was left. BTW, I DO eat a meal IN bed right before falling asleep. Don’t let those articles that say it’s bad to eat right before bed fool you. If you want to lose weight or drop body fat, you can eat right before bed, IN bed, AS you’re falling asleep, and you’ll still drop weight.
I also think that it’s very possible that Intermittent Fasting did wonders for stopping nighttime eating! I should really write another article on it, but you can learn my routine here. Please don’t let those words scare you. It’s SO much easier than it may seem on the surface.
See, prior to doing intermittent fasting, I was eating 5 to 6 small meals per day. I think personally, that’s just not a method that I enjoy cause I’m always having to think about what to eat. Intermittent fasting really helped me look at food and food intake in a whole new way. Rather than eat such small meals all day long, I drink coffee and water or sparkling sodas for a few hours after waking up, then when I do eat my meals, they’re HUGE. I’m talking tons of steak and cheesy potatoes, and ice cream and all that.
That’s another thing. I no longer restrict myself from eating whatever I want to eat. That means I’ll eat McDonald’s if I want to, whenever I want to. I’m sure this new way of eating also helped a ton…it’s all integrated with my Intermittent fasting lifestyle combined with my nutrition plan.
It’s An Emotional & Mental Rollercoaster
I really do believe, looking back at it, that night eating is an emotional and mental issue we have to overcome, with whatever works for us. I think at the core of it, I had my own personal eating disorder. I mean, isn’t that what night eating is? It’s not normal but so many people suffer from it.
I wasn’t expecting to overcome it so easily, but it was easy when I decided to stop restricting myself to eating a low carb diet. Maybe it’s all about allowing ourselves to just enjoy life and eat what we want, while knowing we’re still on our way to burning fat.
And that’s another topic that you can find all over this website. But when I decided to start eating whatever I want, and stopped such a restrictive lifestyle, I dropped 3% body fat and 12 pounds, in just a few months.
Is that crazy or what? Prior to this, I wouldn’t touch McDonald’s or cake (except in the middle of the night while sleepwalking of course 🙂 ) and my life of eating was so strict. Now, I eat what I want when I want, of course just following my intermittent fasting hours, but I’ve gotten into better shape in such a short period of time than I can remember since college.
You Can Stop Night Eating
You can do this. I promise that you can. I don’t know how severe of an issue it is for you, but it was such a problem for me for so many years, and I beat myself up for it every morning after I realized what I had done in my sleep.
As I mentioned earlier, I truly believe it’s a mental and emotional issue we have to learn to confront. I don’t know if what I suggest will work for you. I don’t know if you’re trying to lose weight or get into shape or not, but I hope that what I’ve mentioned in this article is at least of some comfort to you. I hope the weird stuff I discussed that I’ve tried to stop night eating with, at least put a smile on your face for a moment.
I totally understand that this is a sensitive topic and it’s a weird one to discuss. But I’d love to know your story and what you’ve done to stop night eating syndrome – if you have any questions or comments at all, please leave them below and I’d be more than happy to discuss with you. Thank you so much for reading!