Welcome to How to Love Your Body - I’m Lauren and this is Jenna. On today’s episode we are going to be talking about eating at night when you’re alone. We wanted to talk about this because this specific theme has come up a handful of times in our community in The UnDiet Collective Intuitive Eating App.
We get why eating at night when you’re alone feels like a “habit” you want to stop. Maybe there is even some shame that comes up around night time eating - it might feel secretive and like you’re getting away with something that is “bad” and “wrong.”
First, it’s not bad, it’s not wrong, and by no means do you need to guilt and shame yourself every single time this scenario happens.
We want to share ways in which we can help alleviate this situation and make you feel like it’s okay to eat at night but also maybe help you get to the bottom of why this feels like such a problem for you - here are different areas you can explore that you may find helpful.
1st - What do you make “night time eating” mean? What is the energy around it? What is your experience with it? Most likely it’s coming from a place of “I shouldn't be doing this, it’s bad to eat this at night, why do I do this to myself, I told myself I wasn’t going to feel this sick again” etc - there is not only guilt but a lot of judgement.
So the first step to this process around night time eating is to see it in a different light - let’s create some new energy around it, gentle, kind, compassionate energy.
Can you see it as a sacred time for yourself - when you can actually have some time to relax - where you can “turn off” and mentally unload from the day. This is a time to recharge.
If you love to eat during this time - ALLOW yourself to truly enjoy it. Make an empowered choice rather than an effort in trying to stop this nighttime eating. If you allow yourself and embrace this time - it won’t feel so powerful.
Instead of telling yourself “I’m NOT eating at night tomorrow” - say to yourself - “I EXPECT to eat at night tomorrow.” - If I want to eat, I will eat - and I will listen to my body and give myself permission to enjoy.
Here’s a little activity - Get a journal or notebook - write out your old experience with night time eating - talk about the shame, guilt, judgement, whatever comes up for you. Once you are completed with that - rip it up into tiny pieces and throw it away - NEXT - write your new story around night time eating - talk about the allowing, the enjoyment, the sacred time to yourself - write about how compassionate you are for yourself. Create a new loving experience when it comes to night time eating and hold that energy within you..
Okay now - let’s talk about some practical areas in which we can explore to help you see this night time eating in a new light ---
What may be going on in your day -
Are you eating enough during the day? Eating at night is absolutely okay and if you feel like you are eating more than you’d like - this could be that you’re famished because you didn’t eat enough during the day. You may not even realize it but it’s important to ask yourself if you are feeling satisfied and full after your meals during the day without having the feeling of grazing or like you’re still hungry. At night, once all the distractions are gone - like the kids are in bed, your work day is over, and you get some time to yourself to just relax - you feel the desire to eat because you may just be really hungry!! There’s other things that may be going on which is fine and absolutely “normal”- such as emotional eating or maybe just the desire to enjoy some food and watch some tv - but start becoming aware of how you feel during the day and making sure you are eating enough for your body to feel good and satisfied!
Another question to ask yourself:
Are you allowing the same food during the day that you eat at night? If you only allow certain foods at a certain time of day/ restrict them at times you want - this could very much be why they feel so powerful at night. The next time you find yourself eating a night and feel guilt about - what food are you eating? Ask yourself if you would be totally fine to eat this food any time of the day whenever you want (without guilt attached) - If there is some fear around eating certain foods during the day - make it a point to purposely have this snack, meal, or dessert not at your typical night time routine - you can ALSO have it at night but let’s start adding it into your day and normalize it for you.
Do you feel a sense of scarcity with this food you are eating? Do you feel like you can’t eat this food whenever you want when you want? This may give you a sense of scarcity - scarcity is FUEL for bingeing/ eating more than your body desires (no shame in this but we know this isn’t the goal when allowing yourself to eat - you’d rather enjoy this food without bingeing or feeling overly sick). This is why it’s important to come to a place of ABUNDANCE with this food and all food. If you know it’s available whenever you want and there’s no rules or restrictions around it , you may find yourself eating an amount that feels good.
Another thing - Are you mentally restricting this food even though you are physically allowing it? Sometimes you think, I used to never allow this food, and here I am allowing it but I’m still obsessed. When am I going to get over obsessing? The answer is to stop mentally restricting it. This means that when you eat this food, you have neutral, non judgmental, maybe even loving thoughts around this food. Yes, you are physically allowing yourself to put it in your mouth - the second piece is to mentally tell yourself that you are safe to eat this food and it’s okay to eat this food. You make an empowered choice to eat it and move on while leaving any unwanted thoughts behind. It’s freeing!
These are not rules, these are areas to explore and get curious about! No judgment - there is no timeline to this - just because you listen to this episode doesn’t mean that if you ever feel sick eating at night by yourself again means you are a failure - NO - there is no failing in this work, only learning and exploring yourself and your body. You are retraining your brain, breaking down old belief systems around diet culture, and relearning body signals.
So give yourself compassion and just start with awareness and go from there.
Our Body Image and Intuitive Eating App - The UnDiet Collective has been open for just over a week - and it’s been incredible in there with all the members - lots of support and love vibrating in the community! On Feb 14th at 12pm pacific, we will be raising the prices to The UnDiet Collective - it will never be this price we are offering right now ever again. So if you are wondering about becoming a member, check it out before February 14th at 12pm pacific so you can lock in at this lower price. You can learn all about The Collective at www.thebodylovesociety.com/app - there’s 3 easy steps - go to the link - click on “join the collective” - create an account with an email and password - you’ll get to the homepage on the web version and all you have to do is click on one of the boxes that say “premium” and choose the monthly or annual option - the annual gets you 2.5 months free.
Also - we do want to share that starting February 15th we have our first monthly bonus which is a 5 Day Self-Love intensive - we’ve also added on a new feature in the intuitive eating app - we have a new support group called “Intuitive Eating meal ideas” - this is a place to share ideas as we know lots of us struggle with what the heck to eat! This isn't about calories or nutrition facts - mainly to share ideas on what people are enjoying. The great part - you can opt in to this group or opt out. Only if you find it helpful!
Among the community support groups, there is live coaching, monthly bonuses, and much more! Simple, digestible, high value- without the overwhelm!! Go to www.thebodylovesociety.com/app - prices raise February 14th at 12pm pacific.
See you in the intuitive eating app and see you next week!