Do you find yourself raiding the refrigerator at night? You're not alone. If so, there's no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. You're not alone. Many people struggle with nighttime binge eating.
A 2019 study found that people's late-night food choices are often driven by taste and convenience. Fortunately, there is a solution! If you're looking for a way to break the cycle, intuitive eating may help.
Intuitive eating is a non-diet approach to food that focuses on listening to your body's hunger and fullness cues. It can help you better understand what foods make you feel good and how much you should eat.
Thus, intuitive eating can help you break the cycle of nighttime binging and get on track to a healthier lifestyle. Keep reading to learn more about intuitive eating and how it can help you overcome your nighttime binging habits.
The Benefits of Intuitive Eating for Binge Eaters
Intuitive eating has recently gained popularity as a more holistic approach to nutrition. However, for those who have struggled with binge eating in the past, the idea of trusting their instincts around food can be daunting.
Intuitive eating is about developing a healthy relationship with food and learning to listen to your body's cues. It can be a helpful tool for people who have struggled with binge eating, as it can help them to become more in tune with their hunger cues and learn to trust themselves around food.
Additionally, intuitive eating can help to reduce feelings of guilt and shame around food and promote a more positive body image. Therefore, intuitive eating may be worth exploring as a more sustainable and nourishing approach to nutrition for anyone who has struggled with binge eating.
How to Start Following the Intuitive Eating Approach
You want to start intuitive eating, but you're a binge eater. No problem! Here's how to get started:
1. Reframe the Way You Look at Food
A lot of us have a complicated relationship with food. We see it as a reward or a punishment, something to be earned or to be avoided. But what if we could reframe the way we look at food?
First, let go of the idea that you need to "earn" your food. You can eat whenever you want, and you don't have to justify it or feel guilty. Second, think of food as fuel for your body. It's not about depriving yourself or overindulging, it's about listening to your body and giving it what it needs. And finally, remember that food is meant to be enjoyed. so savor every bite, and don't beat yourself up if you indulge every once in a while.
Changing how we think about food can change our relationship with it - which is a good thing for our bodies and minds.
2. Tune Into Your Hunger Cues
You know that feeling. You're getting Hangry. It starts with a rumble in your stomach and builds until you feel like you could eat a horse. We've all been there, but what exactly is hunger? According to Merriam-Webster, hunger is "a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient." 
Hunger is our body's way of telling us we need fuel, but not just any fuel will do. Just like your car needs the right kind of gas to run correctly, your body needs the right food to function at its best. That's why it's essential to tune into your hunger cues and eat when you're hungry, not just when you're bored or stressed.
So next time you're feeling hangry, reach for a healthy snack and take a moment to appreciate the incredible machine that is your body!
3. Leave Room for Leftovers
They say that the best things come in threes, which is undoubtedly true regarding food. When you're at a restaurant, don't feel like you need to finish everything on your plate. If you're full, stop eating and save the rest for later.
Not only will this save you money, but it will also provide you with a delicious second meal. And if you're not in the mood for leftovers, invite a friend to join you for dinner and share the wealth.
After all, two meals are better than one. And who knows? With all that extra food, you might even make a new friend.
4. Honor and Respect Your Body
To be healthy, you must start respecting your body. That means listening to its signals and giving it what it needs. If you're tired, rest. If you're thirsty, drink water. If you're craving something specific, eat it!
There are no "bad" foods, so don't deprive yourself of anything that sounds good. Your body is a temple, so treat it with the respect it deserves. And remember: health is more than just physical; it's mental and emotional.
So make sure you're taking care of yourself in all aspects of your life. Only then will you indeed be healthy and happy.
Following these simple guidelines, you can start practicing intuitive eating today - no matter your eating history. So go ahead and tune into your body's hunger cues. Your next meal is waiting!
A Word From Tomesha
Intuitive eating is a strategy that can work for anyone, but it might be especially beneficial for binge eaters. If you’re looking to start making peace with food and find a sustainable way of eating that works for your unique body and lifestyle, intuitive eating may be the right approach.
Ready to give it a try? Take our quiz to find out which type of intuitive eater you are, and start your journey today!
- Kroeger, E. N., Carson, T. L., Baskin, M. L., Langaigne, A., Schneider, C. R., Bertrand, B., Herbey, I. I., Harper, L. M., Biggio, J. R., & Chandler-Laney, P. C. (2019). Reasons for Late-Night Eating and Willingness to Change: A Qualitative Study in Pregnant Black Women. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 51(5), 598–607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2018.11.003
- hunger. 2022. In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved August 7, 2022, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hunger