Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Are You A Night Eater?

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We all look forward to that evening snack, don't we? How else can we wind down from a long busy day than in front of the tube watching our favourite show while munching on our most favourite snack food?

We earned it right!?

If this sounds like you, you may have NES.

NES - Night Eating Syndrome is the latest eating disorder to be added to the list. You probably know someone with NES (it's estimated to happen in 1.5% of the general population and even higher rates are found in the overweight population). If you show symptoms of NES it will make weight loss efforts very very difficult.

You may have NES if you: 

• Eat at least 25% of your food for the day after your evening meal or more than 50% of your daily calories after 7pm

• Wake up in the middle of the night to eat (and CAN remember that you did this - some people eat while sleepwalking and can't remember it the next morning - that's a different syndrome, doh!)

• Have "morning anorexia" aka a lack of desire to eat in the morning and/or skipping breakfast four or more mornings per week (obviously if you are eating tons at night you won't wake up hungry - people often fail to make this connection though)

• Have a strong urge to eat between dinner and sleep and/or during the night

• Feel that you have to eat to help you fall asleep

Being aware that you have NES is the first step, then you can try and make realistic changes to help cut back on night-time eating (like making sure you eat enough during the day so you aren't raiding the cupboards at night famished).

Here are some general evening snacking guidelines:

- Try to avoid eating within one hour of bedtime (gotta give yourself time to digest after all!)

- If you eat your dinner four or more hours before bedtime, you may need an evening snack, that’s ok - your supposed to be eating every three to five hours

- There is no “magic” time when you should stop eating – follow your hunger signals

- If you feel hungry but just had a snack or supper, have a glass of water first and reassess your hunger level in 10 minutes (we often confuse hunger with thirst!)

- If eating an evening snack, choose something low in sugar and fat (i.e. fruit and yogurt, slice toast with pb, small bowl of cereal)

GetRealGurls Nutrition. Your source of realistic and reliable nutrition information. Check ‘em out at www.getrealgurlsnutrition.com 

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