Raiding the Fridge at Night
Waking up in the night with cravings can indicate that there is something you are not dealing with. Something that is easier for you to ignore during the day with all the activity, “busyness” and distractions. At night, our subconscious mind (that programming we are not aware of) becomes more free because our conscious (waking awareness) mind is asleep. When you wake up at night, or can’t go to sleep unless you eat something this is often a cause for weight gain. Let’s face it, how often do you get up in the night to eat a salad? It’s typically a food that causes a cascade of “happy hormones” like chocolate, the same hormones that get released during an orgasm¹.
Waking during the night can easily become a habit that is very hard to break. Why? Because you have reprogrammed your internal clock. First of all, you have set your body up to expect these brain chemicals to be released. Just as when you get up in the morning and must have coffee or else you “don’t feel like yourself” or worse, get a headache. Therefore, your body wakes you up and says “it’s time for my feeding”. Secondly, habits of their own accord release hormones at specific times of the day even when not involving food. These are our automatic behaviors, things you do without even thinking, like driving the same route home from work without even being fully conscious of what you are doing. Think of a time when there was a traffic jam and you had to find a different route to your destination. It felt awkward didn’t it? Especially if your GPS was insistent on taking you the usual way. “Make a u-turn, make a u-turn!”
Many people turn to other things beside food to cope and often are prescribed “anti-anxiety” medications such as Klonopin or Xanax or Ambien for sleep. Medication can be a life-saving intervention for many afflictions and I am grateful that we have access to cutting-edge medicine in this country. In this situation, medication should only be very temporary and used in conjunction with getting help to resolve the underlying issue for the insomnia or late night eating. There are also many natural ways to help with sleep such as meditation, music, massage, acupuncture, herbs, and warm baths, just to name a few. It may be an emotional issue but could also be a medical issue. I partner with physicians and allied health practitioners to ensure that our patients get optimal care to resolve the correct cause.
The good news is that you are not defenseless against programming. You are programming yourself every single day with every thought you have. The key is to become aware of what those thoughts are. This takes training because we think between 40,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day.² And most of those thoughts are the same day after day. That’s what causes the programming and acting on “automatic pilot” and what shapes your life. So if you want to change your life, you have to become aware of what thoughts you habitually think and change them to create the results you want. A deeper dive into what is really “eating you” will allow you to address it and resolve it. Then you can learn to create new habits (new neuronal connections in the brain) that support your desired life and allow your weight to settle at a healthy new weight set point.
I have spent 25 years studying and working in the weight loss, psychology and health field and have developed a system that has made it possible for hundreds of clients to shed unwanted pounds and emerge as a new person physically and mentally. Many had lost and regained tremendous amounts of weight several times before coming to me. Neuro Weight Loss Coaching was the solution. And so far, the success rate is 97% for my clients keeping the weight off permanently! (FYI: the national average success rate is 3%).
For example, when I met Sylvia, 54, she was doing a shake fast in a nationally known program. She had lost 78 pounds…and gained back a hundred. She told me that this was her second time on that program and didn’t know how long she would last on it. She tearfully told me that the last time she was on this deprivation diet, it all unraveled when, seemingly out of the blue, she was driving along and pulled into the mall and raided the food court. In the past, she had a personal chef and would still sabotage herself when she was alone. “Nothing has worked”, she told me. My heart went out to her and I knew I could help her if she was ready. I knew that she would end up in the same situation because the fasting programs as well as most other weight loss programs use willpower to try to get people to make permanent changes. and willpower is an exhaustible resource. In other words, it’s usually temporary. Moreover, Sylvia had not uncovered the thoughts that were causing her to be obese.
Because she was fearful of having the same result in the fasting program again, and rightfully so, she trusted me enough to enroll in my program. Sylvia knew she had to do something different. Within as little as a month she was thinking and feeling differently. And a smile had come over her face now instead of the stressed out expression she used to have. She was no longer dependent on the shakes and was learning to eat like a naturally thin person. After six months with me, she was not even thinking about the old behaviors that caused her to gain weight over and over again in the past. The weight dropped off her like a cascading waterfall. The techniques I used with her made her feel like “herself” when she was getting thinner. In the past, she did not identify with herself as a thin person. That all changed in our work together. Her final weight loss was all 100 pounds. It has been over three years now. Her life looks totally different. She has the energy to be active and enjoys it. If she misses a day of exercise, she doesn’t “feel like herself”, and automatically she gets out and exercises the next day “like normal”. Gone are the feelings of guilt and self-loathing, feeling like a failure or wanting to binge to “numb out”.
There have been so many positive changes in the lives of my clients ranging from women finally being able to become pregnant because they are no longer obese, to radically improved memory, pursuing a mission-driven career helping others to become naturally thin people and making the kind of money they know they deserve.
If you think this might be for you or someone you know, and would like to have a conversation to find out more, go to my calendar and choose a convenient time:
Until we speak, be kind to yourself.
¹Dr Ian Wilson, author of ‘1,000 Tips and Traps for the Worried Well’
²National Science Foundation, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314