read this if you're bingeing at night in recovery


Let me start with one thing:

Bingeing in recovery from anorexia does not exist. 

If you take nothing else away from this post, at least remember that. If you are in recovery, you are not bingeing. I promise.

However, you might believe you are bingeing, especially at night, because you feel out of control with your eating. 

I went through this often in recovery. I'd eat dinner and less than an hour later, would be reaching for Doritos and Reese's and popcorn and really anything I could get my hands on! I'd eat and eat and eat and EAT.

It was so scary. I felt like I couldn't stop. I'd eat until I was so bloated and felt sick but even then, I often still wasn't full. I was convinced I had developed binge eating disorder or that I was eating too much or *GASP* that I was addicted to food.

This happened almost every single night. I'd beat myself up after my "binge" and wonder what was wrong with me, why I had zero self control.

Well guess what. It wasn't a binge and it had nothing to do with control.

"Overeating" at night means one thing: you are still restricting.

It means you aren't eating to true hunger cues during the day, either consciously or subconsciously. It could also mean you are still not at your body's set point and therefore are undernourished. 

In my case, I knew I wasn't eating as much as I truly wanted to throughout the day despite my ED mind telling me I was. It's a very hard thing to distinguish what is really enough for your body. (This is where calorie counting to minimums or a meal plan can help you if your hunger cues are unreliable!)

The only, ONLY way to stop feeling so out of control at night is to increase how much you eat during the day. I mean it. That's the only solution. There is no other way. More restriction or more "control" is just going to make it worse and fuel an unhealthy, ED-driven pattern of eating. 

Eating a lot at night is absolutely okay. I've done that my whole life, even before my anorexia. What's NOT okay is if you are trapped in the restrict/binge cycle because you are under eating during the day. What's NOT okay is if you are restricting to save up calories or trying to eat less or any other variation of disordered eating.

Increase your intake. At first, you might keep eating tons and tons at night and be "out of control". That's perfectly normal. It's a thing called extreme hunger and pretty much all of us in recovery get it. But eventually it'll settle down and you'll find yourself eating much more consistently and happily.

Bingeing is not bingeing in recovery. So eat eat eat all day. You'll be surprised how much better you feel, I promise!