8 Steps To Stop Your Nighttime Binges

by

Do you sometimes sneak a late-night snack, even after you’ve had a big dinner? Or worse, do you find yourself binging at night?

You are not alone! Are you hungry after a big meal? Do you continue eating late into the night? Millions suffer from this devastating problem that leads to obesity, diabetes, and depression!

I call this the sumo wrestler diet. Have you ever wondered how some of these men get so huge? They have a giant meal and then go right to sleep—guaranteed to pack on the pounds!

So, if you eat late at night just before bed, you’re on the sumo wrestler diet, and you will gain weight and get pre-diabetes. Your body will store the extra calories as fat instead of processing and burning them.

So, how does this happen? Have you ever thought about why, even after a big meal, you crave more food, more sugar, and more junk, and you want to have chips or sweets or other unhealthy foods? What is the root cause of this, and how do we deal with it?

Balance your hormones

It’s not a character flaw or an emotional issue that you have to fix. It’s not some psychological trauma that you have to get over (although for some, night eating is triggered by stress). It’s simple biology. All you have to do is understand why these changes happen in your body to make you crave food late at night, and then, you can overcome them.

The underlying cause is an imbalance of the hormones that regulate your appetite. These are what I call the four hormones of the apocalypse. There are specific things that trigger each of them, and if you understand how to balance them, you won’t have cravings for sweets and other foods…and you won’t be eating late at night.

These four hormones are the following:

  • Insulin – A very important hormone that your body produces to process the sugar in your diet. When your insulin spikes then crashes after eating sugar and flour or junk, it makes you hungry. This can even happen after a large meal of “good food.”
  • Leptin – This is the brake on your appetite. Leptin says to your brain, “Oh, I’m full. I don’t need any more food.” When you eat a lot of sugar, processed foods, and flour, the leptin doesn’t work anymore. Your brain actually becomes leptin resistant.
  • Ghrelin – A “hungerhormone” produced in your stomach that helps regulate your appetite. Ghrelin sends the message, “You should eat – I’m hungry!”
  • Peptide YY – A hormone that is produced in your intestines, and it says, “Hey, I’m full! I’ve had enough to eat. I don’t need any more.”

There is also one other hormone we need to consider: cortisol, the stress hormone. When you’re stressed, your cortisol level goes up, and when that happens, you get hungrier and your blood sugar and insulin levels rise. This sets the stage for pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, and it’s a vicious cycle.

So, all these hormones have to be kept in balance. How do you get them in balance? It’s very simple.

8 steps to end nighttime eating

Here are the 8 steps you should take to balance your hormones, stop the cravings, and end the nighttime binges.

  • Eat breakfast: This is the key strategy to stop the nighttime cravings. Of course, if you are binging at night, you probably won’t want to eat breakfast, because when you wake up, you’re still full. So, you have to break that cycle, and you have to start with breakfast: a good, protein breakfast. There are two breakfasts that I love and use all the time. The first is eggs in any form you like: as an omelet, fried, or poached. Eggs are a great source of protein that helps balance your blood sugar. Be sure to eat WHOLE eggs, not egg whites. The second is a whole food protein shake that can be made quite simply. I keep all the ingredients I need in my cupboard, so it’s ‘goof-proof,’ and I don’t have to think about it. It’s all there. I put in hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almond butter, coconut butter, frozen cranberries, frozen wild blueberries, and a little unsweetened almond or hemp milk. I put those ingredients in the blender, and it’s fantastic. If you have one of those for breakfast, it’ll keep your blood sugar even all morning and all day.
  • Don’t drink your calories: If you have sugary, liquid calories in the form of sodas, juices, lattes, sports drinks, or iced teas, it will spike your insulin and blood sugar and will cause cravings.
  • Make sure you eat regularly: Have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want a snack in between, that’s fine, but make sure you eat at regular rhythms and regular times. Your body is a hormonal clock, and you have to eat in rhythm to keep it in balance.
  • Have protein and good-quality fat at every meal: Good fats are nuts and seeds, avocados, coconut, olive oil, or quality protein like chicken, fish, or grass-fed meat. Some combination of these (plus lots of vegetables) balances your blood sugar.
  • Find your pause button and soothe the stress: Stress makes you fat (and overeat); relaxing makes you thin. Learn to find your pause button and de-stress. I encourage you to look at my blog on reducing stress to learn exactly what to do. Breathing, yoga, and exercise are some of my favorite ways to reduce stress, which helps reset the hormones, balance brain chemistry, and stop the cravings.
  • Prioritize sleep: If you don’t sleep, you will be hungry, especially for carbs and sugar. Why? Because when you deprive yourself of sleep, ghrelin, the hormone that drives hunger goes up and PYY, the hormone that makes you feel full, goes down. So, if you want to lose weight, sleep it off.
  • Find your food sensitivities: People don’t realize this, but you often crave the thing you’re allergic or sensitive to. And gluten and dairy are among the biggest triggers for food sensitivity. Try to get rid of these for a few weeks and see if your cravings stop.
  • Supplement to cut cravings: There are natural molecules that balance your blood sugar and your insulin and help stop the cravings.
    • Omega-3 fats,especially fish oil—a couple of capsules a day can really help.
    • Vitamin D also helps regulate hormones and balance insulin.
    • There is also a super fiber supplement called PGX that’s very simple to take. It’s made from a Japanese root called glucomannan and seaweed. And it comes in a powder or capsules. Take it 10 to 15 minutes before you eat and after dinner, and it will help cut your cravings. It slows the spiking of insulin and blood sugar, helps make you feel full, increases the PYY, balances out all the hormones, and stops the cravings.  I’ve seen people lose up to 40 pounds using this simple high-fiber supplement.
    •  Chromium, lipoic acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) can also help cut cravings.
    • New studies show how branched chain amino acids can also help balance your hormones, stop your cravings and increase muscle mass.

Tell us your story. Share it with the community in the comments section below. Learn how other people have dealt with this, and see that you’re not alone. Also, share this blog with your friends and your family on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up on the right for our newsletter and blog, so you can receive one every week. And submit a question so that next week I may make a House Call to you.

73 Responses to 8 Steps To Stop Your Nighttime Binges

  1. Janine Whitling October 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    hi Mark,
    I have found two obvious things that trigger my sugar or carb cravings. The first is if i’m really tired. Sometimes I get tired during the day and my logical brain says, ‘ you can’t be tired’ it’s not night time yet!’. And so i override having a rest, then hey presto, along come the cravings.
    The second thing i found which triggers the cravings is if I’m in an emotional issue that I’m not dealing with. This puts me in a state of denial or avoidance, disconnecting me from my body, and again, without fail, i start to crave carbs and sugars.
    The difficult thing though is when neither of these things are happening, and i’m exercising, resting and eating just like you suggest, and yet I still can’t seem to budge the body weight, and continue to crave carbs! I am gluten free and dairy free. I eat protein, fat and vegetables just about every meal. I am also mostly grain free too. And yet I still have what feels like hormonal imbalances. I don’t drink sodas, I don’t drink juices, I don’t have any caffeine, I don’t have soy products, I don’t eat take out, in fact, i have a really impressive diet! My lunch today was seared salmon with bok choy, seaweed, peas, buckwheat noodles and chia seeds, just as an example.
    So this leaves me to think that it can’t just be physical, there just has to be some energetic stuff going on that’s messing with my hormones too. I’m thinking that i might just try the PGX supplement just to see if that can assist me in some way.

    ps thanks for your blog and information. It’s super helpful, and i love your style of delivery. It’s very easy to listen to.
    xx Janine

    • Kim October 9, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      Janine! Your diet sounds EXACTLY like mine. Im dealing with the same issues. Im wondering if you found a solution.

  2. Marjorie Yarnell October 15, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    Excellent !!! So well presented Dr. Hyman!!!!

  3. Jo Ann Moore October 16, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    I found when I stop eating processed foods especially gluten – I stopped having night time cravings. I do sometimes crave salty foods – do you have any suggestions for this?

    • Margaret Hinch November 23, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      Hi Jo-Ann, I find that eating healthy meals and using a chewable Calcium and Magnesium supplement and Vitamin D3 in the evening after supper with a hot drink really helps me beat my craving for chips. All the advice in this article is really good, I hope it helps you. I am very conscious that poor quality food and especially sugar is not good for me. Try and eat fresh salads and vegetables for the relaxing mineral Magnesium and that will help with cravings too! Hope this information is helpful!
      Margaret

    • Dr. Hyman November 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Dear Jo Ann,

      Eat something that has some healthy fat or protein with a little salty flavor such as tapenade (a mixture of olives and herbs)-spread it on raw, fresh, organic (if possible) vegetables. Also, think about why you are craving salt. Cravings for salt might be linked with adrenal fatigue. Have you seen this?

      http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/09/17/push-pause-button-adrenal-burnout/

      In good health,
      Dr. Mark Hyman

  4. Jo Ann Moore January 25, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Thanks for the suggestions- after being off gluten, dairy and sugar for weeks now the craving for salty foods went away. Last time I had some salty chips they actually burned my mouth! Makes my stomach bloat too :(

  5. luvinlex April 5, 2014 at 2:13 am #

    I have sugar cravings almost every night and BAD ones. I’ve even gotten in my car after having pizza and bought 2-3 types of donuts with milk, even when I’ve eaten and feel full. I had a test recently that shows my thyroid level to be very low. I just get this “boom” craving and heat chocolate cake with whipped cream, and then go back for more. I’m not obese but have belly fat that is starting to make my size 8 clothes too small. I can’t buy a new wardrobe and I know this late night cravings must be controlled. I appreciate all the comments, but I’m rarely hungry during the day. The healthy snacks are a good option that I will try. There are donuts under my bed right now.

  6. Linda Grimes April 17, 2014 at 1:44 am #

    I noticed a small error in the above article. You wrote: Leptin (I think you meant gherlin) sends the message to the brain “You should eat! I’m hungry!”

  7. Bek May 10, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    I have struggled with this for many a year. I am overweight, and can’t seem to stop my nighttime eating. I am sure that I would lose weight if I could just get this one thing under control. Every night before I go to bed I tell myself…”not tonight – absolutely not tonight”. And every night I break my promise. To make matters worse, my elderly mother lives with me and has ice cream and treats around the house. It is hard to tell an 86 year old she can’t have ice cream, and she is very thin. This is by far the most frustrating thing that has ever happened to me.

    Tonight…..perhaps tonight…..

    • Madison September 9, 2014 at 1:39 am #

      Try not changing how you say it. Say, “tonight I will have a good dinner, then drink some water and go to bed. I don’t want anything else.” By saying “I don’t want it” instead of “I can’t have it” will tell your body that you are working with it not against it. Always be positive.

  8. Susan June 7, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    This is all well and good but what if you’ve BEEN Ian insulin dependant diabetic for over 30 years?

    I’ve been doing all the things you and Mark Sisson suggest and I’ve gained weight (no not muscle).

  9. Lesley June 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    First of all, I have to say, on a side note – what Joe wrote above is extremely offensive and really needs to be removed..It’s completely irrelevant and inappropriate. Not to mention, I just have no clue where he’s going with any of that rant.
    Secondly, in regards to Dr. Hyman’s article and video above…I have night cravings and binges All. The. Time! and I’m sick and tired of always feeling hungry & not being able to “turn down/OFF” the voice that says “I’m hungry!” every waking moment. I have struggled for 7-8 years with disordered eating, addiction, and pre-diabetes. The things I know to ‘trigger’ me, are definitely exhaustion (due in part from poor diet, and raising 2 young children) and also when I go down a path of ‘buying’ all the false beliefs I tell myself – whether its about my low-self worth, where I lack as a wife & mom, etc. Down the “pity path”, I call it, is so very destructive. Deep down inside, the former collegiate athlete in me says “I SO DESPERATELY want this, I could scream!” (and I have, screamed…very loudly). I have a very supportive husband who wants so very much to see his life-giving, happy, healthy, fit, and sexy wife back! So it’s not for lack of support that I ever fail, it’s the things I’m learning (thru Dr. Hyman) about the brain, addiction, and toxicity…can literally keep me stuck. I feel like I’m in that group of people Mark talks about where it’s not 100% our FAULT we’re obese…it’s a lot to do with the food industry..and we are FED UP! :)
    I am going to make a huge huge, what may be a long far off prayer from being answered…but I would give nearly anything if Dr. Hyman would pay me a house call, here in Atlanta. I need direction, guidance, and encouragement from someone who will not just put a band-aid on my symptoms but will actually treat ME! My husband and two growing girls deserve it…Sometimes what makes me the most sad, is that my girls see me treating myself the way I do..:( It’s not a good example to them, and I certainly don’t want them ending up leading this kind of life. Please, please help me.
    So many others just like me out there, deeply appreciate the work of Dr. Hyman and his team! The blog, the wealth of information is priceless! Thanks for all you do.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

      Hi Lesley,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  10. Katie Varvos June 8, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    Great vlog/blog. Really enjoyed this and found the root causes and hormone information so beneficial. Thanks for your efforts.

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 9, 2014 at 1:33 am #

      Thank you for your feedback, we really appreciate it!

  11. Maria June 9, 2014 at 6:20 am #

    Hi Mark! Thank you so much for your work, you are so helpful! My question is do you recommend a certain supplement be taken during PMS/menstruation? I realize that is the only time I have uncontrollable hunger and food cravings and it happens every month since I was a teenager. Let me know what foods/supplements you can recommend especially during menstruation, thanks so much!

  12. Sandra Humphries June 10, 2014 at 2:25 am #

    I have had my blood analysed and am avoiding wheat, dairy and eggs and sugar due to candida. I have to eat every two hours to avoid constant hunger!
    overnight is the worst time, I am forever waking up at 4.00 am and seeking food – anything I can find! I do try to avoid sugar snacks but it is a nightmare. is there anything I can eat at suppertime to avoid this?
    many thanks

  13. Leanne M June 14, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

    I did the 10 day detox diet faithfully and lost 8 pounds, and 14 total since the 1st of May. Since then, I’ve been eating pretty well. However, a week ago I started getting a bad taste in my mouth (almost metallic like). Everything I eat now tastes bland and yucky. I can’t even enjoy a strawberry. The week this happened I had 2-3 pieces of sugarless gum (with xylitol in it) and a small amount of vegees in veg oil (at a restaurant). Within a day, the bad taste started up. Will this pass? I’m at a loss as to why this has occurred. Thanks for any tips.

  14. José Pagán June 15, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    So I have kind of developed a problem related to this. See, mainly thanks to school my sleeping patterns have been seriously disrupted. I find myself waking up a lot of times at night and I honestly can’t recall the last time I had a full night sleep. The thing is, that when I wake up, I go straight to the kitchen and start eating, every time I wake up! Of course this is a problem, 1. because I am not getting sufficient sleep and wake up tired, I cannot sleep well and my muscles hurt, and 2. because I gain more weight than I am supposed to which is counterproductive!

    Is there anything that you, Dr. Hyman, recommend for this particular issue? I would seriously appreciate your professional expertise.

    Thank you for this video, and for your blog!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff June 16, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

      We would recommend making sure you are getting lots of nutrient-dense foods in throughout the day and are regulating your blood sugar levels to help prevent nighttime food cravings. Perhaps, you could try drinking a glass of water instead of consuming a meal when you wake up. It may just be that you are tired or that this has become a routine vs. true hunger.

      • Jennifer Jones June 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm #

        Verbatim from Jose above – “I find myself waking up a lot of times at night and I honestly can’t recall the last time I had a full night sleep. The thing is, that when I wake up, I go straight to the kitchen and start eating, every time I wake up!” I wake up because I’m hungry and my stomach is growling – with hunger pains that won’t let me just turn over and ignore it. BUT, although this has been a pattern for several years, I have never had any weight change. I love and eat all kinds of foods – from sushi to BBQ – and try foods I’ve never had whenever I’m at a restaurant. At work I’m known for eating throughout the day (colleagues call it grazing) and for the amounts of food I can eat at a sitting. I don’t like to cook but love watching dishes being made on the cooking shows. Various friends have made diagnoses: since I love and eat a lot of salad greens and vegetables (with or without meat/pasta), I’m not getting enough calories; I’m just not eating enough protein; I don’t eat fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fruits/vegetables in the right combinations; I have a thyroid/hormone imbalance; I’m just a crazy nut. I have mentioned to my GP several times over the years that I haven’t slept through the night in years, but with very good overall health and fitness w/exercise, good Paps and mammograms, and “normal” blood work-ups, she hasn’t been concerned. What say you?

        • Profile photo of Team Hyman
          Team Hyman June 29, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

          Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there. You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/

          As an additional resource: Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs

          In Good Health,
          Dr. Hyman’s Wellness Staff

        • Kristin July 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

          Ditto to Jose and Jennifer! I’ve been struggling with this same issue for 12+ years! I’ve seen several MDs and specialists (sleep specialists, endocrinologists, psychologists). I’ve noticed that when I cut out ALL sugar (except fruit) and all artificial sweeteners I sleep better. No alcohol either. It;s some really hard changes to make but well worth it for a good night sleep.

      • Christy Love December 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm #

        This is extremely bad advice. Jose, what you have is calling Night-eating Syndrome. I have it as well and have struggled all my life. A glass of water will only make you wake later, even hungrier than before, to have to use the bathroom. This is all hormone related. Night-eating syndrome shows distinctive changes in hormones related to sleep, hunger and stress. The nighttime rise in the hormone that accompanies sleep, melatonin, is greatly decreased in night eaters, probably contributing to their sleep disturbances. Similarly, night-eaters fail to show a nighttime rise in the hormone leptin, which suppresses hunger, and the stress hormone cortisol is elevated throughout a 24-hour period. I would first seek out an endochronolist to have your hormone levels checked. Change your diet. Cut out sugars and wheat and try to naturally increase your leptin through life style changes as well as diet. Search “natural ways to increase leptin production”. Wellness Mama has a great page on how to naturally increase leptin. Good luck and remember to search NES to explain in detail what you are struggling with. I wish you the best of luck!

    • BridgetJane July 23, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

      Hose have you considered trying Hypnosis for a better/deeper sleep?? If you select a track with theta waves it synchronises with your brain waves and puts you into the deeper levels of sleep :) Just a suggestion! It has worked wonders for me and my clients countless times over :) Id recommend checking out Dr Rick Collingwoods stuff :) You can buy and download his tracks online :) Hope this helps! Cheers xo

  15. Jen June 19, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    Wow! This is truly it. Thank you Dr. Hyman for this plethora of excellent…succinct information! I KNOW my hormones are all screwed up right now…and more than ever I’m believing that we ARE what we EAT especially as we get into our 40’s…things really seem to shift then.

    I’ve been a night time eater forever it seems and I want it to stop. There are physical and psychological ramifications for this behavior and just KNOW that getting a grip on it will change my life. It’s like a sabbatage myself every night. When I don’t eat at night…I sleep better and I feel happier and more positive in general.

    Lastly, Dr. Hyman…are you single? You are smart and fun! :-) Jen Sweeney The Voice Over Genie

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman June 21, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Jen,

      Great to hear that you are ready to start making a change! Making changes like this one can help you feel healthy and sleep better – and who doesn’t want that?!

      Thanks for contributing, have a fantastic day!

  16. Randy July 5, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    I’ve found it remarkably helpful to reduce your calorie input through the day. Have your carbs if you must… at breakfast.

    Less at lunch… and stop eating after lunch. Very rarely do I have any cravings or hunger at night … 180 different from when I ate dinner at 5 pm, even something generally healthy.

  17. Ella July 8, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    Good morning Dr.Hyman,

    I’m suffering from a very serious problem and I would like to find the right remedy to cure it.

    For the past two years I wake up every night and eat …sometimes I wake up even three times at night and when I wake up I feel guilty,depressed and angry on myself.So I always skip breakfast and sometimes I start to eat only at 19:00 p.m because I feel full and everyday my stomach hurts and I don’t want to look like an elephant! I know that it gets worse when I try to stay awake when I need to study or to wake up very early and when I’m very stressed.

    Because of this problem I cant eat normally,I want but every night I wake up and it ruines my plans!

    I read some articles that said that you can’t cure this problem.Is that true?I dont want to live like this forever,it’s horrible and it ruins my health!

    Can you please help me? I beg you.

    Thank you,

    Ella.

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 30, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      Hi Ella,
      Thank you for sharing your story and for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  18. Todd Ryan July 22, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    Dr. Hyman,

    I’ve been struggling with night eating syndrome for about two years now and can’t seem to find anything that will help. It started during a particularly stressful time in my life and it’s just continued on. Right now I have very little stress in my life but it still continues. I have a history of IBS, depression and I also have minor sleep apnea. My most recent bloodwork also showed that my calcium count is low.

    In my case I tend to get more energy as the day goes on and find myself most hungry in the evenings. I can get to sleep but will wake 2-5 times throughout the night and then find myself heading down to the kitchen for something to eat. At that point I’m starving and don’t seem to have control so that I don’t eat. I generally reach for food that’s sugary or starchy (i.e. potato chips, licorice, etc.). I’m trying to lose weight and it’s nearly impossible with what is happening.

    So far, no doctor has been able to help me. Do you have any insight or advice?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi Todd,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  19. Marianne July 23, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Can you please let me know how I can order the supplements for the 10 day detox diet. I live in Australia. And how long will it take to arrive? I need to order the supplements for two people.
    thanks and regards

  20. susan July 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm #

    Where’s the protein in Dr. Hyman’s morning shake?

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman July 24, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      Hi Susan! The chia seeds in the shake are an excellent source of protein!

  21. Aris July 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    I started on your 10 day detox diet March 5th and initially had wonderful results. Over the first two months I lost 21 pounds, stopped my nighttime cravings, was sleeping better, walking an hour each day, and then I plateaued … It’s been rough ever since… I go up a pound and back and forth. Have maintained my loss, but am at that critcle point where I usually give up and just say WTF…
    I’ve started eating more than i should again, to cover the disapointment and feeling like a failure. I want to lose 80 more pounds… I dont mind losing slowly but an beginning tonfeel hopeless again…..

  22. Rebecca July 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    is there any way i could get some individual help? i have been doing all of this for years now: gluten/dairy free, don’t eat late at night, keep tabs on blood sugar, don’t eat any processed food, very minimal low glycemic fruit, almost no starches at all (no bread, no rice, no noodles, no potatoes, etc.). have taken umpty ump supplements including NAC, chromate. i don’t eat frequent allergens: minimal soy, good fats, pastured meat when available, etc.

    lost weight but now putting it back on WITHOUT HAVING CHANGED what i ate or how i exercised. it’s super frustrating.

    are consultations available?

  23. Irene July 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Thank you for these suggestions. My diet is gluten and dairy free. I do eat eggs. I really like fruit and eat quite a bit of it. I am especially fond of Medjool dates. Sometimes I find them addictive and wonder if there is a biological basis to this. Is it spiking my insulin level and maybe causing a hormonal imbalance? I do struggle with night eating. I eat a lot of fruit and nut bars and nuts, too. I often eat nuts in the evening. I am gaining weight and though I picked up some tips from this article that I trust will be helpful, I wonder about the rhythm I’m in.

    Also, when Dr. Hyman says to drop sugar does that include honey and agave syrup?

    Thank you very much.

  24. Mark July 23, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Just wanted to say Thank You!! Since I have chosen to follow your eating suggestions, I have lost 107lbs. I started on January 9th. I am now off all diabetes meds and have cut Cholesterol and Blood Pressure meds in half. Thank you again for sharing your philosophy

    • Profile photo of Team Hyman
      Team Hyman July 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      Great job Mark!!! Keep up the good work!

  25. Ellen July 23, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    For Jennifer – if you don’t sleep much at night but really have NO problems with health or daytime sleepiness and plenty of energy, etc. check into the possiblity you are a short sleeper. I have 2 friends with this and one recently told me they were so relieved to find out they don’t have insomnia. It is a genetic trait that is associated with a long life. Check on line for research going on.

  26. Laura Harlow July 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    I am a huge fan of yours, Dr. Hyman. In fact, I am just finishing my M.S. degree in Human Nutrition and I am seeking opportunities for work in the nutrition field specifically in functional medicine and (pre) diabetes management. One thing I noticed is that there is an error in the information above regarding ghrelin. It states: Leptin sends the message, “You should eat – I’m hungry!” But we know this should be “ghrelin.” Anyway, if you need anyone to copy read your website posts, I would be happy to do it. I have some other suggestions regarding your website, so if you would like to hear them, please contact me via email or phone: 517/483-2504.

    Kind regards,
    Laura

  27. Elsa July 24, 2014 at 1:42 am #

    Is there a typo in this article?

    “Ghrelin – A “hungerhormone” produced in your stomach that helps regulate your appetite. Leptin sends the message, “You should eat – I’m hungry!””

    Shouldn’t that say “Ghrelin” where it says “Leptin”?

  28. Patsy Watts July 24, 2014 at 3:12 am #

    Very interesting to read this again. I am a student at IIN and already have your book The 10 day detox. I am in Australia and I would like to purchase the PGX supplement.

  29. Dr. Sandy Gluckman July 24, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Great advice!

  30. Barbara July 24, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    I assume this is a typo? Please correct, so I can forward this article to all my friends!

    Ghrelin – A “hungerhormone” produced in your stomach that helps regulate your appetite. Leptin sends the message, “You should eat – I’m hungry!”

  31. David July 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    How about when you don’t have a good appetite. What nutritional values should you invest in to increase your appetite when it is not what it should be?

  32. Barbara July 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    Could you please elaborate on the last two supplement bullets?

    ◦ Chromium, lipoic acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) can also help cut cravings.
    ◦New studies show how branched chain amino acids can also help balance your hormones, stop your cravings and increase muscle mass.

    Suggestions for how to take? What dose? Safety and/or side effects?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Hi Barbara,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to http://www.functionalmedicine.org/practitioner_search.aspx?id=117 and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to: http://www.ultrawellnesscenter.com/becoming-a-patient/
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  33. Toni Ferraro July 24, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    Thank you so much Dr. Hyman. I have been eating like crazy at night for 4 months now. I work outside for 4-5 hrs in the evening. I come home and eat a large meal at 9:30 or so. Then before bed, I have cracker with pbj and something else sweet, or hummus w pita, or cereal. And I am diabetic!
    I have gained weight; but haven’t been able to break the habit.
    I loved it when we made protein shakes. Our blender died. I think that replacing the blender and following your suggestions will be helpful.
    We live in Key West. It is too hot for me to ride my bike or go for long walks w my dog right now.
    Poor combination of circumstances.
    Thank you again.
    Toni

  34. Amanda July 25, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    I find just before my period, I have a really bad sugar craving. It doesn’t matter what else I try. Even if I am very full I must have sugar. (usually chocolate).

  35. Kendra July 25, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    I have a baby whose 4 months and wakes up every 2 hours. I feel like to feed her I have to grab a snack. its definitely became a habit but helps me stay awake all through the night taking are of my baby!! help!! I don’t know what to do!!!!! terrible terrible habit I know. but if I don’t get a snack (of course carbs cure it) I will stay awake for hours. please help!!

  36. Martha July 27, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    I would say 90 percent of the time I am eating right. I have the protein shake in the morning that you recommend, and I have a salad with protein for lunch and a very light dinner. I try not to eat after 7:00 p.m. I feel I am on a roller coaster with the sugar, though. I really can’t figure out what is triggering the craving. It is such an addiction! I find my thoughts around 5:00 when I’m driving home from work are wrapped around whether or not I’m going to cave in later and have something sweet. I thought maybe it was associated with watching television and boredom, I went 30 days without television and it still didn’t work. I know I’m a sugar addict, help!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff July 28, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

      Hi Martha,
      It sounds like you are well on your way to kicking your sugar addiction once and for all. Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  37. Marita August 27, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    I just tried the recommended smoothie and it was delicious! I am wondering how much of each ingredient you would recommend because it can become really high in calories?! Also, I experience hypoglycemia and found that I felt a bit hypoglycemic after consuming it. Would you say it is okay to continue consuming it and that eventually once my insulin resistance improves that it will get better?

  38. Jonathan Darling September 3, 2014 at 6:21 am #

    I have suffered from night eating for a few years now. I thought it was just a habit and something I could stop. It isn’t. I’m very frustrated. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I crave anything carb based. Breads, granola bars, donuts….. literally anything carb based. I work out regularly and eat great through out the day staying within a macro count based on my BMR. I’m trying to lean out a bit more but this just causes me to gain more weight. I’m a 31 male and on HRT. Anything thoughts?

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff September 3, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Hi Jonathan,
      Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone in your struggle to end nighttime eating! Did you know you can work with Dr. Hyman’s nutritionists virtually? For personalized nutrition coaching where you can receive 1:1 support with Registered Dietitians, please see: http://store.drhyman.com/Store/List/Coaching-Programs.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  39. J. Christian September 18, 2014 at 9:19 am #

    You say a good breakfast is most important. But ‘Breakfast ‘ is just that, breaking your fast from the night before. I have no desire to eat when I wake, ( 6AM ) my breakfast is usually around 11 AM, lunch at 3, and dinner at 6 – 7 PM., Roughly an 800 calorie meal, all good lean proteins, veggies, complex carbs, and oils.
    I am wheat free, I don’t eat added sugars, or salt, and don’t crave sugar during the day. My craving hits around 10:00 PM only for sugary sweet things.
    Other than that, I walk daily, strength train 3 times a week, and hiit once to two times per week. My weight is perfectly in check, I am 6’ 0″ and weigh 186, you may say that is high, but I am at 11% body fat.
    I am at a loss, these have been going on for about a year now. My friend suggested a primal / paleo type diet, I tried that for 3 months, and only made it about 100 times worse.

  40. Leandro Russo October 19, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    This is one of the best and most analyzed articles on the issue of how we can battle and control our late-night cravings. I enjoyed reading the whole article and it will definitely guide me to fight any possible cravings that I may have for unhealthy, fatty foods at nighttime. Furthermore, I am very pleased to say that some of the strategies to fight late-night eating are completely new to me, but definitely very interesting and engaging. For example, it was very exciting to read that Omega-3 and Vitamin D supplements help me control my blood sugar levels and also help me restrain night cravings. Another point I would like to make is that I was very motivated and encouraged to see that we should always make sure to stay away from any kind of sugary and sweetened drinks and beverages. http://www.lifetoliveit.com

  41. Brandy Brown October 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    Your information really helped me. I have bipolar disorder so I have to take Seroquel and Restoril to sleep at night. As soon as I start feeling sleepy, I get a HUGE craving for food. I almost panic if it’s not enough food in the house. I feel as though I have Never eaten before even if I wasn’t hungry at all right before. I wake up and have food by my bed fro the night before. I have hypoglycemia and carry a lot of belly fat. It takes SO long to go to sleep even after taking the medicine. My ex-boyfriend called me Mrs. PacMan after I take my medicine because I eat everything in site! You are right when you said I don’t feel like eating breakfast because I ate so much the night before. I don’t want to be fat and I HATE this cycle. I stay up all night and sleep all day. I’m going to have to get up and eat a protein breakfast and take my fiber and try to have a regular cycle of sleeping and eating correctly. I hope that you call it the “Sumo Wrestler” diet helps me not eat at night. I lost a lot of weight when I was eating only foods from the Earth and eating no sugar and no to low carbs. I will try the supplements when I get paid. Thanks for the great information! Brandy Brown

  42. Mary November 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    My husband goes all day without eating a bite and then comes home and binges. He is not overweight but he eats until he is in considerable discomfort. Is this normal?

  43. Marcelo January 7, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

    I have pre-diabetes and I am regularly controlling my blood sugar rates… can I / Should I use PGX?… I ingest psyllium in at lunch and dinner times already… but I didnt get any positive response in my sugar level, weight or late night cravings…Thanks!

    • Profile photo of Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff
      Dr. Hyman Nutrition Staff January 7, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      Hello Marcelo,
      PGX is a soluble fiber that may help lower the glycemic index of your meals and promote fullness to support blood sugar management. It would be worth a try to see how it affects your blood sugar and cravings.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  44. Lauren January 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    I wish I had time to read all of the comments because night eating has been a huge issue for me. I used to have a cut up apple by my bed and had my husband put a lock on the fridge and cabinets. I would eat the apple to get back to sleep but sometimes wake again with that horrible gnawing hunger. Once the wave passed, I could go back to sleep.

    At one point, I got into the whole carnivore trend and started the day with two fatty lamb chops. At once, I started to sleep through the night with no waking or craving. I had been living on bran muffins, apples and fat free salads for years with sugar binges so my insulin was probably out of control and I was likely deficient in some key nutrients.

    I couldn’t keep the all meat diet up forever but I still try to eat enough fat and protein and keep the carbs low. I still sometimes wake up hungry. It’s so much less now though. As I write this, I think maybe it’s time for a diet tune up. For me, it’s about eating enough good things and eliminating carbs/sugar.

  45. Leney January 23, 2015 at 8:21 am #

    Thank you sooooo much doctor

  46. Kimberlynn Silva, student MSC/MFT, Porterville, CA March 31, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    My doctor recently prescribed Belviq because I was obese (BMI 31), and it was really working, but as soon as my BMI dropped below 30 my insurance stopped covering it, so now I’m back to square one. I’ve gained 10 lbs in this month alone.
    I’ve decided to try this, and am going to do the 10 Day Detox with Dr. Hyman as well. I am at the point of desperation.
    The issue I’ve had is that I have no real appetite and have difficulty eating before the afternoon, then I have severe sugar cravings. I cannot recall a time in my adult life (I’m 45) in which I’ve eaten a balanced diet. But! Today is the day … I ate breakfast for the first time in ages (2 eggs scrambled w/ fresh spinach leaves), and I’ve got the rest of my day planned out as well. I’m also going to get the suggested supplements.
    Thank you Dr. Hyman!

Leave a Reply