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Losing Willpower at Night and Eating

Ask Bitten Jonsson

Do you have a hard time controlling cravings for food – in particular sweet or processed foods? Do you experience lack of control over your eating?

Our addiction expert Bitten Jonsson, RN, knows a lot about how to get back into control. Here are three member questions answered by her. For example, what do you do if you lose all willpower at night and end up eating things you shouldn’t?

Addiction Roller Coaster

Dear Bitten,
I hope you are well. Your videos and talks are inspirational and I thank you for your advice.

I’ve had a horrible virus for 7 weeks coupled with a trip to Berlin I have fallen off the wagon good proper I can’t seem to get back on. For a while all I could taste was sweet things thus I’ve been living off sugary carbs & pizza. I have gained over a stone and feel quite despondent ? I don’t feel like I can start all over again.

This has been my problem for years; I have been in this cycle and I always find a reason to eat badly. I’m a sugar and carb addict and I think I need additional help. I have looked for groups to join but they all seem to have a religious and/or spiritual connection and that’s just not me. Can you recommend anyone who could help? I live in Manchester in the north of England and I’m willing to travel for help. I’m 51 and at the tail end of the menopause and I want to get a grip before my health is seriously affected.

Thank you in advance,
Jan

Jan, what you describe is the typical roller coaster for us addicts and a virus is very tough on or bodies, it drains our adrenals and we feel wired and tired and then our brain scream for a quick fix. On top of that you were travelling. Which also takes a lot of energy. And you are in menopause which needs to be dealt with.

It sound like you need neuronutrient therapy at this point to restore your energy to start with. I agree that many support grops still do not have focus on what I call a Holistic Approach, but i am absolutely convinced that we addicts need to get spiritualt tools to be able to both improve and sustain our wellness and recovery.

If we read the definition by ASAM/ American Society of Addiction Medicine, we addicts have a physical brain illness that results in physical, phsycological, social and spiritual consequences. I have explained this several time to other people here. But we can not comprehend what we need until we have repaired our broken chemistry. Right now you need help with that.

I suggest that you get help from one of my top counselors in Sweden, she will be able to work with you thru Skype to start with. Her English is excellent. If this is an option please send me an email to bitten.jonsson@bittensaddiction.com

Bitten

Losing Willpower at Night

Dear Bitten,
after struggeling for years I broke my carb addiction and have no headaches and cravings anymore. I stick to my LCHF plan and all could be so wonderful. But my plan works only until 9pm. After the family goes to bed, my Mr. Hyde comes out and I repeat the way to the fridge on and on. I know, it’s a kind of emotional problem, because I DON’T WANT to keep me from eating all the carbs in the house during that time.

It’s not a weakness of willpower, the willpower is totally gone!!! During daytime I have full control and feel alright.

After 4 years, there were almost 1500 days of trying and I lost 1400 of them. I try the next day even harder and fail in the evening for sure. My family and friends blame me for being weak. So what is your kind advice?

Thanks in advance,
Thorsten from Germany

Dear Thorsten, first of all, you are not week at all, You have a brain illness. Your reward system is wired in a way that is different from others. We as addicts need to accept that. I wonder if my book Zucker, nein danke, from 2004, still is available in Germany. Now there is a lot of new research available that shows how sugar can be 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Not everyone reacts to it addictively but many, many do…

I suggest that you do not have any ”dangerous” foods in your house to start with. If our reptilian brain knows it’s there, it will create a craving that no willpower can stop. We are like missiles, locked on target. Second you need to develop a strategy for the evenings. Call someone at 8.30 pm, who understands addiction and tell about your cravings. How does it feel, what are your thoughts right now, what are your urges?

This is why we need support groups. There is no meaning telling a color blind about red, so it has to be someone that has the same problem, but this ahead of you in recovery. Do pick up the book Staying Sober by Terence T Gorski. It is about alcohol but change that word to sugar/carbs and you’ll get the idea.

Wish you freedom from the sugar drug. Read up on other answers to and you see my point.

My very best, Bitten

Sleep Deprivation and Addiction

I’ve been watching all of your videos, only three more to go, and you keep saying how we should avoid getting too tired. I have a cyclical problem with this. I have four little kids. The youngest is five months old and breastfeeding multiple times during the night. I have severe sleep apnea, largely due to weight, so I don’t sleep well when I do try to sleep. The sleep I get at night is all the sleep I get, as napping during the day might result in complete chaos with a 2-year old, 3-year old and 5-year old in charge. Being too tired is a big reason why my sugar cravings are so bad right now. I don’t see how I can get more rest out of my day. It wouldn’t be so bad if the kids all napped at the same time but currently the baby is out of sync and is taking what would have been my nap time with a need to care for her.

Jana, I understand your problem, This is a very tough situation. Let me start with addressing your sleep deprivation. If you suffer from sleepapnea I suggest you start by reading about what happens when we ”over”breathe at this site: http://www.consciousbreathing.com/ If we are stressed, this is a stressful situation, we crave sugar and the more sugar you eat the worse it gets. So taping your mouth at night will improve your sleeping and I know it sounds crazy but it works. During the day use the ”relaxator” whenever you have a chance. You will have more energy and will be better at slowly improve your eating. I assume you know how to eat ? Then of course maybe have someone help out with cooking would be great. Take one day at a time. This period will pass and you need a lot of energy now…

My best, Bitten

 

More Questions and Answers

Read all earlier questions and answers – and ask your own! – here:

Ask Bitten Jonsson, RN, About Food Addiction – for members (free trial available)

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