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  • Night eating

    I've recently developed the habit of waking up about 2hrs after going to sleep and needing to eat (usually carbs) in order to return to sleep. Any ideas about what may be causing this? I'm wondering if I'm not eating enough or need to increase carbs or fats.

    A few details:
    - high stress job with variable sleep hours (on call)
    - 5'5" 107lbs 13.5%bf
    - 1300 calls per day 20%carbs (50-65), 45% fats 35%protein
    - active: interval training, hard body weight exercise 2x week, low intensity cardio 45-90mins 5-6xwk
    - ammenorheric since 2007 (when my husband passed away)
    Thoughts? Anyone else notice this? It's strange and has happened every once in a while for the past few years.

  • #2
    Your body comp sounds like me, only I'm not amenorrheic. It may be that you're too thin? I feel dumb saying this since we're similar but everyone is different and your body may need a little more weight and it's telling you to eat more.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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    • #3
      Eat some more carbs and eat them in your latest meal at night. When you have very little bodyfat, 13,5 % is very lean for a woman, you will need more carbs, and the body may be set into a "panic-mode" due to lack of sufficient fast energy.
      Also avoid caffeine after 3 PM may help...
      "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

      - Schopenhauer

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      • #4
        What is the low level of cardio you are doing for that long 5-6 days a week? What does it consist of?

        You are very active, you should be eating more. 1300 cals is pretty low for someone of your activity level. That is probably why your body fat is so low and why you are not having a period.

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        • #5
          You actually fit 2 out of the 4 diagnostic criteria for anorexia based on your information (very low weight + amenorrhea). I'm not saying you have anorexia, because that'd also require having a weight obsession, etc, but it just gives you perspective on how significant your weight and lack of periods would be considered. You need to rethink your eating and activity.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MarissaLinnea View Post
            What is the low level of cardio you are doing for that long 5-6 days a week? What does it consist of?

            You are very active, you should be eating more. 1300 cals is pretty low for someone of your activity level. That is probably why your body fat is so low and why you are not having a period.

            My cardio really depends on the week. Because I'm on call and one week is never the same as the next I try to use energy levels as a gadge. For example:
            Monday I got home after a 24hr stint awake and working. Slept 5 hrs and got on the elliptical for 60mins keeping my heart rate around 55-60% + Pilates
            Tuesday: More energy. 10 min warm up, 25mins 1min on 1min off sprints, 15 min 70-78% HR pace + TRX
            Wednesday: 9km trail run
            Thursday: Spinning 60mins + TRX/ push/ups pull ups.
            ect......

            You are likely right, I think my body's in a bit of panic lately. When I'm night eating I'm typically thinking about food all day. Perhaps I shall just eat more. Seems harder than it sounds. I try to up my carbs on more active cardio days.
            Thanks for all the advice.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EyeOfRound View Post
              You actually fit 2 out of the 4 diagnostic criteria for anorexia based on your information (very low weight + amenorrhea). I'm not saying you have anorexia, because that'd also require having a weight obsession, etc, but it just gives you perspective on how significant your weight and lack of periods would be considered. You need to rethink your eating and activity.
              This doesn't really help with the question but I believe my diet needs a tweak.

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              • #8
                I read somewhere that women with adrenal fatigue will often wake up a few hours after going to sleep. I don't remember the reason other than adrenal fatigue. You may find help searching for info about that. Your body fat% is so low, that coupled with the chronic cardio may be causing your body to think you are living during a famine when you would need to be up searching for food after only brief rests. Could you eat some potatoes and some fat or something before bed.

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                • #9
                  Ok, so all things considered, maybe you should focus more on strength training, stop doing the cardio workouts, maybe replace them with just walking, and eat as many calories as you can. 1300 is way too low for someone of your activity level. So with an increased caloric intake, no more cardio and just doing weight training, you will likely gain some weight and have it be the right kind of weight, not just a bunch of fat.

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