There are some ingredients that go pretty well together. Those ingredients are: Anxiety, stress, insomnia, and sleeplessness. Put them all together and you have a great recipe for binge eating.
Why is that? Well, there are several reasons. First off many people try to mitigate their stress and anxiety with food. Lots of women hold the feelings of anxiety in their bellies and their stress in their jaws. What helps? Eating. Chewing helps to release the stress that you’re holding in your jaw and having food in your belly keeps the anxiety from presenting itself. It stays “pushed down.”
Another reason is that many women (and men) cannot sleep without pushing themselves to sleep by eating themselves into a food coma. The natural serotonin boost from bingeing helps to calm down your brain and help you sleep.
However, there are some natural remedies to deal with anxiety, stress, sleep issues and urges to binge and debilitating sugar cravings.
*Disclaimer: Check with your physician before starting a supplement regimen, and if you are on any other medications, please discuss possible interactions or problems with taking these particular supplements. This article is not a substitute for medical attention or psychotherapy. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Here is a great list of alternative remedies for stress, anxiety, depression and vitamins and supplements to help with binge eating. Many people consider several of these to be natural alternatives to Xanax.
B-Vitamins –help regulate serotonin levels to elevate mood and decrease binge episodes
L-Theanine. This is an amino acid which is considered an anxiolytic— meaning that it can reduce anxiety levels. Unlike many anti-anxiety supplement, L-Theanine does not make you drowsy, so you can take it anytime of day. It also has been show to help with focus when taken with caffeine.
Chromium -200 mcg per day – when needed for sugar cravings. Helps insulin to get into your cells to regulate glucose so that your hormones stop sending messages to your brain that you need more sugar.
Manganese– 10 Mg per day helps the transport and metabolism of glucose. It stabilizes blood sugar to reduce sugar cravings.
Magnesium Glycinate– 500 mg in the evening- calms the body and the brain while stabilizing glucose levels which can wildly fluctuate when a person is binge eating. When magnesium levels are stable, cravings decrease. This is also great for night time sleep.
Zinc– 15mg- per day- helps to regulate appetite
5-HTP– 200 mg per day in the evening- or whenever you have the urge to binge. The precursor to serotonin will suppress your appetite and relax you to take the anxiety away from the binge.
L-Glutamine– 500 mg when needed no more than 3 times per day. When you are having a strong sugar craving, take 500 mg of L-Glutamine or open a capsule and put the powder on your tongue. L-glutamine is an amino acid that is converted into food for the brain.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil– To help with anxiety, stress and for immune support and strength.
Relora– Decreases stress related eating
Kava Kava –Kava has been traditionally used in the South Pacific (I first found out about it on my Honeymoon in a Kava Bar in Hawaii). It has a calming effect that relieves anxiety, insomnia and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. It may also relieve pain. When taken for insomnia, kava promotes deep sleep without affecting REM sleep.
Prebiotics– Yes, that’s prebotics, not probiotics. Prebiotics are pretty amazing. Taken daily prebiotics severely reduce anxiety and depression. I first learned about this at an eating disorder conference within the last few years. The theory is that bacteria living in your gut can affect your brain chemistry and research backs it up. Anecdotally I can tell you that in the times that I’ve used it, my sense of well-being and feeling complete joy has been extremely palpable.
Inositol – Inositol has been shown to be extremely helpful for women who have depression, anxiety and mood fluctuations prior to menstruation (PMS). As we know, PMS leads many women to binge eat and have sugar cravings due to increased estrogen levels. However, it has been shown that women who take inositol show clinically significant improvements in PMS symptoms.
Epsom Salt Bath– A hot epsom salt bath for 20 minutes before bedtime will help relax your muscles and decrease anxiety. This is because the magnesium in the epsom salts is a natural stress reliever. I know that you will sleep like a baby after one of these mineral baths. Hot water is good medicine.
Gotu Kola– This herb has been used for more than 2000 years for everything from anxiety to leprosy! It also has great mental benefits including as the power to improve cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and decrease severe stress.
Jarrow Sleep Med- This is a light little sleep med with a very low does of melatonin plus tryptophan, valerian and GABA. The low dose of melatonin is much better for sleep than the typical high doses that can often trigger insomnia.
Valerian promotes relaxation and sleep. It has similar effects to valium without the drug induced stupor.
CBD Oil – People swear by CBD for anxiety relief, pain relief, insomnia, etc. If CBD works for you- that’s great. I do have a word of caution though, the most reputable companies do use the tiniest amounts of THC to bind the CBD to cannabinoid receptors. Most people will never notice the THC at all. However, if you are sensitive to THC, the trace amount might affect you and for many people, getting high goes along with binge eating. So something to keep in mind.
Self-Hypnosis and Mediation has been shown to immediately decrease anxiety and increase well-being. In fact, it’s the only thing that has immediate effects of well-being and increasing joy.