Figuring out how to tone your upper arms while having night eating syndrome is not a good scenario. The two just don’t mix. I know, because I’ve been there…
NES (night eating syndrome) is characterized by minimal food consumption during the day and massive food consumption during the night. Most women with NES have lower levels of melatonin and leptin. This translates into a decreased ability to fall asleep and an increased feeling of hunger. Even worse, said women will eat a ton of carbs to feel better (carbs increase serotonin).
How do you know if you have it?
Do you have any of the following symptoms:
- Skipping breakfast and/or lunch
- Poor mental function and poor mood during the day
- Excessive waking at night followed by trips to the refrigerator
- An abnormally high carbohydrate intake at night
- Feelings of stress and/or anxiety during the nocturnal feedings
- Family members with NES
Why NES will keep you from getting toned arms:
- Lean tissue loss. Skipping breakfast will burn through your muscle like a knife through butter. And less muscle translates into a much slower metabolism (calories burned 24/7).
- Insulin resistance. Again, skipping breakfast is the culprit because it messes up your levels of insulin for the rest of the ENTIRE day. And if you’re in a state of insulin resistance, your fat cells are getting an excess of nutrients.
- Poor mental state. Being in a bad mood makes the smallest of obstacles seem impossible. If you want lean arms, you have to stay positive.
- Excessive arm fat gain. Your muscles are not good at absorbing calories while you sleep. So if you have a enormous intake of food during the night, your arm fat cells are likely to suck up all the extras.
How to overcome NES:
- Force yourself to have breakfast. Even if you aren’t hungry, you HAVE to eat within 20 minutes of waking. Force yourself to do this and you’ll gradually notice an increase in morning hunger. This isn’t easy at first, it was very hard for me, but it’s doable!
- Exercise early in the day. This will accelerate the buildup of certain chemicals in your brain. Said buildup will help you fall asleep (and stay asleep) much faster.
- Have protein instead of carbs. At the very least, substitute your nocturnal carbs for protein. This will minimize insulin spikes and arm fat storage. It’s absolutely critical you do this if you’re serious about figuring out how to tone your upper arms.
- Have one glass of red wine. A glass of red is a great way to calm the nerves. Less nerves equal less nocturnal feedings.
- Jump in a Jacuzzi for 15-20 minutes. This is a great way to relax your muscles (and mind). I was skeptical with this one until I tried it. The mechanical release of tension does wonders.
- Read fiction. This will help turn off projection into the future and put the stresses of the day behind you.
- Watch a movie. If you’re too tired to read, a movie will also do the trick. Just don’t have any red licorice!
- Call a friend. Talking to somebody close to you is an excellent method of stress reduction. We are all social beings and NEED to feel connected.
- Take a freezing cold shower 30min. before bed. The decrease in temperature will help you fall and stay asleep.
- If all else fails, seek professional help. There is no shame in seeking out a professional. NES is usually treated as a chemical addiction. And Zoloft has shown promising results in this area.
Do you really want to learn how to tone your upper arms? Do you suffer from NES? If so, PLEASE follow the advice in this article. Many times it’s very hard for us to deal with everything on our own. Sometimes we need the help of others. And NES is no exception. If you cannot overcome it with the tips in this article, then please seek out a professional. Remember, there is no shame in doing this. Take care!