Episode 275 | January 25, 2022

Overcome Night Eating Syndrome with Gillian Young B

A Personal Note From Orion

If you ever catch yourself eating more often late at night before you go to bed, you might be experiencing something called night eating syndrome. Binge eating before sleeping or in the middle of the night may impact your health negatively. If this is something you want to learn more about or fix, this episode with Gillian Young is a must-listen. 

Gillian Young B is a personal coach helping others overcome obstacles and write their next chapter. Her vast work experience covers many jobs that fed her love and curiosity for health, food, and wellness.

She spent many years as a Producer for the Discovery Channel and Discovery Health, and worked for ResearchGate in Berlin. She owned an underground restaurant in Toronto, taught cooking classes at The Dirty Apron in Vancouver, worked a variety of cooking and catering jobs. She’s also written, produced for, and starred on Food Network.

Her coaching business grew organically from people asking her for help with their diets, and her love of fitness blossomed when she discovered how strength training could transform her body and calm her emotions.

So without further ado, on with the show!



In this Episode

  • [00:51] – Orion introduces her next guest, Gillian Young B, Custom wellness coach and Night Eating Syndrome Specialist.
  • [02:20] – Gillian speaks about her passion and the way she discovered it.
  • [02:52] – The explanation of night-eating syndrome, its several components, and the number of people experiencing it.
  • [06:03] – Orion asks Gillian about the time she realized she had night eating syndrome and the steps she took to overcome it.
  • [07:07] – Gillian shares the impact of her 15 years of night-eating and enumerates the steps she did on her recovery.
  • [13:46] – Orion talks about her experience of having some gut issues and insomnia due to stress.
  • [15:48] – A discussion of taking food regularly for women to avoid significant hormonal imbalances.
  • [18:09] – Gillian recommends moderation, and a quality diet is the best every time.  
  • [19:41] – Orion shares enjoying food from her culture and thinks listening to one’s intuition and knowing what diet works for you is essential.
  • [21:23] – Gillian advises on connecting to your intuition through food.
  • [22:51] -Orion asks what people with night-eating challenges share with Gillian and the steps she gives to them to address it.
  • [25:20] – Gillian shares her thoughts about breaking out from sugar addiction and balancing blood sugar.
  • [27:36] – Gillian explains the mental part of the night-eating syndrome. 
  • [33:28] – Orion wants to know how Gillian changed and who she is today compared to the person before.
  • [35:11] – Gillian discusses taking care of herself and the things she does on allowing herself to exist without taking any energy from her.
  • [37:21] – Orion wants Gillian to share some success stories of life-changing experiences with the audience.
  • [39:00] – Gillian talks about the workshops she launched and how it works.
  • [43:20] – The top three tips for living a stellar life by Gillian.
  • [43:56] – Visit Gillian Young’s website to get to know her, join her incredible workshops and community to heal night-eating and feel extraordinary.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hey, Gillian, and welcome to the Stellar Life podcast. It’s very good to have you here. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much. I’m excited to be here.

Before we dive in, can you share a little bit about your passion and how you discovered it?

Yeah, I’m a wellness coach and night-eating syndrome specialist. And like a lot of people, I discovered my love of helping others through their health and wellness, and through night-eating syndrome through the challenges with my health, with my wellness, with my body and body image, and then going through 15 years of night-eating syndrome myself.

Wow. What is night-eating syndrome? Obviously, you eat at night, but how is it a syndrome?

This is the big question because it’s very misunderstood, which is why I’m so passionate about speaking up about it. Because it’s very different from sleep eating, you’re conscious that you’re eating with night-eating syndrome. So the official definition is that you’re getting at least a quarter of your calories of the day after dinner. And you have at least three of the following. So it’s lack of appetite in the morning, strong urge to eat between dinner and sleep insomnia four to five times a week. 

Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome by Gillian Young Barkalow

This is the big one, feeling like you need to eat to go back to sleep. And one symptom can be a depressed mood that gets worse in the evening. So the big thing for most people is they get up through the night, and they feel like they have to eat to go back to sleep. And this can be full binges, or it can be a snack. But there’s that need to eat to sleep, and it’s not something you can be like, “Oh, I’m just not going to do it.” It’s a strong urge, almost like binge eating, where you feel like you have no control over it.

Wow, this is so crazy. How many people are experiencing that?

What’s amazing is that people are very ashamed about it because it’s very misunderstood. It’s seldom talked about. So I think the statistic would be wrong if there are any on how many people in the world have that habit. But I can tell you; I’ve worked with people all around the world. Anytime I post anything about it, I get hundreds of people who say, “Oh, my God, I have this too. I didn’t know is an actual thing,” or who have been googling it forever but never found someone who’s talking about it, and sharing their recovery from it. So there’s not a lot of information, and people are still struggling and trying everything but still being in that helplessness. So it’s been cool to be a success story and have resources to give people who are struggling.

Right? Is that an emotional addiction or a physical addiction? Or both?

So there are several components. I’d say it’s primarily physical, but I’ve learned that it’s physical, hormonal, and then mental. Those are the things that I target. Generally, it starts because someone wasn’t eating enough, and it was their body’s way of trying to survive. So whether that was an athlete who was under fueling, or like me, I had anorexia, so I was severely under-eating. Or someone who just unknowingly wasn’t eating enough or doing back-to-back diets. 

So it starts as a need for your body to survive and eat more, needing more fuel. Often, there’s also hormonal imbalances like cortisol, stress levels being totally off. Blood sugar spiking and dropping at the wrong times. And then the mental part is, once it’s become a habit, that neuropathway in your brain is solid, you go to bed at night, an hour later, two hours later, your brain goes, it’s snack time. So we have to work on all those things to recover from it.

Most people get up through the night, and they feel like they have to eat to go back to sleep.

In your journey, did you have the definition, “Oh, I have this thing. I have night-eating syndrome. It is a thing.” When did you realize that?

I’ve always been a super researcher. So for me, it started when I was 16. At that time, I was in recovery from anorexia, and I had no official recovery support. So I just soldiered through, and then over the years, I’d say around 17-18. Googling was a bigger thing, and I found that it was, and it was so depressing because everything I found was forums of people going, “Hey, I have this, and nothing’s working. I tried Zoloft. It didn’t work. I tried this. I tried that.” And just these kinds of really sad stories and nothing to inspire recovery? So yeah, I just researched everything I could on my own because I thought there had to be some way of overcoming this.

How long did it take you to overcome it? How did you do that?

So I had it for 15 years. Yeah, with various severities. So when it first started, for many years, it was like more of a binge. Like most people with it, I would have months here and there where whatever was happening in my life, I didn’t have it, but it would always come back. And it could be like half a jar of peanut butter in the night, six bowls of cereal, like actual binge eating where there was that full lack of control. 

And then, in my mid-20s, I got really into health and bodybuilding and working out. So I learned how to eat enough, but that habit was still there. So I’d go up and have two protein bars, so it wasn’t a binge per se. But that need to eat to go back to sleep was still there. And then it was only in the past few years because it continually dwindled in and out. Like I had a pretty firm grip on it. But in the past few years, I was like, “Hey, I’m so done with this.” I was a professional researcher for years; if anyone can figure this out, it’s me. 

And I was also just so depleted from competing in bodybuilding. So I was like, “Hey, I gotta fix my hormones, I gotta fix my sleep, and I got to get rid of this.” And that’s why I went hardcore into eliminating certain things from my diet, cutting back on my workouts, and putting my body into repair mode. And through that, and during the mental work, I was suddenly getting these like super deep sleep, and no urge to even eat at all. 

Honor your body and how it changes physically, emotionally, mentally, and hormonally throughout the years. Click To Tweet

That’s when I was like, “Okay, I’ve figured this out.” And I wrote my book, Overcoming Night-Eating Syndrome, an ebook, also on Amazon, and started sharing it. And it’s been so cool because I’ve been coaching people one-on-one as well and have had success after success with people just sharing these methods, and they often have seen so many professionals, but unless you’ve lived it, it’s really hard to understand.

Yeah. What was the impact on your life in that 15 years of night-eating? And while you are the symbol of health, you’re a bodybuilder; everybody’s looking at you. You probably compete, and people look at you as the healthiest woman alive. But you’re saying, so much stress and your body was breaking, and you develop that. You kept that habit of night-eating; how did it all work? How did it work for you, or didn’t it work for you?

It affected my life negatively from the beginning. And it’s so interesting saying like, “I’m the image of health.” I worked with many well-known athletes, people in the public eye, or competitive bodybuilders. Or people who had seen by anyone else, often there are a lot of perfectionists who have this. So it’s people you would meet in your life and be like, they’ve got it all together. But every morning, I was there waking up with this huge amount of shame, digestive issues, feeling very alone and lost, and embarrassed. 

For me, it played a big role in my life. Especially, I had so many goals in my weight training and my business. When you’re going to the gym after a night of night-eating, and your stomach’s just in knots, and you can’t even eat breakfast to fuel your workout, you feel embarrassed. And then you’re like, “I was a health coach.” 

It affected my life negatively from the beginning.

So it was a big deal when I decided to put it up there publicly. I did a YouTube video, and then I started posting on Instagram. And I thought people were going to be like, “Well, you obviously don’t have your stuff together. I don’t want to work with you.” But it was the opposite. So many people came out and were like, “Oh, my God, thank you. I have this too.”

Wow. So you’re going through that recovery. So while you are going through recovery, you’re helping other people recover. And you said you had to cut down on your workouts, and you had to change your diet and cut some things out of your diet. What were those things?

Yeah, so everyone’s recovery is different. For me, I had to go pretty extreme. So I limited any intense workouts, so cut out all HIIT or anything like that. I mostly just did walking and light, short-weight workouts. Because my goal was to lower my cortisol and get my body in that relaxed rest and digest state. So I cut out caffeine and sugar, which is a huge one. I focused on a higher fat, more natural, whole foods-based diet. Higher fiber to get my blood sugar to balance. 

Because at one point, I even did blood tests for blood sugar every morning, and my fasted blood sugar was like pre-diabetic, so that shows that the blood sugar was a huge component. It’s a huge misunderstanding because people go, “Oh, you’re a healthy weight; there’s no way you have blood sugar issues.” With extreme stress, you can have major imbalances and have to work extra hard to balance it. And I’ve seen that across the board.

Wow. Did it balance all your hormones, not just the insulin?

Yeah. Doing those things, I noticed my periods got better, and my sleep got better. All those things that signify healthy hormones started to improve.

Did you check your hormones, or did you just notice your body?

Quality and moderation will be the best thing every time.

I never did the official tests because, unfortunately, they’re all very expensive to do a thorough one. It’s good to work with a naturopath to do a full DUTCH Test. Working for myself and always being on a budget, it’s never been super realistic. So I also really trust in listening to the signs your body is getting, which are pretty loud, especially what I find with myself. 

So I got to see all those things improve, and I could tell you know, by that alone, that it was working. But again, it was a slow and patient process. Because, especially with female hormones, even when we make all these positive changes, it often takes about three months to see any difference. But over time, I did. And again, getting that deep sleep at night was something I dreamed about my whole life or half my life. And it was like, “Oh my goodness, this is amazing.” And this is going to change my life.

Wow. I had, I think it’s stress, started developing some gut issues and light insomnia. So I get how sleep is so important. I just want to sleep for like four days straight, please. But for me, what I just started doing, which is really helpful, is every morning I do, and I used to do it a long time ago when I was more of a health fanatic. Now, I just eat everything. I don’t really train. But I’m like it’s time to take my life back. And I just do every morning; I follow this book. My friend recommended it. It’s called Medical Intuitive. 

Medical Medium.

Yeah, Medical Medium. Thank you so much. And he talks about celery juice in the morning. So for the last two weeks, I’ve been doing a glass of water with lemon juice and then celery juice every morning. I am starting to feel better and sleep better. It’s amazing. Sometimes, those little things can help and affect you. In the last couple of years, there was so much stress on people being isolated. Talking to people behind masks and all the stress in the world today that is affecting everyone. And I’m sure, to the level of how conscious you are or not. It affects you. And I thought that I was a very conscious person. But I’m stressed out of my mind. What’s going on? This is tough. How do you eat to balance your mood?

Yeah, and that’s a big thing. Interestingly, there’s nothing wrong with the protocols like celery juice in the morning, but unfortunately, that’s often promoted with fasting. On the female body, that can be a stressor fasting. 

Learn to work with your body and also keep a little flexibility.

Yeah, sure. 

And that’s not something we talk about a lot. So the biggest thing…

I’m still nursing. I get like I can’t fast. I’m not going to fast.

Yeah, and you shouldn’t in general. They never tell you that most studies on diets like fasting or the ketogenic diet are done on men because women are too complicated to study. But because of that, we have this huge void of information. The small studies show that any extremes generally on women hormonally or who menstruate hormonally is detrimental. Because our bodies crave that regularity, that sense of safety, and when that’s not there, that’s when you start seeing those major imbalances. 

So food for mood. I always say, first and foremost, balance your blood sugar so have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks. So your blood sugar is never dropping or spiking, and you’re having that regular intake of food. It’s crazy, like that alone, the way it changes people’s lives, where they have that regular fuel, they’re no longer wanting to binge in the evenings. Their brain is healed, their body is healed, makes a huge difference. 

And then, within those snacks and meals, we always want to balance our blood sugar. So if you’re having anything carb or sugar like so you’re going to have a banana, have a healthy fat with it. So I say, have a banana put some peanut butter on it. Super simple. But make sure you’re balancing that blood sugar component. 

Brain over Binge by
Kathryn Hansen

You don’t need to do crazy low carb; you don’t need to do keto; just when you have those sugars, balance them out. That will also help your mood, and then get all those good basic nutrients. So anything rich in B vitamins and omega will be especially helpful. So I always say, if you’re having a bad day, eat more eggs, eat some salmon, throw some hemp seeds in, like all those Vitamin B and omega-rich foods are going to be a huge mood booster as well.

I used to take omega-3 fish oil, and I heard it’s got heavy metals. The oceans are becoming more toxic, and the fish are becoming toxic. And you can get a lot of heavy metals if you consume a lot of fish or a lot of fish oil. What are your thoughts about that?

Yeah, with the fish oil supplements, you have to be careful where you source it, and the same with fish.

Do you have a recommendation for a good brand?

Honestly, I used to take it. Now, I take those Ritual vitamins because they have some supplements. Their supplements are verified. Many supplements aren’t put through any test to make sure they’re quality. Ritual, from what I read, they’re designed for women, and everything has been looked at to ensure it’s top quality and effective. So I take that.

But the big thing is diet. So I always say, we’re always going to hear these extremes, like don’t eat red meat, don’t eat meat, don’t eat seafood. At the end of the day, quality and moderation will be the best thing every time. So have your fish; just don’t overdo it. Have your eggs, have your chia seeds, have your hemp seeds, have your plant-based options. Also, once in a while, if your body’s craving it, if you’re not vegan, have those meats as well, but when possible, search for wild, organic, all that good stuff. 

Sometimes things happen inside our bodies we’re not aware of right away unless we look closely.

But I always want to be realistic, and that’s not everyone’s budget. So again, do your best to moderate and have a plant-rich diet. You don’t have to be fully plant-based if it’s not for you. The more nutrients and diversity we can get for our gut, the better our brain health and overall well-being. Also, even consider things like culture, like enjoy the foods from your culture, enjoy the things from your heritage that your mom may like. All these things are important for health on the stimuli level.

I enjoyed the food from my culture. Last week, it was Hanukkah. And the cultural food is doughnuts. So it was. And then I hosted a big party at home, and it was really beautiful. But then I was left with so many doughnuts, and they were on the counter just smiling at me and saying, “Eat me! Eat Me! Eat Me!” When you have a lot of doughnuts on your counter, you end up eating them, which wasn’t working well with my gut that has recently been sensitive to gluten and oil. But yeah, I get it. 

I get what you’re saying about moderation because we live in a world where everything is black and white. It’s like it’s either I have to be vegan or a carnivore. And then I’m doing the meat diet; you’re doing the old plan. And there are so many extremes, and it’s like my way or the highway, and I know better than you and do intermittent fasting. No! Eat six meals a day. 

I tried to use surface things, and I realized that wasn’t enough for me.

There are so many diets, and there’s so much confusion. People keep forgetting that between black and white, there are 50 shades of grey, and everybody has their own shade. Like we all have to, I think the key is to listen to our intuition and what works for us. For me, I’m a little bit of anemic, which is it’s from my heritage. And if I don’t eat red meat every once in a while, I don’t have to eat it every day; I don’t feel as good. And for some people, certain seeds or certain fruits will never work. What’s your advice on connecting to your intuition regarding food? 

Yeah, and that’s a challenging thing to teach. You’ve been blessed with feeling very connected to the body and knowing what works and what doesn’t. But one thing I’ve also always done, which I encourage, is to experiment and not see it as all or nothing, black and white thing. But out of curiosity, maybe I see how I feel going fully plant-based for a week. So let’s see how I feel having red meat once a week—playing around and seeing how you feel while also honoring that you’re going to change emotionally and mentally over the years, and your body will change hormonally. So always have that little room for play to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. 

When you cut out everything at once, it is so confusing because you start adding things in and don’t know what’s bothering you. So ideally, baby steps one thing at a time, like maybe dairy is bothering me, let’s take it out for a week. Let’s see how I feel digestively, how my skin is. “Hey, I’m feeling good. I’ll try another week.” “Okay, I’m craving dairy. Let’s see what happens if I have a cappuccino or a yogurt.” “Oh, hey, I broke out. I don’t feel as good. But I loved that cappuccino, so I’ll have one once in a while.” Learn to work with your body and also keep a little flexibility.

When people come to you with the night-eating problem or challenge, what did they tell you about it? What is the first step that you give them?

Alone time is so important for me.

Everyone’s story is so different. And this is what’s fascinating. But the general overriding similarities are that they were severely under-eating at one point in their lives. And then again, I see a lot of perfectionists and high achievers who in the day might be like, “I hate this, robot-like super clean eaters.” Healthy to the outside eye, but often unknowingly, because we’re so infiltrated with diet culture, they’re still under eating and under fueling. 

For years, I would see doctors and nutritionists, not one person said, “You’re under eating.” I had one amazing nutritionist, and after months of working with me, it was like, “Your diet is so healthy,” but she said, “But it’s still not balanced.” She was like, “You’re hardly eating any protein.” Eating all these super raw vegan, antioxidant-rich foods, like spending my paychecks at Whole Foods. 

But I was terrified to eat a piece of meat, an egg, or anything that my body probably needed to balance out. So she was one of the few people that most people see, expert after expert, and they’re like, “No, you’re fine.” And it’s again; we’re such a fatphobic culture that it’s like, if you’re not overweight, there’s no problem. But, meanwhile, these people are suffering and not sleeping through the night.

First and foremost, we work on the diet and eating again three meals a day and two snacks, and making sure we’re eating enough. So that is like the major starting point. And then every person is different because some people we have to go more extreme like I did, where it’s like, “Okay, your body is so stressed. So let’s cut out all caffeine, all sugar, and go from there.” And then I’ve had clients who I’m like, “You’re going to have a doughnut. Have a handful of almonds.” This balances your blood sugar.

I had a whole bag of almonds the other day. 

Now you know.

Now I know.

Undereating and restricting yourself from certain foods may be a reason for binge eating at night.

Not alone. For them, they sleep through the night. So every person is different. The big thing is eating enough. But depending on how deep the person is and how much they’re off like, we work together one thing after another to figure out what they need.

Cutting sugar is very difficult because sugar is very addictive. It’s firing the same centers in your brain, like cocaine or other things that are very addictive. So how do you break out of sugar addiction? What if somebody is binging lots of sweets at night?

So my perspective on sugar has changed a lot over the past couple of years because I used to be like, “No sugar. Nothing with sugar in it. Only Stevia.” Very, very strict. And it goes to some people if there’s a lot of inflammation or stress, I take it out more for like, let’s take a break from this and let your body chill. But what I found is when we focus on getting more natural sugars in, even having the odd candy bar, I love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, treats here and there. Doughnuts for you. But again, focusing on that blood sugar component. 

And also, being present with the food, really enjoying it, and not having shame around, can help a lot of people break out of that mentality of like, “I only eat doughnuts this time of year. So I better eat as many as I can, right?” Like working them into the diet. But make sure you’re getting all those other meals and snacks so your body’s less likely to want to overdo it. You’re also balancing your blood sugar, so your body’s less likely to want to overdo it. It’s fascinating because when we’re well-nourished, and we know there’s another meal coming, and we know we can have another treat tomorrow, that addictive quality tends to go away.

Yeah, I heard Abraham Hicks. Do you know of Esther Hicks


You can have these things; just moderate them and enjoy them.

They were talking about your feelings and your thoughts when you eat. If you eat something, and you focus on how bad it is for you, it’s going to manifest in your body. If you eat something delicious but you say, “This is going to harm me. And this is going to make me gain weight.” Then your subconscious mind will be like, “Okay.” Because the subconscious mind will do whatever you can tell it and then say, “Okay,  now we’re going to take all this and just store it as fat.” So we talked about the physiology of night-eating; what about the mental part? The mindset of it?

Yeah. And that can be the hardest thing. We can hit all the boxes, and that’s off and on; we have to work on that the longest. But again, every person is different. I’ve had people literally like week one. They’re good. Other people, we work together for months. So the mindsets are the most challenging part, but it’s not that hard if you let it be simple. And I thought that was so annoying when I first read a book called Brain Over Binge, and the author is awesome. She explains how she had a binge eating disorder. And she’s like, “I decided one day, I’m going stop, and I stopped.” And I’m like, “Whatever ladylike; it’s not that easy.” 

And with night-eating syndrome, there are other factors. But the mental part can be that easy, but it’s a little harder because it’s at night. So we have to tap into that subconscious when it feels like a very primal thing. So we have our frontal cortex, which is the logical decision-making brain. And then we have what we call the reptilian brain, sort of other names for it. And that’s the one that acts out of instinct that’s going to binge eat, that’s going to eat at night. 

And what we have to do, and I do this often through journaling, and then accountability by email with my clients to get to that point where they’re so clear why this isn’t working for them and why they want to stop and how much it’s not worth it. Then, when they’re reaching for that food in the night, they’re able to stop. And this is the key, “Stop, pause,” and be like, “Do I really want to do this?” 

You brought it from the subconscious to the conscious. 


Learn to value yourself, nourish to flourish, and stay curious. Click To Tweet

How did you do that? How do you talk to them? What do you tell them that is so influential?

So it’s really getting clear. For me, I had to get so clear about my “why.” And when I tried vain, like whatever reasons because I want to lift weights and look a certain way and whatever. I could override that, I saw my brain as an asshole, and it will justify anything. So if I under eat, it’ll be like, “Well, you didn’t eat up today,” or like I could. It’s a very cheeky brain, it’s a little rebel, so I had to be so clear. 

First, make sure I was eating enough so that it couldn’t be an excuse. And then really clear why it wasn’t working for me. And what ended up being my biggest “why” was I wanted to help other people. And I was like, if you’re still doing this every night, your dream of helping other people overcome this isn’t going to work. And it’s different for everybody. Some people, it’s like, “I want to have breakfast with my kids,” “I want to be able to just feel more confident.” 

But it’s talking about it, writing about it so much that when that primal brain wants to act, you can’t. You’re just like too much that you’re able to pause and stop. And what’s cool is over time, we’re used to taking that one highway, that one habit. But if we stopped taking that highway, this new road is going to become way more convenient; this superhighway that we’ve thought of going to just staying in bed and sleeping through the night is going to become our norm. So that becomes less of a thing.

Nourish to flourish.

Tony Robbins takes people through the Dickens process, where it just gets you to a place where if you’re going to keep doing what you’re doing, where are you going to be in a year, in five years, in 10 years, for so long, our long process of two hours alone. And people are in the room, you see them, like really seeing their dark future and screaming, and there’s like a room of 1000 people crying. And then he takes them to a place of a compelling future. 

“Okay, this is not happening. And now you’re exactly where you want to be. Where are you in a year and five years, in 10 years.” And people like 1000 people in the room are like screaming and it because this, our mind doesn’t understand the difference between the story we tell it and the images that we make in our mind to the reality. So it can be very real, and people go away from pain towards pleasure. And if you see how you cannot help people be in the way you are as the motivator, and so you ran away from that pain. 

Then you move toward the pleasure of like, “What is like – how am I going to show up in the world? Helping so many people because I overcame my demons.” And so that’s beautiful. And I guess what you do is let people come up with that on their own. Because when we tell people, you want to do it because of ABC. I mean, it’s surface, but when it comes from their heart, you asked the question, you analyze, and then they face that reality, then the motivator is something that is like you are awakening something in them from the inside.

Yeah. And I always say, “Permission to reassess at any time.” Because we change our goals, we change as people. So I had to do it again; I tried to use surface things. And I realized that wasn’t enough for me, and I think we should always check in. My reason of being changes every year as I get older. It’s fascinating to watch.

How do you think you’ve changed? Like, who are you today compared to the person you’ve been before?

Everyone's story is different, and this is what's fascinating. But the general overriding similarities are that they were severely under-eating at one point in their lives. Click To Tweet

So different, oh my god. I don’t even know how to put it into words like that’s so much therapy, self-work, inner work, and physical work. I have a lot more healthy self-esteem. So my need for approval physically in every way, whether it’s career or appearance, or any of those things, doesn’t matter to me in the way it did. Obviously, moments I’m not, I’m still human. But I’m so much firmer in myself and so clear on what I want. And my values like it’s me and my husband, my family, our potential future family, helping people and building a really solid business so that I can help more people. So everything else is just, it matters so much less like before it was, so I would say much more appearance-driven and worried what other people would think.

How do you take care of yourself?

Alone time is so important for me. I’m a huge introvert. And that’s big. Recently, I was still doing personal training in person until doing it outdoors. And I just realized I love people so much, but the energy it takes me to be with people than when it comes to doing the night-eating work is so big in my heart. I’m so burnt out; I can’t put in what I need to. So that’s a big self-care thing for me.

And when you say take your own time, do you go out in nature? Do you meditate? What do you do?

It’s different everyday. Like honestly, I find these days. Like you said like the last year has been so stressful. And I started to feel super burn out. So these days, I’m like, have a bath, have a nap, just lie down. So it’s just been like, lay down, read a book, even look on social media, which isn’t the best thing to do. But just something where I’m just allowing myself to exist without having to create and do something that’s taking any energy from me. 


It’s quicker to find solutions once you know what’s causing your condition.

But I do love nature. I mean, normally, my big thing is going in nature, getting a hike in, but I’m very honest. And I’ll say lately, it’s more resting.

Yeah. Do the people that come to you, your clients? Do you find that they are lacking in self-care usually?

Yeah. Often you got, as I said, overachiever, so people are working long hours at work, moms who are just doing everything around the house, sometimes also doing a job. So I would say that’s a really big thing. So often,  a big challenge is that I have people create a soothing bedtime routine at night. So it’s like, turn off your TV, have a bath, read the book. And for some people that alone, and I totally get this, is so hard. And what I realized for me because it was so hard for me in the past that sitting in my body, being aware of my body, and also being aware of my emotions was too much to handle sometimes. 

Baby steps.

Baby steps. Yeah. So I’m like, okay, maybe instead of an hour before bed, it’s 20 minutes, Like buy a book you like, listen to a meditation, you can still get your TV. I had one mom I worked with who’s awesome. She’s like, “My TV and like TV snacks at night, like my bowl of chocolate chips or whatever.” She’s like, “That’s my time.” So I was like, “Keep that then. Let’s just make sure like 10-15 minutes before bed. You’re just doing something to unwind a little.” And that was enough.

That was enough for her. 


With extreme stress, you can have major imbalances and work extra hard to balance it.

Can you share some success stories of people that we’re in a really bad place?

Yeah, I never want to share too many personal details. It is such a private thing. 

Yeah, not personal.

Like I did a workshop recently. And this gave me shivers. There was one woman who had had it longer than I had, I think, like 20 years or something. And she had done like all these medical tests, and seen all these experts, and was starting to feel like a lab rat at this point. And we introduced all the protocols. We went through it week by week. And one day, she’s like, “I eat breakfast for the first time in 20 years.” And then, like the next week, she’s like, “I slept through the night for the first time in 20 years.” 


And that’s like, I’m getting shivers. Again, you’re like, holy – like that is life-changing. Even like little things. I had a mom the other week; these stories got me hooked. And she’s like, “Every Halloween, my kids eat their candy, and I go like, do something else, and then I binge on them at night.” And she’s like, this year I sat with them. I had a couple of pieces of candy. I had my dinner; I went to bed, I slept through the night. Like that’s actually life-changing. Like not only is that like taking the shame away, but you’re more present with your family. You’re setting a better example for your kids. You can have these things; just moderate them and enjoy them. So it’s like those are always the ones that get me because that’s something that’s going to carry through someone’s whole life.

What are your workshops like? Is that day workshop? Two days, three days? How does it work?

I launched the first one earlier this year, and I did two more in New York; it was very successful. And I did it as an eight-week thing. And I broke up the chapters of my book, the different ideas, and every week we explored different things, whether it was the brain or dietary stuff. And not only was that great, but the coolest thing was, we have people from all around the world, and people sharing with each other, and connecting with people over something they felt so alone with was magical. And I was like, did I get so lucky because I got the nicest people in the world? Everyone was so respectful. So kind from all different walks of life, but they’re for it in there for each other. I was just blown away. And they really, I was like, I felt like an emotional thing for everybody. 

I have a lot more healthy self-esteem. So my need for approval physically in every way, whether it's in career or appearance, or any of those things, doesn't matter to me in the way it did. Click To Tweet

Nice. What made you do the workshop now and not before? How do you know that now is a good time?

Yeah, and it’s for me, it’s been slowly, honestly carving out more time in my schedule. Because, again, I’m a one-woman business. And for years, I’ve been hustling, doing personal training, and doing so many things at once. And this past year, throughout the pandemic, I guess over a year now, was a blessing in a sense. In all respects to everything horrible that happened, I finally had a bit of time to put towards this. And the workshop was always clear that it was something that had to happen. And it’s also very clear to me; I need to create more of a community space online, which I’m figuring out right now because that connection is so valuable.

Yeah, we live in a time where people feel a little disconnected. So when you can bring them together, that’s already healing. And then you do the healing work that you do on top of that. So it’s double healing. So I think it’s beautiful and it’s so essential and so important. So thank you for stepping up; I know it’s difficult to all of a sudden take the place of a “Now, I’m going to have a community!” It’s a lot of responsibility.

Every person is different.

It is, honestly. Because I’m so passionate about it, it’s so cool. And I feel so – I have a background in researching and TV work, booking all these things. And I’ve done so much like spiritual workshops, therapy workshops, group therapy-like stuff. So much work over the years that working with a group like that is so natural to me, and so fun and rewarding, that it is one of the things you’re like, yeah, it’s work. But it’s also just like so much pleasure to be able to do that.

And are your workshop only for people suffering from night-eating? or are there other people who can join, who suffer from other food disorders?

Currently, just night-eating, but there’s room to expand there. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of different workshops, just health-related and wellness-related. And I tend to be very just in the moment about feeling what people need. So the night-eating thing is really at the forefront for me right now. But I also have been working with many people with previous eating disorders of all kinds, who have been through proper treatment, or some form of treatment, or worked with a therapist. Because again, I don’t pretend to have those skills. 

But then they need support from someone who understands after that. And there’s a huge lack of that, like, “Okay, I’ve recovered from an eating disorder, but I still feel uncomfortable in my body, I’m uncomfortable around food, I have all these gut health issues.” And that’s been a big part of my work as well. And just working with people from all walks of life, who just want a better relationship with their bodies, with food, with their hormones, all of that and so that’s a big part of it as well right now. So I’d say I like overall wellness, but the history of disordered eating has been a big, important part and part of my calling to speak up about.

Beautiful. What are your three top tips for living a stellar life?

Oh, that’s a hard one—a lot of top three tips. One, learn to value yourself because just saying value yourself is too simple. Learn to value yourself. Two, nourish to flourish.

Quality and moderation are the best solution every time. Click To Tweet


Three, stay curious.

I like it. I’m an Aries. 

Yeah! We do well together.

Awesome. And where can people find you, get to know you, coach with you, take your incredible workshops, join the community, heal their night-eating, feel extraordinary, and celebrate life with you?

Yes, I am very active on Instagram, I’m @gillianyoungb. And my website is gillianyoung.com. Email is gillian@nullgillianyoung.com, and I’m also on TikTok, YouTube. Just look up Gillian Young, you’ll find me everywhere.

Wonderful. And Gillian, that was a really fun conversation and very helpful for many people. And thank you for being here. 

Thank you, and I appreciate you.

I appreciate you. Thank you, listeners. And remember to value yourself, nourish to flourish, and stay curious. Thank you so much for being here watching us listening to the podcast. Have a wonderful rest of your day, and have a stellar life. This is Orion until next time. Thank you.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓}Research any night-eating habits thoroughly so you can figure out the real cause for doing it. It’s quicker to find solutions once you know what’s causing your condition.
{✓}Get yourself checked for physical, hormonal, or mental imbalances if necessary. Sometimes things happen in our bodies that we’re not aware of right away unless we look closely.
{✓}Observe your eating habits during the day. For example, Undereating and restricting yourself from certain foods may be a reason for binge eating at night. 
{✓}Don’t jump into fad diets right away because they’re trendy and people display quick results. Remember, whatever you decide to do to your body has consequences. 
{✓}Be patient and trust the process. The progression will seem slow initially, but consistency will indeed produce results. 
{✓}Monitor your stress levels and sleep quality. Your energy plays a huge role in your mental health. 
{✓}Learn more about what fasting is before doing it. According to Gillian, fasting was designed initially for male physiology, and the female body isn’t built for today’s fasting trends.
{✓}Control your sugar intake and limit eating food rich in refined sugar. Substitute it instead with honey, agave, stevia, or monk fruit.
{✓}Learn more about nutrition and determine which vitamins and supplements work best for you. For example, foods rich in Omega 3 and vitamin B are great for boosting energy.
{✓}Visit Gillian Young B’s website to learn more about dealing with night-eating syndrome.

Links and Resources

About Gillian Young B

Gillian Young B is a Custom wellness coach and Night Eating Syndrome Specialist.
She is all about how to work with your body and get to the root cause of your night eating so you can nourish to flourish and live your life to the fullest.


Disclaimer: The medical, fitness, psychological, mindset, lifestyle, and nutritional information provided on this website and through any materials, downloads, videos, webinars, podcasts, or emails are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical/fitness/nutritional advice, diagnoses, or treatment. Always seek the help of your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, certified trainer, or dietitian with any questions regarding starting any new programs or treatments or stopping any current programs or treatments. This website is for information purposes only, and the creators and editors, including Orion Talmay, accept no liability for any injury or illness arising out of the use of the material contained herein, and make no warranty, express or implied, with respect to the contents of this website and affiliated materials.

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