Help! I Can't Stop Eating At Night - My Body Tutor
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Help! I Can’t Stop Eating At Night

brownies on a plate with the statement i can't stop eating at night

…Do you eat terrific all day just to have it all come crashing down at night?

…Do you feel out of control after 6 pm, like your willpower is tapped out?

…Are you frustrated because eating at night is your biggest hurdle?

If so, you’re not alone. Countless clients have come to us saying,

“Help! I can’t stop eating at night.”

And that may be your struggle now. If so, we’re going to tackle this problem head-on.

There are two paths we can take. We can either 1.) Start with tactics or 2.) Get to the root of the problem.

1.) Start with tactics.

This is what I call the “Tips and Tricks” approach. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong in going this direction.

But honestly, if that’s all it took, don’t you think you would’ve beat late-night binging long ago?

Instead, we’re going to…

2.) Get to the root of the problem.

We have to push past addressing the symptoms and get to the core.

[But before we go down this road, I have to warn you. It may get uncomfortable.]

In fact, I’m going to ask you to answer some of the toughest questions about late-night eating that you have ever been asked.

But that’s okay. Discomfort lets us know we’re on the right track.

I just ask one thing before we start. Be completely honest with yourself. If you are, I promise you can create a plan to put late night eating behind you once and for all!

Late-night binging: The 5 toughest questions you’ll ever answer.

  1. Are you searching for a magic bullet?
  2. Do you know the difference between physical and emotional hunger?
  3. Are you ready to accept responsibility for your eating?
  4. Do you really WANT to stop eating?
  5. What are you going to do when panic sets in?

(Before scrolling down. Stop and reflect on each of the five questions. Take all the time you need to give a real, honest response.)

Okay, now that you have your answer let’s dive into these.

1.) Are you searching for a magic bullet?

To some extent, we’re all looking for some sort of miracle elixir, aren’t we?

An article to read, a piece of exercise equipment to buy, a pill to take, or an app to download

If we can just find the right one…POOF! Problem solved.

And I am no different. I wish there were magic too.

Every time I travel, I dream about how great it would be to just blink and be there already.

Let me share one of my favorite Oprah quotes.

“If there were a shortcut to having a healthy body, I’m sure I’d have the secret by now.” —Oprah

Now, let’s stop and reflect on what’s happening here.

This is one of the wealthiest women in the world, and she has searched for a shortcut her entire life. She has all the resources you could imagine, and has come to the realization that shortcuts do not exist.

The fact is: there’s work to do. It’s not easy, and there’s no getting around it.

Truth be told, stopping your late-night binging is difficult. It’s uncomfortable and, at times, just plain hell.

Now don’t get me wrong, it gets easier with persistence and consistency. And soon, you’ll wish you started twenty years ago.

But here is the point:

We need to set the expectation up front. To resolve that there will be times when you WILL want to quit. It is absolutely critical to expect it and prepare for it.

Discomfort is your compass, it’s our guide that shows we’re going in the right direction.

Don’t fear discomfort, embrace it.

2.) Do you know the difference between physical and emotional hunger?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

It’s late at night, and the cravings are so intense that you don’t know if you can make it until morning.

When you’re in the moment, it’s easy to believe what you’re feeling is physical hunger!

Or to take the sugar coating off, it’s easy to deceive and convince yourself that what you’re feeling is physical hunger. (I’ve been there.)

But in reality,

If you ate dinner at 6 pm and it’s 9 pm now, it is not physical hunger. What you’re experiencing is emotional.

At that point, food is serving a purpose.

Ask yourself these questions.

1.) Am I eating because I’m…

  • Bored?
  • Angry?
  • Anxious?
  • Lonely?

2.) Am I eating to reward myself?

Or even…

3.) Am I eating to avoid the pain of not eating.

A powerful way to determine if you’re physically or emotionally hungry is to take The Broccoli Test.

Physical hunger comes on gradually. If you haven’t eaten since last night, you’d feel the pangs begin to build throughout the day.

Emotional hunger is instant and has a sense of urgency to it. I HAVE to eat this now, or I am going to starve.

Click here to join our free mini course and learn more about emotional hunger.

3.) Are you ready to accept responsibility for your eating?

If you’re a late-night eater, there’s one thing we have to know – without a shadow of a doubt. And that is…

It is YOUR choice whether you eat or not.

You have got to quit playing the blame game and accept responsibility for the choices you make. Whether you eat or not is 100% within your control.

It’s not your…

  • Spouse’s fault you’re eating because they brought cake home.
  • Kid’s fault because they don’t like healthy food.
  • Friend’s fault because they want to eat Mexican for dinner.

And, it’s not because…

  • You’re on vacation,
  • It’s your birthday,
  • You feel like you deserve a reward,

And it’s not because you can’t control yourself. These are lies you tell yourself to justify why you are eating.

The decision to eat or not sits squarely with you.

When you assign blame to another person, place, or thing, you will always feel like eating is outside your control.

Let me repeat that for effect: Until you accept responsibility for your eating, it will ALWAYS feel like eating is outside your control.

And the only way we can take back control is to actually…take back control. Stop sitting in the passenger’s seat wondering why you’re not getting to where you want to go.

This is your responsibility.

When we’re faced with a decision at night, say to yourself,

Eating is my decision. It’s a choice I am making, and no one else is causing me to eat this.”

When you do, you are taking ownership of what and when you eat. This is your decision.

4.) Do you really WANT to stop eating?

If I ask, “Do you want to stop eating at night?” It seems like a silly question, doesn’t it?

Obviously, you’d answer, “Yes, of course, I do! That’s why I’m here.”

But,

Let’s ask the question one more time, “Do you *really* WANT to stop eating at night?”

It’s not,

  • Wouldn’t it be nice if you stopped eating at night? Or
  • Wouldn’t it be great if you could stop eating someday?

When you strip away everything you think you should say, your honest answer may be,

“No. I really don’t. I enjoy eating at night. It helps me relax, de-stress, and to feel good, if even for a short period of time.”

Do you agree that you may not actually want to stop late night binging?

Because think about the alternative.

Without eating, you’ll have to deal with negative, uncomfortable emotions.

You leave a void. A hole.

If you eat because you’re…

  • Bored. How are you going to fill that time?
  • Anxious. How will you deal with that emotion?
  • Lonely. Exactly how will you cope with that feeling?

Too many times, we DON’T want to stop eating because if we do, we’ll feel the discomfort that sets in when we don’t numb our emotions with food.

Here’s what I want you to do.

1 – Make a list of the reasons why you don’t want to stop eating.

Again, be completely honest with yourself.

Ask, “If I don’t eat tonight, what negative emotion will I have to feel?”

Keep in mind that there may be more than one.

You may have to face anxiety, and boredom, and frustration all at the same time.

Now,

2 – Make a list of why you do want to stop eating.

It could be that you:

  • Don’t want to lay in bed another night feeling like you have zero control over your life.
  • You’re tired of the guilt and shame you feel in the morning.
  • You don’t want to feel this way anymore.

Remember these reasons the next time you’re face-to-face with a late-night binge.

Knowing why you want (and need) to quit is one of the most powerful motivators in your arsenal.

When you want to quit, to give in and just eat. Reminding yourself why this is important will give you the boost to make it through.

5.) What are you going to do when panic sets in?

Here’s what we’ve covered.

  • There is no magic bullet.
  • You know those late-night cravings are not caused by physical hunger—they’re driven by our emotions.
  • You are responsible for the eating choices you make.
  • You know that when you decide to curb late-night eating, you have to address the void.

Now, we have to talk about the moment of truth.

We made a choice to break our late-night eating habit. But it feels like no one told our body about the decision we made.

All it knows is that it expects food right now. And if it doesn’t get it, it will literally throw a fit.

And this is when the panic starts to set in.

In that moment, what will you do?

I hope your plan isn’t to rely on willpower. Because as we know, willpower never seems to be there when we need it most.

You need an actual plan. You need support. And you need accountability.

That’s why at MyBodyTutor, we get the results we do. Because we are there with you every…single…day.

Going a week or a month between accountability check-ins is just too long.

We give you support every day of the week, on the weekends, on holidays…you know, the times that matter most.

You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

Sure, you can tackle this problem by yourself, but why?

If you are ready to make late-night binging a thing of the past, we’re here to help you make that happen.

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