“Why Can’t I Stop Myself From Eating?”

 
Marcy has always kept herself in pretty good shape. But lately 10 (or 15) extra pounds have crept up and it’s starting to worry her.
 

As a busy mom of two active kids, she works hard to squeeze in time to take care of her health and fitness.

 
She works out almost every day.
 
She makes (mostly) good eating choices all day…and then night falls…and the Green Gobbler in Marcy comes out
 
…gobblin’ up everything in sight.
 
Here’s how the conversation started:
 
“Rob, I eat good all day. But after the kids go to bed and I relax on the sofa I eat and eat and eat. Why can’t I stop myself?”
 
– – – – – – – – – –
 
Does this sound like you?
 
You do great all day and then at night your “Green Gobbler” is unleashed undoing all the good food choices you made all day.
 
The bad news is I don’t have a “one size fits all” answer because there could be many different reasons you’re eating at night.
 
The good news is there IS a solution for every reason. Here are three of the most common:
 
 
BOREDOM
 
“I sit down at night and I need to do something with my hands, so I snack.”
 
You’re bored, your energy is low and you want a pick me up to make you feel good. And since junk food gives you a shot of dopamine (the feel good hormone) you snack to feel better.
Problem is, that shot of dopamine is short-lived so you quickly feel bored again and need more snacks (the food companies LOVE this!) which puts you a bad cycle.
 
Instead, do something you truly enjoy. Take a hot bath and read a book (be careful in the tub with your iPad, just sayin’).
Go for a nice walk.
 
My wife likes to knit. It keeps her hands and mind engaged.
 
Do a crossword or Sudoku puzzle.
 
Take up a sport or a hobby you can do with others.
 
You can change it up every night so you don’t ever get bored again.
 
 
STRESS
 
“After the kids go to bed I need a glass of wine to relax before bed.”
 
Most people believe that a glass or two (or three) of alcohol helps them relax and sleep better. But it’s actually not true. While alcohol can make you drowsy it actually disrupts your normal sleep pattern so you don’t get a good, sound sleep.
 
This can cause you to wake up tired and cranky instead of refreshed – which adds to your stress. So you drink even more wine at night, which disrupts your sleep…
 
Start by reducing or eliminating the things that stress you as much as possible.
 
Then find ways to relieve your stress that don’t include food or alcohol.
 
The number 1 proven BEST (and most underused) stress reliever is EXERCISE. It doesn’t have to be anything intense, for many just going for a walk is enough. And for others, intense workouts seem to help them best.
 
Mediation is the number 2 best stress reliever. It doesn’t have to take hours or be complicated. With a quick internet search you’ll find many courses on meditation. You may have to experiment with a few different ones until you find one that is right for you.
 
Take a hot bath and read a good book. Close the door and tell the family to only disturb you if the house is burning – and even then wait until the firefighters get there.
 
Have sex. It releases dopamine, serotonin and whole host of feel good, stress- reducing hormones… and it’s kinda fun 🙂
 
 
HABIT
 
“I stand in front of the cupboard thinking to myself ‘I’m not hungry’, yet I still grab some cookies.”
 
It’s after dinner, you’re in your comfy clothes, the kids are quiet, all the chores are done, you sit your “spot”, you turn on the TV and you have a snack ready within reach – every single night for years.
 
No different than showering every morning or brushing your teeth every night.
 
You’ve created a habit.
 
Habits are automatic and just like you feel “off” when you when you miss something you do habitually.
 
Don’t believe me? Try taking a different route to work tomorrow and see how it feels.
 
To break this habit, you have to create a new, better habit.
 
Start by changing your environment. Sit in a different place, or a different room. Move the TV to a different spot. Make it so it’s very hard to snack in your spot. Don’t buy the things you normally snack on.
Next, change your usual “wind down” routine. We all have patterns that we follow every day. When you wind down, you put on your comfy clothes, check on the kids, turn on the TV and graze in the kitchen.
 
Change the order, or add something in or do both. Make your wind-down routine “feel” different and drop “graze in the kitchen” from it.
 
Remember, you’ve been doing this habit for many years. Give yourself some time and practice to get the new habit right and lock it in.
 
– – – – – – – – –
 
There you go, there are three of the most common reasons you snack at night and a few solutions for each.
Why not give them a try and see which one works for you? It could be just the thing to help you drop those nagging 10 or 15 pounds that seem to keep hanging around.
 
There are many more reasons for why you’re snacking at night and more solutions, all of which I can help you with as a member of IronCore Kettlebell Club.

Speak Your Mind

*