Why Can’t I Stop Eating at Night?

Why Can’t I Stop Eating at Night?

So you’ve said to yourself all day – tonight I’m going to be really good and I’m not going to eat that ice-cream that’s in the freezer.  You come to the end of the day, you put yourself in front of the TV. Before you know it, you know you look down and you’ve finished off the carton of ice-cream – what just happened?  So the next day you say, today I’m not going to eat any ice-cream. And yet again that night you’re once again staring at the empty bottom of an ice-cream container. What’s going on here? So you ask yourself, “Why can’t I stop eating at night?”

I plan on answering just that here for you today.

Small polar bear cub exploring the territory

White Bear Experiment

The late Daniel Wegner, who was professor of psychology at Harvard University conducted a study. He and his colleagues asked people to make sure that they didn’t think about a white bear for 5 minutes.   What Wegner discovered was that, unsurprisingly, people couldn’t supress thoughts of a white bear.  What was surprising though was that even after the experiment was over, even when people could think about whatever they wanted.  People ended up thinking about white bears far more than they would have normally. (Wegner DM, Schneider DJ, Carter SR III, White TL. Paradoxical effects of thought suppression. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1987;53:5-13)

“The act of trying to supress a thought actually made it more stronger, more tenacious, more frequent”

In other words, the act of trying to supress a thought actually made it more stronger, more tenacious, more frequent and more enduring even when the experiment was over.  This phenomena that Wegner called “Thought Suppression” has been shown over and over again in the scientific literature.

Golf Study

For example in another study, when golfers were told not to overshoot, that’s exactly what they were likely to do, and in a different study with soccer player when they were instructed to not think of a penalty shot in a certain direction, they couldn’t help stop their eyes from looking at that forbidden spot.  Ironically the very act of trying to suppress a though actually makes it much more likely that we’ll get to have it.

Why does this happen why does the white bear effect exist?  In order for us to NOT think about something some part of our brain has to think about it, which ironically keeps the thought alive.  This is especially true when we’re under what’s called “Mental Load” Mental load means that you’re conscious mind is working really hard.  It can come from having a lot on your mind or fron engaging in a difficult mental task, from being distracted, and it can come from stress and anxiety. 

When we’re stressed or anxious, trying to suppress a thought makes it much more likely that we will.

So how does this relate to why I can’t stop eating at night?

“One of the most natural responses in trying to lose weight is to try to fight against any thoughts of the food. “

One of the most natural responses in trying to lose weight is to try to fight against any thoughts of the food. This is an incredibly natural, intuitive thing to do. What are some ways that we try to fight any thoughts about food?  We might try to ignore them, forget them, debate them, distract ourselves, or in other words, we try to suppress them.  It’s a totally natural response.  However, because of the white bear effect, most times it doesn’t work. You keep on eating the ice-cream, chips or chocolate alone.

So what do you do instead?  Real change in your eating patterns comes from real, lasting shifts in your emotions.  When you feel, confident, happy, calm, safe, secure, in control in the very situations when you used to feel an urge to eat the food then your thoughts automatically shift. And then there’s no need to try and fight with them.

Prefer to watch? Click the link below…

Why Can’t I Stop Eating at Night?

How to Stop Eating Carbohydrates

How to Stop Eating Carbohydrates

Eating carbohydrates causes you to continue to want to eat more and more carbohydrates. So how do you break the overeating cycle? In this article I address a number of ways to help you to break free from carbohydrate addiction.

Make it easier on yourself by dealing with triggers, taking a closer look at your everyday diet, increasing your sense of pleasure, changing how you talk to yourself about carbohydrates and change the picture in your head that you’re making of the foods you want to stop eating.


The first and for some, sometimes the easiest way to help yourself stop eating carbohydrates is to remove the triggers that are causing you to eat. 

Remove the actual foods from your environment. Don’t buy them in the first place. Don’t bring them into your house, don’t bring them into your workplace.  Get rid of any pictures of these foods.

If you’re like me and you have kids living with you, you may find that you have to have some of these foods around. So then the next best thing to do is to remove it from your line of sight. 

Put the food into a non-see through container and stick it at the back of the cupboard or the back of the fridge.

Because we are wired that if we see food then we want to eat it.  So to help overcome that natural instinct that we have is to just get it out of plain sight.

Foods High In Magnesium

The second way is to make sure that in your everyday diet, that you’re eating nutrient rich food.  Because if you’re not supplying enough nutrients to your body, then you will create cravings to eat more. 

For example, many people are not getting enough magnesium in their diets, and so instead of getting the magnesium from healthy foods that keep their body at a healthy weight, they instead are grabbing high calorie foods like chocolate to meet the deficit. 


The third way to stop help you stop eating carbohydrates is to make sure you are doing things in life that increase your sense of pleasure and happiness. As that is often why you’re reaching for these junk foods in the first place – to feel better. 

What your body really is looking for is an increase in the chemicals dopamine and serotonin.

Ways to increase these feel good chemicals are:

Get enough sunlight so that your body can make vitamin D. 

Incorporate a daily practice of Meditation

Touch and Massage – get someone to give you a massage, or you can give yourself a hand or foot massage with cream. 

Listening to music can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels.

Make sure you are getting enough restful sleep.  There are several hormones that are affected by limited sleep that can lead to feelings of greater hunger.  Specifically, ghrelin (our hunger hormone) increases with a lack of sleep, causing you to want to eat more.

We tend to crave sweet items because our bodies primary get energy from carbohydrates and sugars.

Also, leptin (our appetite suppressing hormone) goes down with a lack of sleep. So you’ll find it more difficult to stop eating when your full.  

And also adding in exercise to your routine also increases the release of feel good hormones in your body.

Change your self-talk about these foods.

Remind yourself Why it is that you want to stop eating carbohydrates.  For me, it was that I didn’t like feeling out of control and I knew that the more of these foods that I ate, the more the less control I had over my eating and I didn’t like that feeling. 

These foods made me feel bad about myself.  When I ate them, my critical inner voice would be chastising me for eating them. This would affect my self-esteem, my moods and how I was showing up in the world, how I was interacting with my family and loved ones.  

So remind yourself of all the consequences of eating these foods.

Change the picture in your head that you’re making of the food.

One of the best way of doing this is to actually start reading the labels of the foods that you’re eating. Look up what the numbers mean that they put into the ingredients. 

Do some research into the ingredients of the foods. When you realise how bad these ingredients are, instead of seeing the food as it’s presented to you, picture the food as the individual ingredients.

So for me, when I look at doughnuts covered in icing, I think about the artificial colours and flavours that have been used to make the icing. 

I also make a mental image in my head of the icing looking like melted plastic. 

Think about the oil that’s used to cook the doughnuts in and that it’s been heated to a high temperature and that oil that’s heated that is carcinogenic – in that it causes cancer. I then imagine putting all that artificial stuff into my body, all of that cancer causing oil into my body.

And then imagine how my internal body is reacting to all this foreign substance and how I’m abusing my body instead of showing it the love that it deserves.  

You can do this with any foods that you may want to stop eating.

If you prefer to watch a video, click the link below…

4 Tips to Help Stop Eating Carbohydrates – YouTube

Why Can’t I Stop Eating Carbohydrates?

Why Can’t I Stop Eating Carbohydrates?

Why is it so hard to stop eating carbohydrates? Our modern day environment exposes us to an exorbitant number of advertisements. Those advertisements hypnotise us to link junk food with pleasure. To top it all off the food industry uses science to engineer foods that make it impossible for us to stop eating. Read on to learn more…

Loaded Carbohydrate Environment

We are living in an environment that is seducing you to constantly want to eat carbohydrates.  It’s estimated that the number advertisements we are exposed to in a day is well in excess in excess of 5,000! 

How many of those advertisements are for foods full of carbohydrate? Think fries, chocolate, ice-cream, lollies, burgers, pizza, cakes, biscuits.  Now think of how many advertisements you’ve seen for broccoli, kale, carrots, cabbage? The difference between the two is staggering!

You’re seeing advertisements for food everywhere: on the street corner, television, internet, even at the grocery store.  And about 75% of the food in the grocery store has sugar in them.

“Yeah, I know that, but advertisements don’t affect me! I’m better than that.  I KNOW what to do. I can CHOOSE what I put into my body.”  But do you REALLY have a choice?

Advertisements that Hypnotise You

Advertises are well versed on how to manipulate you into linking their food with positive emotions.  Think “Happy Meal”, think of chocolate that they’ve called, celebrations, dream.  They put them into a “Fun size”.  A soft drink company has the tagline that their drink is “Happiness”. 

The positive emotion “happiness” is linked with a particular type of “junk” food.

A chip company has used the catch phrase, “Once you pop you can’t stop.”  Another turns eating into a competition – “Bet you can’t eat just one”. Creating the unwanted motivation (if you’re wanting to lose weight) into not being able to stop eating their product. 

These advertises are doing their best to get you to associate all these positive emotions with their junk foods. So that the next time you’re feeling sad, overwhelmed, frustrated, or lonely, you’ll automatically reach for one of their products to feel better.  Not realising that doing so actually makes you feel worse in the long run. 

Advertisers don’t want you to think that far ahead.  They are all about pleasure in the moment, right here, right now. And they great at programming you into thinking that the quickest way of feeling better is by consuming their product.

Scientifically Engineered Food

Food companies spend an inordinate amount of money creating what is called the “bliss” point of their food.  They pay scientists to come up with EXACTLY the right amount of salt, sugar, fat combination. This perfect formula causes chemicals to be released in your head and body that creates cravings to force you to want to keep eating that food over and over again.

There’s a chip company that built a machine to test just the right amount of pressure that’s needed to get the perfect crunch.  

Scientist put people into fMRI machines – those ones that are used to diagnose serious health conditions and instead use them to see what’s going on inside people’s head when they eat their particular food product.

What the scientists are looking for is the parts of the brain that light up with dopamine. This is the chemical that is associated with anticipation of a reward or pleasure and serotonin which is the chemical that is associated with happiness.

Programmed from Childhood to Eat Carbohydrates

Now we’ve been trained from birth to seek carbohydrates. It’s in baby food, every holiday you were given it for birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Christmas with cakes, lollies, chips.  And every time we eat these foods it sets off a chain of these chemicals dopamine and serotonin being released into our bodies setting up an addiction for these types of foods.

How many were given a sugary treat to make them feel better after they hurt themselves or had a needle.  All these things are conditioning you to link eating sugar with feeling better.

Programmed Now as an Adult So That You Can’t Stop Eating Carbohydrates

What can happen is that during the day you may be thinking about that food, and the pressure builds and builds until you give in and eat it.  And then you feel happy, and satisfied, but then it only lasts for a short period of time. 

In actuality you were only artificially creating those feelings from eating the junk food. Then you start beating yourself up mentally after those feel good chemicals have gone from your body.  So to feel better you reach for the carbohydrate food again and so the cycle continues and the food addiction can become very strong indeed. 

When you’re surrounded by foods that have been engineered to control you both mentally from the amount of advertising and the type of advertising and physically from the actual product itself, then you have a very hard job being able to say “no” to these foods.

Check out my video on this.

Prefer to Watch on Video? Click the link below to watch…

Why Do I Keep Eating Carbohydrates? – YouTube