Controlling Late Night Binge Eating!

I never did understand the true connection between nightfall and cheating on one's diet, but I do know that I have fallen culprit to it many times, and have known this to also be the case among numerous people I have spoken to, whether they are friends...

You know the story. You wake up, workout, and then go about your day, completely focused; making sure that you only take in quality nutrients. Your diet is totally on point, and you don't even have the slightest desire to cheat. Then, something happens. The moon comes out, and analogous to an excerpt from Kafka's Metamorphosis, you turn from bodybuilder to wolf.

You start to see images of the Dunkin Donuts sign flying by, smiling at you. Ben & Jerry become your new best friends, and father Ronald McDonald gives you the nightly sermon served with extra trans-fat and overly salted pseudo-potato. You walk over to the phone and start to make frantic phone calls for pizza like a desperate stockbroker pitching to the next millionaire tycoon.

I never did understand the true connection between nightfall and cheating on one's diet, but I do know that I have fallen culprit to it many times, and have known this to also be the case among numerous people I have spoken to, whether they are friends, clients, or fellow fitness professionals.

During The Night

Underneath it all, we are all human, and we are all motivated first and foremost by desire. When our desires contradict our current goals, then we must stand square and control them, so that they don't control us.

"It is a very interesting conundrum when nightfall hits, and the 'wolf' comes out so to speak."

During the night, we have taken care of the majority of the days "busy work" so to speak, so we are sometimes left with a time of empty relaxation, whereby we don't have much responsibility.

When this happens, we often seek solace in the fulfillment of the taste sensation, since we are able to relax and enjoy it fully. Unfortunately, when we are trying to keep in shape, the constant discipline and abstinence sometimes kills the term "moderation," in our minds, and we flock from food to food as if we were working on a buffet assembly line, placing stress on our digestive system, and adding fat cells and excess fluid retention to the already existing volume.

This in turn means more necessary cardio, and a stricter dietary regimen for the days that follow, to make up for the "binge" that took place.

Think about the "mind chemistry" which takes place before a food binge occurs. First, the thought has to enter your mind subconsciously, and get "registered." After the thought is registered, the mind decides whether or not to take this thought, and convert it to proper action by means of the body.

Here Is The Limiting Step:

You have complete and total control of one thing and one thing only: Your own MIND. When this thought enters your subconscious mind, you have the power to NEVER turn the thought into an action.

This being said, we all know this to not be the case the majority of the time. Most people don't even realize the subconscious entering of such a thought into their minds, and proceed straight to the action step, devouring everything in sight, and spiking their insulin so quickly, that they soon get knocked out, and are down for the count like a boxer who was smacked in the face by a giant Dorito.

Think About All Of The Steps Involved:

  1. The thought enters your mind that you want to cheat.

  2. You decide to take action on the thought.

  3. You stand up.

  4. You walk over to the fridge, door (to go to the store), or phone (to order food).

  5. You open the fridge door, grab your keys and unlock the door, or dial the phone (after looking through your pile of menus and picking one out).

  6. You reach into the fridge and start searching around, walk out your door to the store or sit and wait the fast food delivery man.

  7. Etc ...

These are definitely a lot of steps! And there are many in between I have probably missed as well. So as we see here, there are 7 opportunities to reason with your own mind, and think "OK, do I really want to kill all my hard work in the gym by eating something that will only award me temporary satisfaction, and make me look/feel worse?" In the heat of the moment, the binge eater is sometimes likened to an animal that cannot control itself, acting on instinct only, without regard to what is going on.

He consumes simply for the sake of consumption, and receives his satiety from this fact, and this fact only: he will not stop until he is absolutely stuffed, and will award his palate with a plethora of different tastes to fit his liking.

Training The Mind

The solution here is to first learn to train the mind to eat for "nutrition" and not for "taste." Eventually, upon successive training, the mind will register this, and begin to understand that those foods provided by nature, and not chemically derived by man, are the ones which will be most fulfilling, because they will allow the body to naturally carry out its metabolic processes in the fullest form, the way it was designed to do.

"Furthermore, foods occurring in nature will provide more of a nutritional benefit which will allow the body to reach its desired state of leanness, or muscular development as a much faster rate than chemically designed food such as potato chips and candy."

The second part of the solution is to realize that just as we saw up above, there are many steps between the time you "think" of eating something not on your dietary regimen, and the time you actually put the food into your mouth. It is necessary to dispel the thought at an earlier step, and not allow yourself to commit the thought to action if you cannot have control.

Lastly is the concept of "moderation." If you are going to have something that is not on your plan, then make sure that you don't go all out and destroy all your hard work. Learn to achieve satisfaction from a bite of something, and then fill yourself up with something a little more nutritious late night, such as a chicken breast along with a salad with balsamic vinegar and garlic.

Remember, the satisfaction which junk food provides is a pseudo-satisfaction, which is temporary. It occurs only in the mind, and not in the body. Train your mind to find satisfaction from doing your body good, and you will be well on your way to achieving all of your goals when it comes to building the physique of your dreams. I myself am victim to the "wolf's call" so to speak.

None of us are perfect, but we all have the ability to control the thoughts which enter our heads, and the way we control those thoughts determines our successes or failures in life.


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, e-mail me at

    How Often Do You Binge?
    Once A Week
    Twice A Week
    Three Times A Week
    Four Times A Week
    Binge? Is That The New Sandwich At Jack In The Box?

I do offer online personal training at a fraction of the cost of actual sessions, with quite the same results for those who have dedication to follow a plan. I give you the formula, and all you have to do is carry it out.