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Hi. You are so very welcome to this latest podcast episode and thank you so much for tuning in.

I want to talk to you in this uh short podcast episode um about some tips to help stop eating late at night. This seems to be one of the biggest problems, one of the biggest obstacles and barriers in front of a lot of us and is stopping us getting the results that we want to get.

And I know so many of you struggle with, with making dinner your last meal. Um I actually recently did this with my clients recently and it's such a popular topic and it is quite a difficult habit to, to, to do, to stop eating late at night just to make dinner your last meal. However, when you crack it and if you stick with it, it is so worth it, it's so worth it to, to be free of, of eating late at night, most of the time for the rest of your life with much more ease than you think. Right now.

It has to be, you'll, you'll just be so delighted that you're stuck with it. Um, I used to eat late at night up until recently enough. Um, I was healthy in a lot of other areas but eating after dinner was something that I found extremely difficult to control. Um, I, I would, I would often three or four nights a week, have something after dinner. And if you think about it, if, if you love to be healthy and feel good in your clothes, if you're having more days where you're having something after your dinner, then you are, then you aren't, then you're not gonna really get exactly where you want to be.

However, I used to think that it wasn't really the, the eating late at night that was holding me back thinking, well, come on. It's only a few biscuits. It's only an ice cream. It doesn't take much though. It doesn't take much, um, for, for you to not feel as good in your clothes as you want to.

So it's with this, that I want to help you. If you feel like you're spinning your wheels at the moment, if you feel like you're doing all the good stuff you're working out, you're doing the right type of workouts, your strength training, your drinking water, you're eating healthy most of the time and yet you're not really where you want to be, have like a half stone, a stone that's bothering you and you think you are late night eating, you're eating after dinner that I promise you. If you crack this, you're going to feel amazing in your clothes, that extra half a stone or stone um is going to go and you're really going to notice a big difference if you're down to that last half stone, I promise you. It is this, um that that's really going to help.

I speak in stone and pounds by the way, because it's easier for me to get you to visualize what a half a half a stone is. However, I really discourage you from weighing yourself. Um It's just kind of like the easiest way to describe the weight you can get rid of um by, by kicking late night eating. Um But what was only until I really started to analyze why I was late night eating? Did I finally drop my last stone that I was constantly fluctuating with? I was always up and down that stone and it really really bothered me. I used to try to out train it. So like I would do my workouts and then try and get loads of walks in and the walks would be like weight loss, purposeful walks.

You know, those horrible walks where you, the pavements and you're just, you don't want to bump into anybody and you're just thinking, get rid of the fat, get rid of the weight as you're walking, you don't notice the birds and the trees, you're not relaxed. If you pass by a coffee place, you're like no way I am on a roll. Uh Horrible, horrible because if you're doing strength training three times a week, your walks can be really relaxing and in nature and you can stop for coffee and you can allow the dog to sniff uh things.

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So yeah, I, I did that a lot for a while. I really tried to out train my, my late night eating. Um, but I'm going to talk to you about the different tips now and uh I'll talk to you about things that don't work. So the first thing to do, um when, when you are really working at avoiding late night eating is to identify the cause first things first, why are you eating late at night? If you don't figure that out, you're never going to crack it. And I forgot to say to you, I just want to say to you. Now, are you like trying to not eat at night through willpower, like through sheer determination, I promise you that's not going to last and you're going to be forever fluctuating. So I really recommend you start and just ask yourself why are you late night eating and be straight with yourself? Don't just say it's because you have a sweet tooth because if you really wanted to not eat late at night, having a sweet tooth would be irrelevant.

You're, if you're, if you can't have dinner and leave it at that for weeks and weeks in a row, consistently, like five days a week consistently, you're being controlled by something and I bet you it's to do with your emotions. Um but be be really straight with yourself because I do run into this a little bit. You know, I've been coaching women for over 14 years now and I experienced it with myself too that we can often put the excuses in front because we just don't want to look at the real thing because the real thing takes longer.

So it might be that you would, you would be listening to this right now and you're saying identify the cause. Oh come on, identify the cause I just have a sweet tooth. I just fancy something sweet. Yes. But don't you want to feel better in your clothes like which is it? Which are you going to go for? Are you going to stick with your sweet tooth? Because if you are this podcast episode will be so boring for you.

But you're listening to this because you want to stop late night eating. So just remember that the mindset and the thoughts that you're doing currently around late night eating, you need new ones. So just remember that, answer these questions with new thoughts. What are the reasons that you are eating late at night? For example, it might be that you have overly restricted during the daytime. Simple. It might be, it's a habit.

You're bored. It might be that you are an emotional eater. You're emotionally eating because you feel sad or frustrated and maybe that you're a binge eater, you eat large amounts of food in one sitting and you feel very out of control when you're eating. So what are the reasons that you're eating after dinner? And the second reason is to identify your triggers? So not just why you're overeating but identify what triggers you to eat after dinner.

Maybe it's your, your partner or your friend or a loved one in your family eating sweet stuff after dinner. Maybe it is, uh, somebody having a conversation with somebody that you don't particularly like. Maybe it's, that you feel like sad or frustrated. Maybe it's when you don't have enough boundaries up in work. When you, when you've been checking your emails on your phone, maybe it's when you've been scrolling too much. Like what triggers you to go, I'm having something, you know, that kind of three second feeling where that's it.

You're done. You are out to the press or out to the shops and you are going for it. So identify your triggers. And if you want to pause this podcast episode, I encourage you to do so if you're not driving to write out the answers and the reason I say that is because I so many times listen to a podcast episode and I'm like, yeah, yeah. Yeah, I'll do that exercise later and I never, in a million years, years do.

So I really encourage you now to just pause this and write down the reasons, the really honest reason that you're eating late at night. And I also want you to write down a few triggers like what, what's the thing that makes you go? That's it. I'm eating after dinner, I'm going to go and have something. Um What is that thing? So next up is to plan your meals. This is really, really important when you are working to not eat after dinner. And the reason that is, is it comes back to for some of you, the cause of why you're eating late at night. And there's a couple of reasons to do with planning your meals. So let's say Joan, she eats dinner and she eats too much. So she feels really, really bad about us. So consciously or unconsciously, she restricts her food a lot in the daytime and she has herself convinced that she doesn't want breakfast.

That breakfast makes her feel sick that she doesn't like breakfast and that she only likes a bit of a salad for lunch. So she has herself convinced that she's not very hungry throughout the day, which if Joan was very honest with herself, she'd realize that she just doesn't want to eat because she's eaten too much the night before and she feels really bad. So around and around, Joan goes overeating at night, restricting in the day and you know what, she holds herself back and she doesn't fix it because she's so afraid.

And I've been there, I can, I can describe that person so well, because that was me. I was so I ate so much in the nighttime. Sometimes that I was so afraid to be fast during that I would stop, not eat during the day, very much. I would have like a tiny salad and, um, the fear of somebody saying to me, no, you've got to have a proper breakfast.

You've got to have a proper lunch. It's like what, after having the shit that I had last night. So I completely get it. Um, another reason is that, uh, you're just leaving gaps too long in between your meals. Um, and you can do something about that or you can do something about that. However, if you want to make dinner, your last meal and stop eating late at night, you, you're going to have to address this.

If you're listening to this now, and you're telling me that you're too busy, that work is just too mental and you don't get time for breaks. Unless you're a nurse, you are going to have to find times for your breaks. You're going to have to find a way to eat a banana. And if you're saying no to me, no to this, well, then that means you're going to find it really difficult to eat late at night. So, rather than the initial thought of, no, can't do that think. Well, what can I do? Is there a way?

Can I have some peanuts and bananas? Can I, can I have something quick and easy? And it's all about being prepared, isn't it? Um, so really important that you plan your meals, you have a proper breakfast, a proper lunch, a proper dinner. And if you need a couple of snacks in between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner, a piece of fruit or a little bit of protein is absolutely perfect. I really recommend for you to train your body and your mind to eat at the same time as often as you can. I don't mean, look at your watch religiously and go why? It's one PM? It's lunchtime.

I mean, roughly like roughly is it that breakfast is at nine lunches at half, one dinner is at six and then you have a bit of fruit in between breakfast and lunch and a snack between lunch and dinner, maybe around four. Um I, I really recommend you do that. I see a lot of people struggle. A lot of women struggle when there's no set times and they just eat when they can.

The problem with that is you're not really training your body to expect food at certain times, you're kind of training your body that there's no routine. And I just, in my years of experience, I have realized that the best way to uh have the least amount of like blood sugar spikes and feeling hunger at random times is to eat as much as you can at the same time every, every day.

And I highly encourage you to not skip meals. Um, it's, it's very, very natural to have a breakfast, have a lunch and a dinner and if you've eaten too much the night before, have your breakfast, even if you're not in the mood because what you're doing is you're training yourself. You're saying to yourself, you, you're training your body and your mind to go. I don't care that I've eaten late last night. I still have my breakfast. And what happens over time is your healthy habits start to take over.

So if you eat late at night and you cancel breakfast, you're training yourself to let your bad habits take over. But if you still get up in the morning time and have your breakfast, you're training your good habits to take over So remember that, always, always be thinking of, it's like a battle of your habits. I, I really love thinking of it. I always think of it like that when I was drinking too much at the weekends.

It was, it was a battle of the habits, like, yeah, I'd have drinks the night before. However, is it going to affect my morning? And because I was so strict on keeping up with my healthy habits over time, the bad habits had no choice but to go, I had no choice but to get rid of them. However, if I had of let the alcohol take over and missed breakfast and laid in till late, I don't know, it wouldn't have felt maybe as much of a struggle, but by getting up early and not allowing my bad habits to ruin my good habits, it meant I was seeing how much those bad habits were hindering my good habits.

I highly encourage you to do that. Um, so another thing to do is to get the whole family behind you, like really and truly get rid of any sweet stuff during the week from your house. Um, and you know, that's like a really healthy thing to do to get rid of sweet stuff in the house during the week. If you've got kids or a partner or a loved one, if you live with people, um, if you don't live, if you're by yourself simple done. Don't buy sweet stuff for the house. If you do live with people, I really recommend you.

Bring them into the conversation and ask them, tell them Jesus. I'm really struggling here with giving up late night eating. Is there any chance in the world? Just for a few weeks while I'm feeling a little bit vulnerable? Would you please help me not eat late at night by allowing me not to get any shit in for the house and maybe you guys could join in with me and we'll have our treats on a Friday night and a Saturday night and the rest of the time there'll be nothing in the house.

How do you feel about that? And if you are hungry, you can have a yogurt bananas, a fruit. And um I think you'd be very surprised by the reaction. Um And hopefully they'll show you kindness and compassion and be really supportive because I'm hoping each and every one of you have really supportive people in your life that will do anything for you. Um And I think that'll help so much because when you have the urge, you will have to and be forced to sit with your feelings rather than um eat it, which brings me on to my next point of um learning how to live with your emotions, the good, the bad and the ugly.

And this is one of the biggest downfalls that I had that I didn't know how to handle bad emotions. I drank them and I ate them. And uh yeah, it's a good idea to not be doing that. It's a good idea to get really comfortable with negative emotions. However, if you're a people pleaser or you've been brought up a certain way and your natural default is to be really positive to help everybody feel better. Um And to not allow yourself to process negative stuff, then you're going to find this a challenge, but a challenge is OK and you're well up to the challenge.

Acknowledge that it's going to be a challenge for you to learn all the different emotions. And as long as you understand that it's a challenge and that it'll take time, then you're, it's good and see how different that is to dieting. Dieting is pushing and pulling and willpower and like keep it on going and failing and getting on the horse and learning how to sit with your emotions is completely different because there's a lot of personal growth that is involved in this.

And it's a, it's a wonderful, beautiful thing. You're not just focused on the food, you're focused on healing and self regulating and self soothing, which is a wonderful, wonderful gift to give yourself. I'm only in the very baby phase of this myself, only having started allowing emotions in only about a year ago. And I really recommend if you're starting out doing Tara bracks rain or a I n and that is to, uh, when you, when you have a feeling you're sitting on the couch after dinner or you know, you're triggered, um, rain, recognize the feeling and name it. Oh, ok. I'm not feeling so good.

So what is this feeling? Oh, I'm feeling anxious and allow us a is for allow, I'm gonna allow this feeling in and I'm gonna sit with this feeling. What is this feeling? This is anxiety. OK. Ok. I'm feeling anxious at the moment. Investigate why do I feel anxious? What has triggered me to feel anxious? And I love this part because sometimes it can be something so small and so silly that it kind of makes you realize, oh my God, I can't believe I've been letting my emotions control me all this time because some of them, some of them, not all of them. I've been a little bit silly like I remember the other day I was doing this rain and I was trying to track back to where I suddenly started feeling anxiety and it was a social media post. I don't know why it made me feel anxious. I think it was like a hustling those, you know, those kind of get the head down, grind, grind, hustle posts, stress me out when I see them sometimes if I'm in a certain mood.

So I, I had, you know, scrolled on my phone for two minutes in between an ad break and something on TV, put the phone down. I started feeling really anxious and the old me would have said to Joe, hey, do you want to have some sweet stuff? Um However, I did the rain and I was like, oh my God. And then my initial thinking was, oh, I'm anxious because you know, something very serious.

And I was like, oh my God, I'm anxious because I saw a social media post for God's sake. So nurture is to nurture yourself. So I feel this way and that's ok. Um And you speak to yourself very kindly and very compassionately. I'm feeling anxious. This is why I feel anxious. It's ok to feel anxious and I'm going to allow these feelings and just sit with them for a few moments. I swear to God, it's incredible. It really, really works and with practice, it just gets better.

The most wonderful feeling in the world, I promise you one of them is to be able to have your dinner and have a cup of tea and then do whatever you have to do in the evening time and sit down on the couch and have find such joy and contentment in a cup of tea or a little hot chocolate or a cup of hot water. And just to sit there and relax and enjoy the couch and the TV and feel really free. I think the most, the biggest thing about um taking back control of your eating habits through controlling your emotions is, um, freedom, freedom. Yes, it's great to not be constantly battling with your weight.

Yes, it's great to be able to wear the clothes you want to wear and not be pulling out the front to cover your stomach. Um, it's, it's better than that. It's a real freedom from food. You're not being chained anymore to the, to the food and once you see it in yourself, it's very difficult to un see it. If you're sitting on the couch late at night from now on having listened to this podcast episode and you're eating shit, you can't unsee yourself doing that. I want you to picture yourself now looking down at yourself eating shite hiding from your emotions, not wanting to eat the shit, but eating it anyway. And every time you do this now this is what I do for myself anyway. And that's why I wanted to share it if, if you don't like the idea don't do it. I just used to eat it and see myself eating it.

And I really put myself off because I was really like my God. You are so out of control of your emotions. You are letting every single emotion drive your action steps, you know. So I ask you, are you letting your emotions drive your action steps? Can you look back on a day like yesterday and think of two or three things you did because of emotion?

Like for example, you might have skipped a workout because you felt stressed out. That's your emotions controlling you. Or you might have eaten sweet stuff because you felt a bit down in the dumps. That's your emotions controlling you. Um, or you might have had a row with somebody and gotten really annoyed with them. That is your emotions controlling you.

So, food for thought. I hope you enjoyed this short little episode. Um And if you haven't done so so far, I'd love to ask you a favor. If you could leave me a review, I would be forever grateful. You can leave a review wherever you get your podcasts and tell your friends all about my podcast episode. I would really, really appreciate it. Thank you so, so much. All my love and take care. 

About the author 

Jessica Cooke

I love drinking coffee, and my favourite thing in life (apart from my family) is to help women to get fit, healthy and learn how to love themselves again. (oh, and also I love playing with my two Miniature Schnauzers, Buster and Ozzy)

I’ve coached more than 6,140 women over 14 years get fit, healthy and learn how to love themselves again.

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