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Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Binge Eating at Night

replacing binge eating before bed with a cup of teaSometimes, regardless of the craving, emotion, or habit that drives food thoughts and overeating, we can create new intentions, new habits, new behaviors, new brain pathways. Here’s an example of how I addressed binge eating at night …

Before bed, tired and fighting the day’s end, I often get that thought, “I want something sweet”. It’s still a vulnerable time of the day for me. So, recently, I decided to address that vulnerability with great determination and new intention. I decided to create and experiment with a new habit.

If I want something sweet before bed, I decided, first, I’ll reach for a cup of decaf tea. Personally, I lean toward fruity tea blends with Stevia. After much effort to get off the questionable Splenda, I found Sweet Leaf is the brand of Stevia I like best; it has the least after taste for me.

I like drinking tea out of a thick clear glass mug that can be ready on 90 seconds in the microwave. I like the way that glass mug looks and the way it feels in my hand. When my one clear glass mug developed a crack last week, I very deliberately set out to replace it. I found a set of six new ones on Amazon. Now, I’ll have six mugs I love…always a clean one ready for my use.

Yes, I put MUCH thought into this new habit I wished to create to help me reduce my emotional eating at night. I thought about what would feel SATISFYING and healthy, for me. I got clear that I wanted to create a new habit that is in line with the life I want to live, which does not include binge eating at night before bed.

Attention to detail is a big part of building my “buy-in”; the setting of a new habit and the creating of new pathways in my brain that support reaching for a hot cup of tea before bed, if so moved, instead of reaching for a box of cookies.

Also, when changing this particular habit, it has helped me to remember that I was not “born” to struggle with binge eating at night. It’s not my destiny to be an emotional eater, nor is it a sign of weakness or moral flaw. Turning to sweets was a habit that took hold because that routine addressed a craving; a craving to “self-soothe” at the end of my day. It was never really about the cookies.


I’m Ellen Shuman and I am developing all sorts of new brain pathways that help me stop binge eating at night. I am also a Coach who specializes in helping people overcome emotional eating, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder, and food addiction. I’m the founder of A Weigh Out & Acoria Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (1993-present), Past President of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (2011/2012), and Co-Founder of the Academy for Eating Disorders Special Interest Group on “Health at Every Size”, ellen@aweighout.com, 513-321-4242. Need help? Get in touch!


  1. Your last line says it all – an “aha” moment for me “Turning to sweets was a habit that took hold because that routine addressed a craving; a craving to “self-soothe” at the end of my day. It was never really about the cookies.” Also as you said “I was not born to struggle with binge eating at night.” Truth spoken out loud and repeatedly is so helpful. I never looked at it that way before. Thanks!

  2. I’ve added your last paragraph to my phone notes so I have it with me to remind me of truth when I am struggling!

  3. Ellen Shuman, Emotional Eating Recovery Coach; A Weigh Out says:

    Cool! You’re very welcome, Becky!

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