Binge eating is an eating disorder that involves quick overeating and not being able to stop. It is usually manifested through episodes that can last up to a couple of hours and can even extend to on and off periods of time throughout the day.
Binge eaters feel guilty, down and upset not only after the episode, but during it as well. They consume a large amount of food while being alone, often hiding it along with the problem itself from the people around them. They try to suppress feelings of being stressed, lonely, sad, but even happy.
This situation might strike a chord for you as well. But there is no need to feel ashamed. You are not alone in this. Many people are going through the same thing, just like you do. It is true that a few talk openly about it, but people binge more often than you would think.
Why do we binge?
Every person has his or her own reasons for binge eating, which has to do with particular elements of life that have a negative influence over the person’s well-being. Most of the time excessive eating is linked to depression, low self-confidence or any dissatisfying event or regular problem that might cause deep distress. Sometimes people binge when something amazing happens to make that moment even more “special”.
We try to find comfort in food and to cope better with emotions that we don’t want to face. The lack of friends and boredom make matters worse. We try to get entertained through food and we regard it as a way to express our feelings or to feel better.
How to stop binge eating
The abundance of tempting food, along with social, psychological and sometimes biological causes that lead to binge eating might seem very challenging. But binging can be overcome. It is a gradual process, which should be taken step by step. There are solutions to fix this so you can move on from this chapter in your life and be happy!
With a bit of patience and willpower, you can make binge eating fade away, along with everything that it implies. The following tips might help you cure it in a timely manner, so that you can enjoy the beauty of life as you should.
Don’t buy too much food
When you have plenty of food in the house, you are always tempted to get a small snack. Stick to the necessary groceries and don’t buy more than you will need. It’s better to go shopping more often than to get too much. If it’s necessary, get groceries on a daily basis.
Write down a list of what you need and don’t buy anything more. Go for reasonable quantities that will be enough for three meals and some small snacks, but don’t get anything extra.
Avoid junk food at all cost
This type of so-called food doesn’t only help the pounds pile up, but it is very unhealthy for you as it has no nutritional value and is only packed with calories. Buy foods that are as healthy and unprocessed as possible, so if you do feel like binging you have only clean and healthy food to munch on. If this is too tough, make one change at a time until you’ll transform your whole diet.
Don’t skip meals
Sometimes you start binge eating because you have skipped a meal, thinking that it will help you to stay slim, but the reality is the opposite. Make sure you have a proper breakfast, lunch and dinner with a couple of snacks in between.
Focus on what you eat
Put that phone or Ipad away, switch off the TV and sit at the table and be mindful of what you eat. I am guilty of this too. Chew slowly and focus on what you are putting in your body. Eating slowly makes you feel fuller, did you know it takes approx.20 min for the body to feel full?
Do your best to sleep 7-8 hours a night. This will prevent you from trying to compensate sleep deprivation with food to increase your energy. If you can take a nap, it would really help you to feel more active in the second part of the day.
You don’t have to put too much effort if you don’t want to. Walking is a very easy and pleasant way to move a bit and to clear your head of worries. Try to find a buddy to exercise together and get a gym subscription. Or try out a new sport. Socializing and spending time with people or someone dear helps you relieve stress.
Don’t allow yourself to get bored
Rediscover old hobbies or find new ones. If you can afford some classes, sign up for whatever you might be interested in. If you are on a tighter budget, there are still plenty of options such as reading, drawing, watching movies or catching up with friends or neighbors. Also colouring is lovely, one of my favourite activities at the moment.
If everything else fails, seek professional help
If you binge eat for a very long time and you really can’t get yourself together, look for a therapist. A professional will understand you and help you find the right solution, while supporting you to regain control over your life and emotions. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance. Therapists never judge and can provide a safe and discreet environment for you to open up and share your story.
Last but not definitively not the least join my 3 Month Clean Eating challenge. Take a minute and watch this video from Gemma and get inspired by her amazing journey!
Be kind to yourself and your body ! We all overeat sometimes, so don’t beat yourself about it if you slip a little.