Binging is a lot more common than you think; it affects 3 times as many people as anorexia and bulimia combined. People with binge eating disorder consume excessive amounts of food in one sitting. During this time they lose control over their eating, this can then be followed by feelings of shame and guilt over their binge eating episodes.
Here are some tips on how to handle binge eating and overcome it:
Firstly stop with the negative talk – stop talking to yourself in such a negative manner, talk in only positive language. Remove the word binge from your vocabularly as our minds only hear these key words and so they will focus on them rather than the good. So instead of saying “I’m not going to binge today” say “I am going to fill my body with good foods that will nourish it and help me reach my goals”. Can you see the difference there, you’re just changing the way of talking to yourself but they really both mean the same thing but when you tell your mind something your body follows it with actions. Our thoughts become our actions so if you’re constantly thinking about binging and junk food then of course it will become an action but if you remove these thoughts from your mind and fill them with positive thoughts and words, you will find yourself acting in a more positive manner and becoming a happier person.
Take a second – before you go to eat something, ask yourself is the 5 minutes (if even that long) of gratification worth putting off reaching my long term goals. Ask yourself will this food help me reach my goals, will it bring me that one step closer to reaching them. Be present in the moment, don’t let yourself go into auto-pilot.
Focus on ADDING foods instead of removing them – Rather than thinking about eliminating cakes, biscuits and sweets from your diet instead think about adding more fruit, veggies, lean proteins, healthy fats etc. The reason behind this is that focusing on the “can’t haves” leads to a restrictive mindset, compared to focusing on what you can have leads to an abundance mindset. Think what to add not what to avoid.
Don’t weigh yourself- why put yourself through this torture, it just isn’t worth it. Wait until you are no longer binging or just simply don’t use it at all, use other methods of tracking progress such as photos, measurements, energy levels, performance in the gym.
Focus on PERFORMANCE – if you’re always focusing on aesthetics it can be so easy to become obsessed with how you look and overly harsh on yourself. Instead write down more performance based goals such as being able to do a push up or chin up or running a mile in a certain time. These are some of the best goals to achieve as it really shows you what your body is capable of and there is no better feeling that being able to finally do something you’ve been working so hard towards.
You’re never more than ONE BITE AWAY FROM GETTING BACK ON TRACK – if you have a set back, don’t panic, just make your next meal a healthy one filled with wholesome foods. Don’t let it spiral out of control. Look at it like this, if you dropped your phone and it got a small scratch on it you wouldn’t continue to smash it to pieces and say ah well its ruined anyway with this one scratch when in reality it worked perfectly fine with this one scratch which you could probably buff out or fix quite easily. We are the same ,we can always fix our eating by making the next bite to enter our mouths a nourishing and nutritious one.
Never be embarrassed – if you feel shame or guilt about your past – don’t, it is what has made you the person you are today. We need to take every experience and learn from it, there are no bad experiences, just learning opportunities.
Forgive yourself – feeling guilty or shameful won’t help the situation at all so you have to forgive yourself for the binge and move on and make better choices from there. Draw a line under it, take it as a learning opportunity, assess how the binge made you feel and remember that feeling and that you don’t want to ever feel like that again.
You have to want it- you need to understand the real reason you want to overcome this, why do you want to become healthy? Why do you eat to cope with emotional or stressful situations? Finding those triggers and eliminating them from your life. If you feel anxious or stressed and this leads you to binge eat, take 5-10 deep breathes when you feel anxious or stressed, slow down your breathing, focus on the present moment, take a drink of water and just sit for a few moments.
Eat breakfast daily – starting the day with a good meal of healthy protein and fats like eggs and smoked salmon or turkey bacon will set you up for a day of success and won’t leave you hungry or fatigued early on in the day as these are often times when binges can occur, when you are tired! Eating breakfast will also encourage you to start your day off well and to a good start, it will help manage insulin and hunger levels to ensure you have a good day ahead. It will also put you in a good place mindset wise for the day as you will have a feeling of satisfaction knowing you have filled your body with good foods that nourish and fuel your body.
Don’t keep junk at arms reach – keep the trigger foods out of the house, don’t buy them or bring them into the house. If you live with family or roommates, ask them not to bring those foods into the house or to keep them somewhere else just in the first stages of recovery until you have a strong enough mindset to not even be tempted by them.
Talk to someone – just telling even one person about your struggle can help with feelings of loneliness and talking can help you work through your own feelings in your mind and help you gather your thoughts. Make sure it is someone you trust and someone who will be supportive such as a family member or close friend.