How To Stop Binge Eating

Overindulging in the foods we love is something we all experience one time or another, but learning how to stop binge eating is essentially if we want to keep it to just “one time or another”.

By first understanding why people binge eat, we can better learn how to take some simple steps to stop it.

Why People Binge Eat

Everybody is different and each disorder is caused by deeply personal reasons, but there are definitely some common themes among binge eating:

  • Dieting – Many people turn to binge eating as a result of a failed diet or trying too hard to avoid “bad” foods.
  • Stress – Comfort food is a real thing and does help relieve stress. Eating is pleasurable.
  • Hunger – There is a difference between hunger and cravings though.
  • Thirst – Many people confuse thirst with hunger and keep eating, unable to satisfy the thirst.

These are some of the more common causes, but there are many besides them. If you find you are constantly eating too much, feeling guilty about food, and thinking of food in terms of “good” food and “bad” food, chances are you are binge eating. Below we are going to discuss fixing this problem.

How To Stop Binge Eating

This might sound a little counter-intuitive to you, but the best way to stop overindulging in the foods you love, is to keep eating them. It’s surely much better to eat one or two helpings of your favorite ice-cream per day than to ignore it all week and finish off the whole tub in one sitting. Not only is it going to be a lot more difficult to work off all those calories taken on in one go, but think of the other factors, the massive spike in blood-sugar, the depression felt afterwards.

It’s always better to maintain control during the week.

Additionally, you can follow these tips:

  • Use smaller bowls and smaller spoons/forks. This will make your portions look bigger, and take you longer to eat them. It usually takes 10-20 minutes for your brain to receive the “I’m full” message, so eating slower will stop you taking in more than you need.
  • Go for a jog, walk, or do some other exercise to relieve stress. Don’t turn to food as your crutch.
  • Drink a glass of water when you feel hungry, it might just be thirst.
  • Don’t skip any of your meals, and absolutely do not diet. Starving yourself or preventing yourself from eating foods you enjoy will ultimately lead to binge eating.
  • Never eat directly out of the packaging, always distribute the portion you plan to eat, then put the rest away.
  • Learn how you respond to certain foods, anticipate your cravings and have answers for them (walks, exercise, etc) and pay attention when you are eating. Think about how much you are eating, how fast, etc. This is a big step towards learning to control yourself.

Most importantly, do not fear having sweets, chocolates, or other foods that you enjoy from time to time. It is much easier to burn off 150 extra calories daily than to binge all weekend and feel terrible on Mondays.

What If You Do Binge?

Sometimes, it’s just going to happen. Birthdays, Holidays and so on, are times when people overeat. It’s OK to do it on occasion, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

It’s also important that you don’t get too down on yourself or beat yourself up about it. Don’t take drastic measures such as forcing yourself to vomit or starving yourself the next day.

Always seek balance.

Have you ever eaten too much? Do you binge eat? What measures have you taken to stop this? What do you do when you feel guilty? It would be great to hear your thoughts below.

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