The 5 Things You Can Do Immediately To Stop Binge Eating
Author: Julie Latz
May 19, 2013
You know that horrible feeling you get when you’ve screwed up your diet yet again even though this time you were SURE things were going to be different? Don’t you hate to keep going round and round on the binge cycle not-so-merry-go-round? I still can’t believe how long I actually did this over and over again. For 45 years I spent my life sticking to diets very strictly only to soon cave in and devour everything in sight which sometimes turned into gaining as much as 9 lbs. in 3 days!
When my clothes got too tight after those indulgences, I would have to muster up more willpower to go at it again. Chances are you can relate very well to the way I used to think: “Ok, I’ll search the internet for a new diet/weight loss method/cleanse/therapist/exercise program, etc. because now I’m really ready. I feel disgusting, I’m depressed, and I’m embarrassed to live in my own skin.” Each time I did this, I honestly believed I had the right intentions. And like you probably do, I believed that next time would really be different. Now that I no longer binge eat, the thought of what I used to do to myself shocks me and I am so grateful to have found my way out of that terrible mess.
I wondered if I would ever be able to truly enjoy my life or whether I would just continue to feel like I was existing and having my life be filled with obsessive thoughts day in and day out.
So what changed for me and what can you do right now to implement changes that will last for the rest of your life so you can get off this road leading to fatter than ever land? Here are 5 things you can do right away to begin changing your bad habits into better habits:
1) Stop Dieting - That doesn’t mean you should eat whatever you want in whatever quantities you want! Instead, stop restricting yourself by believing you can never eat certain foods again. That way of thinking sets up the deprivation trap which always leads to binge eating. You are much better off following a plan that allows all you to eat every food on the planet like Weight Watchers where you have a structure in place to be able to lose weight, but you can eat what you want as long as you account for it. I honestly never thought I could eat my favorite foods and do it in moderation but trust me, as daunting as this sounds it is not nearly as difficult as you may think. It is about learning the right attitude that actually makes it simple.
2) Decide what little changes you are willing to make - Stay away from making lofty goals whether they are related to weight loss or exercise because that strategy NEVER works. If you don’t like to exercise, why would you commit to exercising every day? Try to stay away from all or nothing thinking. If you don’t like to exercise, instead of declaring you are going to make it to the gym 5 times per week, maybe you are willing to walk 10 minutes 3 times per week. The lofty goals will for sure set you up for disappointment because setting goals that are not attainable will not be attained! But the littler goal will empower you if you achieve it and you can feel good about your efforts instead of like you are failing at achieving your goals. The best thing to do is to come up with really small changes that feel doable to you. Take pride in and celebrate the changes you choose to make and are able to maintain in your life.
3) Stop being afraid of food - If you pre-pare yourself throughout the day with your food choices, you won’t have to spend time to re-pair what you’ve done wrong. The more you put some control into your planning for the day, the less likely you will be to fear eating too much food. The way to do this is to think ahead. Where will you be later? Will you be out for a long time and find it beneficial to bring food with you? If you’re going to a restaurant, check out the menu online ahead of time so you are prepared.
It feels so good to be making choices instead of winging it and letting a situation happen to you where you give into eating lots of junk and paying the price for it on the scale and in your clothes. Think before you get going for the day whether you will have any food challenges that day and ask yourself how you can prepare yourself for them so that you are in control instead of being controlled by the food. Going through the re-pair process is an all too familiar devastating feeling we’ve all experienced too many times.
4) Listen to what your body really needs and wants - It is so easy as a binge eater to find yourself eating whatever is around whether you are in the mood for it or not. Your body has an incredible ability to know, and to let you know what it needs. Listen to it and ask yourself what you truly want. Is it juicy, sweet, salty, crunchy or is it that you are actually thirsty and not even hungry? I suggest you don’t eat anything until you figure out just what you want. Sometimes if you ask yourself what you are in the mood for, the answer doesn’t come to you right away. Wait a little while and you will be surprised that the answer will come to you. Eating what your body needs and wants will prevent you from going from one food to the next on some never ending food frenzy. When you eat what you truly crave including the taste, texture and aroma of what you are longing for, along with giving your body the nutrients it needs, you will see that you don’t need to overeat and eating in moderation becomes easy to do.
5) Forget perfection and focus on progress - Ending food addiction and changing your behaviors so that you can lose weight and stop bingeing is a journey that has no end. The goal is not to reach an end point where you expect to lose weight and then hope to keep it off for the long-term. Every little change you make needs to be acknowledged and celebrated by you in whatever fashion feels right to you. Think about all the little changes you are willing to make. If you find that you overdo it once in a while, that doesn’t mean “oh this won’t work either.” It means you are human and humans are not perfect. Accept small digressions and focus on any good behaviors you have changed. Learn from a digression and think of how you may want to handle the same situation the next time you are faced with it to possibly have a better winning outcome. But most importantly, don’t go to that place of berating yourself. Keep your expectations under control. Be kind to yourself and be mindful of what you are doing. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.
For a free audio, The 5 Beliefs That Keep You Out of Control with Food, click here to visit my website at peacefuleater.com
Check out Julie's new book!
Stop Binge Eating and Start Living Again
Get it here!