Let’s talk about binge eating. I know it can be such a huge struggle for so many people. If you’re familiar with my story, you know that I struggled with binge eating for years. At the peak of my Binge Eating Disorder, I was binging every single day. It was such a dark time of my life, I felt so helpless and out of control as if there was something seriously wrong with me!
There can be many different things that contribute to binge eating. For a lot of people (myself included), it ultimately stems from restricting food in some way. Whether you’re doing an extreme diet, simply telling yourself to try and eat less sugar, trying to follow a slight calorie deficit, or even just telling yourself that you need to lose some weight. If you ultimately aren’t allowing yourself to eat what you want, when you want, to keep yourself adequately fed, that is restriction. The body sees this as famine and sets your desire for food into overdrive in an attempt to survive.
Now, binge eating can also be spurred on by emotions via emotional eating as well. When you’re dealing with difficult emotions and are turning to food for comfort, numbing, and as a means of coping. I just want to point out here that there is nothing inherently wrong with emotional eating. To have a piece of cake at a birthday party is a great way to celebrate! To have a bowl of ice cream at the end of a tough day, once in a while, is a great way to help you relax. However, if you’re emotionally eating large quantities of food to the point of feeling sick (as in binging) and doing this on a regular basis, then it’s likely that you’re lacking self-care.
First, it’s important to get clear on the above factors and what may be driving your binge eating episodes. Is it a restriction, a need for more self-care, or maybe a bit of both?
Next, here are my biggest tips to overcome binge eating:
- Eat earlier in the day – do you make sure to eat breakfast within an hour or two of waking? One of the most common things for people who struggle with binge eating is that they don’t eat breakfast. Maybe they don’t feel hungry or drink a big coffee filled with cream so they don’t think they need a meal. When struggling with binge eating, looking at what you’re eating earlier in the day is a must! So, make sure to eat within an hour or two of waking. It’s important to include protein, fat, and carbohydrates in your breakfast. It prevents too much of a blood sugar spike and starts your day with everything you need to get going!
- Eat every 2-5 hours throughout the day and make sure you’re eating enough! Again, include a variety of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in each meal and snack. All of the macronutrients work together to help you absorb the micronutrients. They keep your energy levels nice and high, and keep you satisfied! Once again, one of the largest causes of binge eating is simply not eating enough throughout the day!
- Avoid restriction. Including mental restriction – when you allow yourself to physically eat the food, but you beat yourself up about it and feel guilty during and/or afterward. Ultimately, satisfaction is very vital and if you aren’t fully allowing yourself to enjoy the food, it won’t be satisfying. You’ll want more of it rather than fully allowing yourself to enjoy it in the first place!
- Prioritize self-care! If you do all of the things above and still struggle with binge eating, ask yourself – what do you do for self-care on a regular basis? This doesn’t need to be anything elaborate like getting a massage or having a bubble bath. Even simply allowing yourself to unwind each night while watching your favorite show, reading a book, or listening to some good music. Of course meditation, journaling, yoga, or light stretching are all very helpful as well. When you feel the urge to binge coming, instead of going to the pantry on autopilot – pause and ask yourself, what do you actually need at this moment? Even just stopping and asking yourself that, you’ll be surprised what might come up. Maybe some emotional connection and calling a friend is what you actually need. Or perhaps the opportunity to relax for a bit? Don’t try and force yourself to not binge. During some nights it may be exactly what you truly need. However, if you prioritize some daily self-care routines you’ll notice that this emotional urge to binge will subside.
If any of this hits home for you and you realize that you don’t eat enough during the day, you’re still mentally restricted (feeling guilty after eating certain foods). Or perhaps your self-care is lacking – I have put all of my best tools to help you overcome these things in my 8-week Quit Dieting & Achieve Food Freedom For Good program. This program will be starting on May 31, 2022!
Make sure to check it out HERE
Registration will be opening in the next few days – make sure to get on the waiting list to be one of the first to know once registration is open!
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