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Binge eating. It's an uncomfortable topic for many people, and something that a lot of people struggle with. Even if it's not something you do regularly, feeling a "loss of control" around food is certainly something most people have experienced at one point or another whether it was an emotional trigger that caused it, or just a lack of insight.
Offer yourself compassion and honour where you are at. Remember that the process takes time but you can and WILL overcome this - you must believe this more than anyone else.
Below are 5 tips to help you overcome binge eating that you can begin to implement today:
1. Watch Your Words
Our words are extremely powerful.
Do you find yourself saying anything that sounds like the following:
"whenever my partner and I get in a fight I go straight for the comfort foods"
"before every exam/interview/presentation I go to town on a bag of chips"
"whenever I put my kids to sleep, I get this insatiable drive to eat chocolate… I'm so tired I feel I have no willpower"
We all have egos... and that's okay! It helps to protect us in many situations, and it is part of who we are. But that same ego, whether you are aware of it or not, does not like to be proven wrong. So if you are presented with the option to eat your 'binge-eating-food-of-choice' you likely will… because you've already identified as someone who does do this, each time.
Whatever you say is a direct expression of what you think. And what you think is what becomes your reality.
Speak and think in the past-tense.
Instead of saying, "I am someone who always eats comfort food when I'm sad" instead say, "I used to be someone who always ate comfort food when I was sad."
This might feel like you're lying to yourself at first: but fake it until you make it absolutely applies here! Believe in the process… it takes time. Turn it into a regular practice and youll reap the benefits of it.
Visualize the ideal you.
2. Avoid Eating 'Trigger Foods' When Down
This is the hardest point. I know!
But let's be honest, material interventions, like buying more clothes or eating more food, are not the solutions to things that require an emotional intervention. If you eat when you're down, you will find there is no amount of food that can fill the void created by your emotional state.
Does this mean you shouldn't eat at all when upset? No! You might have a life circumstance that's making you feel down for days, and that happens. Eat! Just avoid the trigger foods.
Alleviate your emotional state.
Have treat foods when happy (for no reason at all!).
3. Separate Yourself From Your Evil Twin
Your evil twin is that person inside telling you what TO DO or what NOT TO DO.
I have categorized these into 3 types:
Strict Twin: "do not screw up and eat that cookie… you are on a diet and this does not fit the plan!"
Extreme Twin: "well you messed up already and already ate 2 cookies so you may as well finish the whole box now!... tomorrow we start fresh!"
Encouraging Twin (you think is on your side, but isn't): "you just worked out for 30 minutes? Well done! Now you deserve that second slice of cake.
Repeat the word "nourish"
When you realize it's your "evil twin" talking, start to repeat the word "nourish" over and over again in your head.
Ask yourself, "does this nourish me: mind, body or soul?"
By doing this you may realize that eating an entire box of cookies is not nourishing. But equally, restricting yourself is also not nourishing if having a cookie when you are in a good mood is something you desire and could truly savour.
4. Don't 'Should' on Yourself
Be aware of using the word "should"! The word "should" is so absolute and extreme.
Think about it: what does a two-year old do when you tell them they should (or should not) do something? They revel! It's our natural instinct to rebel. So by saying you should not do something it has the opposite effect.
Start saying "could" instead.
By saying "could" you give yourself the option to choose which ever of the two options nourishes you more.
"Instead of I should NOT have the cookie" it becomes "I could have the cookie - does it nourish me?" The answer might be no, in which case you choose not to eat the cookie and eat something else instead, OR it could be, "yes! I would feel nourished by having this right now - it will make me happy and I truly desire it." If so, great! Savour it! And honour yourself for tuning in to your true desires without self-sabotaging.
5. Talk to Someone
Admitting a problem with binge-eating can be a terrifying thought. We often hear people mentioning it casually and with some jest, "I ate so much last night... I really over it did it!". This is not the kind of 'talking about it' I mean.
Genuinely talk to someone about it.
The important point is to tell someone you trust, and someone who can be your support person.
Share your feelings and emotions on the topic, why you think you do it, what your triggers are, and what worked in the past to help you stop, even if for a momentary time.
Sometimes the process of just talking it out can help reduce the burden, and can help to gain clarity on the situation.
As difficult and overwhelming as it may feel, you can and WILL overcome this. Know that it takes repeated efforts over a long period of time but with a positive mindset and the right support you will start to see this cloud of hardship drift away.
I hope you found the tips in this article helpful and I wish you all the best in your journey to balanced eating. I'm here to support you in any way I can.
Want To Learn More?
Read this previous nutrition article called 5 WAYS » to make a smoothie healthier
What About You?
Do you have any tips that have worked for you that you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below or share your recipes with us on Instagram with the hashtag #pickuplimes.
❤ Written by: Sadia