WHAT IS IT?
Binge eating is characterized by compulsive overeating in which you consume huge amounts of food within a short time period. When you are bingeing, you are out of control.
It's a vicious circle. You feel depressed, anxious, and angry, so you binge. Then you feel depressed, anxious, and angry about bingeing and hopeless of ever being able to stop. So you binge again.
What are the Causes of Binge Eating
The most common of bingeing are:
1) Driven by Emotions. – You are out of control and you use food as your escape when you feel depressed, anxious or angry.
2) You are on a Starvation Diet or you have previously been on an extreme diet. The issue I have with extreme diets is that they do not teach healthy lifestyle changes that can be maintained over many years. When you deprive yourself from the essential food and nutrition your body needs to function, eventually, your body rebels and overcompensates with the first binge. The bingeing starts irregularly and eventually becomes more frequent.
3.5% of us women suffer from binge eating disorder, which is more than double the incidence of bulimia and four times that of anorexia. Binge eating happens regularly, at least twice a week for six months.
Ask yourself these questions:
1) Do you feel out of control or unable to stop when you are eating?
2) Do you think about food all the time?
3) Do you force yourself to eat even when you are full and feel sick after?
4) Do you stock up food and eat in secret?
5) Do you eat to escape from worries, stress or to comfort yourself?
6) Do you eat continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes?
7) Do you feel disgusted, guilty and ashamed of yourself after eating?
8) Are you desperation to control your weight and eating habits?
If your answers are yes to most of these questions, then let’s look at how we can stop sabotaging our workout routines with unhealthy binge eating. Here are my 10 tips.
HOW TO OVERCOME IT
1) Keeping Binges at Bay
Instead of eating the whole carton of ice cream on over the weekends, why not enjoy a small serving a few times throughout the week? NEVER eat directly from the whole carton, bag or box. Take out your portion and put the rest away.
2) Set yourself a timer
Wait. If you feel the urge to binge, set a timer for 15 minutes and try to figure out what's going on. Do you actually feel hungry or is anger, depression or anxiety that make you want to stuff yourself with all the chocolate bars? If so, try to figure out why you feel so upset." Or Is it boredom?
3) Don't be afraid to open up
If it’s your emotions, then let’s not numb ourselves with food but take courage and deal with your emotions. Share your concerns with friends and family. Never isolate yourself. We, women almost always binge alone. With friends, you'd be able to talk out your feelings instead of eating them away. So if you're feeling down and you're about to raid the refrigerator, call a friend first. Or speak to a professional who will be able to guide you in the right direction.
4) Find another distraction
If you find yourself staring into the fridge looking for something to eat, but don’t know what you want, you are most likely experiencing boredom cravings. Grab a glass of water and walk away. Or find another distraction, do whatever you have to do to get your mind off of the craving. Go out for a walk, do an activity you enjoy, meet up with your find, or my favourite is just take the time to relax, listen to some calming music, meditate and take a short nap. You will wake up feeling better.
My favourite method is to chew on gums. If you have to put something in your mouth, chew gums, Besides reducing your cravings, chewing gums helps to release stress and calm you down as well.
5) Record your indulgences
Even if you've just eaten the whole pack of chocolate bars, it's not too late to do something about the binge. Write down what triggered the binge, so that you can figure out what to do differently next time. Step back, reflect and learn to take control of the situation, instead of allowing your emotion and food to take over.
6) Eat your breakfast daily
Start your day right. It has been proven that if you do eat your breakfast regularly, you are more prone to binging and eating high calorie meals later in the day. You can check out my videos for some quick and simple breakfast ideas.
Do not go on any more restricted diets. You have tried them and they have proven to not work over many years. In fact, you are might have even put on more weight before you started dieting. Instead, start educating yourself with healthy eating and continue to enjoy your cravings in moderation. No only will you lose weight, you will be able to sustain it for life too.
7) Get active!
Plan out an exercise programme, which you will want to maintain. It can be workouts with my videos or join a dance club. Staying active not only make you feel and look your best, it keeps you happy and energized too!
DON'T punish yourself at the gym after a binge. Stick to your usual exercise routine. Maybe go for an extra walk or do some other light activity in addition to your workouts, but try to avoid the mindset of "working off" the calories you consumed. This, too, can lead to an unhealthy cycle of binging and over-exercising.
8) Learn to Love and Forgive Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up over it. You didn't start bingeing overnight, and you won't be able to stop that quickly either. Each small step that you take away from bingeing will help you feel better about yourself, but it will take months or even years to change your behavior completely. Love yourself for who you are, not what you look like.
Just like any other addictions, bingeing develops in habits. So in order to break this habit, start picking up new positive habits and focus on them. And just remember: To succeed, the trick is to try and try again. All the best! xx