As I write this post on binge eating, I’m full beyond explanation, and this happens occasionally.
So it’s after dinner and I have all the classic aftermaths of binge eating.
- I’m feeling guilty and thinking I should’ve stopped eating after the second helping. Or even the first one. And I tell myself this is the last time I do it.
But so far the guilt hasn’t weaned me off binge eating and at some time in the near future I always find myself back to stuffing my face.
- If it happens on a Saturday, I always comfort myself by saying it’s the weekend and I’m allowed to enjoy myself. So then I always tell myself it’s alright if it happens the next day on Sunday too because I can always start my no binge eating life on Monday.
It’s excuse after excuse, and I can’t help it. But I know this habit has to go if I want to enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle .
What is binge eating?
For those of you who love simple, non-scientific definitions like me, binge eating is simply eating more food than you need to a point where you feel uncomfortably full. It’s that uncontrollable moment where you just stuff food into your mouth and you can’t bring yourself to stop no matter what.
But you always feel ashamed and guilty afterwards, and yet you still go back to binge eating. This vicious cycle is one of the biggest diet challenges faced by people trying to accomplish a simple healthy lifestyle.
So am I saying that you are not the only one binge eating?
Absolutely. There are more people struggling with binge eating than you realize. Some more than others but it’s an extremely common problem, so please don’t feel alone.
So why am I binge eating?
The reasons for binge eating vary from person to person but the most common reasons are:
- Boredom – You eat because there’s nothing else to do
- Anxiety – You eat because you’re feeling anxious about something
- Stress – You eat because you’re feeling stressed
But I’ve realized that for me, it’s also the less common reasons that lead me to overeat.
I could be feeling emotionally alright and still binge eat. There’s that greediness that occasionally takes over me and makes me want to eat more than I can handle, and I can’t explain what triggers it.
Some people say it’s still some underlying emotional issue that might not be obvious to me at the time.
It’s during such times that I find myself eating the kind of foods I don’t normally eat, food that I dislike even.
I’m not a fan of candy, and I’ve especially hated chocolate since I was a kid. But during a binge eating episode, I could find myself easily devouring a chocolate cake.
So you must be wondering why I have a ‘how to stop binge eating’ post when I’m struggling with it myself.
The truth is, I used to binge eat more than I do now. In fact, I feel like I’m at a point where I can triumphantly say I’m on my way to conquering it. Believe me, I didn’t always feel this way.
You might disagree, but I feel like my victory after all those past failures more than qualifies me to write this post. I’m just an imperfect human being trying to express what worked for me to a world of other imperfect human beings.
So I just want to share with you the tips I implemented to reduce this habit.
So what did I do?
- First I acknowledged that binge eating was a problem I had. I just called it that: a problem I had. I didn’t call it my problem because I hate taking ownership of bad things. It wasn’t mine, it was just something I hadn’t yet learned to control.
- And that’s another thing people overlook. And this is very important. Don’t take ownership of binge eating. Don’t claim it as yours. It’s not yours. Realize it’s just a bad habit you picked up somewhere that you’ll soon be rid of. If you make it your own you won’t be able to get rid of it.
- I determined what food meant to me. Before I got to where I am now, I prioritized food over everything else in my life. I lived to eat. But once I realized food was only meant to give me energy so I could carry out God’s work, food became something I ate to live, not the other way round. That really turned things around for me.
- I reminded myself to stop eating once I felt full. I actually had to consciously track my food intake until I reached a point where I felt comfortably full.
I didn’t wait until I was too hungry. I ate just when I started feeling hungry. That way it was less difficult for me to stop when I was full.
- I learned to eat and drink in one sitting. That way I didn’t overindulge.
- I learned to eat more fruits and vegetables. Over consuming fruits and vegetables is still binge eating. But it’s funny how the brain will make you feel less guilty about overindulging on healthy food than you do on unhealthy food. But make no mistake, it’s still binge eating.
But going from binge eating unhealthy food to healthy food helped me tremendously. Eventually I graduated from binge eating fruits and veggies to just not overindulging at all. It was a process I had to be patient with.
- Which brings me to patience. You have to be patient with yourself and realize this is not something you can accomplish in one day. It’s a process you have to respect. Patience is a virtue you have to learn to employ in life, not just with healthy eating.
You can employ these tips to help you on your journey of stopping binge eating so you can enjoy a simple healthy lifestyle. Obviously these are not all the tips you can use, so do share with us your own tips.
The final word
There’s no reason to feel ashamed if you have a problem of binge eating. There are people out there who support you and want to guide you through quitting this habit and I’m one of those people.
Thank you for reading this post. Please let us know your thoughts on it. Share your struggles with binge eating and how you are trying to overcome it. Your thoughts are very valuable to us.