Battling Binge Eating: How to Stop … For Good
Binging is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit in the diet and wellness industry. What is binge eating? By definition it is the consumption of large quantities of food in a relatively short period of time. Binge eating, in its most dangerous form, is an eating disorder that can lead to a deadly cycle of binging and purging. In lesser cases, it is the act of gorging on “bad” foods from time to time either as a reward or as an emotional response.
In either case, binge eating can be a serious condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It often belies an unhealthy relationship with food and the role it plays in your life. Today, we want to look at some ways to identify binge eating behavior and how to move beyond it.
What Triggers Binging
So often binging goes hand in hand with super restrictive diets. Cutting back on calories in an extreme manner leads the body to go into starvation mode, which can often lead to the desire to binge.
Instead of labeling foods as “good” or “bad” it is important to look at food in a different way. To quote Sesame Street, it is better to think of foods as “sometimes” foods vs. “always” foods. This helps to create a more realistic relationship with foods, taking away the forbidden nature and making the need to binge less likely.
Enjoy Your Food
Food can be nourishing for both body and soul. The act of preparing a meal or savoring its flavors can be a good thing. Striving for perfection, however, is not. So, while preparing your meals it’s okay to mix “sometimes” foods with the healthy stand-bys from time to time. Don’t feel bad about not following the perfect diet, because this struggle for perfection can often lead down the path of binging. Instead, follow a balanced approach with a heavy focus on real, organic, and healthy foods but with enough wiggle room for treats and small indulgences.
Listen To Your Body
So often we eat for reasons other than hunger. Other times we crave things out of habit, but not because we really need them. And then there are the times we eat simply because it’s there, without paying attention to why. In these moments, turn off the distractions and figure out what your body is really telling you. Are you bored? Is it really thirst masquerading as hunger? Do you have an emotional attachment to a particular food that causes you to eat without thinking? All of these things can lead to overindulging. Instead, listen to your body and feed it what it needs instead of mindlessly feeding it what is convenient.
Love The Body You Are In
Binge eating, in its most severe form, is an eating disorder. This often goes hand in hand with body dysmorphia or a skewed vision of your body. Loving the body you are in, including its flaws and imperfections, can go a long way to helping you move beyond the binge. Give yourself room to make mistakes. Acknowledge the good that you are doing to create a healthier you… even when you have missteps. And, never be afraid to ask for help. Again, binging can be an eating disorder. If you need help, or know someone who does, there are many resources to turn to. There are several hotlines that can offer counseling and help if you suspect your binging has become an eating disorder.
Of course, another resource is Cooking Healthy Academy’s Focus On The Food That Feeds You Program. In this program we offer one on one coaching to help identify your unique triggers and concerns and help to fight the desire to binge.