10 Tips on how to stop binge eating
A definition of binge eating is ‘the uncontrolled eating of large quantities of food in a short period of time’. Like most eating disorders, binge eating can vary considerably in severity. In severe cases, binge eating can have serious medical consequences and help should be sought from a medical professional. In many cases, though, binge eating can just be a bad habit and is often brought about by attempts to lose weight or by not following a regular eating pattern. So, if you are someone for whom one chocolate from the box is simply is never enough, then read our ten tips on how to curb your binge eating:
1. Keep the packet in the cupboard
Our first tip on how to stop binge eating is – when you reach for a snack, say a packet of cookies or sweets, then take two or three cookies and then, return the packet to the cupboard before you sit down again. Never eat anything straight from the pack or, otherwise, the temptation to eat more will be there, right in front of your eyes.
2. Don’t skip meals
Another effective tip on how to stop binge eating is – make sure that you eat properly at meal times and never skip a meal. Skipping a meal will, of course, make you hungry and you will probably over compensate at the next meal time or by binging on snacks. Your body digests food better, more easily if you eat regularly and you are likely to eat less overall.
3. Eat your meals at the table
Eating your meals at the table is another good tip on how to stop binge eating. You need to give your body time to realize that it has had enough food, so take your time with your meals and eat them sat at a table, not in front of the TV or standing in the kitchen. Make your mealtimes an event, savor your food and you will feel fuller and less inclined to binge on snacks later on in the day.
4. Eat a proper breakfast
Eating a good breakfast will also help you in your quest on how to stop binge eating. Be sure to get a good, healthy breakfast every day. Binge eaters are often people who skip breakfast, because they get really hungry a little later in the day and eat far more, than they would have done, if they had eaten that first meal of the day.
5. Try drinking something, rather than eating
It is actually surprisingly easy to mistake thirst for hunger, therefore another great tip on how to stop binge eating is this: if you feel the urge to eat, try having a drink instead. The best option is water. It could quell the craving, which might just be a feeling of thirst anyway, and it will also make you feel a little fuller.
6. Distract yourself
Sometimes, the cause of binge eating can be pure boredom. Try and keep yourself occupied and, if you do begin to feel a craving coming on, then go out for a walk, do some chores, anything to take your mind off food. Once you begin to learn to recognise the onset of the cravings, you can begin to control them and not allow your cravings to control you!
7. Identify your trigger foods
Binge eating is not as unusual, as you might think, and, most people have a food that, once they’ve picked it up, they find it hard to put down again. For some it’s cheese, for others it’s chocolate or ice cream. Think about what your trigger foods are and beware of the problem. Ideally, you should be aiming to train yourself to eat just a small portion of these foods, but if you can’t do that, then be honest about it, and don’t buy that food, until you feel more in control of your cravings.
8. Stop eating in the evenings
A lot of people report that their binge eating occurs in the evenings, after they have eaten their main meal of the day. So another tip on how to stop binge eating is – set a time of the evening to stop eating and stick to it! Make this little rule for yourself. If you promise yourself that you won’t eat anything after, say, 8.00pm, the next time you kick off your shoes and relax in front of the TV, hopefully you won’t also automatically reach for the food. When you eat whilst distracted, you will eat more, without even realizing it, so have a yogurt or a cup of warm milk instead!
9. Set times for food
If you are finding too difficult to control your eating, then make fixed times of the day for eating meals and snacks. Have set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner and allow yourself times for some healthy snacks in between. It might take a while to learn the discipline of this routine, but it should help you to avoid binging or skipping meals.
10. Get support
In its severe forms, binge eating is a disease, but it is a disease that can be cured. If you have a real problem controlling you’re eating, you can get support from therapists or support groups who will help you feel more accountable, and talking to people who have the same problems can be very helpful and therapeutic.
Do you have some other tip on how to stop binge eating? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!