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OVERCOME BINGE EATING » tips you can implement today

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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.EndFragment

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.

SOLUTIONS

  1. 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.

  1. Visualize the ideal you.

  • What would behave in these situations? BUT you have to be realistic! Don't say "I won't have ANY" if you think that's too extreme and unachievable in the long-term. Remember, the ideal you is consistent in his/her behaviour.

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.

SOLUTIONS

  1. Alleviate your emotional state.

  • Do something to calm your emotions: talk to someone, watch something that makes you laugh, have a cup of warm tea or comforting bowl of soup if you are truly hungry.

  1. Have treat foods when happy (for no reason at all!).

  • Allow yourself to have these 'treat' food when in a good mood and positive state of mind. This helps to break the association you've created between a said food item and a particular emotion.

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:

  1. Strict Twin: "do not screw up and eat that cookie… you are on a diet and this does not fit the plan!"

  2. 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!"

  3. 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.

SOLUTIONS

  1. Listen

  • Listen to this dialogue inside your head and identify when it's the twin. Start to identify the twin as being something outside of you - this is not really you talking!

  1. 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.

SOLUTION

Start saying "could" instead.