I know how it goes. You’re emotional, stressed and maybe a little bit hungry so you turn to the pantry looking for answers….. and before you know it you’re down half a jar of peanut butter.
Binge eating is defined by its mindless and compulsive nature. I am not talking about any form of bingeing/purging or eating disorders here. More in the sense of “I ate my bodyweight in chocolate last night in front of the Television” type of binge.
Although I hate the word “binge”, when the emotions run wild…Food seems to shut it off. Lets face it, one m&m can easily turn into a whole packet when you’re in that mind frame. And it happens to all of us! But believe it or not….its not the calories that you need to worry about, its the feeling of guilt, regret and disgust afterwards that are going to be the most damaging.
So here are a few tips that help break that vicious binge cycle:
1. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself.
When you make something forbidden, you will crave it and it will always be on your mind……we all now how this ends. So instead of making your favorite foods ‘taboo’ keep them as a mindful treat. It’s ok to have these foods every now and then, even a little bit of chocolate every night isn’t going to hurt you. Just don’t go over the top, plan for it and be mindful. That way it doesn’t become “forbidden”.
2. Don’t skip meals.
“Binge” eating is often brought on by restrictive dieting and skipping meals. Eat a sensible breakfast and lunch, and you’re less likely to clean out your pantry in that frantic hunger kick when you get home from work.
3. Do something.
Take your mind away from your forbidden food by focusing on something that takes all your concentration, read a book, draw, go for a walk. Once your mind is engaged in a task that you enjoy and must pay attention to, you’re less likely to be fixated on food.
4. Call a friend.
We almost always “binge” alone. With friends, you’d be able to talk out your feelings instead of eating them away. So next time you’re feeling down and you’re about to turn to your friend in the fridge, call a real friend first. A good old rant can be a more effective way to take your mind off things.
5. Regain mindfulness.
Usually when you’re mid-way through a “binge” you’re not really thinking and you’re not exactly enjoying your food either. Stop and think, what are you eating, is it worth it, are you enjoying it? Chances are the answer is no. The ability to stop and regain mindfulness is a powerful tool, you have it, use it!
6. Change your relationship with food.
Food nourishes our body, it provides us with essential nutrients and fuel to help us build strong healthy bodies, it should also be enjoyed. It’s not a friend we can turn to when we’re upset or stressed but it’s also not an enemy and we shouldn’t let it make us feel bad about ourselves. Don’t let the food consume you.
A nutritious, diet is essential for good physical health but BALANCE is essential for holistic health.