Strategies to stop binge eating that I'm implementing todayshare on: facebook | twitter | google+ | reddit
You might think you're in a minority if you've ever had a day (or multi-day) episode of binge eating.
If you aren't aware – binge eating is any period of time where you eat an amount of food far beyond your hunger level. That amount is different for every person, but the scenario is usually the same. Perhaps caused by too much stress, an extra rigid diet, or any number of other 'triggers' that lead you to go overboard with food.
You're friends and family probably don't know you do this, because it's mission critical for you to keep it a secret. Binging is your time to let go completely.
I wrote about one binge here, and for me it's usually the same. I order an amount of food fit for three humans, turn on one of my favorite zone-out shows (Seinfeld, 30 Rock, or Futurama!) and then let the feast begin... until it ends, usually with a bad stomach ache, regret, and shame that can lead into consecutive days of the same behavior.
In terms of dieting, I talked about how we should just roll with the punches when binges happen. One binge won't make you fat, so it's best to just keep on truckin' once it's over. Accept the conditions that lead to it, make a note of them for next time, and move on.
Killing The Binge
At this point, though, I'm a bit fed up (no pun intended).
Yesterday in my notes I wrote:
Going to get utterly shredded and be a master authority of dieting
I like to dramatize a bit, to really let the feeling stick with me. I've been sharing my fitness 'journey' (I hate saying that for some reason) with you to help you have the same successes I have had, but there is a sticking point between "lost a bunch of weight" and "getting shredded". I'm extremely happy with where I have gotten, but now I'm going for mastery. And for me, that means killing the binge for good.
I know more than enough to share and teach the fundamentals of dieting, but in order to reach mastery, I'll need to get to the root of even the smallest of issues holding me back.
In my research, I've come across a handful of strategies you can use to help prevent binge eating. Many of the strategies have to do with removing the triggers and/or scenarios that lead up to a binge. The following are a list of all strategies I have found through research or through personal experience.
Stop Weighing Yourself
I saw this suggestion on Jordan Syatt's Instagram. I highly recommend following Jordan. He posts very digestible dieting and fitness posts that I always agree with and are very much inline with minimalist fitness.
Jordan suggests that binges mainly arise because of too much rigidness in your diet. If you're like me, you can go overboard with tracking. Weighing yourself every morning, tracking every bite, looking at yourself in the mirror. All of these can be great for ensuring you make progress, but if you have binging tendencies, you may want to try dialing it back.
I'm now going to be weighing myself once a week (Monday morning) instead of every day.
Remove 'Binge-able' Foods From Pantry
I've talked about how we as humans have a limited ability to make good choices in a day. It would be nice if we had superhero self-control, but we only have so much, so it's in our favor to eliminate highly-palatable, 'quick foods' from our kitchen. Don't force yourself to look at a bag of chips and say no, because you'll eventually fail.
It's all about mitigation. Eventually, just maybe you'll wire yourself to only want healthy foods (and portions), but for now, f#%k it, we need to mitigate.
Have Kitchen Prepped For Cooking Well
This follows along with the last point – if you always have a kitchen filled with healthy foods you love that you can cook up quickly (this means the dishes need to be done!) then you'll be less likely to binge.
Usually a binge for me involves ordering out, and I know myself well enough to know that I won't be tempted if I can cook something up just as delicious right at home.
I've heard of things like hypnosis, but I don't know any hypnotists so I can't really try that. Do you know of anything else I've missed?
An N=1 Experiment
You'll have the most success with your diet if you continue to experiment on yourself to find what works best.
Once something is working, stick with it, but everyone is different so a plan custom to you (that's still based on research) will be ideal.
Research (and the results of countless personal trainers) is showing that it is adherence and the energy balance that is most important for a dieter's success. It's not about what foods you eat, or what kind of exercise you do, it's about finding out a consistent way to hit that calorie deficit.
Use the bazillions of available dieting methods (that all work with consistent application) and fit them into your life in a way that doesn't wreak havoc. For me I think that's now going to be about loosening up on myself in a way that relieves the urge to binge but that keeps a slow progress towards my goal weight.
What about for you?
Where are you at? What are you struggling with that you need to find a solution for? If you haven't already, put your email address in the form below and shoot me an email. You'll get my writing a few days before I post it here and we can chat about this stuff.