Binge Eating

9 Sneaky Habits Preventing You From Binge Eating Recovery

habits that are preventing you from recovering from binge eating

November 21, 2022

I’m Ryann.
A not-so-average therapist obsessed with all things mental wellness who overcame 7 years of binge eating and found food freedom. Now, I'm teaching you all my secrets!
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Feeling stuck in binge eating recovery? Frustrated that you're not healed yet? Chances are, there are still some behaviors you may be engaging in that inhibit your healing. Before you beat yourself up and claim to be a lost cause (hint: you’re not!), check out these nine not-so-obvious habits that may sabotage your recovery from binge eating. 

#1. Habit Preventing You From Binge Eating Recovery: Continuing to weigh yourself. 

Every time you get on the scale, you reinforce the belief that numbers matter. Knowing your weight doesn't change your body size or make food easier to manage. As long as you continue to weigh yourself, you are not allowing yourself to trust your body, and the binges will continue. 

#2. Only focusing on the food, ignoring addressing the root cause of your binge eating. 

Binge eating is a reaction to various unmet needs. If you aren't addressing those needs outside of food in recovery, changing how you eat will only get you so far, and the binges will continue. 

#3. Habit Preventing You From Binge Eating Recovery: Continuing to engage with the eating disorder voice.

You might not have control over that automatic eating disorder voice, but you do have control over whether or not you choose to engage with it. As long as you engage with that voice (even in recovery), it will have power over you, and the binges will continue. 

#4. Finding excuses to avoid situations that involve eating or body image exposure.

I get it; these situations are challenging. I used to think, “but if I never do it, then I won't be triggered.” While that may be true at that moment, you cannot avoid these situations forever. Binge eating recovery is learning how to be okay, regardless of what the food or your body looks like. 

#5. Habit Preventing You From Binge Eating Recovery: Judging yourself and/or your food choices.

As long as you continue to judge yourself or your food choices (e.g., “I am so bad for eating that,” “I shouldn't be hungry right now,” “I have no control”), you will fall into the binge eating cycle. Judging yourself and your food choices is one of the critical components of mental restriction, which exacerbates binge eating. 

#6. Not buying binge trigger foods. 

As long as you continue to tell yourself, “I can't have that food without binging,” you are reinforcing the belief that these foods have power over you, and the binges will continue. Rather than avoid binge-trigger foods, slowly add them as you feel ready. 

#7. Rejecting your body. 

Has hating your body ever helped? Has hating your body ever done anything good for you? As long as you reject your body, you won't be able to have a good relationship with it. To achieve binge eating recovery, you and your body must be on the same team, starting with accepting (rather than rejecting) the body you have now.

#8. Habit Preventing You From Binge Eating Recovery: Not paying attention to your hunger and fullness. 

Ending the binges starts with reconnecting (and listening!) to your hunger and fullness cues. You are not showing trust in your body by engaging in behaviors such as ignoring your hunger or treating fullness as “wrong” or “bad.” As long as your continue to ignore your body's cues, your urge to binge will remain.

#9. Having the F-it Mentality When Things Aren’t Perfect. 

The F-it mentality stems from continuing to engage in all-or-nothing thinking, and full recovery cannot happen without changing this unhelpful mindset. When something in your day doesn’t go right, you cannot say “f- it” and let your whole day be ruined by engaging in your typical binge eating coping mechanism. Instead, you must learn to separate that event from your eating.

To Summarize: 

This list provides just SOME examples of what may be keeping you stuck. I hope this shows you that recovery is about so much more than just eating food “normally,” and that there is no quick fix. If you are stumped about why your binge eating recovery is stalled, go through these behaviors and see if you can identify an area you need to work on. And remember to be kind to yourself! This checklist is not to shame or judge you, but to shine a spotlight on areas of improvement so you can continue your healing and ultimately achieve food freedom.

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