When you are struggling with binge eating it’s easy to feel as if there is no hope. However, I want you to know there is hope and ways to combat binge eating habits! This post will detail some of those methods and how to execute them successfully!
Please note that if you are suffering from a binge eating disorder, it’s incredibly important to contact a medical doctor for treatment. In addition, while this post is full of great tips for overcoming binge eating, it doesn’t replace medical advice or treatment! Without further ado, here are tips for overcoming binge eating!
1. Eat regularly.
If you are suffering from binge eating disorder, eating regularly during the day may be the last thing you want to do. You may be afraid of eating even more, or you may just not be hungry. However, eating regularly throughout the day (and eating nutrient-rich foods) is one of the best ways to combat binge eating disorder because it helps reduce restriction-based eating.
If you do not allow your body to consume food during the day, you are more likely to get extremely hungry and/or panic at night and overconsume.
Ensure you are eating three healthy meals daily—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and incorporating plenty of fruits and veggies into your diet.
It can be helpful to set reminders or alarms in your phone to remind you to have regular meals or to meal prep so you know there are ready-to-go, delicious foods waiting for you without the guesswork! Feel free to incorporate healthy snacks between meals, such as munching on an apple during a walk or sipping a smoothie on your way to class!
2. Reflect after every binge.
If a binge happens, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, focus on healthy reflection that can help you determine why the binge happened and how it can be prevented in the future. Remember: binge eating is a symptom. Finding the cause is important for being able to heal!
One of the best methods for reflection is journaling because you can go back later on and review what you’ve written. This is an excellent strategy for discovering patterns and ultimately discovering the root cause of the binges.
When journaling, make it a relaxing event. Play some soft music, sit somewhere private, and allow yourself to delve into what you felt in the hours that led up to the binge, how you felt during the binge, and how you felt afterward. Focus on how you felt and feel now instead of focusing on what happened.
If paper journaling isn’t your style, there are also plenty of apps you can check out (including apps with password capabilities) to allow you to journal right from your phone.
3. Eat feared food daily, but slowly.
As mentioned earlier, food restriction is one of the main triggers of binge eating. If there are foods that you’re afraid of eating, such as candy, dessert, chips, etc… allow yourself to eat those foods (in small, reasonable amounts) each day—and allow yourself to enjoy them! This will help challenge the all-or-nothing mentality that oftentimes accompanies binge eating disorder and prevent you from overeating these foods later on.
In addition, gradual exposure to these foods will help reduce the anxiety that comes with them, giving you more food freedom.
When eating these foods, introduce them slowly—such as having a few potato chips with your sandwich at lunch or having a scoop of ice cream for dessert after dinner.
4. Add other sources of pleasure to your life.
If you’re a foodie, you may get pleasure from eating—and that’s completely okay (and normal!) This becomes a problem, however, when it leads to unhealthy and/or disordered eating habits.
To help combat binge eating, work on adding other sources of pleasure into your daily life—things you can look forward to and enjoy that aren’t food-related! This will give your life more purpose and help reduce the time you spend thinking about body image.
Some ideas for pleasurable activities include spending time with your kids, reading a favorite book, going for a walk and enjoying the sunshine, spending time with your partner, playing with a pet, etc… The list goes on, and it can be different for every person! Think about what YOU like to do, and work on incorporating time spent doing that thing daily.
5. Find support.
Lastly, remember that binge eating disorder is NOT something you must (or should) go through alone. Establishing a solid support system is one of the most effective ways to heal from binge eating disorder, and it ensures that you have both accountability and help pushing forward when things get hard.
Potential support people include:
- A partner
- Other family members
- Support groups
Ensure that the people you’re reaching out to are good candidates for supporting you, meaning that they want to see you get better, don’t regularly comment on your body or put you down, and are willing and able to offer support to you daily.
if you are currently looking for support in combating binge eating disorder from a licensed professional, look no further! My name is Ryann, and I am a food freedom therapist and virtual coach! I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and have an MA in Professional Counseling.
My ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, to heal your disordered relationship with food and your body so you can feel better, eat better, and gain food freedom!
Keywords: binge eating, binge eating disorder, overcoming binge eating