Grocery Shopping In Binge Eating Recovery
Healthy Habits

When Grocery Shopping Is Overwhelming In Binge Eating Recovery: What to do!

September 19, 2022

Ryann Nicole

Hi, I’m Ryann.

Your Not-So-Average Food Freedom Therapist & Virtual Coach. As a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Certified Nutritionist with a BA in Psychology, and a MA in Professional Counseling, yes I do a little of the "so how does that make you feel".

But my ultimate goal is to provide you with the resources you need, in an easy-to-understand way, on healing your disordered relationship with food and your body. 

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Grocery shopping at the beginning of binge eating recovery is a different experience. When beginning to heal your relationship with food and embracing the mentality of ‘all foods fit,’ grocery shopping can feel exciting but highly overwhelming! This is SO NORMAL. As the desire to want to enjoy all the foods you have been avoiding (or restricting) for years, it can feel like a lot. To create a more enjoyable experience around grocery shopping in recovery, try this: 

01. Go in with a plan when first grocery shopping in binge eating recovery

Make a list of what you’ll buy for snacks and meals this week. Then, in addition to that list, before you’re at the store, choose 2-3 new things you want to try this week! This will help with option overwhelm in binge eating recovery when you are at the grocery store. And it will allow you to stay in a positive mindset while at the store! 

Oh, and go grocery shopping on a pleasantly full stomach (in other words, after a meal or a snack) to stay clear-headed at the store! 

02. Be intentional 

With the 2-3 new things you will add and try this week, have an intention behind how you will eat (or use) these new items! Think about how you want to eat, use, or prepare them to aid in your binge eating recovery. 

For example: 

  • This week I am going to buy pasta. I am going to make a greek pasta salad with this. 
  • This week I am going to buy chips. I am going to eat these chips with my sandwich at lunch. 
  • This week I am going to purchase Oreos. I am going to have the runs after lunch and dinner this week. 

This doesn’t need to become a rule, and this doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind. Instead, creating intention is to help manage the urge to binge on the new foods you bought and keep your head in a productive mindset. 

03. Remind yourself you can ALWAYS go back! 

At the beginning of binge eating recovery, it is customary to want to purchase all the new foods! And although this is amazing and important, let’s ensure your experience around buying fresh foods is pleasant. To do this, let’s start with 2-3 new items each trip, and remind yourself that if you want to purchase more later, you can always go back to the grocery store! 

To avoid a restrictive mindset, use the reframe: ‘I am learning how to make peace with food. This week I am learning how to make peace with *items 1* and *2*. If I feel comfortable after trying those new foods, I can always return to the store to get more!'

To Summarize Grocery Shopping in Binge Eating Recovery:

Although you have been grocery shopping more times than you can count, shopping in binge eating recovery can feel like a completely new experience. Remind yourself that the anxiety and urgency when going to the store will dissipate as you continue to practice allowing all foods to fit. Give yourself time as you continue your journey, and don’t forget to celebrate the small wins! 

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