Believe it or not, your Binge eating is not about the food. We may think it is about the food because that is what we see. What we don’t see is what is causing us to binge on food. Working on the cause instead of the food is the work we need to do in how to stop binge eating.
Now there is also a caveat I will put in here that if you are bingeing on white food such as bread, sugar, crisps, or chocolate there will be a part of that food that will be addictive as they are releasing sugar into your system and that is giving us this high and like any addiction, we will naturally crave that high again causing us to want more.
During a binge, it can feel that we have totally lost control. We desperately crave the food, and can’t stop thinking about it so we give in and divulge our cravings. After a binge we feel shame and guilt.
Weirdly enough it might feel like the more you try to stop yourself, the more you put controls on yourself to stop binge eating, the more you feel out of control, and it feels like you can’t stop bingeing.
To stop the bingeing, there are many tactics that you can use such as hiding your food, tapping, using EFT, drinking lots of water, and filling up on fruit and veg. All good tactics. We are going to look at how to stop binge eating from the cause of your eating. Short-term tactics are great at the moment, but to stop binge eating, you need to work on your mindset.
5 steps on How to Stop Binge Eating
1. Stop restricting your food
Throw any food rules you have out of the window. Stop telling yourself what you can and can’t eat. When we restrict ourselves, it drives us to want what we have restricted. We can fall into a cycle of; Bingeing, and feeling shame so we restrict ourselves. We set a strict set of rules. Then we break the rules by overeating and feel annoyed because we can’t stick to the rules we have created. We go back to restricting again. The circle continues. As we give ourselves more rules the harder it is to stick to those rules. It is the very restrictions that are causing us to binge eat. Here’s how your diet could be causing your binge eating.
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2. Don’t stop your Binge Eating
This is going to be against what everyone else is telling you. But my advice for the short term is to continue with your binge eating the way it is. Eat what you want. The reason I am telling you this is because we spend so much of our energy trying to stop ourselves bingeing that actually, it makes us want to binge more. By allowing ourselves to binge eat what we want, we are taking the rules away from us. We are also giving ourselves the space to start noticing our eating patterns. When the restrictions are off, it can feel like freedom.
3. What are the binge eating triggers?
When you take the rules off yourself, you can start to pay attention to when you are eating. Start by doing a diary of your binges. Notice what happens before you binge. This is like being a detective only on yourself. You are looking for clues to what prompts you to go and eat. For instance, is there a time of day when you binge? Do you binge eat in a certain location? Then work out if there is an emotion that is causing you to binge eat. Keeping a diary of every time you binge eat, will help you see the patterns that are happening. You may also notice that it probably is not always one thing or emotion causing you to binge eat.
4. Work on the Emotions causing you to Binge Eat.
When we start paying attention to what our binge eating triggers are, we start paying attention to the emotions that are contributing to our binge eating. This requires us to go inwards and do some soul searching.
Here are some questions for you to ask yourself
How does it feel when you binge eat? When you are in the middle of a binge?
Some of my clients have answered, fulfillment, fun, being happy, and content. This is the feeling you are chasing and the reason behind your binge eating.
How can you get more of that feeling without binge eating?
When did you start eating this way?
What was happening to you when you started eating this way?
Sometimes this way of eating is because we want to suppress some feelings. We don’t want to deal with something. Something could be too painful to think about, however, it is there in our unconscious and your eating is probably indirectly linked to those feelings or events. Though the more we push it to the back of our minds the more our binge eating will continue because eating is a way of covering up all these emotions.
What is lacking so often for a lot of us is compassion. We may never have received any growing up. We may not know what that feels like. Life without it can be harsh. When we binge eat, we can be so hard on ourselves. We set rules that are impossible to stick to. Then we metaphorically and verbally beat ourselves up when we binge eat. We think negatively of ourselves because of our bingeing. What is lacking is an understanding of why we do what we do. This harsh world is what keeps us stuck in our eating patterns.
To bring more compassion and understanding into our lives helps us to break free of the restricting chains that we have put ourselves in. Think of someone or a pet that you absolutely love. You love them so much they could do anything and you would still love them. That is how we need to start treating ourselves. Think of something supportive and kind to say to yourself every day. Work on feeling loved and supported because there is lots of love and support out there for you.