Ever find yourself binge eating? Bingeing is uncontrollably eating large quantities of food, sometimes unconsciously, and then having feelings of guilt or remorse? If so, here are a few tips for avoiding this behavior in the future.
- Never eat directly from a box or container. Be mindful of the serving size. Take ONE serving and put the rest away.
- Don’t mistake a craving from being hungry or thirsty. If you find yourself repeatedly opening/closing the refrigerator or pantry door because you don’t know what you want, try pouring yourself a large glass of water and walking away. When it comes to being hungry or having a craving, ask yourself do I “want” something specific, or will just about anything satisfy me. If you answered yes to the latter, then you’re probably hungry.
- When eating treats use smaller bowls, plates, spoons, and forks (cocktail size). This gives the illusion of eating more while reducing your portion size and drawing out how long it takes to eat the treat.
- Extend meal times by 15-20 minutes. It takes the stomach 20 minutes to signal the brain that you actually feel full. Drop the fork and talk to your dinner companions.
- Have a plan for when a craving hits. Try to distract yourself with another thing you enjoy doing. Many times just getting away from the kitchen is very helpful.
- Be aware of your feelings. Make sure you’re not wanting to eat because you feel ________ (fill in the blank with angry, sad, lonely, tired, etc.). Try to find ways to cope with feelings that aren’t food related. There are lots of counselors trained to help if you feel you need a professionals’ assistance.
- Don’t skip meals. Doing so will leave you overly hungry and more likely to over eat or eat the next meal too quickly.
- Know yourself…. How do you respond when your favorite treats are around? Are you the kind of person who needs to not have junk food in the house, or are you able to stop at just one.
- Stay present when you eat. Be aware of what and how much you are eating. DO NOT multitask while eating. When we preoccupy ourselves during meals, we lose the sense of “presence” and tend to over eat.
Don’t panic when a binge occurs. Remember, it’s ok, it doesn’t mean you failed! Pick back up with your healthy eating habits. Do NOT punish yourself by over exercising or being excessively strict in your diet. This may lead to an unhealthy cycle of binging and restriction which does not lend itself to a healthy lifestyle. The goal is to find BALANCE in our life. Remember, it’s about the overall lifestyle not the daily happenings.
*credit to SPARKPEOPLE