How to curb your binge eating habits
Written by Lydia Guyatt - Fri 1st Apr 2022
Binge eating is the most common eating disorder, it is a mental health condition characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food followed by feelings of guilt or shame.
It is a serious condition that can lead to obesity and even heart disease or type 2 diabetes. It can be treated with psychotherapy and nutritional counselling. In this article, we will be going through some lifestyle changes that you can implement to overcome those habits.
Don't restrict yourself
Avoid fad diets! These diets involve extreme and unrealistic restrictions like cutting out entire food groups like carbohydrates, making them impossible to stick to and often leading to cravings that cause you to overeat.
Weight loss is about burning more calories than you consume. This means you will need to reduce your calorie intake but also implement some form of routine exercise. Any fad diet that states that you can lose weight without any exercise, or promises rapid weight loss will usually have the opposite effect, as restricting foods can trigger cravings and binge eating.
A nutritious diet comprises mainly of:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Lean proteins such as; fish, lean meat, eggs and tofu
- Healthful fats such as; fatty fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil and avocado
Drinking plenty of water has many health benefits but can also help reduce overeating, boost metabolism and contribute to weight loss. Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day will keep you full for longer and can result in you consuming less calories throughout the day.
Don't skip meals
Similar to fad diets and cutting out entire food groups, skipping breakfast, or any meal for that matter, is another factor that can promote binge eating. Breakfast is a very important meal that provides you with the energy needed to to function normally until lunchtime, and it should not be skipped.
Snacking is not a bad thing; however, you should be eating healthy snacks in between meals, spaced 3-4 hours apart as dips in energy levels are key triggers for overeating.
Increase the amount of fibre in your diet
Eating fruits, vegetables, unprocessed foods and whole grains will help you feel full and satisfied for longer compared to eating sugars and processed foods, as these types of food typically produce a rapid burst of energy followed by a crash.
Binge eating can lead to adverse health problems, so it is very important to address it promptly. Identifying your potential triggers can help you manage or avoid them e.g. If you tend to overeat when you're bored, you can try and distract yourself by going out with friends, or exercising.
Exercising, being well rested and staying hydrated are also very important things to keep on top of in order to cut out those binge eating habits.
Binge eating is however, also linked to low self-esteem. If you have tired to implement these changes but are still struggling to control your cravings, then perhaps you should seek professional advice from a doctor or a therapist.