It’s mid-morning and you have a small craving for something sweet. You think “Oh I will be okay, lunch time is coming soon and I will be good and have a chicken salad.” Success! You pushed that craving aside… for now. Lunch time rolls around and you eat your salad but you just don’t feel satisfied and that darn craving is back again and it’s stronger than ever. Here comes another binge eating episode – you can just feel it and you can’t seem to stop it. So you go and grab some cookies from the pantry and you devour them barely even chewing. You just ate something sooo delicious, sooo bad but you don’t want it to end. You feel absolutely amazing from the taste as if you were on top of the world! However, this feeling is very short lived. The anxiety sets in and you start thinking to yourself that you failed, you’ve ruined your day, you’re never going to lose weight, this is going to go straight to your thighs! You might be able to walk away from the kitchen for a minute but something keeps pulling you back to keep eating. You’ve already ruined your day by eating something “bad” so you might as well just continue on eating and start your diet again on Monday. The binge lasts all weekend and by Sunday night you are so bloated, you have a headache, you have gut rot, you have gas, you have skin breakouts and you are so sick that you are ready to begin this diet again the next day. Monday and Tuesday go by and they were a breeze but something happens at work on Wednesday that really upset you and made you feel that feeling of defeat again. You get home from work and you feel like crap and the only thing that you want now is a big bowl of ice cream, so why the heck not? You just eat it and it is the most soothing treat. This whole cycle continues and you never seem to lose the weight and you are simply stuck.
Do you want to get out of this cycle? Do you want to be free from this food anxiety and binge eating? Do you want to lose weight and not feel deprived? If you answered yes to any of these questions then IIFYM is the answer for you!
But if you’re not ready for IIFYM just yet then please try these tips to prevent a binge. They are in no particular order and might prove to be very beneficial for you. Here we go!
Tips For Preventing A Binge
1. Drink more water. Keeping ourselves hydrated is so important for our bodies to function properly. Often times when you feel some hunger you might just be thirsty so keep a large water bottle around for easy access.
2. Fill up on volume foods. This means eating foods that will fill up your tummy but have the least amount of calories. These foods would be veggies such as; kale, cucumbers, spinach, zucchinis, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, etc. Grab a large bowl and make a giant salad! Add every veggie you’ve got to it. You will not only fill your stomach so there’s less chance to eat more after but you will have given yourself a huge nutritional boost from all of those vegetables. Another great volume food that I love is spaghetti squash. It tastes great and it has only 42 calories per 1 cup of it! So eat away!
3. Think brain over binge. If you can stop yourself for a moment before giving in to a craving and figure out what is truly making you want to eat then that in itself is a start to breaking that pattern (and possibly addressing the true issue at hand). Just give this little exercise a try every time you want to start bingeing. Eventually you might be able to stop yourself from several minutes at a time to an hour or more. Take out a journal and write down what comes to mind, you might be surprised to see what your triggers really are.
4. Protein. Sometimes people don’t realize how much protein we actually need to eat. It is recommended to eat anywhere from 0.7 grams of protein per lb of body weight to 1.2g / lb body weight. Choose the lower end if you have a lot of body fat to lose and the higher end the more lean you are. Protein is crucial for the building and repairing of tissues in your body as well as for making enzymes and hormones. Protein has many other important functions but that could be a whole other blog post so don’t be afraid to do some more research if you are interested. Protein is very satiating and requires a little bit more energy to digest. There are many different options to choose from and they don’t all have to be from just meat. Some examples are: pastured eggs, egg whites, organic milk, yogurt, chicken, beef, turkey, elk, fish, tempeh, tofu, beans, protein powders, etc. Try adding a good quality source of protein into your meals and snacks anywhere from 20-30 grams (you can always have more but that is a good place to start).
5. Distraction. I know you may have tried this one before but it’s probably because you stayed inside your house. If you can easily and safely get outside then immediately do so! Go for a quick walk even if it’s 10 minutes, take your thoughts away from food and focus them on the movement of your body. Really think about how amazing it is that your legs are moving, your arms are swinging, your heart is beating – breathe in deep and fill your lungs. Take in the beauty of nature by looking at the trees and the plants and the animals. Feel the sun on your face or if it’s night then feel the breeze on your skin. This whole idea of distraction is similar to point #3 so that it might break this habit when reaching for more food. It is also great to get you out of perhaps a not so nice environment and placing you somewhere else. If you cannot go for a walk then just be outside and breathe deeply – focus your thoughts outward for a while on what is outside.
6. Remove and remake. Remove the trigger foods from your home – these could be pre-made cookies, pies, chips, cake, frozen dinners, etc.. Out of sight out of mind right? Not really! Here comes the remake. Once those prepackaged foods are gone (but you still want them) you have the chance now to recreate them but with healthier ingredients at home. Try replacing refined sugar with coconut sugar for example. Not only will you save several hundred calories by making something from scratch but you will be using up some of your time to prepare and bake them instead of eating. It’s easy to reach in the cupboard but if you now have to make your “treats” from scratch you will have to wait which then slowly breaks that binge habit and you won’t be eating because you are waiting for something to cook (or bake).
7. Buddy system. Remember, just like when you were little and in school? The buddy system was implemented so you had someone there if you were ever in trouble. Use this again as an adult! Find a friend or someone at work or in your family or online to team up with you. You both have to be on the same track and if one of you has fallen off you can give the other a call to get you right back on. The extra support and motivation will be very beneficial to your success.
8. Try EFT. The Emotional Freedom Technique uses a gentle tapping with your hand on meridian points of the body while addressing the issues that are occurring. This alternative technique has helped people overcome addictions and food cravings. It has also helped people overcome traumatic life experiences, fears and much more. You can read more about EFT here: http://eft.mercola.com/
9. Love yourself. Be your own best friend. Talk yourself up. Find all of your strengths and focus on them. Change those negative words you think about yourself into positive ones. You are not a failure if you eat something you think that you were not supposed to. You are not worthless or fat or ugly, you are beautiful and don’t let anyone tell you differently not even yourself.
Please give these tips a try and let me know how it goes. You will succeed.
– Jess 🙂
*Check with your healthcare provider before beginning this or any other health and nutrition program.