How many times have you tried to lose weight, as an effort to stop binging and finally to lose weight?
Now tell me, how many times did you have to start over, because every effort you made was unsuccessful?
1. Studies show that a person dealing with binge eating can only last one or two days without binging (while on diet).
2. Alternatively, if that person managed to stay on track for a certain amount of time but there was no change on the scale, it lead him to binge again.
3. Only the word "diet" triggers all binging issues, because for most people diet means restrictions and forbidden food.
Diet is also a mental game as you believe you have to sacrifice the chocolate, the burger or the pizza.
Which type of people are most vulnerable to binge eating?
From Psychological point of view:
1. Binge eating is one of the ways to escape from reality and to get satisfied. Maybe the relationship, job, status, financials aren't on their best. They are not happy with their lives, they see the glass half empty.
2. People who find it difficult to say no to others. They feel and think that if they say no to something or someone, they will not be accepted and they will be mean. These are the people who say "yes" to everything that it is being asked from them, no matter what.
3. The same rules unfortunately apply when it comes to food. When they are being asked if they want a bigger portion of food for 0,10 euro extra, they nod positively without thinking if they really need the extra portion.
When someone overeats, without feeling hungry, without thinking what he eats and without even tasting the food, is because he tries to find ways to feel better.
Unfortunately, after eating, this person feels even worse, because he ate too much.
He cannot walk, he might feel sick, he cannot sleep at night, he feels thirsty, and his stomach is about to explode. In some cases some people complain about excessive gas and uncontrollable stool or constipation.
With the first disappointment, the same person, binges again in order to express himself and to feel better.
->As we understand, it is a circle without end, as one action leads to another and one negative feeling brings the other.
How to escape from binge eating and feel better?
1. Stop immediately any diet you may follow. (Do it, explanation follows below)*.
2. Remove the label "DIET" from your mind.
3. Try to say no to your daily biscuits or chocolates, without thinking that you will die if you don't eat it. Have in mind that on an average, a human being needs a minimum of 2000 calories to survive (to sustain metabolism, muscle activity, brain function and organs working). A chocolate itself contains 550 calories. Our mind is a huge player, do not convince it that you are not allowed to eat the cake or whatever you feel like eating. Instead, state that you will save it for later or you will eat half of it ;).
4. Remove the label of good food and bad food from your mind. Everything is food and everything is rich in nutrients. Even the cake or the Mc Donald's cheeseburger has protein, carbohydrates and fat. (Moderation is the key!)
5. Remove the label "I am not going to eat that because I will gain weight". Have in mind that you can eat everything you like, in moderation. Even if you are on a diet program, you can have a tasty treat or even pizza. (Again, moderation is the key).
Explaining, if you state "I am not allowed to eat this particular food because I will gain weight", your brain automatically gets on the restriction mode. You will feel unhappy, like someone wants to punish you for your past choices and because of this, you will binge again within some days. 100%!!!! (Again, our brain is the player).
6. Don't state " I will have pizza and ice cream now, at 01:00 am and I will never have pizza and ice cream again. Tomorrow I will start diet. Your brain will panic by your own words and with the first unwanted situation in your life, you will be going to eat pizza and ice cream (and in big portions as someone tried to forfeit them from you).
7. "Play" with food. Even chicken can taste good ;) Combine it with something you love to eat, but in smaller portion.
8. When they invite you out (most people tend to overeat in those occasions), do not refuse the call. Go and choose something healthy. Choices become habits within 21 days.
9. When they ask you to do something, remember that you always have a choice and you always have the right to refuse or to tell them to wait. You are a human being as they are. You can explain them that you can deal with them in 20' or 30' after you'll finish with your task, meal, workout, project. If you don't, you may fill yourself with anger, stress (because you will put aside whatever you were planning to do or doing) and in the end you will go home and you will try to express your emotions by eating.
10. Find something else that brings you joy. Go out, take a walk by the sea or by the forest, draw, write on your notebook, dance, workout, have sex. Do whatever feels good, anything that makes you feel better. Express yourself, express your emotions creatively.
*Stop immediately any diet you might follow.
For the next three months, try to "heal" binge eating and then follow a meal plan. If you try to get yourself into a deficit, because you want to stop binging, I am sorry but the chances of success are close to zero. It is safer to focus on the changes above, to deal with overeating for good and then to aim in weight loss.
If you believe that the roots are deeper and you won't manage anything by yourself, it is better to consult a Psychologist.
If, on the other hand you believe that you are on the right path, I'd be more than glad to help you.
ISSA Certified Nutritionist
ISSA Certified Personal Trainer.