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“I lost control” “I just couldn’t stop” “It was like a ravenous wolf took over my eating”
These are some of the phrases those suffering from binge eating and emotional eating use to describe how they feel.
Today we’re going to talk about how to stop binge eating and emotional eating for life and it’s all backed by science!
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First, we need to answer the question of why does binge eating actually happen?
According to Dr. Michael Mantell with Greatist.com, binge eating is always a result of dealing with negative emotions.
The process of compulsive binging applies equally to food, drugs, and even people with a shopping addiction.
These negative emotions have 3 categories:
Things like anxiety or stress.
Pleasure chemicals like oxytocin that are released in the brain when we eat sugary and overly fatty foods.
Where the people you’re around and the culture you live in places pressure on you to consume more.
Because binge eating can be caused by any of these there is no one size fits all solution.
Also, as stated before in our sugar video, there are levels of addiction.
Not everyone who buys a pair of jeans becomes a shopaholic and not everyone who eats a piece of chocolate eats the entire bag.
Each person will have their own level of addiction and optimal protocol to solving this problem.
These are the things we kept in mind for this list of the 6 steps for how to stop binge eating and emotional eating for life.
#1. Listen to Your Body is First and Foremost
When we slow down, breathe, and bring our attention to our bodies, we active our parasympathetic nervous system (Also known as the rest and digest mode for our body).
By doing this we help separate our animal brain and desires from our pre-frontal cortex which helps us make better decisions.
This is why studies show meditation, yoga, and mindful eating are incredibly effective for those who binge eat.
Slowing down, chewing your food for 20 times before swallowing, and not eating while watching tv or on your phone are all ways to be a more mindful eater.
#2. Discover Patterns with a Journal
We all have triggers in our lives that can lead to binging.
It could be a particular restaurant you visit, friend you hang out with, or just anytime you’re on vacation.
By journaling your thoughts and walking yourself though the steps that led up to the emotional eating, you become more mindful of what’s happening.
This is why keeping journals and food logs have been proven to help dieters lose weight faster and keep it off.
#3. Become a Master of the Salad Question
I have mentioned this before – you need determine if you’re hungry or just having a craving from boredom.
Ask yourself, am I so hungry that I could eat a salad?
If not, you’re just having a craving!
#4. Be Aware of the “What the Hell Effect”
This is an actual psychological effect where a small diet slip-up causes people to say “what the hell” and eat everything in sight.
Keeping triggers and temptations out of the house will help you fight this.
Also, positive self talk can be effective. Saying things like: “Every little bit counts – so I’ll stop eating now” mid-binge can help.
#5. Become the Veggie Monster
Depriving yourself too much on a diet can cause binge eating.
But here’s the thing, most veggies are so low calorie that it would be basically impossible to eat too many if eating them in their natural state.
Eat plants especially leafy greens like there’s no tomorrow and do not have a set limit for yourself.
You can binge on as much spinach salad as you like guilt-free.
#6. If all else fails get professional help
Circling back to the first point I made, everyone is a little different. Some people have brains that are highly susceptible to addiction.
If binge eating is something you have struggled with your entire life and none of what I just said has worked, it’s time to reach out and get professional help.
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