Diet

5 ways to stop binge eating

By July 26, 2010 5 Comments

We all have our moments where reaching for a bag of cookies becomes part of our ‘zombie-like’ mindset. It all happens with surprising autonomy. It wont become apparent until you are licking the last crumb from the packet either, which is the most disturbing part.

Eating is one of the ‘habits’ which turns into a bad one when we, like most other vices, have too much of a good thing.

Yes, just because you had 5 apples and a banana, that doesn’t cancel out the 5 Oreos and block of ‘slimming’ chocolate you just inhaled like a fricken table.

But I digress.

5 ways to stop binge eating

Here are 5 things for you to keep in mind the next time you reach for the fork and consider binge eating.

#5 Prevent ‘bored’ eating

This happens to all of us at some point. Afterall, Wheel of Fortune just finished, what else is there to do? Two Litres of chocolate fudge is just SITTING there in the fridge with a smug grin on it’s face waiting to be demoralised. The choice seems obvious right?

You need to identify this sudden urge to eat when you arent occupied with something else, and when you do, you’ll (hopefully) be able to stop yourself.

#4 Adhere to a ‘reward system’

No one is going to be able to live on a cupboard full of bland foods, zero chocolate and neither a comfort food or fruit-pie in sight-you just have to eat something else in place of the bad food 70% of the time. I wrote an article on adhering to ‘good’ foods most of the time. Remember, without being ‘good’, you don’t deserve the naughty snack reward.

#3 Schedule a small nutritious snack between meals

Grab and apple, a handful of nuts, something which will take your body a long time to process and therefore feel satiated for a longer period of time. Staving off the food cravings is your key to success.

Big fat cat

Obese cat is watching you eat

#2 Drink more water

Without sounding like a broken record, drink more of the clear stuff. Why you ask? Sometimes we have difficulty determining whether we are in fact hungry or thirsty. Most of the time, we are just dehydrated rather than famished. Drink 1-2 glasses of water next time you feel like that creme brulee and youll be surprised at the difference.

#1 Avoid diet foods

Diet drinks, foods with 99% fat free on the label and anything else with packaging that resembles a fat mouse tucked inside a supposed ‘Holy Grail’. These foods seemingly contain zero sugar right?

That may be the case, but the chemicals contained within them actually increase cravings for bad foods and other waist expanding naughtyness. That’s why you see so many obese people holding diet coke in their hands. They’ve just washed down the last of an apple pie and a small child with it.

Instead of resorting to a diet drink or food, you need to (you guessed it) have a glass of water, or try a hot cup of green tea.

So, there’s a start. This list is easily expandable, just like we are. The key is to distract yourself and to take the focus off eating without a reason, and binge eating in general.

Editor’s Note: How do you prevent yourself from binge eating? Leave your techniques in the comments below.

Clint Nielsen

Author Clint Nielsen

Clint is a dad and husband trying to stay in shape. He's also a highly opinionated fitness enthusiast and author of Reveal The Steel. Follow him on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Google+

More posts by Clint Nielsen

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Darrin says:

    I just finished reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and he is right there with you for #1 – if a food needs to proclaim that it’s healthy, it probably isn’t!

  • Clint,
    I’ve definitely been tempted like this before. The best trick I have is avoidance. I go upstairs away from the kitchen and that usually prevents me from going back down for snacks later. Weekends are still tough though…the work week reduces temptation because no snacks are readily available in my office.
    Dave

  • JK says:

    Hi Clint,

    As a stay at home mum with a 2 year old and a 9 month old, I am always tempted, and thanks to breastfeeding, I am always hungry and always eating something!

    I am in and about the kitchen alot with my daughters so avoiding the area is not possible when I have meals to prepare, kids to feed, and our open plan house makes leaving the area very hard even during the kids play times.

    My advice is…DON’T BUY CRAP FOOD IN THE FIRST PLACE! Just don’t buy sweets or biscuits and if you do buy a naughty treat – put them somewhere not so easy to get to (a high cupboard that requires you to get the ladder out!)….well I’m short – so that works for me.

    To be honest, I try not to buy any treats at all. Instead, we have a weekly visit to San Churro or Max Brenner or in summer we’ll go out for gelato – that way it’s a one-off treat weekly rather than a daily treat AND no temptations in the house.

    Never buy softdrinks – just keep water and tea in the house – so much healthier, cheaper and it’s a treat when you go out and have the occasional drink instead. Also, you might find you don’t want to drink softdrinks after a while – they lose their appeal after a while.

    As a mum, I HAVE to give my kids a good example. Seeing me pig out on crap is telling my kids it’s ok to do that to. We have to eat responsibly, so that the next generation don’t turn out porkers from bad habits we’ve encouraged.

    Thanks for the article – it reminds me to drink more water and avoid eating diet crap that I sometimes get sucked into. Sorry for the long ramble…mums always have heaps to say on diets :)

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