In Binge Eating – Part I we discussed some of the symptoms and reasons behind this issue. In today’s post, we’ll discuss strategies designed to quell this habit.
By carrying out some form of exercise, whether it be going for a run or training at the gym, the result is the same – the release of ‘feel good’ hormones like endorphins. This fulfils the same chemical rush achieved when bingeing. Furthermore, physical activity alters our mood. So, if you are feeling anxious or depressed, a burst of exercise is likely to improve the way you feel. Pick an actvity you enjoy. Even a brisk walk will afford you the same hormonal benefits.
Binge eating habits can sometimes stem from boredom. By using distractions and keeping yourself busy, such as reading a book or watching a favourite movie, it can often fill the void. Better yet, every time you experience the urge to overeat, think of it as an opportunity to develop an area of your life. For example, starting a new hobby or learning a new language. Over time, instead of wanting to indulge in food, you can progress this area of interest.
Identify the trigger
This is a more difficult one which will not necessarily help in the short term, but certainly over time. For example, you may find that after a fight with your partner or a family member, it brings on the urge to binge. Once this pattern is clear, you can come up with strategies to negate this particular trigger. For example, resolving the argument rather than allowing it to linger.
Make a habit of it
Print off a calendar and check off every day you fulfil a healthy day of nutrition, without a binge. This will serve as self-motivation, and with each day it will become easier to achieve. This is a great tool to make yourself accountable.
Blood test/nutritional assessment
This is often a good option if you find yourself craving and overeating the same type of food, such as potato chips, as mentioned in Part I of this post. A blood test can determine vitamin or nutrient deficiencies. As a consequence, small alterations to the foods you eat can nip this problem in the bud. Similarly, a dietician will be able to detect any glaring imbalances based on what you consume on an average day, while providing you with ways to achieve equilibrium.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of strategies. I’m sure many readers out there have developed ways to prevent themselves from overeating, it would be great if you could share ideas in the comments section below. If you believe the problem is beyond you, by all means seek professional help.
Remember, food is to be enjoyed.
“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six”
By Andrew Cammarano