Before we begin, it’s important to note that binge eating is NOT emotionally healthy. At the time of writing this post, Google is spitting out this definition of binge eating:
the consumption of large quantities of food in a short period of time, typically as part of an eating disorder.
As stated in my article, “What You Need to Know Before Going on a Weight Loss Plan,” there are two reasons why we eat. Firstly, we must consume the nutrients that we need to survive and grow. Secondly, we eat because certain foods taste good and that’s perfectly okay. When we venture outside of these parameters, we may potentially encounter a number of risks.
- Compulsive eating habits
- A lack of enjoyment in what we eat
Just like avoiding certain foods or placing an unreasonable restriction on what we eat, binge eating is a compulsive eating habit. It doesn’t serve our nutritional needs and binge eaters often consume past enjoyment.
Eliminating Binge Eating
Below are a few recommended methods for halting this binge eating habit you’ve formed. You may try them all or start with a small handful. If your habit persists, I would recommend talking to a counselor about the matter. I often refer clients to the Listening Helper who is based in South Wales.
There is an obvious correlation between dieters and compulsive eating. I often encourage weight loss clients to stick within an eating window but I would never promote fasting when there is a history of compulsive eating involved. Caloric deprivation and food restrictions may very well increase the risk of going on a binge. (Polivy J. et al. 2019, Eric S. et al. 2008).
If you’re not on a plan, you can never be off a plan.
The above quote was coined by a world leader in nutrition, Martin MacDonald. Most people who struggle to lose weight are often lacking the basics. They’re not consuming enough protein, they’re neglecting their vegetables and they don’t understand the importance of healthy fats. Most people don’t even drink enough water. Make subtle, healthy exchanges as oppose to mass restrictions in your diet. Furthermore, don’t skip meals.
Eat Filling Foods
All foods are filling in the correct quantity but there are certain foods that will suppress your appetite relatively quickly. Opt for high fiber carbohydrate sources such as whole grains and vegetables. I would also suggest increasing your protein intake. I wrote an article on the benefits of a high protein diet which I’d recommend reading after this piece.
Many foods such as butternut squash, celery, beetroot and blueberries have quite low calories per 100 grams. Look for these high volume, low calorie foods to support your fullness and reduce your cravings.
Katterman et al, (2014) reviewed 14 studies which investigated the effects of mindfulness meditation on binge eating, emotional eating and weight loss. The review concluded that both forms of compulsive eating may reduce under such a practice.
There are three key elements to meditation; remaining present, breath work and a point of focus. This point of focus may be the breath itself, a candle light or pretty much anything you want it to be. Personally, I use the breath bubble on the Calm app.
- What You Need to Know Before Going on a Weight Loss Plan
- The Benefits of a High Protein Diet
- Does a Low Carbohydrate Diet “Really” Work
- Is a Vegan Diet the Way Forward
- The Best Weight Loss Advice for Beginners