Many eating habits are considered unhealthy. Binge eating is one of the worst. I have struggled with it for a long time, and only recently have I finally managed to conquer it. If you suffer from a similar problem, in this post I will not only go over how to stop compulsive eating but also how I replaced it with much healthier habits. Seeking binge eating help and ultimately eliminating it were also crucial steps in achieving my weight loss goals.
I Stopped Skipping Meals
It seems I always had an excuse for skipping meals. The most common that come to mind were not feeling that hungry (yet) or being too busy. Unfortunately, as I eventually noticed, skipping a meal usually resulted in a binge later that evening. I was consuming far more calories, and they were almost always of the unhealthy kind.
Convincing myself that my reasons for skipping meals were plain excuses and nothing more was a huge step toward developing better habits. By eating at regular times every day, I found I ate much healthier, never felt hungry between meals and rarely had the urge to snack in the evenings.
I Ended Night Time Bingeing
I found this one to be strongly related to not skipping meals. For many of us who have eating or weight problems (count me in on both), nighttime can be a disaster. I noticed that even if I had the willpower to (mostly) eat healthy during the day, once the night rolled around, all that healthy stuff went out the window.
Not skipping meals and making sure your dinner is satisfying both go a long way towards not snacking at night. On top of that though, a safety net that I use is to prepare something healthy and bite-sized before heading to bed, and leaving it easily accessible. That way, if I do end up in the kitchen at 2:43 AM, at least I’m eating something nutritious. If I don’t wake up needing a snack (which is most night these days), whatever I prepared is a great wake me up first thing in the morning.
I Learned About Binge Triggers
Most of us who have a binge eating habit have triggers that contribute to the problem. Identifying those triggers is key. When I was able to do so, I could consciously make healthier choices. While some or even all of your triggers may be different, here is what I found was setting me off.
Stress was a big one. Whenever I was worried or upset, my first response was to grab something to eat. This generally meant unhealthy, high-calorie products (i.e. easy snacks within arm’s reach). And of course, I would never just stop at one serving (who does?).
With a little research and some trial and error, I learned better ways of coping with stress. I tried several relaxation techniques that are meant to reduce stress, and a few of them work quite well. Having my mind a lot less focused on stress is a big help with emotional overeating.
The next trigger was the availability of junk food. In fact, this one was arguably bigger than the stress trigger. I found the best way to deal with this was to just avoid temptation altogether. I took different routes to and from work (I walk) to avoid passing by any fast food joints, donut shops, and the like. At work, I used a different hallway from where the vending machine was located.
I also stopped buying junk food for home and instead opt for fruit. It satisfies my sweet tooth, and I think we can all agree that it is a much healthier way to go. A small tip here is to prepare your fruit ahead of time (cut up the apple, wash the banana or grapes, etc…). This way, when the urge to munch on something suddenly hits, your snack is instantly ready.
The last big trigger for me was dieting. That may sound strange, but if you think about it, there is nothing quite like severe restrictions on what you can eat to make you hungry. The more I told myself I cannot have that cookie or slice of cake, the more I wanted it (and would sooner or later cave in).
I eliminated this trigger by avoiding restrictive dieting. What I found to work best for me is the Paleo Diet. There is such variety in what you can eat (desserts included, my favorite) that I never feel like I am depriving myself. A friend recommended this recipe book to me when I was first starting (sorry about the shameless plug), and it is all I ever needed. I highly recommend it if you are considering Paleo.
I Learned To Identify Hunger
After I had developed a balanced diet and regular mealtimes, random hunger became much less of an issue. However, it still took me a while to learn the difference between genuine hunger and wanting food just because. Observe yourself and every time you reach for something to eat, recognize if you truly are hungry, or are just grabbing food because the sight or aroma of it is appealing. Understand what is good behaviour and what is not. Once I learned the difference, saying no to snacking and emotional overeating became so much easier.
I Started to Use Garcinia Cambogia
Even after I implemented all the good habits I mention above (and it took a while, making these type of changes is not easy), I still found that from time to time my old binging urges would resurface. Whoever said old habits are hard to break was not kidding.
Enter my secret weapon, the dietary supplement Garcinia Cambogia. Not only is it a fat buster that was at the time helping me reach my target weight (which I am now happily at), but it is also an appetite suppressant. It ultimately turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for my snacking and binging habits, and once I started taking it, I have never looked back. I go into greater detail on Garcinia Cambogia here.
Don’t get me wrong. I am very glad I have made all the changes I mentioned up until this point and without a doubt recommend that everyone who has issues with bingeing does as well. They are unquestionably worth the effort. If I had to do it all over again, however, I’m pretty sure I would start with Garcinia Cambogia first, and only then move onto introducing the other things. I have no way of being sure of course, but I strongly suspect things would have been much quicker and easier to implement that way.
I hope you have found some useful information in this post. If there is anything you do stop binge eating that you find working particularly well, please share it with all of us by leaving a comment below.