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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Conrad

How to Stop Binge Eating

In this article I'm going to give you 8 tips to help with binge eating.

First off you need to understand you're not alone. There are ways to get through it. There is nothing wrong with you. Many people struggle with binge eating.

Personally, it stems from being anxious and worried about what to do. Don't ever feel judged or embarrassed about it. My first recommendation is for you to go see a specialist if you are really struggling and the following tips do not help. It's time to re-train your body to know when its actually hungry vs. stress eating or anxiety eating.


1. Don't turn to another restrictive diet.

Low carb, low fat, etc. Constantly looking for the next diet to fix you will only lead to more confusion. Limiting or eliminating foods or food groups will add fuel to the fire. Everything is okay in moderation. Ditch the rigid rules about when to eat or what's good or bad to eat. Focus on eating real nutritious foods or turn to something other than food to calm yourself when you get anxious (ex: drawing, walking, working out, calling a friend). There won't be a "quick fix" that can help you get away from binge eating. Be patient.

2. Focus on what you get to eat instead of thinking of things you "can't" have.

Food is not the issue when it comes to binge eating. What I mean is, no type of food will trigger your binge. For example, if you eat banana, all goes to hell and we've finished the entire peanut butter jar after one banana. -_- What it stems from is labeling foods -something I struggle avoiding. There is no "good" or "bad" foods. This will only start the vicious cycle of restricting, binging and guilt. Start by thinking about what nutritious foods can you implement into your diet. Some days you might not always stick to only nutritious foods, and thats okay. Love the food you eat. Pray over the food you eat. Enjoy the food you get to eat. This also means eliminating cheat days because it takes you back to the labeling of foods. It puts you in the mindset of "this is the only time I'll have to eat all the 'bad' foods, so I'll eat everything".

3. Don't try to be perfect.

If you use MyFitnessPal and are over your calories by a few hundred or don't hit your protein goal, move on. It's okay. Even logging your food every day can become obsessive. Take a few days break in between. If you feel the need to log every day, be careful it doesn't get too stressful. Once you stop trying to be perfect, you'll make progress. Find a balance. And yes it will take time. It took time for your habits to grow and it will take time for them to stop. Celebrate the little wins throughout the week, like the first time you go without out binge eating for a week! Don't dwell on the negative. Move on! Be kind to yourself.

4. Avoid the scale.

If you find that the number on the scale is affecting your mood for the day, avoid it. It does not indicate your self-worth. It does not define you. Some people will jump on the scale to see how their weight is fluctuating, but if you become obsessive or emotional about it, time to stop.

5. Focus on what your body can do.

Many times we binge eat, then go to the gym to work off what we ate. Stop this. Switch to strength training to focus on how strong you can become. Challenge your body to see what it can achieve. Appreciate what it can do, don't punish it.

6. Find a support system.

It may seem embarrassing but what's the worst someone can say if you tell them you have an eating disorder? Tell someone you know you can trust and who will support you. You can always begin with a counselor or someone who is qualified to help with disordered eating habits.

7. Take action.

Just saying you want to stop binge eating won't solve it. Take some actions:

-Stock your house with real, whole foods you enjoy.

-Perform 3 strength training workouts per week and focus solely on what you can DO.

-Engage in a fun activity 1-3 times per week.

-Focus on eating your meals slowly. Put your fork down in between bites.

-Say one positive thing to yourself every morning and evening.

8. Draw a line.

How to handle a binge moment: Say for instance its been a long day and you did well with nutrition but you feel a binge and anxiousness coming on. Setting a hard rule for yourself. Many times the binge comes from anxiety and not feeling like you have control. Set first action when you feel binge coming on: I'll have it in 20 min. This gives you permission to eat it (not restricted) after 20 minutes. If you still want it in 20 min then go for it, if not then its just anxiety. Try it. See how many times the urge to binge stops.

Action steps:

1. Write down 5 things that you can turn to when you feel like binging.

2. Contact one friend and tell them what's challenging you.

3. Be patient. Enjoy the journey back to loving your food.

Final Message:

You can't mess up. Even if you eat an entire large pizza and 3 red velvet donuts. As long as you don't give up. The only way you can screw up is if you completely quit. Get back on track ASAP. Don't dwell on what has happened. One setback can't let you give up on your goals.


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