Succumbing to binge eating urges can invoke feelings of both guilt and embarrassment. Often men and women that binge want to hide their inability to exhibit a level of control possessed by those that wait patiently for their next meal.
Frequently a binge eater struggles to control the amount of food he or she consumes during a single meal, or within a single snacking session. Current and former dieters are often high risk – tempted by the lure of copious amounts of food and the often restrictive nature of popular diets. For that reason, anyone that has come off of a diet should both recognise and know how to stop a binge eating habit.
Characteristics of a binge eating disorder
1. Elevated Stress Levels
Stress can be emotionally and physiologically challenging. The term ‘stress’ relates to the perception, appraisal and response to unpleasant events or stimuli. Numerous research studies conducted by psychologists and scientists have proven the link between binge eating and stress.
The introduction of stress in the life a former or aspiring dieter can trigger a desire to go on binges. The person that carries out such actions might be seen sneaking away from a party or other social gathering, in order to gain a bit of private time.
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2. Hiding from prying eyes
The desire for private time does not reflect an effort to take in a meditative experience. Instead, it results from the need to get away from any prying eyes. Often the stressed former or aspiring dieter carries a stash of food to his or her selected spot. Alternatively, he or she might sneak off to a spot where food can be readily accessed.
Once in the specially-selected environment, it is common for a binge eater to “pig-out.” Consequentially one’s stomach soon contains far more food that a typical body needs. Frequently, the person that has engaged in such glutinous behaviour starts to feel guilty. At that point, he or she feels compelled to become free of that overstuffed feeling.
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3. Inducing Vomiting
Not all binge eaters use the same method for eliminating the uncomfortable feeling that results from an over filled stomach. Some resort to vomiting. Others find that a period of intensive exercise attains the desired goal, and thus freedom from guilt. There are also those that rely on the availability of laxatives and diuretics, in order to purge their body.
Steps to avoid a binge eating disorder
If you’re familiar with the perils of uncontrolled overeating and subsequent purging, then chances are you are exhibiting characteristics of a binge eater. Fortunately, you can stop that habit before it poses a serious threat to your physical and mental health. Redirect your efforts away from a search for quiet binging locations, and start to focus on a the methods that are known to end a predisposition for binge-like eating.
1. Avoid binge situations
First, you must learn to avoid situations that facilitate an eating binge. If you regularly start binging once alone in the kitchen, then plan to spend more time in public with friends, family or co-workers. If your binges have been carried out in a place where food is there for the taking, you ought to refrain from visiting that same location. In that way, you could keep yourself from sliding into what could become an guilt-laden and hard-to-break habit.
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2. Reduce your stress levels
Now, if you began binging because you were under a good deal of stress, the actions suggested in the preceding paragraph will not help to free you from that stressed-out feeling. In order to deal with stress properly, you must determine the aspect of your life that has caused you to feel anxious or agitated and deal with the stimulus directly – whether that is a reduction in workload, family problems or similar. Until you remove, or minimise the stressor… you are going to struggle to beat your binge eating habit.
One way to assist with the anxiety-causing binging that has entered into your life is through a course on mindfulness. What would you expect to learn on such a course? First you would learn how to meditate. By learning this skill, you may find it possible to concentrate on matters of the mind and spirit, rather than on food. Over time, regular periods of meditation should work to free you from a feeling of stress as well.
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4. Improve self esteem
Maybe you have become stressed because you feel you’ve disappointed a friend or family member. Perhaps you are a student, and your family has criticised your performance in class. It could be that you’ve disappointed a coach. In either case, your thoughts about possible binges could be put to rest by focusing on building self-esteem. A great way to distract your mind and improve your self esteem is by enrolling in a course or further education. A multitude of courses are available and could serve a two-fold function, it could also represent the first step towards building a career.
If you manage to nip a binge eating disorder in-the-bud, then you will enhance your chances of having a successful career. After all, you cannot expect to have a fulfilling career, if you have a negative opinion of yourself. A course that manages to boost your self-esteem could also convince you to abandon any unhealthy behaviours.
Ultimately, a well-selected course can help you to form positive, rather than negative thoughts. Once you have developed a more optimistic view of your life, then you are less likely to experiment with undesirable behaviours.
4. Reward yourself
Rewards can also function as a means for preventing a slide backwards to a time spent gorging in privacy. Often, the person that likes to go on binges spends money on large volumes of snack food. When such foods get replaced by the nutritive fare in a healthy meal, quite frequently you will find a bit of extra spending money in your pocket. That money can be spent on a suitable reward!
5. Regular exercise
Your efforts to overcome a binge eating habit should not ignore the regular need for exercise. Performance of regular exercises ought to be part of your life, even when you are no longer dieting, or intent on losing weight. You don’t have to join a gym; instead you can strive to incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule. The benefits of exercise are countless. But importantly, when you have expended lots of energy, you’re less likely to feel guilty about eating, in fact you need to eat to refuel after your exercise session.
Perhaps in the past, you exercised strenuously, in order to work-off all the calories you had consumed, while binging. Now you can abandon that strategy and focus on regular sustainable levels of exercise that promote good health, and then sit down to enjoy a wholesome and satisfying meal with friends or family.
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Sue Chehrenegar came close to sliding into a binge eating habit when she was a freshman in college and under a high level of stress. Her ability to navigate through this difficult period, and stop the onset of a serious binge eating disorder, means she is well placed to offer helpful suggestions to others in a similar situation.. Furthermore, since Sue majored in biology, she appreciates the value in finding a scientific basis for each of her suggestions. If you would like to get Sue’s e-book about how to be cured permanently from a binge eating disorder, then send a note to [email protected]