If you get a recurrent uncontrollable urge to gorge on large quantities of food and are filled with guilt and helplessness thereafter, don’t fail to recognize it as an eating disorder. Compulsive overeating while feeling powerless to stop despite a sense of concomitant guilt is the hallmark of binging. A newly recognized condition, it is an eating disorder affecting millions across the world. Some people, irrespective of their hunger quotient, tend to binge on and off all day long while some usually binge for hours together. For binge-eaters, food is a mood elevator making it difficult for them to resist it. It becomes an addiction they can’t refuse. However, simply eating big does not mean binging. You are binging if: you are afraid of bursting at the seams after a bout, or you are eating when you are not hungry, and you feel mortified and guilty while or after overeating. Because binging is linked to emotional and psychological factors like stress, depression, anger, anxiety, boredom or loneliness, you need to know just how to control it. If uncontrolled, binging can only get you further embroiled in a vicious cycle of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, osteoarthritis, depression and other emotional problems. Learning to control binging will get you out of the downward spiral of overeating, guilt and depression. So instead of reaching out for more food to alleviate negative thoughts, the following tips might actually help you in your fight against binging.
Tips On Controlling Binge Eating
- Admit yourself that you binge and suffer from a serious eating disorder. Doing this will enable you to understand why you have been unable to control overeating.
- Wake up early so that your body’s metabolism is in full swing throughout the day. This also helps in being timely in your eating habits.
- You should try to exercise early in the mornings so that you are able to balance out the extra calories that you would be taking in later. Exercising helps not just in losing weight, but is also a great stress-buster which can help foil those unnecessary food cravings.
- You may be an honest person, but still cheating yourself by not admitting that you have an underlying pain or anxiety triggering your binge-eating. Identify what exactly is the thought or emotion that makes you want to binge. It could be anything from suppressed angst against childhood abuse or neglect or even a sense of inferiority.
- Never skip your breakfast. Start your day with a wholesome meal that consists mainly of protein and fiber. Protein takes a longer time to digest and hence does not make you feel hungry soon. This way you can reduce your intake of calories.
- Always remember that what you resist will persist. Hence, allow yourself to eat what you want. Initially you can avoid too much self-criticism which may only send you off on a vicious cycle of binge-eating and subsequent guilt. After a few weeks you will feel like eating healthier foods.
- Make it a point to eat only when you are hungry and not till the point of bursting.
- Instead of heavy meals, opt for intermittent small meals throughout the day. This keeps you feeling full without being tempted to a mindless act of gluttony.
- Try not to stack your home with ice creams, potato chips, cookies, doughnuts, cakes and other tasty but low-nutrition snack food. These are foods that you develop an addiction to and bloat you up. Gradually stock your home with fresh fruits, dry fruit, nuts, carrots, tomatoes and high-fiber breakfast meals. These foods may not appeal to you but they are the best sources to meet your body’s nutritional requirements.
- Dieting? Perish the thought. This one is something that you must never think about for life, if you can help it. Depriving yourself of proper food triggers cravings which in turn trigger an unconscious urge to binge. Moderate eating is the key to healthy living.
- Any transition takes time and patience. Don’t fret if you relapse. Give yourself time to adjust. Don’t back out after the first few attempts because you have not succeeded a hundred percent.
- Remember to keep the alcohol at bay. With empty calories adding to your weight and weakening your resolve to eat healthy, this one is best avoided. Opting for green tea or cocktails is a better option.