Is your binge eating sabotaging your weight loss efforts? If you want to learn how to stop binge eating naturally, I’m going to share some simple tactics with you that have worked for so many of our 28ers.
Binge eating refers to eating an excessive amount of food, often when you’re not hungry. Everyone binges, every now and then, and that’s OK if you’re eating healthy most of the time. However, if you are trying to lose weight even one binge session can potentially undo all the good progress you’ve made during the week.
Even the strongest willpower can only last so long, so the long-term solution is to find ways to reduce your urge to binge, in a way that feels natural and easy.
You’ll find my answer to how to stop binge eating below but, first, let’s look at why you binge eat.
Do you know why you’re binge eating?
Sometimes it’s useful to understand why you’re binge eating, as it can help you discover tactics to avoid or at least reduce your binges.
There are many reasons why binge eating can occur, a lot of these are psychological and based around your relationship with food. Of course, there can be other factors that come into play. For example it could be that your body is missing essential nutrients, or you might be dehydrated.
The good news is that when you improve your nutrition and eat for health, especially if you follow 28’s healthy eating plan, you’ll find your need and desire to binge will reduce significantly.
Once your body is absorbing lots of extra minerals and vitamins from your food, especially if you were lacking in some nutrients beforehand, your body will feel nourished and be satiated more quickly, thereby reducing the cravings that used to send you to the lolly jar!
Is your diet making you binge?
Another common reason for binge eating is when we put ourselves on a ‘diet’ and we restrict ourselves far too much. It’s human nature that as soon as we tell ourselves we can’t have something, then that ‘something’ then becomes exactly what our body wants and we end up caving in and binge eating.
Try this tactic to stop your binge eating cycle
I find ‘mindful indulgence’ is a useful tactic to help you naturally avoid binge eating. The idea behind mindful indulgence is that instead of constantly dieting and feeling deprived, you stop that sense of deprivation in its tracks because you know you will have something you really enjoy later on.
The trick to mindful that you choose your time to have something ‘special’, you eat it mindfully and… you enjoy it!
7 steps to naturally reduce binge eating
You’ll usually find that your desire to binge is reduced by having the odd ‘mindful indulgence’ every, now and again, because you won’t feel like you are missing out on things you love.
Here is how to practice mindful indulgences to stop your binges so you can finally achieve your weight loss goals.
1. Choose something special you love to eat.
Maybe this is chocolate, hot chips, ice cream or a sausage roll. It does not matter what you choose as your desires change over time. For example, you may find your choice of indulgence changes from sugary or highly processed foods to healthier things like dark chocolate, bliss balls or our healthy homemade alternative to Cherry Ripe Ice cream.
2. Be sensible with your portion sizes.
Keep the portion size under control. Keep your indulgence to a small handful. This should be enough to satisfy what your body is looking for but ensures you won’t throw out the day and weekly calorie and macronutrient intake. Enjoy it.
3. Be mindful when eating your indulgence…. and enjoy it!
Savour your binge-busting indulgence by noticing the smell, taste, texture and flavour. Take your time. Enjoy every single bite, and listen to your body to recognize when you’ve had enough.
4. Get back to healthy eating at your very next meal.
If you let your indulgences flow onto the next meal, it can become a slippery slope to weight regain; so don’t let your mindful indulgence meal turn into a binge. One way to avoid this is to have a plan. Before you have your indulgence, remind yourself that you’re going to continue eating healthy at your very next meal, and have a plan for what your next healthy meal will be.
5. Try to wait for a week or two before your next mindful indulgence.
The longer you can wait between indulgences the better your weight loss results will be. But as soon as you’re starting to feel deprived and obsessing about ‘naughty’ foods again, it might be a sign that you should schedule another mindful indulgence. In the meantime, keep your focus on eating a wide variety of fresh, healthy foods and good fats – follow the 28 healthy eating plan – and soon enough you’ll realise you’ve gone weeks without a binge, and you don’t feel any need to indulge as often as you did.
6. Don’t feel guilty when you have an occasional indulgence.
Try not to associate any feelings of guilt with your mindful indulgence – it isn’t a binge, it’s a conscious decision and it’s totally OK. And, of course, if you have stuck to my tips above then you can be confident this one indulgence won’t affect your long-term weight loss results so just enjoy the moment and savour the flavour.
7. Be gentle with yourself.
If you try this mindful indulgence anti-binging tactic and you still find yourself having a full-blown binge once in a while, just shrug it off and move forward. You’re human, it happens to us all – just get back on the 28 healthy eating plan at your very next meal. Remember, as Sam says, progress, not perfection!
P.S. If you ever feel you can’t get your bingeing back under control, please reach out to Sam’s Crew for help, that’s what we’re here for!