5 Powerful Ways To Stop Binge Eating That Actually Work!

Woman Stop Binge Eating At Night

Having trouble controlling those eating binges that are making you gain weight?

Statistics show that about 2 percent of American adults suffer from some type of binge-eating disorder (BED). [1]

With BED, a person typically eats large amounts of food to the point where he or she is uncomfortably full.

With this disorder, people often eat alone and then feel guilty or ashamed after consuming the large amount food so quickly.

Since many people dealing with compulsive eating have several episodes per month, or even per week, they often end up overweight or obese.

Overcoming this disorder is possible, but takes several lifestyle changes to make it happen.

Here are seven powerful tips will help to stop binge eating episodes from happening.

1. Keep A Food Diary

Keeping A Food Journal

It’s common for people to often lose track of what they eat throughout the day.

That is why keeping a food journal is so important in order to get a tight hold on your eating habits.

In studies, keeping a food diary was effective at helping subjects lose weight and keep from eating too much. [2]

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So start writing down every food item consumed throughout the day.

Although tracking calories is not essential for this activity to work, it may be helpful.

Also, be sure to include any type of drinks too.

The excess calories in many drinks from fruit juices to sodas and energy drinks can add up quickly.

2. Identify Binging Triggers

Stress Leading To Binge Eating

Most people who have trouble controlling their appetite have one or more triggers that lead to binging episodes.

Identifying and avoiding triggers is one of the most powerful steps toward successfully preventing future episodes. [3]

For example, Betty feels compelled to eat when she is under stress at work or when she is around family members who upset her.

In this case, Betty’s main trigger is stress.

However, she does not feel compelled to eat if she is stressed about a health problem.

While stress is a common broad trigger, not all types of stressors push a person toward an episode.

In another example, John struggles to attain physical fitness and goes to the gym regularly for periods of time.

This is a cyclic behavior.

John gains weight when he stops going, he feels depressed about the weight and he starts eating.

In this case, his BED is triggered by depression, and his depression comes from a negative body image after stopping his fitness routine.

Identifying binging triggers is just as important as pinpointing the events preceding them.

3. Eliminate Binging Favorites

Stack of Cookies Cumpulsive Eating

Many people with eating disorders gravitate toward certain foods, and they are usually high-calorie foods loaded with carbs and fat.

For those who binge at home, shopping smart helps prevent episodes from happening in the first place.

The key is to make a grocery list before going to the store and then stick to that list.

Write down healthier foods on your list such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

Since most fruits and veggies are not very filling, write down some filling healthy foods that you can eat.

Brown rice, oatmeal and quinoa are a few examples of foods that are nutritious, high in fiber and will easily fill you up.

As a last resort, if the temptation to buy any of your binging favorites is too much at the grocery store, consider taking a friend along for help.

4. Create Satisfying Smoothies

Hunger Controlling Smoothies

You can also work at combining foods to make satisfying preventative creations to ward off binging.

For a specific example, a smoothie with powdered oatmeal, sugar-free sherbet, honey, fresh fruit, chia seeds and cinnamon is both filling and healthy.

For an even more satisfying addition, you can add whey protein to the mix, since protein helps to quickly satiate your hunger.

A smoothie like this will also satisfy your craving for sweets, if that is your downfall.

5. Plan Ahead When Eating Out

Woman Eeating Wings at Restaurant

Some people also binge while eating out.

If possible, try to avoid restaurants that serve all of your worst binging temptations.

Another option that is even better is to plan ahead.

Read the menu online beforehand, and pick out some healthy and filling options that suit your palate.

If the temptation may still be too great and a restaurant change is not possible for a group gathering, ask to be excused when it is time to order.

Before leaving, ask a friend to order a healthy option for you.

6. Focus On Health Instead Of Size

Focus On Health For Weight Loss

Binge-eating disorders affect many teens and young women who are dissatisfied with their body image.

The resulting depression can create a lifelong cycle of this negative behavior, and being bullied by peers because of body image at any age can worsen binge-eating tendencies.

Many people try to overcome their binging episodes by cutting their calories, and they may exercise as well.

Cravings for unhealthy foods coupled with binging triggers usually send them back to frequent high-calorie consumption.

To overcome BED, focus on becoming healthy rather than losing a certain number of pounds or dropping to a desired clothing size.

Since 1950, restrictive diets have been proven ineffective and even detrimental in many studies. [4]

Dieters who restricted themselves as a way to lose weight actually gained back a large percentage of the weight lost or even more weight beyond that amount.

Choose healthier foods without cutting calories significantly, and stick to a regular exercise regimen.

7. Seek Professional Care

Healthy Eating Habits For Weight Loss

Binge-eating disorder is a type of diagnosable eating disorder, and successfully beating it requires some professional help.

Many people do not seek help because of the stigma associated with psychological disorders.

However, this is one of the most treatable disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is effective in helping people overcome their compulsion to eat.

After a year, the success rate in one CBT study was 80 percent. [5]

CBT connects thought patterns and emotions to behaviors.

By promoting self-awareness, people can deviate from precursors and triggers to binging episodes, and they can replace their habits with positive behaviors that compel them to make better choices.

Binge eating should not be a source of shame for anyone, and recent research shows that the presence of a specific gene is linked to BED in people who are obese. [6]

It’s Time For a Change!

Lifestyle changes may sound like a lot of work.

However, they are easier when assumed with a positive attitude and a strong ambition to make a permanent change.

Reach out to family members and friends for support and encouragement.

Their support helps improve mental health and personal accountability along the path to success.

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