Binge eating is now estimated by behavioral experts to be the most common eating disorder. Almost 30% of those who are seriously seeking help to lose weight are binge eaters.
What defines a binge eater?
- Eating an unusually large amount of food in a short period of time.
- Frequent binges- at least weekly.
- A feeling of being in a trance when eating or unable to stop eating.
In my practice, I use a combination of cognitive behavior therapy combined with hypnosis. Using this combination will change the way you think and by changing the way you think you change the way you act.
There are three strategies that I encourage my clients to internalize.
- Make sure to never let yourself get too hungry. Always eat when hungry, don’t skip meals. It’s important to keep your blood sugar levels even. When you feel satisfied and calm you avoid a lot of the triggers.
2. Know your triggers:
- Night time eaters– get rid of the junk food in the house if you are a person who eats dinner and then just keeps eating.
- The Party binger– Stay away from the party environment and see your friends in other social contexts. If you do go to a party be sure to eat a healthy snack and drink water before you go.
- The I’m angry (emotional) binger- Angry at someone else and yet you are eating in a way that punishes you. Sound familiar? Check in with you emotions regularly so that you don’t repress irritations and anger until you feel like exploding.
- Big box store binger– Do you shop at Costco or other “big box” stores? If so you can have large quantities of binge type foods on hand. Snack foods like chips, crackers, etc. are supersized at these stores, so if you “have to” finish a box or bag of food to feel satisfaction, you can get in major trouble with large items. Make sure if you buy in large quantities to repackage in small bags. Psychologically you will feel more satisfied and the food will last longer.
3. Eat mindfully- the more aware you are when you eat the more likely you will get a feeling of satisfaction. If you don’t feel as though you get anything from the meal you will be driven to eat more.
- Turn off the TV and other distractions.
- Sit down to eat and make sure that you are actually physically hungry.
- Eat slowly
- Notice each bite of food.
- Pay attention to how your stomach feels as you eat.
The more mindful you are while eating the better you will feel and being more mindful also helps to promote positive feelings toward yourself. Waking up after a binge and feeling self-loathing and negative towards your self is a cycle that must stop.
Binging is a way of eating that can be stopped and soon you can wake up in the morning free of that negative sick feeling of being a binge eater.