Overcoming binge eating is the vital first step for bingers to take if they want to escape the binge, diet, binge cycle and lose weight permanently.
We’ve looked at some possible causes of your binge eating, now let’s take a look at some strategies for overcoming binge eating.
Many of the bingers we’ve worked with had never accepted they were bingers. They would come up with all sorts of reasons and excuses for their overeating.
Overcoming Binge Eating
The problem is, binge eating is like a disease.
Just as the bacteria, viruses, cancer cells multiply exponentially over time, so your binge eating gets worse over time.
The more you overeat, the fatter you get and the more you overeat. You will be more disgusted, guilty and depressed with yourself for being fat. Then you will feel worse and you start to eat more. This cycle continues.
It’s almost a self-perpetuating downward spiral. The destructive behaviour is continuously reinforced. It becomes habitual and deeply ingrained.
Your automatic response to stressful, emotional situations is to eat.
The only way to manage your overeating, to control it, to start overcoming binge eating is to change the way you see yourself, feel about yourself.
Stop lying to yourself, admit you have a problem. Face up to it and you’ve taken your first step to recovery, to overcoming binge eating for good.
Challenge and Change Your Self-image…
If you’re to have any chance of overcoming binge eating for good, you need to change how you think about yourself.
You need to choose to change and you have to take responsibilty for making that happen.
You’re the only person that can change your lifestyle, the way you think about food, your weight, your shape…
Not anyone else.
You are in charge of Your Life
You’re in charge of your life – not anyone else! You decide what food passes your lips. No one forces it down your throat. Ultimately overcoming binge eating is down to you.
An interesting conversation we often have with clients is one we call the “blame game”. It goes like this.
The reason they’re fat is because the diets they’ve tried haven’t worked. They’ve been rubbish. Sometimes, when they’re not losing weight when working with us we get the same. It’s our fault they’re not losing weight.
And because the diet’s not working, they’re forced as they see it to go back to eating the rubbish that caused their weight gain in the first place.
It’s the diet’s fault, not there’s. More about diets in a moment.
It’s this refusal to be accountable for the fact that they’re fat that prevents bingers from overcoming binge eating and losing weight.
Its very tough to Control Yourself being Imotional
It’s also the failure to be accountable for the way they feel about being fat. Don’t give it a priority. It’s your enemy.
Just as bingers can control what they eat, they can control how they feel.
Overcoming binge eating requires a shift in mindset. In the way that you think about yourself.
If you feel that you can’t change, that your eating, your weight, your life is out of your control then guess what – it is!
If you allow yourself to remain a hostage to your binging and your emotional attachment to food, then you’ll remain a victim.
A victim of the binge, diet, binge rollercoaster.
You can stop overeating. Accept you do eat too much. Accept it and take positive steps to change the situation.
Choose to be positive! So how do you do that?
The Power of Positive Thinking…
Here’s a technique that we employ on a day to day basis for a whole range of situations. We’ve borrowed it from “success coaches” like Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar. It’s worked well for our weight loss clients in overcoming binge eating
We call it programming yourself for success. Couple of pointers first:
- Where the mind leads, the body follows
- Writing things down means you’re much more likely to make them happen
Ok, so what does that mean?
Well, you need to create a vison in your mind, a picture of you as a slim person. Not as you want to be, but as you are.
Your subconscious doesn’t make a distinction between reality and your vision of reality.
How Linford Christie Motivated Himself?
Linford Christie, the Olympic gold medallist sprinter used to stand on the line before a race focussing on crossing the line first. He made that thought a reality for his subconscious mind.
He wasn’t just going to win, he had won. In his mind, before the race had even started.
This is an incredibly powerful concept that you can apply to overcoming binge eating, because you have to achieve it in your head first before you achieve it in body.
You Have Motivate Yourself First
Tell yourself, your subconscious, enough times that you’re slim and your body starts believing it.
You start to act like a slim person.
To develop the behaviours crucial to overcoming binge eating.
Try this. Write down on a sheet of paper a picture in words of you as a slim person.
What you look like, how you feel, how those around you react to you, what you do and so on.
Write Down Some Motivational Notes Or Quotes to Motivate Yourself!
Write it using ‘I am’, as if it’s the present, not I will be. This is really important.
Once you’ve written a few sentences that you’re happy with, write a list of simple, positive statements – affirmations – of the slim you. Avoid starting sentences with ‘I can’t’ or ‘I won’t’. Here are a few suggestions…
“I am slim and healthy”
“I feel good”
“My health and I am the controller”
“I will stick to my healthy eating plan today”
“I am relaxed and will deal with any problems calmly and rationally”
“Healthy foods are the best, I will eat healthy foods only”
“No Junk Foods”
“I am a successful person”
“I can achieve whatever I decide to”
“Being fit motivates me”
Now Follow Your Notes
Now stick the piece of paper where you can see it. The bathroom mirror, fridge door, wherever. Carry it around with you.
Read it first thing in the morning, throughout the day, last thing at night before you go to bed.
Commit it to memory and repeat it 20, 30 times day. Say it out aloud when you can. It works better if you hear yourself say it.
Believe it when you say it. Close your eyes and see yourself as that slim you.
Whenever you feel a negative thought surfacing, overlay it with a positive.
Think something bad and your heart sinks, think something good and your heart soars. Try it, it works.
In time, a few weeks or so of positive thinking, you’ll find that you really start to believe it.
The positive mental programming will start to translate into healthier behaviours.
In terms of how you perceive yourself, the food choice you make. Vital in overcoming binge eating.
You will start to conform and comply to the slim vision of yourself that you’ve drilled into your subconscious:
- Slim people don’t eat when they’re not hungry and stop when they’re full – so will you
- Fit people don’t agonise over their food choices, they just avoid foods that will make them fat and eat the healthy, nutritious foods that won’t – so will you
- Slim people are healthy and active, they make their food and lifestyle choice accordingly…
And so will you!
But you’re fat, you cry, you eat too much…you need a diet that’s going to shift the pounds quickly!
Wrong, dieting is the last thing you need. Dieting won’t improve your relationship with food, it will most likely make it worse. It’s not an effective strategy for overcoming binge eating.
Most dieters fail to lose weight and keep it off. 85% of people who do lose weight put the weight they lost back on again within 1-5 years, 75% in the first year.
You’re a binge eater. So what happens when you diet? You may lose some weight, but you’re more likely to fail. Failure makes you feel bad, so you overeat.
Sometimes Diets Are Stressful
Remember, diets are stressful. You’re a binge eater. How do you cope with stress? Yep, by eating!
The typical dieter has been on a lot of diets in the past, some have worked, most haven’t. Overcoming binge eating is partly about overcoming the urge to diet.
We always ask our clients what diets thay’ve tried. They reel off a list and we ask them whether they worked for them.
Oh yes, they say, I lost 20 lbs with this diet, 10 lbs with that diet. So we ask, why are you still fat?
Diets will often get you short term results, but in time you’ll put the weight back on. You’re a binger. It’s inevitable.
Diets restrict your calorie intake and make you count calories, points, whatever. They force you to think about food – constantly.
You feel hungry most of the time as most diets are not developed for you, they’re a one size fits all plan that ends up fitting no one.
Your body equates dieting with starvation and makes you crave food so you’ll eat something.
Diets are not designed for life, so what happens when you stop dieting?
Want to get off the diet, binge, diet treadmill? You need a healthy weight loss plan that provides a blueprint for healthy eating for life. For overcoming binge eating.
Change Your Eating Habits…
Pretty obvious really…
Assuming you’ve owned up and admitted to yourself, admitted that you have a problem and have recognised that dieting is not the solution, you now need to do something about it.
To get serious about overcoming binge eating.
Let’s just go back for a moment to the difference between someone who overeats and a binger .
Example of Real Case Studies
One of our friends, we’ll call him Jim, is an overeater. He’s never been on a diet in his life. He gets in from work and has a snack, some crisps, toast, humus and pitta bread.
He has a glass of wine or two, a meal, dessert – he loves anything with ice cream.
He’ll snack on Doritos whilst watching TV and will have a sandwich before he goes to bed.
He’s not overly bothered about his gradually expanding waistline – “it’ll soon go when I start playing football again”.
He’s 43 and played his last game of football in his early 30s. Hardly likely!
Jim likes to eat, he knows he’s getting fat, but hey, he’s never dieted so why start now!
Comparison between Jim and Elaine
Contrast Jim with Elaine. Elaine is always on a diet, but she just can’t shift the weight.
She eats sensibly all day, gets home from work and prepares dinner. Something healthy – chicken, fish, some steamed veg. Hubby and the kids will get some some potatoes and bread and butter.
Elaine can’t stand waste, so polishes off what they leave.
They get dessert and she has some fruit, but as her family will never get through the gateaux she’s bought for them she ends up having a slice…or two, or three – musn’t let it go to waste!
She buys snacks for the kids, they’re in the cupboard so she eats them.
Decision We Take and Last tips
Elaine swears blind that she sticks to her diet, that it’s not working – “maybe a low-carb, grapefruit and cabbage diet would work better?”
Elaine will soon top 200 lbs. She’s a classic binger. Always on a diet and in denial. A million slices of gateaux away from overcoming binge eating.
It’s not Elaine’s weight that’s the problem, it’s her behaviour. If she recognised her binging for what it was and gradually tackled that then the weight loss would follow.
Overcoming binge eating is about tackling the cause of the problem – behaviour and self image, not the symptom – fat.
Elaine needs to stop dieting. She needs a healthy approach to overcoming binge eating, to eating. A healthy eating plan that will enable her to enjoy food, not fear it, and get on with her life.