Have you ever felt so hungry that you literally eat everything you can get your hands on?
Binge eating has been described as compulsive overeating where a large amount of food is consumed while feeling out of control and powerless to stop it. While we may not go to those extremes, at times we all overeat or binge, but what if this becomes a habit?
If you have noticed that you’ve been getting into a habit of binge eating lately, it’s important to investigate the causes and look at ways to stop this habit. Over time, a habit of binge eating can lead to weight gain, increase your risk of a number of chronic health conditions as well as lead to a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social problems.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Note: If you’ve been binge eating for a long time, notice it’s becoming a huge problem or have what is know as ‘binge eating disorder’ then it’s best to speak to a qualified health professional trained in this area who can work with you to break this habit.
Beat the Binge
While different people binge eat for different reasons, there are some common triggers. Here are 10 tips to help you beat the binge.
1. Get to bed earlier
Are you a night owl who likes to stay up late? Believe it or not, the later you’re up the more likely hunger will strike and it can be unrelenting when it does. Solution: Go to bed earlier! Your body needs rest and let’s face it, most of us find it hard enough to get out of bed when the alarm rings in the morning let alone in the middle of the night for food.
2. Avoid skipping breakfast or meals
3. Eat small frequent meals
Eating small frequent meals means that you don’t have to wait too long between meals before you eat again. So you are less likely to get to the point of starving and binging.
4. Get out of the house or find distractions
Sometimes we eat because we are bored or emotional. If this happens to you, look for things to distract you e.g. go for a walk, catch up with or phone a friend, do housework or gardening etc.
5. Don’t keep food that you like to binge on in the house
If it’s in your kitchen, you are more likely to eat it. So avoid buying it in the first place.
6. Only purchase single serve sizes of risky foods (if at all)
If you’re going to buy foods that you ted to binge on, avoid buying these in bulk or in multiple serves. Buy a single serve size and avoid buying this too often.
7. Brush your teeth & floss
Brushing your teeth can be a valuable way to keep you out of the kitchen. How? After you brush, it’s highly likely that laziness will get the better of you – I mean who wants to brush their teeth & floss twice?
8. Eat more satiating or filling healthy foods
Sometimes it’s not that you’re not eating enough during the day, it’s what you are eating. Foods that have a low glycemic index and contain protein and fibre tend to be more filling so take a look at your meals and snacks. Can your food choices be improved?
9. Have a plan of attack
If you tend to binge, having a plan of what you will do to avoid binging when that feeling strikes again, can be crucial. Write a plan in advance and try and stick it. Perhaps enlist the help of a family member or good friend. The Watchfit expert-created diet plans and app could certainly help!
10. Have healthy low calorie alternatives available
If you get the urge to binge, having healthy low calorie alternatives handy can dramatically cut down the calories, sugars and fat you consume. Some good options include low calorie vegetables (e.g. vegetable sticks / crudities or a punnet of cherry tomatoes, ready made green salads etc), diet jelly or even a cup or 2 of tea.
Once the feeling strikes, binge eating can be hard to control. But a little forethought and a plan of attack, can really help stop binge eating in it’s tracks.