We all have been guilty of binge eating at some point. Sometimes it’s the access to food that triggers this behaviour like office parties, etc, while at other times its emotions like stress, anger and depression that make us binge.
What does a binge incident look like: An incessant urge to rapidly consume excessive amount of food. Most people are not even aware of such behaviour, while many complain that it is beyond their control.
In order to stop the unhealthy pattern of binge eating, it is important to bring change through healthy eating practices. Healthy eating involves making balanced meal plans, choosing healthy foods when eating out, and making sure you’re getting the right vitamins and minerals in your diet.
There are certain ways by which one can stop binge eating.
- Manage stress. One of the most important methods to stop binge eating is to find alternate ways to handle stress and other overwhelming feelings. These may include exercising, meditating and practising simple breathing exercises.
- Eat 3 meals a day with healthy snacks in between. Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism in the morning. Follow breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner, and healthy snacks in between. Stick to scheduled mealtimes, as skipping meals often leads to binge eating later in the day. This is also another way to stop binge eating.
- Avoid temptation. You’re much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts, and unhealthy snacks in the house. The only way to stop binge eating is by clearing out your fridge and cupboards of your favourite binge foods.
- Stop dieting. The deprivation and hunger of strict dieting can trigger food cravings and the urge to overeat. Instead of dieting, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and eat only until you are content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning certain foods as this can make you crave them even more.
- Exercise. Not only will exercise help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it also lifts you out of depression, improves overall health, and reduces stress. The natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can help put a stop to binge eating as well as emotional eating.
- Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you're bored, distract yourself. Take a walk, call a friend, read, or take up a hobby such as painting or gardening.
- Get enough sleep. If you're tired, you may want to keep eating in order to boost your energy. Take a nap or go to bed earlier.
- Listen to your body. Learn to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. If you ate recently and don't have a rumbling stomach, you're probably not really hungry. Give the craving time to pass.
- Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, when you eat, how much you eat, and how you're feeling when you eat. This is one of the most effective ways to stop binge eating.