Breaking the cycle of binge eating can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it is possible to develop healthier habits. After years of being stuck in the yo yo dieting cycle of losing and regaining weight because I couldn't stop the binges, these are my top 5 strategies to help you break the cycle of binge eating and finally work for the body you love!
Identify triggers and emotions: Pay attention to your emotions and identify the triggers that lead to emotional eating. Common triggers include stress, boredom, sadness, loneliness, or even happiness. By becoming aware of these triggers, you can start finding alternative ways to address and cope with your emotions instead of turning to food. What are some ways you can think of to cope with your emotions that aren’t food related?
Develop alternative coping mechanisms: Find healthy and effective ways to cope with your emotions that do not involve eating. This could include engaging in physical activities like exercise or yoga, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, writing in a journal, talking to a supportive friend or family member, or engaging in a hobby that you enjoy. With deep breathing, meditation, taking a walk in nature you are regulating the nervous system to help bring you out of fight or flight mode and bring you back to present moment. When you have stored trauma for years sometimes it is hard to face your own feelings in the present moment. These types of activities can help you to create a safe space within yourself to sit and process emotions instead of blanking out and turning to a binge for comfort. Experiment with different activities to find what works best for you.
Create a supportive environment: Surround yourself with a supportive environment that encourages healthy eating habits. Remove tempting or trigger foods from your home and replace them with nutritious options. Seek support from friends, family, or a support group who can provide encouragement and help you stay accountable. Additionally, consider working with a therapist or coach who specializes in emotional eating to explore underlying issues and develop strategies to overcome them. It is not that your trigger foods are "bad" and that you will never be able to have them again. But when you are first breaking the habit of binge eating, you must completely remove it until you have gained a healthier relationship to what food means to you and what you are using that trigger food for.
Practice mindful eating: Mindful eating involves paying attention to the present moment and being fully aware of your food choices, sensations, and satiety signals. When you feel the urge to eat emotionally, take a pause and ask yourself if you are physically hungry or if there is an emotional trigger at play. Engage your senses while eating, savor the smells, textures and flavors. Eat slowly. Chew your food at least 10 times before swallowing (also helps to feel full faster and helps with digestion). Put the fork down between bites and really enjoy the food you are eating. This can help you become more attuned to your body's hunger and fullness cues and distinguish between emotional and physical hunger.
Hire a coach: I was stuck in the cycle for over a decade. I tried any and every diet you could think of. I always lost the weight because I was really good at sticking with something for a few weeks or even a few months. But eventually would end up binge eating and gaining all the weight back. It wasn't until I hired professional help that I was able to break the cycle. Having a coach allowed me to safely speak with someone who understood my struggles and helped me work through the patterns of binge eating so that eventually I was able to stop. I learned to see food as nourishment and not therapy. I learned self respect and self love to the point I no longer wanted to hurt myself by binge eating. Having an expert outside perspective helped me to finally lose the weight and be able to keep it off. It completely changed my life, and now I am able to help you do the same thing!
As a board certified nurse practitioner and certified nutritionist with over 10 years experience, I truly understand your struggles. There is no fad diet that can fix your struggle with binge eating. At Sophrosyne Health we have found the perfect balance of sustainable weight loss while teaching you how to love yourself from the inside out.
Remember, breaking the cycle of emotional eating takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself throughout the process and celebrate small victories along the way. If you find it challenging to implement these strategies on your own, please seek help! We have coaches on staff who can provide personalized guidance and support. You can schedule your free 15 minute call here and see if we can possible help.