Binge thinking

So most of us have survived January. Many feel that they ate way too much over the Christmas period so have embarked on a new regime of eating healthily, coupled with tremendous amounts of exercise. Gyms and health shops are packed but as with every year, towards February and March this health-kick seems to dissipate and before long we are back to our old routine of indulgence with the added monthly unused gym membership fee debiting from the account.

A massive problem for some is that they behave like patron of health throughout the week and then as soon as the weekend arrives, unexplained binging occurs. I’m sure you are particularly familiar with the case of having to eat the last calorie and sugar laden food item simply to finish the pack and get rid of it and also eating everything possible in sight because “I’m starting my diet tomorrow”.  We are all guilty of this at one stage or another, we then simply spend the next few days feeling guilty whilst looking in the mirror over-analysing, the self-conscious wishing we hadn’t spent the last day gorging on treats.

So below are a few simple tips to keep you on track this February and avoid binge eating…

Photo: ThinkStock

- Try not to purchase ‘treat’ food in multipacks. It sounds like a good idea at the time as cheaper but it gives rise to temptation once they are in the cupboard looking at you each time you open it. 

 – Include health snacks into your day as well as three planned meals. Try to get something down you first thing in the morning to get your metabolism going. If you are not a big eater in the morning, start with a small amount of natural yoghurt or a piece of fruit and work up to bigger servings. Sticking to planned eating will help avoiding temptation. 

 – Look for ways to reduce stress as it can have a massive impact on binge eating. Perhaps listen to a relaxation track, meditating, yoga or just simple breathing. Take regular breaks at work away from your desk to break from any stress-inducing work.

- Some find they binge eat when they are bored. Aimlessly opening the fridge and gazing into it looking to see what they can concoct. Realise this and do something to fight the boredom. Perhaps a new hobby or even exercise. 

 – Make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep then you are more than likely to binge eat to keep your energy up. Remember it’s not just the quantity of sleep but the quality so make sure you are sleeping well. 

- You are the only one that really knows yourself. Think, is it really hunger or just a craving? Remember cravings will always go away so look at prevention strategies for them. 

- Realise that diets do not work and just trigger undesirable cravings for particular foods, particularly if certain food items are prohibited. Don’t place a ban on foods, plan the treat into your routine and consume in moderation. You will be amazed at how good you feel and may not want to have it. 

- Consider keeping a food diary to track what you eat. Track how you feel when you are eating to identify patterns of emotion and also time. This will help you see when and why you binge eat. If this sounds like a chore then take photos of your food.


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