Post # 1
I’ve always struggled with binge eating…. I can have stealy resolve, stay on track with healthy eating… and then – bam – go into this (seemingly) uncontrollable spiral where eating a whole box/bag/carton of “X” is easily occuring (I feel like Cookie Monster tearing through cookies)…. and then comes the sadness at lack of self control and feeling sick from all the food, self-loathing, etc.
I feel like I’ve gotten better with it, as I get older, but in talking to a friend recently (who had issues with Girl Scout Cookies on hand) I thought it would be good to discuss it with others who may struggle with it, as I want to help others identify ways to fall into healthier behaviors.
So, hive – what have you found helpful in your struggles with binge eating?
For me, I’ve found the following to be helpful:
-healthy replacement foods (when the urge strikes, reaching for the healthy options vs. the junk food options
-NOT having the trigger foods in the house
Would love you hear your experiences!
Post # 3
I agree, not having the food in your house in the first place helps a lot! Also, meal planning and prep works for us. We plan out all of our meals and make sure we’re getting enough protein/carb/fat so that we actually feel full and satisfied with every meal.
Post # 4
@oracle: I need to not deprive myself in the first place. If I want to eat a box of cookies, I eat a box of cookies. Then I just move on and don’t dwell on it. The minute I tell myself I can’t have something, I start feeling deprived and obsessing over it.
Post # 5
@oracle: I try to refrain from keeping snacks in the house, and/or if I do have snacks, keeping ‘healthier’ alternatives. I.e., goldfish snacks are my go to for my salt craving, and the serving size is quite large. Or, the 100-calorie pack snacks are also quite awesome too!
I also meal plan one week at a time. I plan each dinner, and buy those ingredients. I thaw the meat two days before i am due to make it, so that I have to cook it, or else the meat will go bad!! I also make my lunch every evening for the the following day, so that in the morning when I am rushing around, I can grab and go.
When I get STRONG cravings, I chug water, and see if I can alleviate the hunger, and/or the craving. Also, GUM is my best friend. I usually pop a piece at around 3pm (after my afternoon snack of an apple or orange), and keep on chewing it until dinner is ready. Snacking, especially binge snacking, has always been downfall right after work – where I am hungry and in the kitchen inevitably!!
Post # 6
Not having certain foods in the house is a big one for me, but not always easy since my DH can’t manage to go to the grocery store without coming home with a tub of ice cream.
I find it helps to have healthy snacks on-hand, like veggies already chopped up, or fruit out in a bowl on the counter.
I also try to replace things I crave with similar textured/shaped foods. For instance, if I’m dying for a bowl of chips, I have a bowl of crunchy cereal instead.
Post # 7
i suffer from this, too- and in all honesty the best thing for me has already been mentioned. i just can’t keep things like this in the house.
and if i get a snack, it has to be in a single serving otherwise i will just continue to go back for more.
i’ve realized that if i have a craving it will eventually pass, but if i indulge in the craving it will only get stronger.
ETA: ive also never found anything to be a good substitute. i can distract myself my making tea and that at least gives my hands/mouth something to do, but the craving for chocolate or whatever will still linger until it goes away on its own
Post # 8
@oracle: Not keeping those foods around are good, but you don’t want to completely deprive yourself. Having some of your triggers every so often can help curb cravings for some people.
I’m a stress eater. When I’m stressed I either want to eat everything (and then feel horrible after) or I completely lose my appetite (and then I can’t function). Limiting stress isn’t always possible, but I do the best I can to stay relaxed about things. And living with FI has really helped because he knows about my issues and he helps keep an eye on me. Maybe having an accountability buddy could help you too?
I think that you need to really figure out why you crave foods as strongly as you do though. You won’t be able to fix the problem without doing that – everything else just masks it.
Post # 9
@oracle: Not having the foods in the house is easily the best method for me. It’s easier to tell yourself not to buy the food than to tell yourself not to eat it. If I buy chips, there’s no way I’m eating only a few per day. I also eat a lot of healthy foods throughout the day, usually Monday-Friday, and I’m more lax on weekends. This way during the week I won’t eat junk because I can think about my treat coming up on the weekend.
Post # 10
We don’t buy junk food so its not in the house, and we take all of our snacks and lunch to work with us.
If I really want candy or junk food and I’m trying to be strict I’ll have a piece of gum, it usually takes my mind off the obsessing.
Post # 11
I will let myself have treats every week or so, so that I don’t feel deprived.
However, if it’s one of my trigger foods, I do not let it in my house, if I can help it.
And when I feel the overwhelming desire to fall into the stress eating trap of my trigger foods, and don’t avoid going to buy them, I let myself for that one day. And then I let go. Did I just intentionally go and buy a bag of candy and eat the entire thing in one sitting? Yes? Okay then, what’s going on in my life that is causing me to feel like I need to eat my feelings? Can I deal with that? Do I need to talk to someone about it? Can I offset the calories by adding in a workout tomorrow?
I don’t let it become something I do 2 days in a row or longer.
The suggestion of chugging a water is genius because often our bodies send a thirsty signal and we think of it as hungry.
Post # 12
I try not to deprive myself. I make sure to eat regularly too. If I find myself STARVING, I’ll eat more than I normally would and often regret how much I just ate. I TRY to eat small meals throughout the day but that doesn’t always happen.
I also try to plan my all of my meals. Our meals are planned for the next two weeks and we’ve already gone to the grocery store for all of it, so not running out or hitting up fast food really helps!
If I have a certain trigger food that I KNOW I will eat the whole thing, I try to avoid it. Sometimes I don’t, but hey.
Being pregnant I’ve had a real sweet tooth that I’ve never had before. I constantly want ice cream… If I totally deprived myself of any at all I would obsess over it. So I have 1 1/2 scoops a day. That seems to curb it for the most part!