Have you ever undone a whole week’s worth of dieting with a single night of binging? Binging on salty and sugary junk foods has become increasingly common in our day and age, and it can have negative effects on our bodies and our minds. Break this nasty habit with these healthy tips.
Keep yourself busy
It’s pretty hard to mindlessly eat when you’re busy doing your nails, washing the dishes or taking the dog for a walk. You are more likely to binge when your thoughts are occupied with nothing but food options. If you are sitting idly around the house, the chances that you will confuse boredom or stress for hunger increase, and that can lead to your reaching for a second or third chocolate bar. If, instead, you devote yourself to 10 minutes of a hand-busying task, you may find that once the time has elapsed, you don’t even want to consume those foods you were dying for just moments before. Distraction is a great tactic, so make use of it whenever possible.
According to Sheri Barke, a registered dietitian at the College of Canyons, not eating enough throughout the day can lower your energy level, and that could trigger a severe binging episode. The more you deprive your body of food, the more it craves it, and when it just can’t take it anymore, you may end up eating everything in sight. That’s why consuming healthy snacks regularly and making meals that incorporate all the major food groups is so important. When you give your body the sustenance it needs, it is less likely to scream for things it doesn’t require.
Stay away from potential dangers
Give yourself some credit — you know your mind and body far better than you think you do. You know those trigger foods when you see them. So keep foods you know you are likely to binge on as far away as possible. If you arrive at a party and see that appetizer you just can’t resist, aim to stand on the opposite side of the room. Or if your husband brings home your favourite bag of potato chips, instruct him to hide them where there’s no chance you’ll find them. This doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself completely. When you feel you are ready for it, allow yourself to sample one of your favourite appetizers, and then move away from the table. Or tell your hubby to make you a small bowl of those crisps on a special occasion. Eliminating the food altogether can backfire and make you want it more. But granting yourself full access to it all the time might lead to a binge you will wind up regretting. Work toward finding that happy balance of treating yourself and still staying in control, and you will be well on your way to developing healthy eating habits for life.
Learn from your mistakes
There is no true science when it comes to quitting binging. You likely binge when you’re bored, sad, stressed, angry or just plain hungry. These feelings and situtations can’t just be eradicated from your life. The secret lies in forgiving yourself when you do overeat and trying to learn from your mistakes. Think of what made you binge, why you couldn’t stop and how you felt afterwards. You may even want to keep a diary on the subject so you can track it for yourself. With time, you will be able to learn more about the source of these episodes and work at eliminating them. It’s an ongoing process for many, but certainly a challenge worth undertaking!