If you’ve ever struggled with restrictive dieting, eating disorders, or body image issues… then there’s a good chance that you’ve also struggled with binge eating at some point too. The hardest part though is when you can’t stop binge eating. It completely SUCKS, I know because I’ve been there… But there’s great news!
I CRUSHED my binge eating habits even after silently struggling for 10 years. And today, I’m going to teach you how to stop binge eating for LIFE!
I STRUGGLED WITH BINGE EATING FOR 10 YEARS
My binge eating started in elementary school. I can remember sitting at the kitchen island for breakfast at my dad’s house and eating 3 bowls of Lucky Charms with whole milk for breakfast. (At home, my mom only had “healthy” cereal with watery skim milk rolls eyes) The thing was, my mom never had “junk food” in the house, so when I went to my dad’s it was a sugar cereal free for all.
That’s my earliest memory of the restricting and binging in action.
Although my parents didn’t realize what was happening, this was the start of my messy relationship with food that would follow me through my entire childhood.
RESTRICTION WAS THE ROOT OF MY BINGES
Food had healthy and unhealthy labels at a VERY young age. Based on what I knew from my mom, I felt like enjoying the sugary cereal and fast food at my dad’s house was wrong because it wasn’t good for me. But at the same time, my dad’s junk food tasted so delicious that I couldn’t help myself. So, when I was confronted with junk food, I felt like I shouldn’t want it… But I did want it… And then when I finally got my hands on it I went overboard.
I quickly developed an “all or nothing” mentality around food, loaded with guilt and anxiety around my food choices.
WHY DID I BINGE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
Looking back now, I can see how much I struggled with binge eating and WHY it happened. And honestly, its been a combination of 2 big reasons:
Reason #1: My past + childhood struggles.
- I labeled food as good and bad (restriction).
- I was always unhappy with my body image… which made me hyper-focused on food and weight loss at a very young age.
- I used food to cope with my feelings of loneliness as an only child in a divorced family.
- As a result of all of the above, I thought that my food, fitness, and body image dictated my value as a human being.
Reason #2: Stress.
- When I’m exhausted and overworked, I turn to food for a quick hit of pleasure.
- I’ve restricted food (which leads to a binge) in order to lose weight and accept myself (which definitely did NOT work in the long run). You can read about that here.
- I’ve controlled my food in order to control the parts of my life I can’t directly control (which led to obsession and orthorexia).
Knowing these 2 reasons for binge eating, what can you relate to the most? Think about it.
HOW DO YOU STOP BINGE EATING?
So, how do you finally find your way in this messy cycle of restricting and binging? How do you stop binge eating for LIFE? How do you break free from the control food seems to have over your every thought and move? It’s not easy… I won’t lie to you. Binge eating isn’t something that you can snap your fingers and magically fix. I know we want the solution that will stop us from falling back into it time and time and time again… but honestly, in order to stop binge eating, we have to make those mistakes. Let me repeat that…
In order to stop binge eating, we have to make mistakes.
We have to learn what not to do so that we can move forward. Every time we binge we have an opportunity to say: “what happened?”
- What caused the binge?
- Was it related to restrictive dieting or something deeper?
- What happened today that was stressful?
- Was I exhausted, fatigued, frustrated?
- What’s been going on in my life for the past few months that I’m not happy with?
- What emotions is food covering up for me?
- What deeply rooted things do I need that I’m not getting?
- Why am I having a hard time with this?
- What do I need to do to fix these things?
And when you learn how to do that, you’ll be ready to learn how to STOP binge eating for life.
10 WAYS TO STOP BINGE EATING
I haven’t binged for almost an entire year, and in the past 2 years, I’ve only binged a handful of times. Coming from someone who spent years binging regularly, this accomplishment is HUGE.
So, how the heck did I do it? How did I stop “losing control” around food? I’m about to blow your mind right now with my answer: I stopped LOSING control because I stopped TAKING control. When you finally realize you don’t need to RESTRICT in order to be healthy and happy, you actually find Food Freedom.
Here’s how I did it…
1. DITCH THE DIET LABEL
I had to stop being “low carb”,“grain free” and “paleo” and allow myself to choose my options freely.
2. EAT MORE BALANCED MEALS
I started making meals with carbs + fats + protein (this also helped me get my period back) in order to get over my food fear.
3. INDULGE MORE OFTEN THAN YOU THINK YOU SHOULD
Do it MORE and OFTEN. You need to practice breaking restriction and defeating the guilt.
4. TALK ABOUT IT
I stopped hiding my binges. I told my boyfriend what was going on and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. You can also talk to me! I’m a health coach 🙂
5. COPE WITH THE IDEA OF GAINING WEIGHT
STOP being afraid of your body. Whether I gained weight or not, I had to choose to love myself no matter what happened.
6. REDUCE YOUR STRESS
When do you make the most of your bad decisions? When you’re overworked and exhausted. Give yourself a BREAK!
7. FOCUS ON YOUR LIFE
Stop making your life about your food and your body. Your life is MORE than those things! What do you really want from your life? Go for it!
8. GET COMFY WITH MAKING MISTAKES
Healing from binge eating is a super challenging task – you’ll make mistakes and it doesn’t mean you’re failing. KEEP GOING. Learn from those mistakes and you WILL recover.
9. COMPLETE MY FOOD FREEDOM WORKBOOK
This breaks down all the steps to find your unique Food Freedom by asking you to evaluate your relationship with food honestly. You can grab that workbook right here:
10. COMPLETE MY BINGE RECOVERY WORKBOOK
If you binge, this workbook will teach you how to recover with self-love and prevent it from happening again in the future. You can get that workbook by grabbing my entire library of free Food Freedom resources, here.
TAKEAWAY: YOU HAVE THE POWER TO STOP BINGE EATING
Ready to stop binge eating? You don’t have to do all 10 things perfectly. Seriously, start small and do just ONE of those things today! Comment below and let me know which you’re going to try!
More binge eating tips:
- How to Stop Binge Eating + Get Over the Fear of Eating More
- How to Recover from Your Destructive Food Binge
- 3 Epic Ways to Stop Binging on Sugar
- How to Finally End the Exhausting Binge Eating Cycle
Did you learn something today? You might be interested in finding Food Freedom! Using the 3 strategies in this free 3 day Fast Track program, I stopped binging and restricting! I’m sharing my best tips for healing your relationship with food (including lessons from my experience with orthorexia, binge eating, over exercising, body image, weight gain, weight loss, and restrictive dieting). In this free training, you’ll learn how to create a sustainable Food Freedom action plan that works for YOU.