Binge eating is a hot topic right now but it’s been a problem for many people for a long time as it wasn’t considered a legitimate condition until recently. We have an emotional response to the food we eat. A delicious meal can make our day while a gross meal can ruin it. Sometimes a piece of chocolate (or whatever your fix is) is all it takes to make sitting in bumper to bumper traffic less frustrating. Everyone binge eats from time to time, but if you feel like you may need help here are my tips to keep yourself from binge eating:
1) Set a post-meal goal.
As ridiculous as this may sound, try setting a post-meal goal. For me a post-meal goal may be to drink 24 oz. in between meals. If I haven’t finished my 24 oz. of water then I don’t get to move on to my next meal. This is an easy way to hold yourself accountable. Try making your goal physical by using a fitness tracker. Set a goal like “I won’t eat again until I’ve walked 500, 1000, or 1500 steps”.
2) Eat a mint after your meal.
Pop a mint after your meal to signal to yourself that you’re done eating. At first this may not be effective but over time you’ll create a pattern. The mint is a signal to your brain that you’re done eating for at least 2-3 hours. A 10 calorie mint can save you from downing another 500 calories in snacks.
3) Don’t keep snacks that you can’t resist at home.
This is the way most people hold themselves accountable. Keep binge-worthy snacks out of your kitchen so you’re not tempted, it always starts with “just one”. Following a meal plan helps you not just save money but also teaches you when to eat, how much to eat, and what to eat. If it’s not on the plan, don’t grab it. Of course there’s leniency with this rule (going back to the emotional release of food) but the point is chips, ice cream, popcorn, and pizza don’t coincide with your goals.
4) Find an activity that keeps your hands and your brain occupied.
Watching a movie may keep your brain occupied but it’s not enough to physically force you to stop eating. Find an activity that occupies your hands also. Think reading a book, playing an instrument, playing a sport, drawing, writing, exercising or learning a new skill.
5) Brush your teeth if you can’t stop eating.
Similar to point #2 in that it signals to your brain that the meal is finished. In addition to point #2, most food tastes awful after you brush your teeth (think anything citrus, sour, and salty) which may kill your appetite enough to stop your binge eating right in its tracks. Don’t brush more than twice every day as you’ll run the risk of over brushing and wearing down your enamel. Consider this as a last resort to cutting yourself off.
Basic Meal Plan Rules.
Find out how many calories you need every day, divide that number into 4-5 meals, eat every 2-3 hours and stop after each meal is done. Put yourself in control and remember your goal with every meal. All you need is willpower. Once you start seeing results it will be much easier to stay on track.
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