How to stop binge eating and live a healthier life

Stopping binge eating is an awesome step to start living a healthier, happier life. This advice will help guide you along in the process of recovery.


Do

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  • accept your weight as it is
  • embrace yourself
  • realize that you’re binge eating to protect yourself
  • get professional help from someone who understands your situation
  • process your feelings
Don't

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  • believe that you have no willpower
  • hide yourself
  • skip meals
  • purge
  • focus on the numbers

Shannon Lagasse‘s recommendation to ExpertBeacon readers: Do

Do accept your weight as it is

You have to start from somewhere and that somewhere is exactly where you are right now. You don’t start losing weight 20 pounds from now. You start losing weight at your starting weight. Accepting your weight where it is keeps you from self-sabotaging by beating yourself up. When you become OK with the way that you are now, you become OK with yourself no matter what happens, even on a day when you eat more than you cared to. Accept your situation for what it is so that you can move forward. When you judge yourself, you block the opportunity to learn from what’s going on in the present moment. When you’re stuck in self-judgment, you can’t get to why you started bingeing in the first place.

Do embrace yourself

There is nothing wrong with you. You just have a different relationship with food. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s nothing to feel guilty or ashamed of. Love yourself through the process and it will be much quicker and much more enjoyable.

Do realize that you’re binge eating to protect yourself

Dig deep and ask yourself in what way food is keeping you safe. This could be anything from making yourself physically bigger than an aggressor to making yourself larger and less attractive to pursuers to trying to make people feel more comfortable around you because they’re your size (a lot of people do this with family). How is it serving you to eat more and be heavier? When you find your answer, work on changing that belief. Expect rapid and immediate results following your realization.

Do get professional help from someone who understands your situation

This means someone who specializes in binge eating. If you don’t like them, fire ‘em. You’re the boss. You create your treatment team. Find people who resonate with you and your ideal recovery. There are all kinds of professionals who treat eating disorders. Research the kind of people you want to work with. Are you looking for a health coach who will focus on figuring out how you can create a healthy mind-body-spirit connection for yourself? Do you want to work with a dietitian who will make sure your body is getting adequate nutrients and who will put together a meal plan for you? Would you prefer to work with a therapist or coach who will help you analyze the patterns you’ve created for yourself around food?

Do process your feelings

Binge eating often has to do with suppressing feelings. Our bodies either emote or digest. When we eat, we are literally incapable of processing emotions. You can do this by journaling, speaking with a trusted friend, or talking to yourself. These tricks will help you to get a handle on your binge eating by helping you hash out exactly what it is that is causing you to eat. The first step to change is awareness. When you journal or talk about what’s going on for you, you start to see patterns, such as, “Oh! When I’m feeling upset, I tend to gravitate towards sweets. Oh! When I’m stressed out, I eat mindlessly.”


Shannon Lagasse‘s professional advice to ExpertBeacon readers: Don't

Do not believe that you have no willpower

Think about all the times you’ve put your mind to something and accomplished it. It has nothing to do with willpower and everything to do with the way that your brain is structured to receive food. Your brain is wired to crave food and your stomach has adjusted to eating more. It takes time and practice to establish healthy eating habits, not willpower.

Do not hide yourself

You deserve to be seen, heard, loved, and enjoyed. Be proud of your decision to live a healthier lifestyle and be a fuller version of you. So often binge eaters hide in the background out of shame, guilt, and fear of judgment. Remember that those who love you will love you for all that you are.

Do not skip meals

Even if you binge in the morning, eat lunch. It will stabilize your blood sugar, which will keep you from crashing and bingeing again in the evening. It also tells your brain that you’re committed to a regular schedule of meals

Do not purge

You know the side effects of any kind of purging: damaged internal organs, rotten teeth, and organ failure. Your body is perfectly capable of repairing itself under the right conditions (i.e. letting it do its job and not interfering by purging). If you want to get technical, calories are absorbed within 10 minutes of eating, so purging is removing vital nutrients and damaging your body but not ridding you of calories.

Do not focus on the numbers

The scale is not a measurement of your self-worth. If you like the numbers as a way to congratulate yourself on your weight-loss success, fabulous. If you’re using the numbers to beat yourself up for not doing “well enough”, toss the scale and re-focus on your beliefs and feelings. This also applies to calories: There are better uses of your time than adding up your calories in a food journal. Focus on health and on nourishing yourself – the rest will figure itself out.


Summary

All in all, trust yourself and listen to your body. All of the above is just an elaboration of that one basic piece of advice.

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