We have known individuals bingeing on food long before we binge-watched web series, and the explanations for the latter may be numerous.
Trouble expressing emotions, controlling emotions, feeling lonely or depressed, low self-esteem and less body confidence, boredom, restrictive diets that restrict you of the food items you want, long gaps between meals, are just a few factors that could contribute to binge eating disorder. Eating food is a stress-reliever for most individuals, a sort of diversion from certain feelings or negative thoughts that dominate the mind.
And once when one gives into relieving those uncomfortable, displeasing thoughts or ideas via picking up something to eat, soon it turns into a habit that isn’t easy to overcome.
According to the experts, “In all my time as a nutritionist, health and transformation coach I have found people who are constantly on a restrictive diet are more likely to resort to binge eating”.
It’s important to understand why, how and what is crucial to breaking this habit to combat this disease and to stop yourself from binge eating and giving in to those cravings.
One of the main contributors to binge eating and cravings is restrictive diets that tell you what to consume and how to prepare. We only binge or crave stuff that is restricted to us or that we are not supposed to consume. You will be familiar with these narratives, no pizza, no biryani, no sugar, no dining out, the list goes on and depends on the dietician you are with. Usually, such diets justify consumption on cheat days, reinforcing the restrictions.
On the other side, the versatile eating protocol concentrates on encouraging yourself to consume what you feel like. If you want biryani, all you have to do is think about how to make it a little healthier. Can I add a side of cut cucumber, tomato salad? If you crave pizza, what if you ask for less cheese, but double the toppings? When you are no longer restricted, there is no sense of scarcity and when food is available, the need to binge reduces.
Emphasis on versatility and moderation rather than restrictive diets.
Schedule your day
Long gaps between meals, low availability of nutritious choices and the need to eat quickly are the product of most binge eating episodes. The long difference in the meals causes fluctuation in the blood sugar level. When the blood sugar drops, the body immediately needs replenishment. You will eat everything you see as quickly as you can at this point. Creating a schedule that factors in your meals and snacks, this will go a long way in preventing binges.
Create a meal plan that is equidistant from food based on your schedule. Bear snacks if you know you’re going to be on the go. Self-packaged fruits such as apples, pears, guava, bananas, oranges so on are easy to carry, do not need preparation and can be consumed anywhere. They are the fast-food of nature, ready to grab and go.
Understand boredom and hunger
The secret to improved health is tuning into body signals and growing body awareness. Next time, pause and ask yourself before you sink your teeth into the inevitable binge, do I just feel like I need to eat something, or am I hungry? Is my belly growling? Pause and look for a healthy alternative if you think you just ‘feel like eating’.
If you feel something to chew, you will run to the kitchen to grab some chips or packet biscuits. But if we didn’t get one. What if it wasn’t there? Your hunger will slowly go. So reduce the accessibility of non-healthy foods and to fill the snack time just have some healthy fruits instead.
Remove cheat days
If you’re not limited anymore, why do you need a cheat day? Having a cheat day induces a vicious cycle of limitations and binge eating. Cheat days become days of justification for how much you deserve to overeat. The more you limit, the more you are going to crave and binge. Working slowly towards flexible eating based on hunger signals, on the other hand, will help satisfy you and eliminate the urge to binge.
The most underestimated superfood today is water. Much of our binge eating problems are headache, exhaustion. Mild dehydration can be related to the mood swings of the person. Focus on drinking at least 3 liters of water a day. Several individuals mistake thirst for hunger. Understanding this goes a long way.
Long-term methods include flexible eating and self-regulation. Expect good and bad days as you navigate through it. To conclude, it will always help to work with a coach, but if you can’t, just concentrate on these basic techniques.
Recently, a study by the World Obesity Federation (WOF) found that the obesity level in the Gulf region is dangerously high. Following these simple steps may help to reduce the tendency of overeating without any risks and to enjoy a healthy life.