Q & A: Handling Binge Eating and Stress Eating...

We all have crappy days. You feel cranky or a little moody and seek comfort in food. It happens to all of us, but what happens when the eating gets out of control? And you start to worry. In this quick discussion from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center he gives some advice:

Question: I've developed a rather bad binging habit over the last year or so and am trying to curb it. But I am wondering if you have any strategies you would recommend to help get me over the hump? I have read some places that eating on a strict schedule, very specific foods may be helpful. Is this an approach you would consider?

I tend to binge in the afternoons & evenings. I make it through the morning, but run out of willpower later on. I can binge on anything, even lettuce and celery .Just to have something to put in my mouth. Stress can trigger it too. Right now I am trying hobbies to take my mind off food, but do you have any advice on how to structure my eating?

Dr. Fuhrman: When you are in your moments of saneness, remove the unhealthy food choices and dump them. At least, then when you overeat, it will only be on good stuff. But, the most important thing is to only eat 3 times a day. That is two meals and one snack (or small meal). Lay out the entire meal on table before you start to eat.

Try to decide how much you intend to eat at that meal and then put all the food away and do not go back to get more. Getting rid of the snacking habit is the most important thing. After dinner clean up the kitchen and go brush and floss and stay away from all food after 7:00 PM. That is very important too.

Image credit: thegrocer*

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diane lassen - June 12, 2009 7:51 PM

That is good advice, but so hard to do for most people. RIght now, I am snacking on dates as I type this, at 7:45pm, well aware that I should not be eating this late! I tend to fall prey to this eating only when I am really stressed out, and then like you said, anything in my mouth will usually do. I choose healthy things such as nuts and fruit or organic dark chocolate (or dates!) but when I need to chew, there is no getting around it. Fortunately, I eat healthfully all day and do not have a weight problem, but the fact that I do have an emotional "need" for food at times is nonetheless disconcerting. I feel your pain.
Might I suggest a flavorful herbal tea with some stevia or raw honey instead of food? This often works for me. I splurge at the health food store on great herbal teas with exotic flavors. Then in the evening, my worst time to snack, I have a cup in a nice fancy mug or tea cup, and enjoy. This ritual is a saving grace for me. I hope it works for you!

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