Binge eating isn’t necessarily a household word, but it’s become a common and secretive behavior behind closed doors. Binge eating is consuming abnormally large amounts of food in a rapid amount of time. The binge eater feels uncomfortably bloated afterwards; followed by feelings of remorse, guilt and disgust. Immobility and fatigue are the immediate responses following a binge, but over time, obesity and rapidly deteriorating health are the ultimate outcomes.
How do I know? I was a chronic binge eater for nearly thirty years of my life; plus, I’ve been interacting with many binge eaters [aka “overeaters”] over the past two years. It’s a behavior that shrouds the participant with shame and embarrassment. Like all unhealthy addictions, it is disease promoting, and one must overcome it to live in optimal health.
A binge usually starts with a small compromise of some sort. It may be as simple and innocent as an extra handful of nuts with dinner. A healthy response to that extra handful of nuts would be to acknowledge it, “Okay, I just overrate an extra handful of nuts.” Then the next step would be to quickly move on and not think anymore about it. The key phrase here is quickly move on. Most likely he/she will not feel hunger for breakfast the next morning, and that’s perfectly fine. Perhaps after a vigorous workout and a morning of work, a light lunch at eleven, when he/she is truly hungry again, will be most welcome and pleasurable. This natural response is health promoting.
The mindset of a chronic binge eater is, “I blew it. I over ate that extra handful of nuts with dinner. I’m a failure. I might as well give up and eat anything and everything in sight now.” The problem with this unhealthy thinking pattern is the person will go to bed stuffed and miserably uncomfortable; only to wake up the next morning full of remorse and defeat which will immediately perpetuate more binge eating. The cycle continues until the person has created a pathway of ruts straight into the dungeon of obesity.
So, if you are reading this post and caught in the cycle of a binge:
1) Stop. Stop immediately. Put that spoonful of nut butter down. Throw that handful of M&M’s in the trash.
2) Acknowledge it. Verbally list in your mind what you just over ate. Don’t deny it.
3) Move on quickly. Depending upon the amount that you over ate, you may not feel well. No big deal. This too shall pass. Be kind to yourself and don’t eat until you are truly hungry again.
4) Listen to Dr. Fuhrman’s teleconference in the member center library, “Curtailing Overeating.” Watch the Livestream by Dr. Fuhrman from the Health Getaway on Food Addictions and Weight Loss. Thoroughly understand his instructions on not eating again until your body is at the end of the catabolic phase of digestion and repair.
5) Visualize what you will look and feel like when chronic binge eating is completely removed from your life.
6) Be 100% committed to overcoming binge eating. 100% commitment is not the same as 100% perfection. Slip-ups happen on occasion. They just do. The key to success is minimizing slip-ups and move on quickly. Quickly is the key word!
7) Feeling good is highly motivating. Once you feel good again, it will be a thoroughly pleasurable experience, and will thrust you into the contagious cycle of enjoying optimal health for life!
Freedom from binge eating to all!
image credit: avidityfitness.net