We’ve all experienced overeating at one point or another. The holidays may come to mind as you sit down to enjoy delicious meals from Thanksgiving to New Years. However, for a sizable portion of the United States, binge eating is a difficulty that is hard to shake no matter what time of the year it is.
Binge eating is a condition that causes one to over-eat within a short period of time. Typically those who often binge on food, find that consuming large amounts, even when full, is a viable way to cope with emotional issues, such as stress, low self-esteem, and even loneliness. Though the physical consequences of binge eating can result in medical complications, such as cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and adult-onset diabetes, binge eating is largely mental. Fortunately, you can stop binge eating in its tracks, once and for all with these healthy tips.
1. Get to Know Your Food
One of the first basic rules of banishing binge eating is to rid your kitchen of all the trigger foods in your home, as this only elevates your temptation to eat more. Instead, stock up on nutritional food that will keep you fuller longer and feed your body what it actually needs. You are what you eat, so you’ll be in much better health consuming foods that boost your energy and mood, so if you do feel an urge to eat, at least it will be something of value that you are putting into your body.
Consuming superfoods is a great way to start. Superfoods have the highest amount of nutrition such as healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Some foods to keep on hand when you feel a craving coming on are raw almonds and nuts, eggs, kale, salmon, spinach, blueberries, and much more. Eating enough fiber also helps keep you fuller, longer so that you are more satisfied throughout the day.
2. Get Moving
Exercise is one of the best gifts we can give our bodies and has been proven to be effective in boosting your mood, quelling depression and even encouraging feelings of joy. Moving your body also helps you to lessen the severity of certain diseases, such as heart disease and asthma. Most importantly, it just makes you feel good, sleep better, feel more relaxed and more motivated.
The best form of exercise is aerobic, which gets your heart pumping and your spirit high, but doesn’t have to be limited to just one form! Go for bike rides, take brisk walks, take up swimming, running, or even yoga. All these activities can help elevate circulation in your body and create a wealth of stimulating effects, such as improved memory, clearer thinking skills, and better psychological coping mechanisms.
3. Cultivate an Emotional Outlet
Binge eating has a lot to do with emotional stress, so the more pressure you’re up against, the more likely you are to want to turn towards food as a means to deal with problems in your life. Some people even eat out of boredom or habit. Instead, try journaling, which helps you to suss out ideas and emotions that may be triggering you. Writing down what you eat, when you eat, and moods that you feel while eating will to help you discern what emotions may be triggering your urge to overeat. Sometimes it may not be emotional eating at all.
Talking to a trusted relative is also always a huge plus to help release pent-up stress. However, whenever you are alone and feel an urge, take a moment to meditate. By identifying your feelings, how and why they occur, you’ll create a stronger relationship with yourself and a better understanding of the relationship between your emotions and food.
4. Limit Your Cravings
As counterintuitive as it may sound, if you’re trying to banish your overindulgent habits, you can, in fact, control your impulses to overeat if you just allow yourself to feel the rush. Resistance can have an adverse effect if you deny yourself, however, desires ebb and flow like waves. Feel your cravings, wait them out and soon enough you’ll realize how up and down they truly are. Over time, you may even realize that you aren’t experiencing strong cravings as much as you used to.
Hunger pangs are your body’s natural response to using up all the energy from the last meal that you’ve eaten. Ghrelin and leptin are hormones that contribute to the full feeling that you get after consuming a meal. If you binge eat often, these responses could get thrown off, which is why it’s a good idea to let yourself feel the pangs before eating. One way to truly know if you are hungry is to drink a glass of water when you feel an onset. If your stomach is still grumbling 15 minutes later, then this is your cue that you truly should eat something.
5. Get Enough Shut-Eye
When your body isn’t getting the amount of sleep that it needs, you crave more sugary sweets due to fluctuating hormones. If you are sleep deprived, the amount of insulin your body produces increases and elevates your cravings for sweets, thus leading to weight gain. To make matters worse, cortisol increases as well, which can also impact your metabolism, then before you know it, you’re stressed with weight gain and more binge eating.
We all require between 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night, which not only helps us feel relaxed and rested, but a full night’s sleep also benefits our attention span, mood, and critical thinking skills. One way of garnering a better night’s sleep is to banish all electronics that emit harmful blue light. In addition, relinquish all access to the kitchen at least 3 hours prior to bedtime. If you are feeling hungry, try a glass of water with a drop of lemon to quench your thirst and eradicate any lingering cravings.