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Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Binge Eating? 8 Tips to Help You Stop

1 BINGEIn the past three months, you have binged on food at least 12 times. You hate that you do it and always feel guilty after, but something inside you compels you to do this (A binge is when you consume a lot of food in a short period of time).

Well, you are not alone. About 3% of the US population does this, and qualifies for the diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED). And according to the The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, as many as half of all binge eating patients have a history of depression!

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Here is why: When you binge eat, you gain weight. So you feel out of control with your eating, you gain weight and get depressed over your body shape and weight. Then you binge again and feel even worse, heightening the depressed feelings  It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. And for some people, depression led them to binge eat in the first place.

Here are helpful tips to help stop those binges.

1) Get rid of binge foods in your home. Yes, you can drive to a store or fast food place but that takes more effort than reaching for food in the pantry.

2) Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast. Skipping meals is a set up for a binge. You simply build up too much hunger and then overdo it. Eat small meals, snacks throughout the day to curb appetite.

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3) Don’t diet. The idea that you “can’t” have foods just makes you want them all the more.

4) Figure out what sets off your binges, what are the cues or triggers? This is very important because the triggers are usually emotional and relational things, not hunger.

5) When you feel the urge to eat, do something else. Replace eating with another behavior. It might not be as enjoyable as eating that hot fudge sundae, but you are breaking the habit of eating when you do something else.

6) Phone a friend. When you have the urge to binge, it helps to have a support network of people who can be there to help you say NO to food when you are not hungry.

7) It’s not all or nothing. If you give in to a binge, life is not over. Simply start over. Everyone deserves a do over. Acknowledge the slip, forgive yourself and get back on track. Changing behavior takes time!

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8) Finally, if the depression does not ease up as you get control of the food, see a therapist. Or see a therapist to begin with so you can look at the roots of the depression and get help. Depression is treatable.

 

Finally, if you are feeling very out of control and want additional help, see an eating disorder specialist who can help tailor a program of help for your needs.

 

 

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