I can relate on so many levels and now at the first taste of sugar or alcohol my body starts carving everything in sight. I spent the first 8 months of my journey restricting because I thought that was the best or fastest way to lose that weight. I didn’t necessarily restrict calorie wise or stop eating or anything but I was so super clean all the flipping time… it became exhausting. Telling yourself you “can’t” have white pasta or a little bit of ice-cream over and over for months and months and months made me want it more.
So all we all know.. I did lose a lot of weight. All in all it worked and I wouldn’t necessarily take anything back because I fueled my body with the best and most nutritious fuel that I can but it exhausted me mentally. Sometimes our soul needs a little love too and there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence. Why be miserable when you don’t have to? You should not fear food and if you find yourself falling into these binge habits it’s because your body feels deprived both physically and mentally so the binge builds up over time like a wave. When it hits it can be so powerful that you can’t control that downward spiral. Eating when you are not hungry is a part of that cycle that I know all too well so here are my suggestions…
- Indulge your sweet tooth naturally. Fruits, honey, maple syrup and molasses all contain natural sugars as they are a better option when you hit a craving. An apple will give you a sweet burst of flavor along with beneficial vitamins and fiber.
- Cut down on processed and packaged foods. Salad dressings, spaghetti sauces, soups and even pizza crusts contain sugar. If you make your own soup, you will unlikely be adding a cup of sugar to the stew pot, however this is exactly what manufacturers do. Try to purchase groceries with the least amount of packaging as possible.
- Don’t drink liquid candy. Soda is basically that – liquid candy. Cut it out (yes diet too) along with all other types of sugary drinks. There is no such thing as “naturally flavored” juices that don’t have some other form of sugar in it. Just stick to water and tea for now.
- Chew sugar free gum at night to kick those cravings and keep you distracted from the kitchen. .
- Eat 3 meals a day plus healthy snacks. Eating breakfast jump starts your metabolism in the morning. Follow breakfast with a balanced lunch and dinner, and healthy snacks in between. Skipping meals often leads to binge eating later in the day.
- Avoid “red zones” or places that will sabotage your success: You’re much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts, and unhealthy snacks in the house. Remove the temptation by clearing your fridge and cupboards of your favorite binge foods.
- Stop restricting yourself. The deprivation and hunger of strict dieting can trigger food cravings and the urge to overeat. Instead of dieting, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and eat only until you feel content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning certain foods as this can make you crave them even more.
- Exercise. Along with the obvious benefits, the natural mood-boosting effects of exercise can help put a stop to emotional eating.
- Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you’re bored, distract yourself. Take a walk, call a friend, read, or take up a hobby such as painting or gardening.
- Get enough sleep. If you’re tired, you may want to keep eating in order to boost your energy. Take a nap or go to bed earlier instead.
- Learn to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. If you ate recently and don’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not really hungry. Give the craving time to pass.
- Keep a food diary. Write down what you eat, when, how much, and how you’re feeling when you eat. You may see patterns emerge that reveal the connection between your moods and binge eating.
But most importantly take it one day at a time!