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Advice for Binge Eating

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Old 05-09-2015, 09:06 PM   #1
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Default Advice for Binge Eating

My biggest downfall in weight loss is binge eating. I typically eat healthy all morning and afternoon, and once night hits a switch flips in my mind and I block out all of my previous health-track thoughts and binge on unhealthy sweets or chips. Does anyone have advice for avoiding or controlling this?
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:02 PM   #2
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My best trick to deal with this is an oldie but goodie: I brush my teeth and floss them as soon as the healthy eating is finished. This is surprisingly effective for me - yes, I have gone back and eaten later, but very rarely. Perhaps this plays to my hatred of flossing; I absolutely refuse to do it twice in one night.
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Old 05-14-2015, 02:46 AM   #3
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Try making a veggy smoothie kale spinach anything healthy. Knock it back quickly to fill yourself up. It has helped me to not binge once I am full the need for eat passes right always.
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Old 05-14-2015, 03:52 AM   #4
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haha I was literally going to post almost a verbatim post of this.... I would love tips too. Night is my downfall! It then feels so horrible to "ruin" a day of great eating.
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Old 05-14-2015, 07:29 AM   #5
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Nighttime binging is very common for dieters. Those of us who binge have to be very careful not to activate our survival instinct to eat food. I too used to have a lot of night time binging that was caused by eating inadequately during the day. It was at its worst with low carb and low cal diets. I would save and save and save calories, eating very small meals and snacks and by night time I was so ravenous that I could not control myself. Likewise on a low carb plan I would reject carbs until the cravings for them at the end of the day coupled with hunger would make it impossible not to over eat.

Also, the self judgment that goes along with ending your day poorly has a compounding negative effect. If you eat a salad for lunch and tell yourself that you're GOOD then you'll feel really BAD about yourself if you eat a cheeeseburger for dinner. So try to not label yourself good or bad when you eat food, this helps immensely in nagivating food in the long wrong.

My cravings and urges to binge reduced dramatically when I would eat enough food during the day, especially breakfast. I don't count calories anymore but I would estimate that I moved up from eating 250 cal for breakfast to eating 500, and making sure I included vegetables, protein and a proper starch such as whole wheat toast or potatoes. Then I make lunch the main meal of my day and keep dinner very light. I have a rule that I don't eat after 7pm for many reasons, mostly digestive. When I changed to this schedule I felt sated and didn't even need to snack.
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Old 05-14-2015, 11:05 AM   #6
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Go to bed. You can't binge in your sleep.

I have only heard of a few people on here for who hunger wakes them up.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:04 AM   #7
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I'm still working on this, too, but here are some strategies I'm planning on employing:
1) brushing teeth
2) journaling, reflecting on your day
3) post goals/motivation/a list of ways to comfort yourself other than food on the frigde or pantry
4) sleep!!

I hope this helps you! Nighttime is always my downfall, too.
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Old 05-17-2015, 10:59 AM   #8
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I appreciate all of the advice. Some techniques that I am going to try are: brushing teeth, consciously spacing out meals with 3-4 hours in between, drinking a large glass of water when possible, journaling about what works and doesn't work for me. I do try to go to bed at a decent time, that can help sometimes. I also want to read more/educate myself about the psychology behind binge eating. I think that most of it has to come down to underlying psychological issues for losing control like that. Any other advice is welcome.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by compass1 View Post
I appreciate all of the advice. Some techniques that I am going to try are: brushing teeth, consciously spacing out meals with 3-4 hours in between, drinking a large glass of water when possible, journaling about what works and doesn't work for me. I do try to go to bed at a decent time, that can help sometimes. I also want to read more/educate myself about the psychology behind binge eating. I think that most of it has to come down to underlying psychological issues for losing control like that. Any other advice is welcome.
Some very helpful books about binge eating are Overfed Head and Brain Over Binge.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:32 AM   #10
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Hi there,

To stop my binge problem I had to really understand my stress levels and rearrange my life to stress less, be less emotionally distraught and get comfort from other situations.

I also had to forgive myself for a bad binge, not be ashamed of myself for the worst bits, and let go of my need to really control things.

I let myself have daily treats, including however much dark chocolate I need. I also rarely snack but have full meals, even when I'm "munchy" ex. no snacking o a whole bar of a cheese, I'll make a veggie cheese omelette. I try not to tell myself 'You can't eat those things, they'll make you fat", I try to focus on "I can eat those later if I still want. I haven't had enough fruit/veg/protein today!" If I still have a craving after a 15 minute wait, I buy something quality and I enjoy it.

Finally, finding a way to enjoy exercise helps a lot.

Good luck to all of you working on this difficult part of ourselves.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souvenirdarling View Post
Hi there,

To stop my binge problem I had to really understand my stress levels and rearrange my life to stress less, be less emotionally distraught and get comfort from other situations.

I also had to forgive myself for a bad binge, not be ashamed of myself for the worst bits, and let go of my need to really control things.

I let myself have daily treats, including however much dark chocolate I need. I also rarely snack but have full meals, even when I'm "munchy" ex. no snacking o a whole bar of a cheese, I'll make a veggie cheese omelette. I try not to tell myself 'You can't eat those things, they'll make you fat", I try to focus on "I can eat those later if I still want. I haven't had enough fruit/veg/protein today!" If I still have a craving after a 15 minute wait, I buy something quality and I enjoy it.

Finally, finding a way to enjoy exercise helps a lot.

Good luck to all of you working on this difficult part of ourselves.
It's not often you hear good old common sense advice around here. Thank you!
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:03 AM   #12
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Are you eating enough calories during the day? Many of the people that I talk to who binge eat at night are not spreading their calories very well throughout the day. If you don't eat enough during the day time you are setting yourself up for a night binge.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke View Post
Are you eating enough calories during the day? Many of the people that I talk to who binge eat at night are not spreading their calories very well throughout the day. If you don't eat enough during the day time you are setting yourself up for a night binge.
Great advice!

I think this is a common problem, particularly right at the start when a person is making drastic changes to their eating habits. I think people try too often to "gut it out" when they've lowered their calories too low, and that can be a recipe for binging. It's torture and the strategy fails alot. It can be so miserable people end up giving up on healthy long-term changes.

I always suggest lowering your calorie intake more slowly over time -- give yourself (your body and your mind) a chance to adjust to the changes and allow new healthier habits a chance to settle in.
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Old 05-18-2015, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souvenirdarling View Post
"I can eat those later if I still want. I haven't had enough fruit/veg/protein today!"
omg YES - when I am being sane about my eating this really works ... focus on what I can have that would be nourishing rather than self-destructively gorging myself with empty calories as a kind of punishment.

all the advice here. I don't have much to add to it except that for me going lower carb has completely transformed my binging. I still overeat on occasion but I haven't once succumbed to chips/bread/greasy pizza/milk chocolate like I had been doing regularly for the last year or so. Also, when I first started going lower carb I would allow fruit or plain oats with a sprinkle of dried cherries and almonds with almond milk to get me through the bingey times, at least that was way less damage than I had been doing.

Oh, last thing, I often have a cup of "sweet" tea (the flavors are sweet, no sugar added) with a splash of almond milk in the evening. Somehow that really does the trick for me in quelling that bingey nighttime feeling.
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