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Old 04-17-2016, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default Tips to stop a binge

Hello! How do people stop themselves binging? I can diet all week, lose loads of weight, then one one day go mad (or two or three) and get through big bags of sweets, while boxes of cereals, packets of biscuits, bags of crisps and nuts, all on top of a dinner. I know my resolve goes when I drink wine but how do other people here stop themselves binging (I need some tips and techniques! Looking at clothes online used to help but not anymore at all)
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:55 AM   #2
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Hi Sweetandsalty,
The main thing that worked for me was to stop severely restricting my calories & accept that I would lose weight more slowly. In the long run it really wasn't slower--once the binges stopped, I had a steady albeit slow weight loss.

Also distraction has helped when I think of eating things off my plan--not sure if it would help with binges but I imagine so--getting buried in a task, even one that isn't fun; maybe making a pact to postpone the binge for 30 minutes.

And not to obsess about the binge...if I do it, I allow myself to enjoy every bite and then move on, no self-scolding. That helps takes the power & drama out of the whole thing. A good read about stopping binge eating is Brain over Binge by Kathryn Hansen. I didn't use her technique, but her story of how she figured out how to stop her bingeing was a game changer for me.

Last edited by Sundove; 04-17-2016 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:34 AM   #3
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What she ^^^ said. I do not have crisps or other low quality snacks in the house. Hubs still has his bite size marzipan/choc in the fridge, but no more candy in the house for me. I keep "skinny" popcorn, prosciutto panino, fruit, etc. instead. The biggest thing for me with the not going overboard is planning. I plan every meal with backup emergency snacks so I don't go off the deep end. I used to binge on fried foods at the local pub on a pretty regular basis (wings, fries, mushrooms, cheese sticks, etc. drenched in blue cheese dressing). I still get those items out but it's more like once a month and in much smaller quantities. I feel full with much less now.

I'll say it again, but PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:17 PM   #4
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That was me to a tee...What I did was go see my doctor. My bingeing was just out of control. So I got my bloodwork done. All looked pretty good. I also got on Wellbutrin and I've been on it for 14 days WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I literally used to feel chemical pleasure from sugar and that has gone.

I followed an Amino Acid therapy for a good part of last year which worked wonders..but I had some big life changes, my dad died, I quit smoking (still quit) and started a new job.

My doctor put me on Wellbutrin because it's the drug she felt has the least amount of side effects and especially weight. Most anti-depressents can lead to weight can.

So today.. 14 days into it. I don't feel foggy, I have tons of energy, my food is WAY under control. I'm very happy.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:02 AM   #5
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I'm a compulsive binger and even after losing the weight and keeping it off for over 5 years, I still binge. I would also recommend Brain Over Binge, as well as Intuitive Eating. Both were game changers for me and taught me two important principles about my binges: 1) binges are a bad habit and can be overcome (NOT a mental disorder) and 2) if there is something I want (cookie, cupcake, etc.) I do not deny myself, because that will inevitably lead to obsessive thoughts about the thing I am trying to avoid, and that pretty much always leads to a binge.

So yeah, I watch what I eat, but I also eat great foods that I really want - just in smaller portions. I eat when I am hungry and sometimes that means I go over on my allotted calories for the day. Also means that sometimes I go under. But eating carrot sticks at a party while others eat birthday cake...no way. I eat the cake, slowly and happily and guilt-free.

I am not binge-free. But they are much less frequent and normally much less severe than in years past.

You can do it!!
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:07 PM   #6
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I have used the techniques everyone has mentioned here already...

One thing that used to really get me was my body image. I wanted to diet so I could be thin, so when I "messed up" my brain went to - "Wow, that felt really good, I want some more." PLUS "You'll never be thin, you might as well enjoy the way you are now." I had to accept that the quick fix, sexy, lose 20 pounds in a month diets would never work for me. I had to learn to eat the foods I enjoy in moderation (something I'm still working on) and turn off that black/white all or nothing mindset. That meant the weight has come off super slowly. It might be 6 weeks before I notice a change in how my clothes fit. You have to choose what's important to you. Is it to stop binge eating, or lose weight temporarily??

My life is so much better when I'm not binge eating. I'm more productive, my self esteems is higher, and I'm not obsessed with getting in that "one last binge." I keep this in mind when my weight loss slows down.

I have also started meditation to help keep me more grounded when those old triggers to binge pop up.
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:15 PM   #7
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Hi I am new and have the same issue. I just ordered Brain over Binge and it will arrive next Wed. I would love to hear some breakfast ideas (other than boiled egg and toast) and lunch ideas that have been satisfying and healthy which I am hoping will prevent my binging after work. I seem to do much better on my days off. Thanks
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:23 PM   #8
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I always have high protein between 300-400 cal. Some days it's a fried egg in Irish butter and ham w/half slice of sourdough toast (loaves I get are large, half slice is 60 cal). Sometime it's scrambled egg/sausage sandwich, sometimes.a quality cheese involved. The last few days I've had goetta, which is a local concoction of pinhead oats, sausage, onions, and other spices shaped into a loaf, sliced and fried. I eat breakfast between 6:30-7 and have lunch around 11 (I work in a school). Sometimes I have a snack if I'm hungry (a few nuts, an orange, or a panino ... prosciutto-wrapped cheese). I rarely need a morning snack; only when Aunt Flo is close by. On "emergency" mornings I keep Red's or Amy's burritos in the freezer. They range in cal from 250-380, depending on variety. I've lost almost 43 lbs since mid-June 2015, and it's still coming off. I avoid ultra-processed foods at all costs.

For lunch, I usually add more veggies because I'm usually eating dinner leftovers, just much smaller portions.
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Last edited by PrairieQueen; 05-01-2016 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 05-02-2016, 01:28 PM   #9
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Great advice above!!

1) Don't restrict - because if we don't restrict, we don't binge! "I can have whatever I want! While I decide, I'm going to make myself a cup of tea and think about it for 10 minutes. If I still want it, I will buy myself a super awesome excellent quality treat!!"

2) Leave the place/room - go for a walk, call a friend! usually I binge because of a trigger, a kind of anxiety or stress - that's the problem, not the binge. Sometimes I find a better way to deal with it,

3) Make it fancy. Sometimes, I say "screw it" and decide I am definitely going to use food to soothe my issues. Instead of a never-ending snack binge of doom, I plan a big feast with distinctive courses - appetizer, main, dessert, a nice drink, pretty plating... Buy excellent quality foods - no box cookies, get a pastry; No crackers - buy some fresh bread. If you catch yourself with the desire to binge - go and treat yourself to a restaurant! A real treat and a guaranteed control of portions! (while being greater than a dieters portion, it's much less than a binge protion.) Plus, getting out of the house really helps!!!

As for damage control:
Forgive yourself and enjoy


This has helped me get real with my binges, those horrible hopeless days.
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:30 PM   #10
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The biggest thing for me once I start is honestly asking myself if I'm going to feel better after I eat all of something. I know the answer to that is no and I normally start getting that "pit in the gut" feeling which turns me off from whatever I am eating. Just because something tastes good doesn't make me feel good (I've learned this the hard way...like most of us). Pretty much you have to change your mind set. Do you have to be hungry all the time...no, but do you need to stop to assess if you are actually hungry or just want something because it's there...probably. And definitely don't deprive yourself. Just find something that works for you.

For me, I've had to switch to low carb because in my mind, I know I can eat whenever I'm hungry (and yes, it does take a little time to get over the carb cravings, but they DO go away). The crazy thing is that because I know I can eat when I want, I really don't feel that hungry. When I am hungry, I eat til I'm full. And although there are conflicting theories about this type of eating, it has taken away my desire to indulge in the junk foods that I have always loved. It doesn't work for everyone, though, so the thing to keep in mind is find something that is workable for you and doesn't make you feel deprived.
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Old 05-05-2016, 05:22 PM   #11
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what tet said work for me too. I do better on diets where I can have as much of "allowed" food as I want to. I am trying to follow primal eating and it works great for me. When I feel hungry, I eat until I'm full. Now that I don't eat bread, pasta or anything of that sort, I feel much less cravings than I did before. It just went away. I eat when I want, as much as I want at the moment. I couldn't possibly do that before because I just wanted TOO MUCH. Now I don't. It feels so good, like a really healthy way of living, even if I don't lose as much as I had planned, I hope to stick to this for my entire life. It's certianly the right way for me.
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Old 05-11-2016, 05:16 PM   #12
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What I find that I keep distracting myself and keep myself busy so that it doesn't happen and stick one small treat item every couple of weeks. A small 110 calorie chocolate bar, but currently I haven't eaten any chocolate but I am going to start replacing the sugary ones with no sugar
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Old 05-24-2016, 01:06 PM   #13
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I was reading the topic as "how to stop it once it has started"

One of the things for me is usually at some point between the initial food grab - which might have happened because I was stressed, or hungry, or tired, or it looked good and the SERIOUS binge there is usually a moment. A moment of wrestling with the mind. A moment where the desire for whatever the initial food trigger was is replaced by a desire/compulsion to binge for the binge. Where I start inventorying what other food is available in my mind. Where I start either the rationalization OR the self sabotage talk.

Sometimes it is enough to recognize the moment. Usually then it is possible to distract (go for a walk, leave the possibilities of food behind)

Sometimes if the moment is self defeating I find the best recourse is to take a breath and log the food i have just eaten. I used to avoid this for fear of "oh wow I really blew it" triggering a "why bother" binge. But what i find most often is the initial food grab, although fast and furious, is usually not as damaging as it mentally appears. The loss of control is more damaging mentally than the food was physically.

Recognizing the reality often is enough to start strategizing the recovery. 9/10 if I grab it in that first pause, the day is still salvageable. Either as an on track day (yesterday - I ate what probably would have been a bit more than my lunch, except a couple hours early and straight from the container and in about 30 seconds, but because I was mainlining leftover chicken, there was still room to work) or as a maintenance day - I am targeting a deficit daily, but if I have gone off the rails, recovering is often as much as going "hey, I can't hit 1400 calories today, but you know what, 2000 is probably maintenance and I CAN hit that" or something in between. Even if the day is off, recognizing that 3000 calories represents less than a pound is helpful. 3000 calories ONCE is not how I gained this weight. Plotting the recovery can help stop it. It brings ME back in control instead of feeling helpless.

And yes, as many have stated, not being overly restrictive in whatever that means for you as a means of prevention. I count calories, but I work in small treats often - rarely a day goes by without a tiny bit of chocolate, but what I choose is usually 25-50 calories and I still have my wine or whatever maybe 3 nights a week, sometimes more. And really customizing the diet to YOU. I do SO much better with fruit in the morning and starch at night vs either eliminating or even trading those spots. I do better with smaller portions of really good food rather than any steamed veggies or plain chicken or blah food. I do better with 100-150 g of carbs than higher or lower. Even meal size and volume is something that there is an optimum for me. Too small and I get hungrier. Too large and I end up expanding my appetite and doing more damage when I do binge.
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Old 05-28-2016, 07:15 PM   #14
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If you are the type who kind of loses it during a binge, like "blacks out" a bit, maybe try wearing a bracelet that you have attached significance to. For me, such an item can sometimes catch my attention and make me pause. It had to be something I wore on my wrist just because it had to be something I would see when eating, so I wore it on my right wrist. Right now, I wear a fitness tracker and it's bulky enough that I feel it so that helps if my mind drifts a bit.
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Old 05-29-2016, 03:53 AM   #15
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I think that a good technique could be to try to identify that you are bingeing when you are bingeing. I've always binged and I would always just ride it, until it stopped and then I would be upset about it after. A few months ago during binges, i started being able to identify it - say to myself, "im binging right now." Last week, for the first time, i picked something up and in my head said "this is a binge" and then I was able to say it out loud. When I said it, some rational part of my brain kind of kicked in and I realized what I was about to do was stupid and just put the thing back down. I had never, ever been able to stop a binge before it happened or stop midway. This was a total first. Maybe this is something that could work for other people too.

More practivally, I have tried to stop buying things that are horribly bingeable. Like I will try to buy packages and snacks that ring into under 500 calories total, so if i accidentally eat the whole thing, I haven't really done that much damage.
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