There is a difference between binge eating and overeating/overindulging. I found this in a magazine years ago, which simplifies it:
|I believe this came from Weight Watchers magazine|
To see much more specific details about binge eating, you can click here for the DSM-IV criteria for Binge Eating Disorder (BED). It's also important to note that not every person who binge eats has BED.
I did go an entire year without bingeing while I was losing weight, and I just thought I'd share a few tips that helped me get through that year of being binge-free. Maybe something will click with you, and could help you out as well. And I'm more than open to hearing suggestions from my readers as well--I can always use all the help I can get!
|240-calorie S'mores Pie|
#2. I kept extremely busy when I was feeling a binge coming on. Leaving the house always helped, and I enjoyed going to a store and trying on clothes (not necessarily to buy them, but it was fun to see sizes drop). When I was trying on clothes, I wasn't thinking about food. I did a lot of big projects around the house--organizing my cupboards and closets, painting walls, alphabetizing DVD's, etc. Anything to keep my mind and hands really busy helped me a lot. I made a list of things to do instead of bingeing, and when I was feeling a binge coming on, I would pick something on the list and work on it.
#3. I only ate foods I truly enjoyed. I don't like salad, so I didn't eat salad. I don't like yogurt, so I didn't eat yogurt. I found that I was much more satisfied with my food when I ate things I enjoyed. I found that I wanted to binge the most on the days that I ate something I didn't care for--so I learned not to do that. It's important to be satisfied mentally with food as much as physically.
#4. I quit "hoarding" my points/calories for later in the day. My thoughts used to be that "If I eat my snack now, I might not have calories left for later, so I better wait..." and then later, I'd be starving, and I would usually binge. So this time around, when I was hungry, I used my points/calories for a snack at that moment. I usually found that once I used up all my calories for the day, I wasn't hungry after that, regardless of the time of day. It's much easier to refrain from bingeing when you're not starving.
#5. When all else failed, and I was on the verge of bingeing, I would make myself measure out and eat ONE portion of the binge food and count the calories for it. Then I would wait 10 minutes, promising myself that if I still wanted it, I could just binge. And by eating the food, my blood sugar would go up a little and make me feel better--and in turn, I refrained from bingeing. My mind was much clearer when I wasn't hungry. While I was eating the food, I was 100% positive that after 10 minutes, I'd still want to binge... but it never worked out that way. I still use this trick (almost daily) when I feel a binge coming on. Measure out and eat one portion, then wait 10 minutes--and I rarely lose control after that.
So as you can see, the mental struggle is the hardest part about binge eating. And so much hard work can come undone from one single binge. But the longer you go without a binge, the easier it gets, and it's important to keep that in mind.