Getting Started - Binge Eating

Hello everyone, I am quite new to diet and nutrition, but not so much working out. However, most of us know that to receive true remarkable results, BOTH need to come into play. I currently am a college student with not a lot of food resources on a dining hall meal plan, and struggle with binge eating snacks and fried food in my room / in the dining hall. Is there anyone who can relate that can help me stay consistent with not only binge eating, but staying consistent with logging my food on here?


  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,267 Member
    Does the food hall have nutritional information? If so this will give you something to go by. You don't write how much you have to lose. But one thing I see here over and over again: if you chose a slower weightloss goal you will lose weight slower, but there's a much bigger change of sticking to it compared to running a bigger deficit and ending up in a binge, and then giving up. Weightloss is a marathon, not a sprint. Also log the food you take to your room, learn how much calories it has and log it.
  • kiteflyer105
    kiteflyer105 Posts: 116 Member
    Here are some suggestions: Do what works for you. and for the nutrition. See if you can see a nutritionist with your insurance.

    Please don't skip breakfast, or other meals. It is the most important meal of the day. It raises your metabolism.

    Please try not to bring junk in your room. There is less temptation to eat it.
    Plan for one treat meal a week in normal portions (I use this in social situations). Plan for a dessert
    Calories in - Calories out.

    If you do binge, and you have negative feelings, try not to binge on junk food, you won't enjoy it.
    Log your food in daily.

    Use fruit, vegetables, Greek yogurt, portion controlled nuts, and skinny pop popcorn to snack on.

    I'm not sure if you could put a mini-fridge in your room. Protein shakes are always good to start the morning with.

    The motivation needs to come from within. Why do you want to lose weight? List pros and cons. Will you regret it if you don't? What do you hope to gain from doing so?

    Good luck. You are worth the work and effort.

  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 7,266 Member
    edited November 2023
    Can you budget five minutes before bed to pre-log tomorrows meals and snacks? Knowing what’s coming up helps me say No! to unplanned foods.

    Be careful with “treat” days. A treat day can blow a whole week out of the water. Plan “treats” on a daily basis.

    I’ve budgeted calories for a homemade pizza tonight, as well as homemade lemon blueberry ice cream, some meringues, and a couple of small wrapped chocolates.

    If I plan for daily treats, they don’t loom so big in my psyche.
  • frhaberl
    frhaberl Posts: 127 Member
    Eating cafeteria style where you don't know exactly how food was prepared (how much butter/oil went into that dish?) and where portion sizes aren't limited is definitely challenging. This is where the salad bar could become your best friend. You don't have to eat exclusively salads, but if you "bulk up" your meal with a big plate of raw veggies, it can help you feel full on less calories. I tend to avoid or measure things like dressing/cheese/nuts/seeds/olives, but it's pretty hard to do much caloric damage with greens, cucumbers, tomatos, and even kidney beans/chick peas, etc. It's also important to be intentional about getting protein with each meal. Protein and fiber are key to helping you feel fuller for longer.

    If you don't feel strange about it, consider bringing a food scale with you. You can use it discretely, or explain to anyone nosey enough to ask that you're tracking nutrition and leave it at that. If a food scale sounds too embarrassing, training yourself on portion sizes can help. Here's a good portion size guide that references the size of different parts of your hand.

    Binging is definitely a hard habit to break. As others have mentioned before, it can help to figure out why you are binging so you can address the root cause. In the meantime, finding more healthy substitutes that you can keep on hand is great, and working to shift your emotional response to binging can be very powerful.

    I ate a LOT of cherrios while adjusting my nighttime snacking. Hubby would sit on the couch with a bag of chips and I wanted to have something crunchy too. I found a bowl that was one serving of cheerios (so I didn't have to measure/weigh it out each time) and I would munch on them while hubby munched on chips. Eventually I got to the point where it didn't bother me to not snack when hubby was snacking, so we're not going through as many boxes of cheerios.

    On the emotional side, I worked to take the shame out of eating. Shame says "I'm bad because I ate what I shouldn't have" and that leaves me feeling I'm a bad person and destined to make bad choices. I started the shift by saying "I will log everything I eat because that is a representation of reality, and I'll deal with the emotions that come up." When I found myself wanting to "hide" from my eating, I'd take the step of logging the food and acknowledging that I made that choice and it might have consequences, but I could always make different choices. Then I shifted to "I'm going to log the food before I eat it and look at the potential consequences before making the choice". Sometimes logging the food ahead made me adjust the portion size so I still had room for other foods I was planning for the day, or pass on that food altogether. Other times I decided that I was willing to accept 0.2 lbs less loss that week and reminded myself it's a marathon, not a sprint.

    This time of year can be harder, as I pass by the leftover Halloween candy several times a day and know the Christmas cookies will soon be arriving. If I hadn't done the emotional work earlier this year, I would definitely be putting the candy bowl out of site and discretely giving or throwing away the "goodies" that don't fit my eating plan. I'm finding it much easier than past years to pass up the "treats", or fit them into my plan, so know that you can get there too and don't beat yourself up about not yet being there.

    Oh - one last tip that I've found really helpful is "Eat what you want, add what you need". An example of this is eating that piece of cake you want, but adding fresh fruit or some greek yogurt, or some other food that brings nutrients you need (fiber, protein, vitamins). Most likely you will feel satisfied with a smaller portion of the food you wanted because you added in the food you needed. And you'll be more mentally satiated because you're not depriving yourself of the food you wanted.
  • sollyn23l2
    sollyn23l2 Posts: 1,461 Member
    edited November 2023
    I've always been strongly against the idea of budgeting calories for "treats" when someone has issues with binging. Let's be honest... if "treats" worked, there wouldn't be a binging issue. I do think it's super important to focus on why the binges are actually happening. Are you hyper restricting at other times? This is often the case. And if true, budgeting for "treats" will never work. It will just cause you to binge when you do get to your "treat". My first step would be to say, stop bringing food back to your dorm with you. Period. Full stop. Taking food and snacks back to your dorm allows you to hide and binge on them to your hearts content. Set boundaries. Since you have a dining hall meal plan, I would suggest only eating in the dining hall. Nowhere else. This sets a natural limit to when and where and for how long you will be eating.