Binge eating tips

I’ve been struggling with binge-eating for so long and it’s honestly so deliberating and exhausting especially in uni when i have so many opportunities but am missing out on them because it affects my confidence so much. I really just want to know if anyone else has struggled with it and if so how they dealt with it. I’ve tried the ‘journal before a binge’ thing and all that but sometimes there’s literally nothing i can do to stop. I’m constantly thinking about food and i just want to eat like how i see others who eat when they’re hungry and stop when they’re not.

Replies

  • concordancia
    concordancia Posts: 5,320 Member
    Have you tried therapy?

    For many, it also helps to focus on nutrition and coping skills when not bingeing.
  • scarlett_k
    scarlett_k Posts: 798 Member
    I found working through the book Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher G Fairburn really helpful in my recovery. If you try it I recommend actually doing the logging exercises in it even if you are already logging what you eat in MFP.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    Have you tried therapy?

    For many, it also helps to focus on nutrition and coping skills when not bingeing.

    I would second this. Binging was a coping strategy I used and I needed to figure out alternative methods of coping, and actually dealing with what I had to cope with. It was hard work but very, very worth it.

    Also, just as a note, stopping binging does not necessarily mean weight loss all by itself. I thought this would happen for me and it didn't. Lots of people who are overweight don't binge, they just eat too much (Food is good!) But eating too much is not the same thing as binging behavior.

    One strategy I learned was to make it as hard as possible to binge. I put in a lot of opportunities to change my mind that hadn't been there before. I avoided keeping certain foods at home, or I put them in more difficult to access places. I closed accounts for online food delivery and deleted my credit card information. I threw out menus. For a time I stopped going anywhere by myself, and would only take as much money with me as I absolutely needed for the items on my list and I didn't deviate from the list no matter what.

    I don't have to do those things anymore, but in the beginning, they helped a LOT.
  • GigiAgape1981
    GigiAgape1981 Posts: 47 Member
    It is regrettable that serious compulsive behavior such as binge eating is relegated to a lack or work or will power or discipline. It used to be the case with alcoholism and drug addiction that friends and relatives would say "just bear down and be on guard always and put in the work or get a hobby or eat a lot of candies or whatnot." Until psychologists finally figured out that one cannot fix one's brain with one's brain.

    Compulsive eating, to the extent described above, requires professional help.

    In some severe cases use of pharmacopy might be helpful and only a health care professional should assess that.
  • westrich20940
    westrich20940 Posts: 505 Member
    My only experience with binge eating myself was when I was in a pretty significant depression. I deal with anxiety in general but tend to have good coping skills but it did get out of control once and I fell into depression for ~9months or so. I definitely used food as a comfort/way to just zone out and have something sweet/salty/fatty....

    So...I'd say the 2 biggest reasons people binge eat are: something related to mental health or they are eating too few calories in general and then are ravenous and sabotage.

    So first, try to think about/figure out WHY you are binging. If you think it's related to your mental health --- I'd strongly recommend looking into therapy. You said you're in 'uni' so you might not be in the US but most public universities in the US have some amount of mental health support included in the student health insurance or freely available to students that attend that school.....so you should look and see if your uni has anything like that.

    If it's because you are restricting your calories and are not eating enough --- eat more! You'll be less likely to binge if you're not super hungry.

    Good luck.
  • penguinmama87
    penguinmama87 Posts: 945 Member
    You said you're in 'uni' so you might not be in the US but most public universities in the US have some amount of mental health support included in the student health insurance or freely available to students that attend that school.....so you should look and see if your uni has anything like that.

    I think this is good advice, but would just add to not be discouraged if you don't get the best response from a therapist the first time you go. That really can happen anywhere, I suppose, but I remember the first time I sought help for binge eating, it was from a therapist employed by my school, and the only thing she kept telling me was that I didn't really have a problem because I wasn't shooting up heroin. Suffice to say, I didn't keep going after a couple of sessions.

    Not all therapists are good therapists. Some are terrible, some are good but don't know a lot about what you need them for, and some are just not good fits personality-wise. It's not a bad thing or sign of failure if you don't click with the first one you meet. It's OK to keep looking. I ended up doing the best with a therapist who specialized in alcohol and drug addiction, actually. My situation was clearly different, but she knew a lot about how the brain worked and where binge eating had similarities (and differences!) and I was able to work through a lot with her.
  • tinkerbellang83
    tinkerbellang83 Posts: 9,058 Member
    edited May 2021
    scarlett_k wrote: »
    I found working through the book Overcoming Binge Eating by Christopher G Fairburn really helpful in my recovery. If you try it I recommend actually doing the logging exercises in it even if you are already logging what you eat in MFP.

    I used the self-help work book from this and found it very useful. It's used by the NHS in the UK and isn't written by a self-processed "expert" like many of the books I've seen out there that suggest ridiculous fad diets/restriction.

    Certainly not a cure for all, but can help you get a good understanding of why you binge eat, has a good section for friends or family to read so they can gain insight into your challenges. It also has a lot of practices that can lead to a better relationship with food.
  • GamaHealth
    GamaHealth Posts: 5 Member
    My professor told me to write down everything I ate without changing anything to my diet. Once I started logging everything, I started realizing how much I was eating and how much mindless eating I was doing. Do not restrict yourself from foods, just add more whole grains and Whole Foods. And when you eat, don’t eat with distractions. Focus on the food you’re eating and eat until you’re content, not too full, not to hungry. And eat when you’re hungry, Just choose healthy options. You should buy on Amazon a myplate plate to help you with portions and healthy options. Also, control your environment, maybe add a poster of healthy foods (also on Amazon) to your wall, or refrigerator. Focus on replacing one bad habit at the time and do not over do it. Healthy eating is a lifestyle, if not you’re always going to go back. Also I realize that just walking 30 minutes, curved my hunger. Maybe don’t try changing your diet yet, just try going on a small hike alone or with a friend.
  • aosborne81
    aosborne81 Posts: 39 Member
    I highly reccommend as others have said seeking outside help from a therapist, especially one that has training or specializes in disordered eating and eating disorders. This is such a huge complicated thing and will be hard to figure out on your own. People have the best intentions with advice but as mentioned above its not neccessarily about willpower or too restrictive eating. There is something emotionally and mentally with your binging that a professional can help you work through. Finding the right therpaist is important (and you may need to try two or three before finding the one that you click with) but it is a long road and it is better to have someone you feel like is 100% on your side helping you along the road. You may not lose weight during this but at the end you will feel better and understand all the things that are playing into the binging and able to come up with alternatives and feel satisfied mentally/emotionally and help you heal. Which in the long run will help you feel healthier both physically and mentally.

    I know this is super hard and feels like a lot -- We are here to lend an ear and offer support.
  • yesimkaya
    yesimkaya Posts: 3 Member
    edited May 2021
    You have to find out what the food replaces.