Strategies to Help Stop a Binge Eating Episode

Strategies to Help Stop a Binge Eating Episode

I don’t generally like using the word “binge” as this can relate to medical disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder and so on. If you are suffering from some kind of medical condition, you should always seek out the help of a qualified medical professional, such as your GP.

In this context, I am referring to emotional eating caused by something such as stress. So, if you find yourself eating a lot of food as you are stressed or upset, try some of these ideas and see if they help you:

1. Change Your Environment

  • Remove Yourself from the Situation: Physically leave the area where you are binge eating. Go for a walk, take a shower, or engage in another activity that takes you away from the source of food. I like to go and sit on my garden bench.
  • Distract Yourself: Engage in an activity that requires your focus and attention, such as a hobby, calling a friend, or doing a puzzle. This can help shift your focus away from food.

2. Pause and Reflect

  • Mindful Breathing: Take a moment to pause and take several deep breaths. This can help you become more aware of your current state and interrupt the automatic behavior of binge eating. Think to yourself “Do I really want to do this?”.
  • Journaling: Write down what you’re feeling and what triggered the binge. This can help you understand the underlying emotions or situations that led to the binge and provide a moment of clarity.

3. Implement Immediate Strategies

  • Drink Water: Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for hunger. Drinking a glass of water can help you feel fuller and may reduce the urge to continue eating.
  • Brush Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth or using mouthwash can change the taste in your mouth and signal to your brain that mealtime is over.

Each of these strategies aims to create a moment of interruption in the eating process, that may allow you to regain control and make some more mindful decisions.

Treatment for binge eating and related disorders often involves a combination of psychotherapy (such as cognitive-behavioural therapy), medication (such as antidepressants or anti-obesity drugs), nutritional counselling or other medical advice / treatment. This blog is no way intended to provide medical advice. Again, you should always seek the help of a medical professional.

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