10 Ways to Stop Binge Eating + A Daily Food Journal to Help You Break Bad Eating Habits

10 Ways to Stop Binge Eating + A Daily Food Journal to Help You Break Bad Eating Habits

Binge eating happens when a person feels an uncontrollable, urgent need to eat a large amount of food in a short period. It's often a response to feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed. If you are experiencing this unhealthy eating pattern, don't worry; there is a way to stop binge eating.

Let's first examine this specific pattern of behavior. Here are some of the signs of binge eating.

  • Consuming more food than you would typically have in one sitting
  • Eating even when you're not hungry—you may feel compelled to keep taking food even after you're full
  • Eating quickly during binge episodes
  • Feeling out of control while binging; feeling like you can't control what or how much you consume
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, and embarrassment after binging

Binge eating is a serious condition that can lead to health problems. When we use food to comfort ourselves, mourn, relieve boredom, and cope with stress, we are actually harming our health.

Unhealthy eating doesn't solve the underlying issue. It's a temporary fix that can lead to long-term problems like weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes.

If you have found yourself turning to food more often than not as an emotional outlet, here are 10 tips to help you stop food addiction and prevent health issues down the road.

Addiction Therapists in Colorado

Emily Murphy, LPC

Emily Murphy, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Melody Reynalds, LPC

Melody Reynalds, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Amber Chambless, LPC

Amber Chambless, LPC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Abigail Corless, LPCC

Abigail Corless, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342

Acceptance

Take the time to notice your situation and accept that you are dealing with unhealthy eating patterns. At times we need to reflect and see things for what they are, not how we want them to be.

Our eating habits reflect our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. If we're unhappy with those things, our eating habits will likely follow suit. It would help if you accepted where you are before making any positive changes.

Understand Real Hunger Versus Emotional Hunger

Real hunger is felt physically. It can be caused by a lack of food, intense thirst, or extreme fatigue. Real hunger could include an intense desire for food, difficulty concentrating, and feeling your stomach growl.

Unlike physical hunger, emotional hunger refers to the need to eat when you are not physically hungry. Emotional hunger is often caused by stress, boredom, or loneliness. It can be accompanied by feelings of anxiety, irritability, or sadness.

Recognize Your Triggers

There is no doubt that binge eating is a serious issue that can harm your physical and mental health. Understanding what triggers you to reach for food, even when you're not hungry, is vital. Do you feel the need to eat when you're feeling stressed, lonely or tired?

Understanding what triggers binge eating can help you identify the warning signs and help you address the real issue. For example, if you're feeling stressed, instead of reaching for a pint of ice cream, try walking or calling a friend instead.

Be aware of how you react when confronted with difficult situations because they may be triggers for binge eating. The sooner you identify your triggers, the better your chances of avoiding or managing them.

Track Your Food Consumption 

Monitoring everything that you consume daily can help stop binge eating. First, it will help you become aware of the foods you consume. We know that awareness has a crucial role in making changes. Once you are aware of the foods you eat, making healthier choices will be easier.

Secondly, by monitoring what you eat, you will be able to see patterns in your eating habits. Maybe you always turn to food when you're stressed or bored. By recognizing these patterns, you can find other ways to cope with these emotions instead of using food.

Finally, keeping track of your eating can be a helpful tool in breaking the cycle of binge eating. By tracking your food intake, you become aware of the amount and type of food you consume. It will help you manage your eating habits and choose healthier options.

Keep track of the food that you are consuming daily. Download and print your one-week food planner below!

One Week Food Journal

Avoid Temptation

It's wise to eliminate highly tempting foods to avoid becoming emotionally addicted. This can mean breaking away from favorite dishes and snacks that we find enticing and replacing them with healthier options.

Try replacing chocolates with fruits, for example, or chips with nuts. It's also helpful to be mindful of how we eat and not to snack mindlessly in front of the television or computer. 

Instead, take the time to eat slowly, enjoy your meal, and take in all of the flavors. Slowing down and enjoying your meal can also help you become mindful and stop binge eating.

Have a Support System

When trying to stop binge eating, it is essential to have a support system. 

Friends, family, or professionals can provide emotional support during difficult times. 

Encouragement from other people can help you achieve your goals and remind you that you're not alone. Having a support system can make all the difference in overcoming binge eating. 

Work on Your Self-esteem

If you constantly eat because of how unhappy you feel about yourself, it will be helpful to try and develop a sense of self-worth.

Eating because you're unhappy with yourself is a vicious cycle. You feel terrible about yourself, so you eat to feel better. But then you end up resenting yourself because you realize that you're using food to cope with your feelings instead of dealing with them head-on.

Learning to love and accept yourself for who you are is crucial to your happiness and success. Once you do that, eating will no longer be a way to cope with your problems. 

Give Yourself Grace

Don't be too hard on yourself when changing your eating habits. If you feel overwhelmed by your food cravings, focus on small goals like healthier snacks or breakfast instead of trying to control every aspect of your diet.

You're also more likely to make healthier choices if you allow yourself some flexibility in your diet. If you feel like you "have to" eat a certain way, it can lead to unhealthy cravings and binge eating.

So instead of being too restrictive with your food choices, try to be more flexible. And if you do slip up, don't beat yourself up – give yourself some grace and get back on track tomorrow. 

Celebrate Your Progress

When you achieve your goals, celebrate them. It keeps you motivated to keep going. Celebrating your progress will make you more likely to stick with your goals and see them through to completion.

Enjoy a break from your routine by celebrating however you like – eating treats, shopping for clothes, or simply taking a break from your usual routine. Whatever you do, make sure you take the time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Seek Professional Help

If you are feeling overwhelmed by your binge eating habit, it will be helpful to find a therapist. A therapist can help you develop effective strategies to help you stop binge eating and improve your overall emotional health.

Conclusion

There are many ways to stop binge eating and you don't need to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Acceptance is the first step to stopping binge eating. We can begin to make changes when we acknowledge that we have a food addiction.

Monitor your food intake by keeping a food diary. This will help you track your progress and see how far you've come.

Binge eating can seem like a daunting prospect, but having a supportive network of loved friends or professionals who understand your condition can make all the difference. There is no shame in seeking help, so please reach out if you need it. 

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May 25th, 2024

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