Hi, my name is Rochelle and I am an emotional binge eater. Ok, now that we got THAT out of the way, I am guessing there are MANY of you out there who are too. What if I told you that I learned to overcome and manage my disordered eating patterns, and by doing so, I lost over 100 pounds?! What if I told you that YOU can too?! It took me years of therapy and learning to love myself first and foremost before I was able to overcome binge eating. During my therapy, I learned several techniques and tools to utilize when I wanted to binge or when I was in the middle of a binge cycle. Here are some tips and tricks I used (and still do):
- Set a timer – when you want to binge eat, set your timer on your phone to go off every minute for 10 minutes. DO NOT eat anything until those 10 minutes are up. After the 10 minutes, close your eyes, and assess how you’re feeling. 9 times out of 10, the craving will have passed and you will no longer want to binge eat. OR you will get to the bottom of what is really going on that is making you want to overeat. Tired? Angry? Sad? Etc.
- Wear rubber bands on your wrist and snap them. This sounds crazy, I know. The reason I suggest this is because often times when we binge eat, we are feeling a particular emotion that we are having a hard time coping with. By snapping the rubber band on your wrist and feeling a quick tinge of pain, it snaps you out of that “emotion” part of your brain. It is extremely rare that you will ever catch me without a rubber band on my wrist for this very reason.
- Get out of whatever environment you are in. Go for a walk for 20 minutes, drive to Target and wonder down the aisles. Go to the gym and move your body. Getting out of the environment you typically binge in will help you to overcome and manage the disorder. If it is late at night, and you can’t do this, then do some deep breathing exercises and count backwards from 50. The idea behind this is that by the time you get to 0, your craving to binge eat will be gone.
- Chew Gum. I chew A LOT of gum. Sometimes I want to binge eat just to satisfy an oral fixation so chewing gum helps me satisfy this, without overeating. I also have a huge stash of dum dum lollipops at home and I carry a few in my purse at all times.
- Remind yourself that if you screwed up during one meal, and you didn’t nail your macros or maybe you overate during that one meal and it continued on throughout the day, you don’t have the right to say “fu** it, I might as well keep on eating.” This is not an all or nothing thing. Pull yourself out of that “fu** it” mentality. Stop the binge dead in its tracks. Just because you screwed up a little, or maybe a lot, doesn’t mean you have to keep screwing up. It’s about progress not perfection.
- Seek out support. Start talking about your struggles with food and eliminate the shame associated with any disordered eating habits. Talk to a friend, your spouse, a therapist, anyone! Reach out to me (@rdsonberg) on Instagram and (facebook.com/RochelleSonberg) on Facebook. I have been through it ALL! There are so many people in this world who struggle with food addiction and/or disordered eating. You are not the only one and you are NOT alone.
So there you are, my top tips for overcoming binge eating. Let me finish by saying that I am by no means an expert. These are just a few simple things that helped me learn to manage my eating disorders. I encourage you to seek out professional help if needed to gain the knowledge and tools needed to overcome your struggles for good.
Written By Rochelle Sonberg
Owner, Certified Personal Trainer, Macros Coach