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How to Stop Binge Eating - 7 Tips

Updated on July 20, 2013
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Binge Eating Disorder

Everybody has had his or her fair share of troubles with binge eating. How many times have you found yourself eating to your tummy's content after a tiring day at work? You grab your comfort food, turn on the TV, and the next thing you know, you were eating for hours and feel surprised at the mess of chip bags on the table.

While most people get away with binge eating from time to time, it can be alarming if it has become a habit. Contrary to popular belief, binge eating is usually the cause of weight gain and obesity, not lack of exercise and proper diet.

If you think that eating sugary and fatty foods is alright, better think again. The little amounts you consume every day add up and you start to gain those extra pounds. Binge eating is also one symptom of bulimia, a life-threatening eating disorder. Learning how to stop binge eating is extremely important but it is not going to be easy. Here are ways that will help you control compulsive eating as well as tips on how to maintain a healthy weight.


Symptoms of Binge Eating

It is hard to tell right away whether or not one suffers from binge eating due to lack of physical signs. The following behavioral symptoms can help determine if you have binge eating disorder:

  • Eating unusually large amounts of food
  • Eating even when full
  • Eating alone or when everybody else is already asleep at night
  • Lack of control over eating
  • Depression due to eating disorder


How to Stop Binge Eating

1. Change how you approach food.
This is on top of the list for good reason: It can be the most difficult one to follow but it can be the most rewarding. In order to control binge eating, you have to change how you "see" food. For instance, you may be drooling over your favorite item on the menu even if you're just on your way to the restaurant. What you must do instead is to ask several questions: Is the food going to provide you the nourishment you need? Does it contain twice the amount of calories than what you need? Is there a better alternative? It could be hard at first but once you have realized the negative side of your comfort food, you will begin to do this without you even noticing it.

2. Plan your meals.

It is important to structure your eating and determine how, when, and what to eat during the day. Make sure that you do not deviate and follow your plan. The goal is to replace your old eating habits and stop binge eating.

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3. Eat your comfort food in moderation.
There are some who have probably told you that you must stop eating your comfort food altogether. But this would only work in the short term. Skipping those sugars would just make you crave for them more. It is alright if you eat your favorite ice cream, so long as you do not eat a whole tub. Just remember to keep things in moderation. The next time you go to the grocery store, limit the sweets you buy and try other healthy snacks.

4. Never skip meals.
Some people have a largely distorted view of dieting. Some skip meals, thinking that doing so will help them lose weight. Others just make excuses and tell that they are too busy and so do not have the time to eat. This is a huge mistake. Skipping meals just sets up your body to seek for food after a certain period of time. And the result - you got it - binge eating.

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5. Exercise regularly.
Yes, exercise has its part on this list. You might ask: How does exercise help you overcome binge eating? Exercise boosts your mood, helps eliminate stress and improves your health, which in turn helps you avoid those episodes of compulsive eating.

6. Manage stress.
Stress is perhaps the most common cause of binge eating. Eating candies and chocolates just seem to be automatic when you are feeling stressed. This means one way to stop binge eating is to keep stress to a minimum. This can be as simple as keeping a manageable schedule, getting enough sleep, engaging in a regular workout routine and trying breathing and relaxation techniques.

7. Ask for support.
Most would agree that things become easier when someone is there to support you. Others might neglect this tip but it could very well be the difference maker when you are trying to stop binge eating. Talk to a friend, share your problems with your family and welcome their support. You can even consult a therapist for professional advice on binge eating.

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