How To Stop Binge Eating

GinaMarie Guarino, LMHC

How To Stop Binge Eating

Binge eating disorder is a condition that has serious health consequences on an affected person. People who binge eat face many health consequences, like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, and kidney dam-age. Binge eaters are also at risk of suffering from emotional issues, like anger, anxiety, and depression.

People who binge eat tend to feel hopeless, but it is possible to take back control and learn healthy ways to stop binge eating. The two important actions to take to kick the binge eating habit are to make healthy lifestyle changes and consult with medical and health professionals.

Lifestyle Changes

A person’s lifestyle habits are a critical component that affect their eating habits. A person who binge eats will need to make and stick to significant lifestyle changes to improve overall health. These changes will incorporate several parts of life, including:

1. Mental health and wellness

A person’s mental health will directly affect their diet and motivation to eat. A person who suffers from anxiety, depression or stress management issues are at increased risk of suffering from binge eating disorder.

It is important to treat food appropriately, and not as reward, punishment or comfort for emotional issues and stress.

There are several things that can be done to approve mental health. Once an affected person develops skills to maintain good mental health, they will be stronger and better equipped to handle life stressors without binge eating.

Consider the following tips to begin to build stronger mental health and wellness practices:

  • Create a motivation board that reflects what you want to do with your future.
  • Develop a support system of family and friends.
  • Engage in fun activities and personal interests that do not involve snacking or food.
  • Be mindful of why you are eating. Remember to only eat when hungry, not when bored or emotional.

2. Diet and exercise.

It is critical to become more mindful of diet, eating habits and exercise when working toward healthier lifestyle habits and prevent binge eating.

Proper diet and exercise will boost both mental health and physical health. Avoiding foods that are high in fats and sugar will help reduce anxiety and depression, which tend to lead to binge eating.

Exercising will reduce down time, prevent boredom and produce endorphins (the feel good chemical in the brain). It will also boost self-esteem and relieve the affected person of anxious energy in the body and mind.

Some tips to improve diet and exercise include:

  • Keep a food journal and exercise schedule.
  • Monitor your food intake and what times/how often you eat.
  • Check nutritional content before eating foods or deciding on meals.
  • Abide by portion sizes outlined by a dietary professional or nutritional recommendations.
  • Make healthy, long-lasting dietary changes.
  • No crash diets!

3. Medical health

Binge eating takes a major toll on an affected person’s medical health. The support of medical professionals and close attention to medical and physical health will help the affected person be more aware of their eating and body.

Following the instructions of a medical professional will help to reduce the prevalence of binge eating and the resulting health consequences.

Taking care of your medical health will include:

  • Maintain regular visits with your doctor and all other professionals who are there to help you with your recovery.
  • Track weight loss progress and do not get discouraged by fluctuations in progress- they are part of the process!
  • Remember to be patient! It is okay to get frustrated and make mistakes as long as you pick yourself back up, learn from those mistakes, and stay true to yourself and your goals.

Consult A Professional

Binge eating is a habit rarely kicked without help. The best place to begin your recovery is to talk to professionals who can help with your journey back to health and happiness.
The three most helpful professionals in recovery from binge eating are:

1. Your Primary Care Physician

Consult with your doctor about your binge eating. Your doctor will be able to work with you in developing a plan to get better.
They can provide information about lifestyle changes and refer you to other professionals who can help. You doctor will also consider whether medication-based intervention is needed.

2. A Dietician or Nutritionist

It is recommended to consult with a nutritionist or dietician. They will be able to teach you how to manage your diet and exercise schedule. They can also teach you how to make nutritional food choices and develop a diet plan to fit your personal needs.

3. A Mental Health Professional

Consulting with a mental health professional will help you understand why you binge eat and what you need to do to stop binge eating.

Mental health professionals know therapeutic exercises that teach you how to handle your feelings in a healthy way. They also know about support programs, like overeaters anonymous and peer groups that are led by counselors.

Remember, you have the power to make the changes as long as you stay in control and keep trying!

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