What To Do When Binge Eating Is Swallowing Up Your Progress!
It’s a common scenario…….
We eat well all week, we watch everything which enters our mouths like a soldier guarding Buckingham Palace!
We are making progress and it starts to seem like the ‘norm’, and then BOOM, it happens……
We suddenly ‘fall off’ our fitness plan after a number of long and grueling days, or even weeks, of following a strict workout programme and adhering to the right diet as we strive towards your goals!
And you have the cheat meal, the binge feast, the junk – and that one small ‘hiccup’ completely derails all your hard work – your focus to stay on the right path flies out the window!
You suddenly start thinking about ‘what you’ve missed’ and you fantasise about lying on the sofa watching mindless TV shows whilst shoveling crisps, sweets and junk into your neglected mouth!
And it spirals further! Why exercise? Why get up early? Why put myself through the daily grind?
And suddenly you feel great – yep!?! ABSOLUTELY NOT, but it becomes the easiest option!
So, Why Do We Do It? The Addictive Drug Of Food!
We all know people who use nicotine, alcohol or illegal substances to negate stressful situations!
Food also falls into this category, but is often overlooked or ignored!
The similarities between sugary/processed foods and abusive drugs are more common that many probably think!
These cheat foods swamp the brain with the pleasure hormone dopamine! In reality your brain gets hijacked by these very intense signals and you get immense cravings for these foods!
Drugs such as morphine and heroin have a similar effect!
It’s not surprising why so many people seemingly can’t stop scoffing sugar-laden junk once they take that initial first bite!
Your brain gets taken over by these super strong “happiness” hormones and it’s very difficult to fight them!
So, the key is to avoid that first bite!!!
Right, You Now Know The Reasons, It’s Time To ‘Beat The Bingeing!’
When the feeling of ‘binge eating’ begins to creep in you MUST apply a logical approach!
Will you feel better for bingeing? The answer is two-fold! You most probably will feel an immediate satisfaction when you start to binge eat.
However, that will soon be replaced by many other, and stronger, negative feelings!
These can include frustration, bloating, helplessness, acidity, feeling of being a failure – the list is long!
Is the short-term satisfaction of the ‘binge’ worth the longer-term dissatisfaction?
The answer to this is most certainly NO, but the problem with humans is they often seek immediate gratification at the expense of long-term happiness!
So be aware of this and have replacement habits lined up ready for when the inevitable urge to binge eat (or drink) comes violently knocking on your mind’s door!
“Ian, that’s all good and well, but there are things that drive me to binge eat” you may be shouting at your screen at this point!
Well, I hear you! There certainly are triggers! I know them all too well……………..
– You go out with work colleagues for lunch and they don’t ‘eat healthy’!
– You’re stressed out with work!
– You’ve had an argument with your partner or best friend!
– You are bored with the day-to-day rigidness of your diet!
– You look in the mirror and don’t see any progress!
– Those clothes still don’t fit!
– An ill placed comment about your weight pierces you deep!
“WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS!!? I MAY AS WELL EAT WHATEVER I LIKE!!!”
Anyone who has ever transformed their physique and ultimately their life has faced these very obstacles just like you!
The KEY thing is to keep going and stay true to the ‘what and why’ that you had when you first started!
Now, you can make a list of good/positive habits to put into action when the binge craving (or other negative vices) show up! I’ve listed some of my favourites below:
1. Go For A Stroll – When the urge to binge eat comes a calling simply get up and go for a walk! Just walk out that door – take some deep breaths and begin thinking about your health and fitness goals, why you are doing this and imagine what life will be like when you achieve it! Can’t leave the house due to responsibilities!? Then walk around the house, do some push-ups, jog on the spot, do jumping jacks – clear the mind of the craving and think about your goals!
2. Strive In The Power Of Being In Control – If you feel that your diet is a ‘chain around your neck’ it will drag you down. However, if you see your diet as ‘you taking control’ of your life it will give you a power boost! This diet is making you a winner, enjoy that feeling!
3. Don’t Regularly Put Yourself In The Wrong Situations – You wouldn’t aim to spend lots of time in the pub if you are trying to stop being an alcoholic! The same applies to food! Don’t be going in McDonald’s, KFC or the local Pizzeria if you are living a healthy lifestyle. And don’t go there with friends on the proviso that ‘you won’t buy anything’!
4. Have A Healthy Snack To Hand – When hunger arrives be prepared. Don’t leave it to chance! When hunger strikes you need to have healthy foods ready to eat rather than visiting the closest shop, coffee shop or fast food joint to get your fix!
5. Be Open And Proud Of What You Are Doing – Don’t hide it, or feel ashamed of it – broadcast what you are doing and why you are doing it! You will find that most people deep down will admire and respect what you are doing, even if they may joke and mock it outwardly! You may even be the spark to make someone else change their life and health!
So, there it is. You can beat binge eating and stick to a healthy eating plan.
Will it be hard? Probably – but aren’t the best achievements those that take you to places where you learn to be a ‘better you’?
Binge Eating is like any other habit or vice – it has been learned and can be unlearned!
It’s simply a case of replacing this bad habit with good habits that enrich and benefit you!
And, like most things – the more you practice the good habits the more natural they become. Eventually you don’t think about doing it, it just happens!
The problem is most people give up before getting to that stage! But ‘not you’, and ‘not this time’ – right!?!
Your past isn’t your future – be what you want to be!
Ian David Worthington
Creator, Owner and Coach at GymWolfPT