6 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Stop Binge Eating
I will be discussing the 6 common mistakes that I see with my clients when they are trying to stop binge eating and emotional eating. Once we stop making these mistakes we can experience food and body freedom.
1. Looking For A Diet:
People believe they need to find a diet to go on because it will help them to stop binge eating. In fact, diets only cause restrictions; and these restrictions are actually often the reason why we are binge eating. When we restrict ourselves of certain foods, we are more likely to end up binging on these foods later on.
2. Looking For A Nutritionist:
Another mistake is looking for nutritionist or companies, such as Weight Watcher or Jenny Craig, that only provide you with diet plans. If you are suffering from binge eating, you shouldn’t be working with a nutritionist whose only focus is on diet and nutrition. Clients of mine have come to me after working with these types of nutritionists/companies, and as a result were constantly over-eating and binge eating. We don’t want to treat binge eating on the surface. We need to also look at the underlying reason to why you are a binge eating.
3. Believing Everything Is Your Fault:
We often believe that everything is our fault if the diets aren’t working, we aren’t losing weight or we are continuing to binge eat. However it’s not you who is failing; it’s the diets, systems and processes that are failing. Again, we need to look at what is actually causing your binge eating. We need to get rid of the belief that it is our fault. When you feel miserable, useless or bad about yourself, you’re creating that identity for yourself. We want to break this vicious cycle because when we feel bad about ourselves, we tend to use food to make ourselves feel better again. Binge eating often occurs when we are in negative states or are having certain bad thoughts and feelings about ourselves. It is not your fault!
4. Focusing On Weight Loss.
Often when we binge eat, we eat more calories than our body needs or more than we would if we were eating ‘normally’. As a result, we gain weight. When I ask my clients how they feel about losing weight, they often express that they are scared because they have’t managed to do it in the past. They worry that they will be hungry, angry or tired which makes them feel down, depressed and anxious. If you are also having these feelings, you are likely to use food to make yourself feel better again. So, we don’t want to focus on weight loss. Weight loss will be a by-product when we heal the relationship with food. It will happen when you’re not constantly worrying about food because worry increases our stress hormones which causes weight gain.
5. Not Speaking
I see a lot of clients who have previously suffered in silence by not being open with people around them or seeking help. Often we withdraw ourselves because we feel angry, ashamed and alone. Research shows those who withdraw themselves and are alone in their suffering are more likely to binge eat. Try talking to a friend, a family member, a coach or even join a Facebook group – whichever you feel most comfortable doing. We must release it rather than suffering in silence as this can be really unhealthy long term.
6. Doing the same thing over and over again.
For a lot of you struggling with binge eating the process will look a lot like the following. Binge eating…then feeling guilty for eating too much or feeling anxious you’re going to gain weight. Going on a diet and restricting food. Then getting angry and hungry and feeling miserable. Becoming triggered by something. Then binge eating to make yourself feel better. Thus, the cycle continues! You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect to see different results.
We need to understand what might be triggering us to feel the need to binge. Binge eating symbolises that there is something wrong in your life. This may be emotional, so we need to learn how to manage these emotions. Explore what food means to you. Do you use food to make you feel better after a long, stressful day? We need to work on separating that emotional attachment to food – we don’t want to be using food to deal with our emotions – so that food just becomes food.
Change the focus from weight loss to how can I create a life I want? What makes me happy? The focus is to enjoy food without guilt; and lose weight without going on a diet or counting calories.
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