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Stop Overeating

Stop Overeating and Binge Eating – 8 Tips of Exactly Where To Start

Stop overeating and binge eating with these 8 tips of exactly where to startMaybe you have been diagnosed with binge eating disorder and just don’t know where to start? Or you tend to binge or restrict and really want to make a change to your eating habits, but don’t know where to even begin? Keep reading, because this blog is exactly for you. I am sharing 8 things if you want to know WHERE TO START to stop overeating and feel normal around food again.

1] Challenge Dieting and Restricting Rules

Research is clear.   The biggest reason people binge eat, over-eat  and compulsive eat is dieting and restricting. Indeed, the core problem is the conditioned ‘food rules’ we create and adhere to.  For instance, ‘Avoid sugar’, ‘Carbs are bad’, ‘Don’t eat gluten’ and ‘Fat is a no-no’.  These are actually constructed notions from society and the diet industry; essentially categorising foods as ‘naughty’, ‘good’, or ‘bad’.    There are so many rules, it becomes overwhelming to know what we actually can eat.  Ultimately, we become scared of food, which is not helpful if we want to stop overeating or binge eating. 

 

Similarly, when you tell a child ‘You can play with any toys you want, except the red truck’ –  what toy do you think this child will want to play with? Well, the red truck of course!   Essentially, adults are exactly the same way with food! If you tell someone they can eat anything except cake , they will most likely become obsessed with cake. The cake becomes the forbidden fruit and very appealing. 

stop overeating

Challenge Diet Rules

So the first step is to challenge these preconditioned food rules. Even if you do nothing else – do this step.  We need to challenge these voices. The eating disorder voices or ‘food rule voices’ need to be quietened. Of course, if you have actual allergies or intolerances, then yes- keep some rules.  But, if your body is OK with gluten, have a little bit of bread. Sometimes the strict rules create so much emotional pain and discomfort, that it causes more damage than just having 1 piece of bread per week.    

 

An Entire Jar of Peanut Butter

So, what food do you have strict ideas about? What food do you avoid without specific reasons other than being scared you will gain weight or eat it uncontrollably? For me, it used to be peanut butter.  I used to have this feeling, that if I ate peanut butter I would eat the entire jar in 3 days (as I used to eat it with a spoon). So, because of that experience I started believing that I can not keep peanut butter at home.  I would avoid it at all costs and I would even ask my partner to hide it! But when I started working on my relationship with food, I started introducing the forbidden peanut butter. Ultimately, this is my first suggestion for you!  

 

Forbidden Foods

I recommend introducing your forbidden food on a regular basis.  Your mind might be thinking, ‘No! I will not be able to stop!”or “I will eat it all!”.  If your thing is peanut butter, start having one teaspoon every day for 3 weeks and see what happens.  Yes, I am really suggesting 3 weeks. And you HAVE to eat it. Your natural response might even be you don’t want to eat it some days. Many of my clients come back and say they did not even feel like eating it.  Ultimately, if we face the fear around the forbidden foods, they will lose their power. Then, you will feel more in charge over food in general.

stop overeating

2] Counter-Condition Yourself to Heal Your Own Body Image

Body image is the second main reason for disordered eating. The pressure we place on ourselves and what we are ‘supposed’ to look like and ‘be like’ is all-encompassing. The bombardment from the media, TV shows, social media and magazines inform our sense of worth and what we are supposed to look like.  Then, we suddenly feel inadequate to live up to these impossible expectations. We think, ‘If I don’t fit into that, then I am not good enough, beautiful enough, successful enough, lovable enough’.  Thoughts that we are a failure creep in. We feel we won’t find a partner who will love us because we are a certain shape.  In our mind, we become ‘not enough’.

 

Unfollow

We need to counter-condition ourselves.  I suggest unfollowing any pages or people who trigger a sense of ‘I am not good enough’.  Unfollow any pages or people who make you feel inadequate or like you need to change. It does not mean they are doing anything wrong, but for now, the comparison is not good for our soul and growth.  So anything that is keeping you in the disordered eating mind frame, let it go, for now.   

 

Further, I suggest to stop looking at paleo, keto recipes or any other food related things for a while.  When we unfollow these things, we create capacity and space to focus on other things. We start focusing on hobbies, people, passions and connecting to what soothes us and fills us up with joy. 

stop overeating

3] Eat Balanced Meals – Give Yourself Permission to Eat Enough Calories and All Food Groups

This step involves eating balanced meals, but not by following a diet.  If you find yourself having food cravings, give yourself permission to eat a little bit more.  It means you probably need more calories or are restricting too much. In particular, it is critical to integrate all the food groups and have enough calories. For example, the perfect balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fats will stop food cravings because your blood sugar will be stabilized.  You will have enough macro and micro nutrients and your body will stop asking for food all the time. Above all, focus on whole foods that give enough nutrients.  For more on exactly what to eat, check out my blog on the Balanced Diet Framework.

 

4] Stop Overeating and Binge Eating by Learning Emotional Management and Self-Soothing Techniques

Emotional management can help us to stop overeating.  Do you sometimes numb emotions when you are sad, frustrated, emotional or tired? Do you use food to comfort yourself and soothe yourself? Maybe almost like a self-medicating technique ? I think we all do this to a degree.  This step is a simple matter of cultivating self-awareness and learning to soothe ourselves in other ways, other than food. 

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, food is one option, but there are other ways.  One technique that works for me to stop overeating is, if I feel sad, connecting to that feeling. ‘Where in my body do I feel sad?”  Close your eyes and feel the feeling …where can I feel it in my body? Take a deep breath.  For me, sometimes it is in my heart. Other times in my belly. And if I feel sad, I gently ask myself, ‘What do I desire? What do I need? ‘. Perhaps it is ….

 

  • Some slowing down time
  • Chilling out in a blanket
  • Watching something light and funny on Netflix – because that is what relaxes me.
  • Chatting to a friend
  • A hug

 

Really connect and acknowledge those emotions and needs.  Connect to the inner child, and become the inner-loving mother; ‘What do you need. I’ve got you, I am here for you. I will be looking after you’.  Self-soothing is very powerful and sometimes we need to re-teach ourselves these techniques as we were perhaps not taught during childhood. 

stop overeating

5] To Stop Overeating and Binge Eating – Break Old Habits and Routines

Look into your routine and habits.  Binge eating, emotional eating and overeating often starts because there was a trigger, or we learnt it from our environment or parents.  Without a doubt, if we binge once, the brain picks up on it and goes “Oh that feels good! I like that!”,  and we feel high from the sugar and processed food. We will repeat this cycle as our brain felt the reward, and it felt good. It solidifies as a habit and a routine. So, it is a simple matter of breaking the routine. 

 

Undoubtedly, we need to integrate new habits. You need to make the conscious decision that if you feel angry you will now do ‘self-soothing’. In this way, you will do something that you consciously decide you will be doing if you feel angry.  It could be a run or walk with music. It could be sitting with the anger and saying ‘this will pass, I will sit with the anger’.   You can easily break the habit and routine by integrating something else into your habitual behaviour.

 

6] Integrate What Truly Matters to You: Hobbies, Connection, Family, Adventure, Friendships, Health and Well-Being

This relates to the previous point. We use food as a drug to entertain ourselves or comfort ourselves.  Sometimes, food is the only pleasure in our life, it becomes our main source of joy.  And that is our ‘go to’. So every time I feel sad, I might eat because I get pleasure. Or every time I am lonely, I eat because I do not want to feel alone. It numbs my thoughts for that moment…

 

It is important we change the focus from food to other things in our life.  For example, integrating hobbies that are meaningful to you. What is something you have always wanted to do? What is something you have always wanted to try, but have had 1000 excuses and reasons?   Go and try yoga, maybe you will love it? Maybe learn painting? When we have pleasure in other areas of life, we don’t require food to give us that. Now, don’t get me wrong, food is a valid source pleasure, but it should not be the only source of pleasure in our life.  We need to have that balance.

stop overeating

7] Address the underlying reasons for binge eating

When we don’t know what’s causing our food cravings, overeating and binge eating in the first place, we can’t target the very specific issue. We end up trying anything that we come across and often nothing seems to work. It’s like shooting with a shot gun. It might work, it might not.

Therefore, I always suggest to indetify the drivers of your overeating and kick those urges once and for all.

To help you understand your hidden reasons for food cravings, overeating and binge eating, I have developed a FREE workbook you can download which will help you identify which of the 6 reasons are responsible for your overeating urges and what exactly you can do to eliminate them.

Eat when bored Stop Binge eating and emotional eating

6 KEY STEPS TO
END BINGE EATING CYCLE &
RELEASE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT

Regain power over food!

 

Binge eating and emotional eating is not a food problem, it is an emotional problem.

 

We can’t rely on will-power to stop binge eating. In this e-book I am addressing the underlying reasons why we use food as a drug and what our body is trying to tell us.

 

stop overeating

8] Open up to a friend or professional

It is critical we stop holding onto emotions around life and food.  Undoubtedly, the more we hold it in, the more we feel like the only one. In this way, we feel bad, disconnected and lonely.  Furthermore, we then use food to make us feel better and more connected. So it is important to find someone who you feel safe to open up to.  Go and talk to a trusted friend or professional.  If you are not comfortable with anyone you know, we have a free facebook group. You are more than welcome to join us.  It is called ‘Finding Freedom With Food MindFoodness Community’. 

 

Success!

I hope these 8 places to start help you on your journey. If you have any questions please let me know.  Feel free to message me directly at Eugenia@mindfoodness.nz  or send me a private message on facebook. Check out this success story with a client of mine who found freedom with food using many of these steps – Client Success Story – Weight Loss and Food Freedom Without Restrictions or Feeling Deprived

5 steps to re-build your relationship with food - Mindfoodness

5 Steps to Re-Build Your Relationship with Food and Yourself

All my teenage years and most of my 20s I literally hated food. I saw it as my enemy. I felt out of control as I was either starving myself or binge eating. There was never a middle ground. I tried every diet that existed out there and more – as I was creating my own diets as well.

 

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates among psychiatric disorders, according to Anorexia and Bulimia Care. Millions of girls, boys, women and men are suffering with varying levels of an eating disorder, however, most are suffering in silence, feel ashamed and alone.

 

I definitely did. I never told anyone that I had only one meal a day on some days or got rid of the food that I binged on. The sad thing though, is that most of the time it felt even normal to me, because everyone was doing it. All my friends were on some sort of diets.

 

These days I see it with my clients. They hide and feel ashamed talking about it – even to their own partner. They compare themselves with others and believe that they are the only one going through this.

 

So why is it happening and what can we do about it?

 

With today’s pressure portrayed by the Media and Social Media, many feel not good enough and inadequate the way they look and live their life. When we compare our average and at times boring life to so many Instagram and Facebook posts, it can leave one feel overwhelmed and anxious. Believing Instagram and Facebook, people seem to be always happy, have the “perfect” body, eat only salads and drink green smoothies, and workout six times a week.

 

We loose touch with reality.

 

At the same time, when we are constantly bombarded with messages that we need to change the way we are, that is only going to make us feel like we are missing out and need to jump on the wagon to join the crowd. There is no one day, without an add why we should lose weight, how the latest shake is going to make you feel amazing and healthy and why we need a moisturizer to stop developing wrinkles.

 

These messages are confusing and overwhelming. They can lead  to eating disorders, such as binge eating, orthorexia, bulimia, etc.

 

If you are experiencing a distorted relationship with food and your body, please know you are not alone.  Here are five things you can do to heal your relationship with food and your body.

 

1. Stop Dieting and Restricting (and enjoy your Food)

Look at your beliefs and thoughts around food. Do you believe that some foods are good and others are bad? If you restrict the “bad” foods and end up bingeing on them, this could be the first indication that you don’t have a healthy relationship with food.

 

You see, the more we restrict foods we love, the more appealing they become. We can resist only so long, until our willpower runs out of steam and we end up overeating like we will never get any food again.

 

Start adding healthier versions of the foods you love into your diet. When we stop restricting, we can break the diet cycle and start healing our relationship with food.

 

2. Eat all your meal.

Chances are, when you skip a meal, you get way too hungry and end up eating anything and everything that comes your way. It is often followed by strong feelings of guilt, shame and punishment with excessive exercise regimes and food restrictions. If this sounds familiar to you, then make sure you have three full meals a day and add snacks in between. Don’t let yourself get too hungry. I did a video on How much to eat and when to eat where I am explaining how to balance your meals.

 

3. Check your Negative Self-Talk

Due to social conditioning and the social pressure, many create high expectations of themselves and the underlying belief that they are not good enough. The negative self-talk feeling inadequate is often a driver for wanting to change our body through excessive exercise regime, controlling our diet, even avoiding social situations when there is food involved. The more we are putting ourselves down, the more likely we are going to control our feelings with food. Some use food for comfort or to numb their heavy emotions and others restrict food to gain a sense of reward and achievement by reaching their set goals.

 

Mindfulness helps us to create awareness and understand our underlying beliefs. By observing our thoughts and emotions we can accept ourselves and at the same time make more informed decisions about what truly matters to us.

 

4. Feel your feelings. Feeling is healing.

Many people judge their emotions as bad or good (e.g. happiness is good and sadness is bad). As humans we will always try to avoid pain and seek pleasure. So, when we describe a feeling as bad, we will want to avoid or numb it. In moments when we feel not good enough and experience anxiety or sadness, we will want to eliminate this pain that is created by the “negative” feeling. Different people use different coping mechanisms to numb their emotions such as food, alcohol, drugs, phone, social media or pornography. It allows us to escape for a moment.

 

It might feel uncomfortable at first, but feeling our feelings and seeing them as what they are can be very powerful. They are just feelings, they are not our reality and don’t define and reflect who we are. Acknowledge how you feel and make the decision to act based on how you want to live your life.

 

5. Talk about it.

So many suffer in silence and feel like they are the only ones who are feeling insecure about themselves. As soon as we open up and speak about it, we realize how many other people feel very similar to us. They too just felt ashamed and fearful to be judged. Choose a person you trust and know they will listen without judgment and share with them how you feel and what you are going through. Speaking to others can help us to get perspective and share the load.

 

If you know someone who is suffering with food and body image issues, please feel free to share this article with them. They might find it helpful.

 

For more information and more support, I am available for a FREE Food Freedom Breakthrough Call. You can book your call HERE.

Binge Eating is often triggered by dieting

The Hidden Reasons For Binge Eating + Stop it for good.

Why you are binge eating and how to stop!

 

We often try so much to stop binge eating, we try new diets, go to nutritionists and often it doesn’t work and then we get to a point where we wonder: Why am I binge eating? As a consequence, we start questioning our own will-power and discipline. The truth is, binge eating is not about will-power, it is more than that. It is about what triggers binge eating and how we respond to those triggers.

 

If you suffer from binge eating disorder, you might feel similar to the way I felt. I was truly ashamed of what I did and never talked about it until I decided that I needed help. You can read my personal story and how I overcame it in this blog post.

 

Feeling guilty and ashamed is often part of it.

When I think about my binge eating episodes, it always came with a whole number of emotions and feelings. It often started with excitement. I couldn’t wait to eat all the yummy food I bought. Then it continued with feeling sick as I was eating all the food and ended up with shame and guilt about what I had done AGAIN.

 

After every binge eating episode we often feel guilty about the amount of food we had.

Every time I would say to myself that it is the last time and I would never do it again. However, it didn’t last long and I was craving more caramel slice, more chocolate and more fudge (yap, those were my favourite foods to binge on – oh and bread.)

 

Binge Eating is another form of eating disorder

At that time I didn’t realise what binge eating was. But basically it is an eating disorder where we frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating. In most cases you will find yourself being full and still not being able to stop. Often you might even not register that you are eating. It is like a tunnel vision – like a numbing process. Only when you finished all the food you had available, you might stop and realise what just happened.

 

If you are like me, you probably have tried to tell yourself: “I just need to go on a diet, eat well, exercise more and I will be fine. I just need to have stronger will-power.”

 

Knowing your binge eating triggers puts you in your drivers seat again

Dieting and restricting is, however, one of the triggers for binge eating. So every time you go on a diet, you set up a bomb for the next binge episode. We might have good intentions, but unknowingly to us, we are the creators of the binge and restrict cycle.

 

The main triggers for binge eating are the following reasons.

  1. Dieting and restricting

  2. Inconsistent or not enough meals

  3. Imbalance in your blood sugar

  4. Habits and Patterns

  5. Beliefs and negative thoughts

  6. Emotions

 

To find out which one applies to you and what you need to do to end the binge eating cycle and create a healthy mindset around food again, please download the free workbook. I have worked with hundreds of people and now understand the hidden triggers for binge eating. The good news is, when we address those hidden and real reasons, binge eating disappears and you won’t even notice when it happened. No will-power or strong mindset required.

Eat when bored Stop Binge eating and emotional eating

Hidden reasons for binge eating revealed

6 KEY STEPS TO
END BINGE EATING CYCLE &
RELEASE EMOTIONAL WEIGHT

Regain power over food!

 

Binge eating and emotional eating is not a food problem, it is an emotional problem.

 

We can’t rely on will-power to stop binge eating. In this e-book I am addressing the underlying reasons why we use food as a drug and what our body is trying to tell us.

 

This will surprise you now, but binge eating is not a problem, it is a solution. It is a solution to a problem you haven’t addressed yet. It is a sign that there is something in your life that is not serving you. Mindfulness is a great tool to identify your emotions without using food as a crutch. Numbing our emotions won’t make them go away, they will manifest themselves in other illnesses.

 

Binge Eating is a learned coping mechanism

Some time along the way you have picked up a coping mechanism that was serving you at that time. It was your way to find safety and comfort. And the beauty of this is that you can learn a new way of managing what ever is going on for you- but in a more powerful way.

 

Depending on your trigger, you can now create a plan what you can do instead. Let’s say if stress is your major trigger and every time you feel stressed, you want to eat. Follow the following steps to learn to create a plan of action:

 

4. Steps to stop binge eating

  1. Identify your emotion: stress
  2. Create awareness of your coping mechanism: eating lollies
  3. Understand why you want to eat: relax and comfort
  4. Think about other ways to find relaxation and comfort: Deep belly breathing, walk, talk to a friend, move your body, have a hot bath, go for a run, hug a loved one, rest.

 

In the video below I am going more in-depth into these triggers. Watch the full video to identify what your real reasons are for binge eating and emotional eating.

Download the workbook mentioned in the video HERE

To figure out your reasons for binge eating and finally find peace and control over food again, join me for my upcoming online Food Freedom Program – Free yourself from Binge Eating and Emotional Eating. Click HERE to find out more. 

 

 

At the end of the course you will know powerful tools to ease your binge eating urges, know how to manage stress and strong emotions without food and feel empowered and in control to get back into food and body freedom.