One of the most inaccurate answers you can get for the question “How can I stop binge eating” is “Stick to a diet.” Ironically, being on a diet only contributes to your need to binge. After all, when you’re on a diet you’re constantly feeling deprived, and binging is often a reaction to those feelings of deprivation. To treat compulsive overeating or binging, move away from the concept of dieting and towards the concept of eating healthy foods when you’re hungry, with a few treats thrown in.
Don’t Skip Meals
Many people today, especially dieters, tend to skip breakfast or race through the day without eating lunch. For people who are trying to stop binging, this is one of the worst strategies possible. It pushes your body to the point where you are starving, and you will probably binge at the next available opportunity. (In terms of dieting, this strategy also lowers your metabolism, making you less likely to lose weight). So don’t skip meals - especially breakfast! Instead, eat healthy meals and stop when you are full.
Don’t Buy Treats in Bulk
When you walk through your grocery store, you may wonder why people would buy small packs of snack foods rather than saving by buying in bulk. If you are prone to binging, try keeping only small amounts of snack foods in your house by purchasing the smallest sizes that you can. That way, even if you’re working yourself through a whole bag of potato chips, at least it’s only a single serving bag (all that you have in the house) rather than one you could feed to a large family.
Do Find Alternatives
Look for alternative activities instead of eating when a craving hits, such as listening to music, taking a warm shower, or reading a good book.
Exercising can help people who are prone to binging in two main ways. First of all, exercising can be one of those “alternatives to binging,” taking your mind off of your need to binge. But secondly, exercise can get your endorphins flowing, which naturally wards off depression. Because many people binge in response to negative thoughts or emotional negativity, exercise can reduce the need to binge.
Do Change Your Attitude
Eating healthy is hard. Keeping this in mind will stop you from feeling that you have failed an easy test each time you “cheat” a bit. Forgive yourself, and move on.
Do Get Support
Perhaps the most overlooked answer to “How can I stop binge eating?” concerns the need for support. Whether you have a friend or relative that you can rely on to listen to you when the cravings hit, or whether you join a support group to help you make it through, support can mean the difference between positive eating habits and unhealthy binging. If these tips for stopping binge eating don’t seem to be helping, consider getting counseling from a professional to deal with your binge eating tendencies.