Advice To Reduce Binge Eating
Sometimes you can be doing real well on your diet, but then on Saturday night you eat everything in sight that is covered in chocolate. Having this type of binge can be quite upsetting to your new healthy eating plans. So what’s the best way to cope, when you feel like bingeing?
The most important thing is to relax, go with flow and not get stressed out about your sudden desire to eat. The more stressed we get, the more we eat!
The best way out of a “binge”, is to pick better foods. So rather than worrying about stopping, simply change what you are eating.
You see, when we eat a lot of sugary foods (like chocolate) we set off a whole chain of events. We eat chocolate, the sugar quickly enters our bloodstream and raises our blood sugar levels. When this happens, danger signals are sent to our brain which immediately sends a message to our pancreas to quickly release insulin into our blood stream to reduce our sugar levels.
Okay so far, perhaps. Unfortunately, when we consume large amounts of sugar our pancreas acts in “emergency mode” and releases too much insulin – which reduces our blood sugar levels too low. Result? We get hungry again. So we eat more chocolate (in fact we ‘crave’ chocolate and can’t stop ourselves), and re-start the whole cycle all over again.
In simple terms: Eat chocolate = raised sugar levels = huge shot of insulin = low blood sugars = crave sugar = eat more chocolate = raised sugar levels = huge shot of insulin = low blood sugars = crave sugar = eat more chocolate and so it goes until we force it to stop.
The only way to break this cycle is to eat foods that slowly release sugar into our system. A good choice is a combination of protein, carbs and fat. For example, a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter. Or whole wheat cereal with a sprinkling of chopped nuts. Or an apple and some cheese. Or some lean ham/chicken with sticks of carrot or celery sticks. Or a handful of nuts with a yogurt.
In this situation, don’t worry about calories, simply concentrate on the quality of the foods you eat. If you choose a combination of protein, carbs and fat then your “cravings” should reduce very quickly and the temptation to binge will disappear. See also GI Diet.
Whatever you do, don’t worry. Like I say, stress makes us overeat. So do not spend another minute beating yourself up about this. I have helped thousands of people who experienced this type of Saturday night binge eating episode, and I can tell you that once you learn how to handle this type of disordered eating pattern, it becomes less and less of an issue.
So, to re-cap. If you suddenly feel like bingeing, ignore the ice-cream and chocolate, and reach for something better. A good choice is a mixture of carbs, protein and fat. After a while, this should satisfy your urge and won’t trigger the insulin-hunger problem referred to above. Meantime, if you’ve just experienced a bad binge, don’t worry. Chalk it down as another learning opportunity and move on.