I still remember the times when eating out was equal to pain. The only thing worse than eating out was eating out at a buffet. Here all boundaries of self-evaluation were gone, and the freedom to cram the food beyond all limits was given.
One thing that I like to often do on the Internet is to answer question that I either find interesting, or am knowledgeable about. Recently, after writing my last blog post on how to lose weight, people have been continuously asking me a set of similar questions, such as “what food to eat to lose weight?”, “what habits are there for healthy eating and losing weight?”, “can I lose weight while using supplements for gaining mass?”, etc. And while many of these questions have already been covered in how to lose weight, I feel that there is still something that I could add that would be very beneficial to you. I mean, I have already talked about the mechanism of losing weight, but what about sustaining it??? How do we drop those pounds/kilos, and then actually remain on that level?
As you have probably already guessed from the title, I had a binge eating disorder. It isn’t a life-threatening disorder, but can be nevertheless, quite a nasty one. If you don’t control it, it can actually make your life painful, as it did for me before I learnt to tame it.
Now, coming back to the questions that are asked on the Internet, I see that a very large amount of them revolve around the topic of how to stop binge eating. People want to know. As a matter of fact, as the National Eating Disorders Association pointed out in 2015, Binge Eating Disorder affects over 2.8 million adults in USA only – I definitely see the reasons for concern. So, if you are one of these people, and you have come to this blog post, you probably want to know how to stop binge eating! I won’t bore you any longer, let’s get going.
How to stop binge eating – my story
There was nothing I could do to the problem. My weight throughout my life kept bouncing up and down. As I gained weight, I began to get depressed and tired of the fact that I can’t beat this problem. As my depression neared the peak, I became angry enough to take action on the problem – I began to work my ass off to lose that weight. A number of times I successfully dropped my weight, far below the desired threshold. As a result, from an overweight kid I turned into an almost, well… anorexic kid. Sometimes the people around me could make jokes about me having Anorexia, and sometimes I could actually see their genuine concern. I remember getting frustrated at them for pointing out at my problem all the time, but I couldn’t do anything about it. A young boy that gains weight, then loses it, then gains it again, does attract attention.
Nevertheless, these people didn’t know what they were talking about. I wanted to prove to everyone that my problem wasn’t Anorexia. It was Bulimia (as if that sounds any better)!!! Although, I never wanted to classify it in such a way. I still today prefer to call it simply binge eating, just sounds more “stable” like that 🙂 Regardless of the terminology, the problem existed and caused a lot of troubles. As I matured, I learnt to be aware of what I eat, and therefore losing weight wasn’t a problem any more, binge eating was! Binge Eating Disorder is, after all, a disorder. It is something beyond the external circumstances. It is inside of your mind, and to be able modify this behavior, you must go outside of you mind and see it from another person’s perspective. And as you know, that ain’t no easy task.
Anyhow, it wasn’t until I began to actively visit the gym that I finally understood how to stop binge eating. The best part about it its that I didn’t even need a therapy. Simply changing one small aspect of my lifestyle made massive changes in life. And this is why I so eagerly want to share it with you, knowing that I don’t need to hypnotize you or be an amazing psychiatrist. It is so incredibly simple, and just by following these few tips, you wont have to worry ever again about eating excessively and then beating yourself for it. The funniest things is that this method, as easy as it is, never before even crossed my mind.
How to stop binge eating – macros
The first thing you need to do, regardless of whether you are losing weight or trying to take under control your binge eating habit, is to understand the amount of macronutrients you really need. This step is absolutely necessary. Only by taking care of this step, you can continue with the other two steps. Yes, that’s correct, there are only 3 steps to this, so make sure you finish reading this, because this has the potential to change your life forever!
Macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Depending on whether you have an active lifestyle or not, the amount of macronutrients you will consume will be different. For example, a normal person needs about 1 gram of protein per 1 Kg of body mass to cover the basic needs. A person actively training in the gym can use up to 2,5 grams of protein per Kg of body mass. The amount of (unsaturated) fats also varies, but you definitely shouldn’t go overboard with it, nor you should remove them completely – your body really needs those fats! Carbs are your source of energy, and that is why you must experiment with them. If you feel like you are eating too little of them, increase the amount. If you feel like you are beginning to gain weight, decrease them. Carbohydrate is that primary macronutrient that you should be experimenting with. Based on its amount, you can either gain weight, lose it, or keep it in balance.
You don’t need to do any difficult mathematical equations here. Don’t overthink. You can start by taking your average day’s meals, dividing them into carbs, fats and proteins, and there you go. Now you know approximately how much you eat a day, and from here on try increasing or decreasing the amount.
P.S. Most of the time the amount of macronutrients is defined on the label of any product that you buy. And if it is not, you can search for it on the Internet.
How to stop binge eating – weighing your food
In order to stop binge eating, you must know the exact amount of food that you are going to eat at one time. This is just as important as the first step. Because binge eating is all about not being able to stop eating on time, we must predefine the exact amount of food that we are going to eat beforehand. We have a certain amount of food on the plate. We eat it. It’s gone. Because we have already set the limits, there is no stress about going crazy on whatever we have left in the fridge! This requires some self-discipline, but definitely a lot less than if you were just trying to hold yourself back from all the goodies.
Because you will want to know the exact amount of food that you are consuming, and because with time you will need to see by how much you are increasing or decreasing those amounts, you will need to get a food scale.
When getting a scale, make sure you are getting a scale that is precise. You don’t need to get the most expensive scale out there, but don’t be too cheap either. You rather buy a scale once that will live long, be precise, and have a good battery life! I have owned scales that were constantly running out of batteries. There is nothing worse (ok, maybe there is) than weighing your breakfast early in the morning, and having your scales die right in the middle of you mixing inseparable ingredients.
If you want to choose from a large selection of different scales, give Amazon a try.
How to stop binge eating – setting the time
Last but not least, set the times at which you will eat. It is important to know what you eat, how much of it you eat, and when you eat it. You don’t want to find yourself weighing food, doing a great job, and then finding yourself eating your next meal in an hour after the first one.
Therefore, set yourself a time for each meal. I have found that the optimal time interval for eating my meals is 3 hours. When I had 2 hours or 2,5, I found myself often not hungry enough. I was basically again stuffing myself with food that I didn’t need to eat. Waiting for longer than 3 hours usually gets me too hungry. But this is again a matter of preference. Just pick whats best for you. But make sure you spread it well over the day, and have your last meal not too close to bed time. Lastly, you might need to get the habit of making food in advance, and having it with you in a plastic box. It’s ok to have a 3,5 – 4h gap between meals if you really need to, but 5 hours might take you out of the regime. I don’t carry food around with me all the time, but when I know I’m going to be gone the whole day, I make sure I have something with me, weighed out beforehand.
How to stop binge eating – final words
Following the given steps is actually very easy. You only buy a scale once, and you go through your nutrients only once as well. From there on it’s only minor maintaining and adjusting.
Also, to follow this diet, you don’t need to be a fitness freak. You don’t even need to work out. This approach isn’t beneficial only to fitness enthusiasts, or people with an eating disorder, but to anyone that wants to be aware of their eating habits. It just happened so that I came to this by being actively engaged in sports and wanting to grow some muscle mass. Maybe if I never got into fitness, these steps would’ve never reached me. And this is the reason why I cannot not share it with everyone else. I know how much of a pain binge eating is. I’ve been there myself, and I want others to live a normal life as well. All you have to do is put these steps into action. And remember, persistence is your key to success!
Hopefully you found this “how to stop binge eating” post beneficial. If you have something to add, please add your comment below. I appreciate engagement from your side. I will make sure to reply.