When you are dieting, binges happen. It is our way of rebelling against ourselves. Sometimes all it takes a good binge (followed by a strong belly ache) to remind us why we are seeking a healthier lifestyle. While sometimes at one point or another binge-eating may be inevitable, there are ways to try and prevent them.
Learn your triggers.
No one knows you better than you know yourself. When you are going into a situation where you know you almost always find an excuse to eat, take steps ahead of time to prevent that. For example, I have over a three-hour drive to my mother’s house. I used to always use that as an excuse to get some fast food, no matter what. I would fantasize about where I would get to stop! Now I make sure to eat a good meal before hitting the road and make sure she knows to have some healthy snacks ready when I get there. This has made it impossible for me to talk myself into making any stops along the way.
Others in your house may hate you for this one, but if there’s a food you love to binge on, just don’t buy it. I refuse to bring Oreos or soda into my house. Not because I don’t like them, but rather because I like them too much! About once a month I’ll send my husband out to buy me a fountain coke to go with our popcorn on movie night, but other than that it’s just easier to drink water and dream of soda.
Look for other ways to feel good.
A lot of the time we binge eat not because we actually need the calories, but rather because there is something else going on. If you can recognize that you are feeling sad, try exercising first. The endorphins you get will leave you feeling much better than any junk food and you will feel proud of yourself afterwards rather than feeling guilty.
Stop trying to be perfect.
When we focus on being perfect all the time we start to feel caged in. If you are constantly depriving and restricting yourself, you are setting yourself up to fail. Be kind with yourself and remember that you are above all else a human and no human is perfect. Indulge every once a while. The most important thing is to be on track most of the time.
Celebrate ALL victories and don’t dwell over minor set-backs
Every single good decision you make puts you one step closer. Every. Single. One. If you have a whole week of making good decisions and mess up one time, you still have a great batting average. No matter how big the binge is, you can always come back from it. It doesn’t cancel out all the progress you’ve made. Don’t let yourself get down for the times you mess up. Rather, celebrate each time you succeed. Positive reinforcement is so much better than negative!
Have positive support.
You are already practicing this by being a member of The Sisterhood, so kudos! A positive support network is so essential when it comes to staying on track. I mentioned working out when you feel a binge coming on, but if it’s inevitable maybe invite a friend to join you for whatever meal you are craving to help keep you in line. When I want a box of brownies, ice cream, and some Girl Scout cookies, I call my sister and we will go get frozen yogurt. I still satisfy my sweet tooth but I don’t dump the whole container of gummy worms on my yogurt like I want to. It’s the best of both worlds!