Ideas for Avoiding Binging with Mindful Eating

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Ideas for Avoiding Binging with Mindful Eating

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Misti 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • Several people have commented they are in charge on the Fast Day, but not on the non fast days and tend to overeat on those days.

    I lost almost all the weight needed a couple of months ago and have been struggling with keeping it off – or losing the last little bit – since. Very frustrating.

    I still binge eat and need to fast to get the pounds off. I don’t like the yo-yo of gaining a few pounds and then losing them again. A couple of months ago, I tried Overeaters Anonymous and decided that they have the wrong idea – at least it won’t work for me.

    I read and practice Paul McKenna’s ideas from his book and app “Freedom from Emotional Eating”, but still binged. (Granted, I didn’t use his suggestions when in the middle of overeating.)

    With the binging, I lose weight best fasting every other day. In reading Kristin Varady’s book “The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off”, she recommended Michelle May’s book “Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat: How to Break Your Eat-Repent-Repeat Cycle” which I purchased.

    I am hopeful this will do the trick. Lots of guided practice to learn to handle the emotions instead of eating.

    I love her suggestion of putting a sign on the refrigerator – “Whatever you are looking for is not in here.”

    Just a suggestion for those of you who deal with emotions by overeating.

    Hi Amy, I love the idea of the sign – and what it says! I read on a post the other week “if hunger isn’t the problem, food isn’t the answer” which I think is another one for the fridge or cupboard.

    I’ve got about half a stone to lose now but I’ve been mostly losing a couple and then putting it back on for the last few weeks. I find that sometimes I can be restrained and other times I can’t. I know I’m not eating because I’m hungry, I just love the taste of those chocolates etc. and before I know it I’m half way through the top layer (these were chocolates that had been in the cupboard since Christmas). On the plus side this doesn’t happen as often as it did so I am getting better but I just wish I could stop at one (or two)!! Linda

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one who needs a ‘stop’ switch.

    I started the Clean 9 programme five days ago and did really well on the non-food days (including attending a party and declining alcohol). My problem is that when I can eat, I eat loads. I overate yesterday – not in the way I did before I started the detox, but considering, i was supposed to be sticking to around 900 calories, I ate my way through about 1300.

    Today is another day and I’ve had about 350, so don’t have many left for dinner. I can do it if I’m busy or there are other people around but left to my own devices, I cheat.

    This forum is really helpful as there is no fridge in the room where the computer is and I read all the posts until the desire to snack has passed.

    I’m going to the gym in 10 minutes and then have some gardening to do. During that time, I’ll drink at least a litre of water.

    Dinner tonight is Hot & Sour Soup with Prawns. (BBC Good Food website) Only 93 calories.:-)

    There are a number of things which can lead to a binge and its nearly all psychological on some level.

    But there are also physical elements.

    so here are some well-recognised triggers
    1. fatigue
    2. lack of sleep and tiredness
    3. stress, depression
    4. boredom
    5. low seratonin levels at a sub clinical level even.
    6. eating sugar

    All these situations tend to make us reach for the carbs.

    With regards to the first four you should be able to recognise the signs easily and avoid some of them and deal with the others by getting professional help if you can’t deal with it yourself within a short period of time. Ie get counselling if you are unable to resolve the stress. Get medication if you are depressed.

    With regard to sub clinical low- seratonin. Read the article on nutrition wonderland. com about it. Its worth reading twice because there’s a lot in this article and i believe its all correct. While you are on that site read about leptin and insulin and fibre. They are all good articles.

    I haven’t consciously experimented with the foods as cure for low seratonin levels but its worth trying maybe.

    Also i would not stay up late at night, especially not too late on the computer because i have found that it is later in the evening that one starts to get hungry. Also hanging on the computer late at night can make you miss your sleep cycle and then you can end up sitting up all night which makes you more inactive than usual and so on. That is the time to go straight to bed if you haven’t thought about it already. If you are not ready to go to sleep, read a book instead in bed and if you are like me you may find yourself wanting to go to sleep sooner than you would like even. and don’t worry, i’ve had a lifetime of insomnia and bad sleep habits to overcome.

    With regard to eating sugar. In bingers eating carbs makes you want to eat more carb foods. Sugar especially makes you want more sugar. Sugar is especially bad. Its partly the flavour itself which is intense but its about the insulin spikes. If you must binge, try to avoid sugary foods and salty foods. You can eat a bowl of fruit but not drink fruit juice. Not oats or any other breakfast cereals to curb a binge – although i did just that the other night and it worked. Still i recommend eating protein foods instead. Eat just fat and protein, vegetables and otherwise fairly bland foods as much as possible. Those foods that are not high in fat will be high in fibre and will be filling but include a little bit of fat because this helps with satiety.

    I’m currently reading a book called The end of Overeating. Its a good book but many dieting readers will find it too academic and may not make it to the end alas. I think its an important book for all bingers to read though while i agree with all his strategies because these are things that i have worked out also work for me, he doesn’t really share them in sufficient depth though so its hard to remember. Although i haven’t finished the book yet so maybe i will change my mind by the end of it.

    Anyway some of his ideas that i have also been using all year are:

    Rules. Make rules for yourself around your eating. Make them clear and precise and fine tune them as you go along so that they work for you. Don’t make rules you can’t keep. And don’t make vague rules like “eat less” RAther make a rule like don’t eat after 8pm. Or don’t eat refined sugar. You can make exceptions but they must be just as clear and explicit. Or only eat sugar foods one day a week. Or don’t eat more than 6tsp of sugar a day.

    Food has positive emotional experiences linked to it for many people. He recommends giving your problem foods negative connotations. He calls it emotional learning. So for me now sugar is bad so i avoid it. And i try not to fantasise about sweet foods at all especially at the beginning of my dieting when i needed all the strength i could muster. I do it sometimes now but i nip it in the bud when i start to see it taking me down a path I don’t want to go – mouth watering …. Its better not to think about these foods at all. Wipe them out of your life as much as possible. Yep i am doing that but i have my special low risk exceptions. And you can too.

    But on the whole now, i think of sugar in the same way i think of cigarettes. its just bad stuff and no one really don’t needs it in our lives. It causes untold harm and ruins lives. Yes it does! That’s the sort of story he is encouraging people to come up with them for themselves.

    The idea of moderation is lovely but it doesn’t work for most bingers. It doesn’t work for most overeaters. Recognise when it doesn’t work and then get over it and eliminate your problem foods.

    Instead increase the range of healthy foods and improve your cooking skills so that your non problem foods become much more interesting and enjoyable.

    Strategies and structures. And i can’t remember what else he said but i was struck how when i read it i had been doing this all year and it had been working well for me.

    I think another one he said was the misguided emphasis on exercise. I have seen that for myself and so this year i haven’t bothered with it. To no ill effect though this is not necessarily an issue for bingers.

    When you fail at a diet, try to remember why. And next time you have a go, be sure to have a strategy that anticipates that type of problem so it doesn’t catch you out again.

    For my part i’m sick of losing weight only to regain it and i’m determined never to get fat again. I am sure i can do this. so far so good, 8 months down the track.

    OH yes one other thing. I am not sure if he mentions this. Avoid hunger. Of course on a fasting diet this seems impossible. But on a fasting diet you have your rules set in place for extra strength and you have to figure out how to minimise your hunger on those days and cope with it. ON non fasting days, you have to avoid hunger because allowing yourself to go hungry can lead to over eating.

    I noticed that after two days of fasting, i am thinking i just want to stuff myself. But i’ve also noticed that come breakfast time i’m not hungry. And if i east a good healthy substantial breakfast, i am ready to stop eating before I’m stuffed. I make each meal interesting, substantial but don’t stuff myself. And now i’m only eating two meals a day. Which makes it easier still. A late breakfast and an early dinner. And after that nothing but water.

    Hi Amy,

    Just came accross your post & found it interesting. How are you doing with fasting & weight loss?

    I have been doing 5:2, but bingeing excessively on food days. Have lost weight & gained it back, yo-yoing. Recently, heard about doing 4:3. Then I read your post about fasting every-other-day.

    How has your experience been? Are you still eating/fasting this way?

    Look forward to hearing from you!

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