Binge eating is mostly mental, and changing this habit requires changing cognitive behavior. It will be the most important factor in achieving weight loss goals and long-term success.
That’s why it’s important to practice mindfulness and awareness and contemplate the following points:
- Overeating is the automatic response. It’s automatic… so if you think “I’m just going to have one,” you’ve already lost the battle. You absolutely must refuse a thought immediately upon being invited to eat the food, as that is the only time when you actually have full control.
- Formulate Competing Thoughts. These are thoughts that compete with and quiet the old ones. These thoughts will help you change the way you feel about a stimulus. Rather than thinking about how good the cupcake tastes, they help you to realize that the cupcake will contribute to weight gain, or push you further from your goal. Have negative associations with food that makes you fat and create positive associations with healthy food.
- Set up rules to provide structure for yourself. Rules are conscious & can be applied in real-life situations. Rules work better than willpower alone. Without rules, when you encounter a salient food, your willpower is going head-to-head with that stimuli and it can be very difficult. With a rule strongly in place, you no longer have to rely on willpower because that food is not an option. So it’s your job to determine exactly what you eat at each meal or snack, and when you need to eat. If it is not on your diet – YOU DO NOT EAT IT.
- Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most. You can have results or excuses but not both. It takes a 100% dedication to your diet to reach your goals.
- You must become conscious of when and why overeating happens and what causes it. When you have the ability to recognize this you have the power to control it. You must break the grip of triggers!! Figure out what foods and what situations trigger you, then don’t put yourself in those situations and/ or refuse what you know you can’t control.
- Avoid being hungry to avoid getting out of control. Eat about every 3-4 hours to make sure you won’t start craving foods that are not good for you.
- So what if it sometimes doesn’t go according to plan!? It is not the end of the world and certainly not a reason enough to punish yourself or go crazy. The only thing that will happen is that you feel bloated and it will take a bit longer to reach your goals. Each morning is the start of a new day. But guess what, you can start over every hour, every minute, every second!! Just reset, get hold of yourself, and get back on track!