Saturday, January 16, 2021

10 Ways to Stop Binge Eating

This guest post provided by Heidi_PsyD from

1. Eat When Hungry

This one goes two ways. Many times binge eating is a result of restricting. It’s a viscous cycle: restricting then binging, then restricting because of binging. Gauge physical hunger. If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, ask yourself why you want to eat. Are you feeding an emotion?

2. Eat Mindfully

Take the time to ask yourself what you really want. Many times binging occurs as a result of deprivation. Take time to prepare the food, sit and savor the meal. Make each meal as satisfying as possible. Your body will feel full and satisfied.

3. Slow Down When Eating

Binging generally equates with rapid eating. Give yourself at least 30 full minutes to eat each meal. Put your fork down. This takes practice but will allow time for your body to become aware of satiety cues.

4. Remember that there are No Bad Foods

Don’t deprive yourself of foods you crave — the cravings will just increase, and eventually will binge.Be aware of portion size and eat with moderation. Order appropriately, such as a personal pizza rather than a full-size pizza.

5. Develop Coping Skills

Develop positive coping tools to use for managing emotions. Try exercising in moderation, talking with a friend, journaling, listening to music. It helps you manage your emotions in a more positive way.

6. Eat When You’re Calm

Eating while under stress can lead to binging. Try your coping skills prior to eating. Get your mind off stressful topics.

7. Stop. Ask Yourself Why You Are Eating.

Are you hungry for food or something else?

8. Know that Feelings Are OK

Binging is often a way to stuff feelings. Allow yourself to feel and process your emotions instead of stuffing them down with food. Sit with the feelings, talk about them or journal them. Remember that even feelings such as anger are productive. (Editor’s Note: It is amazing what speaking to a psychotherapist can do!!  This is such a help for binge eating!!)

9. Distract Yourself

When you get the urge to binge, tell yourself that you are going to wait 15 minutes. Do something distracting. Often the urge to binge will disappear.

10. Keep a Food Journal

Keep track of food and mood.Notice how you feel before you eat, and how you feel after you eat. With this detail, you will notice what your eating habit and determine why you binge. Do you binge when you stressed? Do you binge when you are happy or sad?

Photo courtesy of photostock



12 Responses to “10 Ways to Stop Binge Eating”
  1. This is a great resource! I would put number 8 at the very top of the list =)

  2. SFG says:

    I think a lot of people also eat habitually. They eat because it has become routine to do so under certain circumstances and not eating, like any change in routine can cause stress. Learning to “unhook” eating from certain experiences, including binge eating, will help break the connections, but first you have to be aware of how you use eating and that some of the anxiety people feel from not eating is not deeply emotional (though some of it is), but rather simply stress from changing their usual life patterns.

    A lot of people think they eat out of stress, but it is more about patterns. If you go home every night and eat a snack, but stop snacking to lose weight, you are likely to feel anxiety from this change. It’s imperative to recognize that you aren’t eating because you’re distressed, but distressed because you aren’t doing what you’ve always done. Replacing your routines with new ones is very important to stop mindless routine eating.

  3. I’ve bookmarked this! THanks for putting this together, I really appreciate this. It is more helpful than many I’ve seen in the past.

  4. .C. says:

    I liked the mention that this post made of restriction as a cause for (eventual) bingeing, but I wish that an even more explicit note about the tie between bingeing and eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and EDNOS had been made. It is so closely linked, and while anything can be used as a trigger for someone with an eating disorder, it would be nice for this post to own that and say that restricting shouldn’t be done, and these tools shouldn’t be used to stop a starving girl/boy from bingeing. When I was restricting heavily I would occasionally binge. I would sometimes look forward all day to a food I was going to allow myself to eat, and then it would get out of hand. Or, sometimes the binge would sneak up on me – all of a sudden I would be eating. For me though, it was not really about emotions, I don’t think. The other parts of my ED (restriction, mainly) certainly were, but bingeing I believe was almost entirely about getting calories. I think that my body just used bingeing as a way to get some food, any food, into my system before I could stop it. It would be good to hear more about that side of it too, but this was still a pretty good post!


  5. Chelsea says:

    Restricting leads to binging, which leads to guilt, which makes you feel bad, so you restrict, which leads to binging ….. That cycle was a living hell for me. This list is very good. I really stress that it was important for me to relearn stomach hunger and differentiate it from mouth hunger. I also think it’s important that people recognize that they may have a binge eating disorder, which is not that well known:

  6. Julie Brown says:

    That comment on the “binging” is something I always thought was for those people that would binge and then throw-up. “NOT ME” But Chelsea is right. That type of binging that she talks about is “ME”. And wow, I always just thought I was compensating for what I couldn’t eat while dieting. And there in lies “the binge eating”. I would gorge myself with what ever. For example..someone made me a small pan of fudge for christmas. Rather then eat a few pieces and save it for my family to share, I ate the entire pan. Now my thought process was,,,I didn’t want it at my house. So I had to get rid of it now. And I couldn’t waste it. So I freakin ate it,,,ALL !!!! I do that with everything. I have no self control. Where exactly does someone go to learn self control?

  7. Danielle says:

    These are great steps-

    in my own triumph over binge eating my #1: THERAPY… the steps to overcome binge eating come naturally as therapy progressed, but they did not work on their own before I addressed why/what/when, etc.

  8. H says:

    My brother is constantly eating and i can’t motivate him to change it any suggestions?

  9. Suzie says:

    I would definitely say therapy is important. There is always something behind bingeing. For me it took therapy to even realize that I was stuffing food down my throat for an actual purpose. I really just kept trying to fix the symptom (the bingeing) rather than the issue (the feelings I was trying to avoid). Therapy was the beginning of my healing. I also would HIGHLY recommend considering reading Intuitive Eating and then consider putting it in practice. I know it is scary. It was scary for me. But I decided to do it whole heartedly and about 6 months later I was at my ideal body weight and have been there since. I did read the book three times before I truly could do it but guess the third time I was actually ready. There is also another great book called “It’s not about food”. I highly recommend it.

  10. Chelsea says:

    H, the motivation has to come from him. If he has an eating disorder, he needs to see a therapist and figure out what’s behind the drive to binge eat. If you can talk to him about that (maybe show him this article?), he might feel like opening up to you about it.

  11. AbbottAndrew says:

    I am very angry at people who discuss stuff on the internet.

    Including myself.

  12. Leora says:

    I like number 7. I think it’s important to interrupt a binge to find the real answer about why you’re doing what you’re doing.

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