8 Ways to Defend Against a Binge

Today I thought I’d share a few ways that I personally set up for “defense” against a binge or emotional overeating. These are a few of the strategies that I find helpful and may be completely different than yours, but I think it’s a good step to figure out a process that works for you (and that can also change as you change)! Here it is…

• I make sure that I eat a breakfast that I really like and that keeps me full for a while. This usually consists of some sort of protein (eggs often) and a whole grain or piece of fruit. My faves are: scrambled eggs with some mushrooms or spinach and a sprinkle of feta or goat cheese…It really takes a lot less time than you might expect. Sometimes I include a slice of whole wheat toast and a half a banana or some berries. Everyone is so different that this might not sound like something you like, but liking whatever it is you eat is key.

• I check-in with my body…Energy level? Hunger level? Any aches or pains in my muscles (this can include the heart too)? Just an overall survey to stay in touch and see if I need anything or if there’s anything I should be aware of.

• I carry my journal around. I never know when I’ll get the urge or need to write something down or sort some stuff out and having my journal nearby can be really helpful sometimes. I also have some helpful quotes/affirmations in there that I can just quietly sit and read quickly if I need some extra help.

• I think ahead about the day that I am going to have and make a quick mental note of the eating situations I will probably be in. I don’t obsess over this, but I like to just be aware so I can remain conscious and make sure I get what I and my body needand in a relatively balanced fashion. (This helps me avoid the, “Oh man, pizza dinner? But I already had a bagel for breakfast and sandwich for lunch…” Not the end of the world, but not my favorite feeling in my body either).

• I get some moderate exercise or movement-that can mean a trip to the gym, a walk (solo or with a friend), a bike ride, something to get my blood pumping and get the calming effect that moving has for me.

• I chat with a friend or family member on the phone (or in person). I am one of those people that can go a long time being quiet and to myself, and I sometimes forget how good it can feel to talk and share things with people I trust and love. Making these little kinds of connections in a day helps me stay sane and balanced.

• I drink water and tea. I also sometimes forget to hydrate, but find that when I do get enough H20 in my system, things feel vastly different. I don’t go crazy, but I’ve found that I do really like sipping on tea throughout the day and having some water with meals and/or when I exercise.

• I keep my fridge and cupboards stocked with things that I like and that are also easy for me to eat without being triggered to overeat. This makes the food environment a lot easier to handle and navigate without too much thinking!

What about you guys? Any good defenses or things you find helpful? -Morgan

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4 Responses to 8 Ways to Defend Against a Binge

  1. runeatrepeat says:

    I think talking with someone is super helpful - especially if I can get a friend to talk about themselves. This way I get out of my own head and avoid binging because I’m lonely, sad or angry.

  2. Thankfully, I don’t really get the urge to binge anymore. I do start to feel out of control from time to time and I use those signals as a time to check in and find out what is really going on. For me, it is about so much more than food and if I can prevent my triggers from occuring, like stress, loneliness, feeling misunderstood, I do well with not binging.

  3. LG says:

    Thanks for this post. I too think about the “food occasions” of the day to try to plan things out. A potluck lunch might mean we have chicken salads for dinner, something less heavy.

    I also find that some physical activity every day is good for my body and mind and helpful in preventing a binge.

    Oh, and I keep snacks with me everywhere I go. I find it very comforting to know that I won’t be on the train ride home and STARVING. That’s a recipe for disaster for me.

  4. Victoria says:

    I think for me, the most important thing to prevent against binging is not to restrict too much what I am eating. Sure, I want to eat healthily, but I also know that if I restrict myself too rigorously to healthy foods, without a few (much appreciated and savoured) indulgences, then I am setting myself up for a binge. The idea that, for every diet there is an equal and opposite binge, is very true for me (I read this on this site but can’t remember where it came from! Sorry for plagarising!) I need to eat enough at meal times, and have healthy snacks, and keep my body satisfied, not hungry, or else I start to unravel.

    I guess the other thing, for me, is that exercise is very important, but my mind state when I exercise is equally important. So often, I find my run turns into another opportunity to berate myself (look how slowly you’re going! everyone’s passing you! you must look so red and sweaty and pathetic right now!). Or else it is part of a grand plan to keep losing weight (if you run for an hour every day for the next week, then you must be able to lose a kilo by next Monday!) But other times, I’m able to relax into the run, and switch off my speeding mind, and just enjoy the feeling of being outside and moving. It’s runs like these that make me stronger and better able to challenge the attitudes fuelled by my eating disorder.

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