You may have the best intentions in the world. You may be a super healthy eater on a daily basis, but one piece of bad news or a little extra stress added to your day, and you're neck deep in a tub of ice cream. You aren't alone. However, binge eating junk food doesn't have to be your go-to response to emotional stressors.
Follow these tips to regain control of your emotional eating!
Skipping meals or eating meals too far apart is a recipe for disaster. You are setting yourself up to feel hungry and go overboard later on. Besides, restricting certain foods may backfire and result in you binge eating these same foods. Eating protein and fiber rich meals and snacks every 2 or 3 hours can keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism humming.
Stop before you eat and ask yourself: hungry, angry, lonley or tired? If you are hungry, eat something. If it is one of the other answers, address it. If you are really struggling with this, you might consider trying Overeaters Anonymous. Limor Baum, MS, RD, says, "any kind of support really helps—such as therapy, support groups, or just talking to friends and family." Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Drink a glass of water
Sometimes your body mistakes thirst for hunger. When you feel hungry, drink a tall glass of ice cold water. This cool drink will speed up your metabolism as your body works harder to warm up the water, which causes you to feel fuller longer. If you aren't one for just 'plain' water, add some mint sprigs or basil. Lemon or cucumber slices are great too.
Clean out your pantry
Bingeing usually happens at home. If you don't have any junk food on hand, you will be less likely to binge. Fill your kitchen with healthy snacks like carrots and celery or some whole grain bread with peanut butter and banana slices.
Snack on spicy foods
The vast majority of us are not able to binge eat spicy foods. Grab a couple of chili peppers to curb your cravings. Heck, some studies even say that spicy foods can kick start your weight loss by revving your metabolism. Why not give it a shot?
A moderate amount of exercise can calm your appetite. All you need is 30 minutes a day. Extreme exercise may actually have the opposite effect, prompting bingeing - especially in people who don't know how to properly re-nourish their bodies. For over 80 hours of on demand workouts, check out SweatFlix
Be nice to yourself
You may not be able to break your bingeing habits by going cold turkey. There will be days where you fail to keep it at bay and that is more than okay. Just try to remember that one bad day doesn't have to ruin the rest of your week, or completely derail your healthy eating habits. Get to the bottom of what prompted the binge, forgive yourself and move on from there.
Are you an emotional binge eater? How do you avoid giving in?