So, to much of AP’s disgust, for the past few days I’ve been watching a reality TV programme on Netflix called ‘Addicted to Food’. It’s about 10 or so clients working together to recover their lives with the help of four Therapists at a Texas treatment centre. The 42-day programme is designed to help them come to terms with their eating disorders and underlying causes, in order to overcome their addiction to food; whether it’s overeating or undereating. Now starting the 5th episode and Easter over for another year, it spurred me on to research further into overeating: Why do we do it? and How do we stop?
What actually is ‘Overeating’ or ‘Binge Eating?’
Now before I start, we’ve all overeaten to the point of discomfort at one time or another, especially on a special occasion, but the difference between this and Binge eating is control or lack of. Binge eating is considered by frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food often very quickly and to the point of discomfort. During this time, a lack of control is experienced and unaware of how much food is being consumed with the result of feeling shame and disgust. Furthermore, Binge eating isn’t always unhealthy junk foods, but healthy foods can also be a problem for some and usually takes place secretly to avoid being judged by others.
What stimulates binge eating?
Numerous reports and studies have shown that a ‘Binge’ typically takes place when an individual is feeling intense yet uncomfortable emotions. It’s used as a way to escape, yet by all means doesn’t deal with the underlying situation and therefore complicating and enhancing the stress even more.
Strategies to Stop ‘Binging’:
- Make your home a ‘safe harbour’.
Remove temptation by getting rid of all the foods you tend to binge on.
- Identify and make a list of ‘Trigger Events.’
Think back to your past binges and what set them off. Is there a certain time, disagreements with a particular person, or even a lack of sleep? This list will then allow you to become aware of when you are most vulnerable, and making you look for something else to distract you from these feelings; whether it’s a Rev-session, going for a walk or even a drive!
- Take care of yourself!
What I mean here, is spending some time to allow you to feel back in control with yourself, by maintaining your physical and emotional health. Rev.Fitness always recommend one of our sessions, getting at least eight hours of sleep, meditation and it sounds weird, but even keeping on top of your daily multivitamin and magnesium supplements! It all makes a difference!
- Instant prevention of a ‘Binge’ in its Tracks
Feel an urge to binge? REACH OUT! Don’t struggle alone. Call or text your Rev.Coach or even maybe a supportive friend and talk about what and how you’re feeling. Sudden cravings are usually a signal of erratic emotions that you don’t want to face, so go somewhere where food isn’t available and figure out wat you’re feeling before planning how you’re going to deal with it. Just remember, food will never solve the issue, it will only worsen it.
- Refrain from Black or White Thoughts
What I mean here is thoughts like: “I already ate badly for lunch, so I might as well just continue my bad eating the rest of the day”. Just because you had a ‘blip’ doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel for the rest of the day. Again, our Rev.Coaches are here to support you and to get you right back on track. And if you do binge? Tell us, or someone supportive and close to you anyway so we can help you prevent it next time. As AP says: ‘Pick yourself up and stop dwelling on the episode.’