I've recently admitted to binge eating; looking for strategies to help stop. Can anyone help?

Posted , 3 users are following.

I'm 22 and have always been someone who over eats. I have noticed I binge when I am going through difficult times. This year, I have been through quite a lot and feel very stressed. Previously to this year I lost a good amount of weight and started feeling happy about myself. Since I have been feeling down about certain things that have happened this year, I have noticed that I have been eating more again. 

I would like to find some strategies to help me cope when I feel the need to binge. I don't want to put weight on. I am someone who really enjoys healthy eating, and I know exactly what I should be eating, but I have the urge to eat unhealthy, sweet food when I am feeling down. 

I recently went to the doctors about my eating habbits and they put me on anti depressants to help boost my mood, and therefore take away the urge to binge however, I have always been someone that doesn't agree with taking tablets and I don't like the idea of having to rely on a tablet to make me feel happy.(I don't judge anyone who does take them, it is just a personal preference). 

I have thought about how I feel before, during and after binge eating, and I have realised that I don't feel happy or satisfied during any point while I am eating, so don't understand why I do it, as it makes me feel so disgusting.

If anyone can give me any advice, I would really appreciate it. 

Thanks in advance, 


1 like, 4 replies

4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi izzy, 

    I am sorry to hear that your doctor didn't give you the support that you were looking for.  You say that you binge eat when you feel down, this is a common problem for many of us who use food as a way of dealing with our emotions.  There is help available for you, if you google Beat, this is a supportive website for those with an eating disorder, another one that is very good is i-eat, this is run by a fully recovered anorexic lady who is absolutely great.  But first some questions and hopefully some ideas that may help.  Does your mood get low because you are starving your body?  Are you allowing yourself to have treats alongside eating healthily, because if you do you might be less prone to craving those foods.  Also, keep a mood diary alongside a food diary and see if you notice a regular pattern.  Distraction is a very good method to try and halt binging, do you have any hobbies?  If you could keep your mind and hands occupied doing something you enjoy then that would be useful.  Play your favourite music or put a DVD on, go for a walk.  I hope that you find something useful from my reply, and best wishes with overcoming your problem. 

    • Posted

      Hi Lillypad1, 

      Thank you for your response to my post;

      I will take a look at those websites that you suggested, I appreciate that. 

      I don't starve my body no, I did a clean eating program with a lady whose profession is to provide women with information needed to care best for our bodies and lifestyle. She was amazing and put me on the right track. I do eat all the right foods; meals which are high in protein, I don't eat many carbs, I drink plenty of water, have fruit veg, good fats etc. But I binge eat on top of all of that. 

      I often have a "treat meal" a couple of times a week so I shouldn't be craving sweet, unhealthy foods. 

      I have thought about completing a mood diary and I have done a food diary before. I have done a bit of research online about keeping diaries so I might give this a go, thank you. 

      I like walking, reading, listening to music etc. Thank you for all of your suggestions; I wasn't sure if I was going to get a reply. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond to me. 


    • Posted

      Hi izzy,

      I hope that you do find the websites useful.  From what you said, a mood/food diary could help.    I wish you well. 

  • Posted

    Hi Izzy.

    I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties and I can completely relate. I have also suffered with episodes of bingeing combined with my anorexia nervosa, and I have recently learned that if I reduce my carbohydrate intake bingeing increases significantly.

    My dietician articulated this very well with the description of holding your breath. Your body is starved of oxygen and therefore it tries to make up for it as quickly as possible if you are out of breath. e.g. you breath very fast and short.

    In the same way, the basic form of carbohydrates are also necessary for survival and the body relies on this, regularly. So, like another person said it would be helpful for you to do a food and mood diary and work out if this is something you are having enough of regularly, and whether this is leading to your binges.

    I have been able to tackle the binges, by being open about it - it took me years to admit this was an issue, because in my head it was a failure of having an eating disorder; I was anorexic and they don't eat. But by medical logic, binges happen if you aren't eating, and by tackling that, you can actually help tackle other areas of your eating disorder.

    By eating small portions at each meal, I have found this to really help.

    Spot where you are bingeing e.g. when I was on a particular meal plan, I was still vulnerable when I got home from work. My dietician and I worked on introducing a snack then (because I wasn't having lunch at that point) or a low cal hot chocolate depending on whether it was sugar or salt I was craving.

    You will find as your food intake increases your binges will decrease, but your weight will maintain.

    You need to consume 21000 calories weekly on a regular basis in order to GAIN weight.

    That works out roughly at 3000 calories per day.

    Your weight WILL fluctuate by about 3kg over a month, e.g. water retention if you are menstruating, if you have drunk alcohol, but you have not gained any weight, you body is just holding on to fluid etc.

    Hope this is helpful, try and eat small and often. smile

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