The biggest challenge we face when dealing with emotional and binge eating is to stop trying to control what we eat.
Most emotional eaters believe if they put no restrictions on their diet, they would eat themselves silly and gain a whole bunch of weight.
Or that this strategy might work for others but not for them.
There are books that talk about and explain what restricting food does to our minds.
And then there are books which promote establishing some sort of rules when it comes to our diet.
The question you have to ask yourself is, what kind of food freedom do you want?
- Do you want to follow strict rules that you are going to commit to for the rest of your life?
Never be able to have a piece of a birthday cake, have any kind of treats in the house or…
Never be able to enjoy food with friends and family without having to worry about what’s on the menu?
- Or do you want to have the freedom to choose the foods that make you feel good and satisfied with the ability to control how much you eat?
There are people who binge and overeat even if they have never been on a diet and then there are people who binge because of dieting.
Let’s start with the first category:
People who never restricted their food and have more than 10 kilos to lose
So, if you fall into this category, even if you have a large amount of weight to lose, you will need to forget about what foods you are not allowed to eat.
Even if eating a lot of sugar, carbs and fatty foods is not recommended in your case.
Because if your attention goes to what you are not supposed to have, then that is exactly what you will want to have the most.
Shift your focus on what do you get to have to heal and nourish your body.
If you have gained a large amount of weight because of binging over a long period of time, you have most likely developed insulin resistance which makes it more difficult for you to lose weight.
You may also be at a higher risk of:
- developing diabetes,
- heart disease,
- high blood pressure,
- having constant inflammation,
because your body is not functioning properly.
So, before you can lose weight, the first thing you need to do is heal your body.
And you can do this by:
- adding more nutrients,
- drinking more water,
- moving more
- getting a good night’s sleep.
How to eat healthy when you are “addicted” to the “wrong” kinds of foods
Now you might be thinking, it’s easier said than done…
“But how should I do this if I am addicted to all the “wrong” foods?”
It is important to understand that you are not addicted to food.
Your cravings for carbohydrates, sweets, salty, and fatty foods come from years of repeating the same eating habits.
Having the need to eat in response to your emotional challenges has also been created by your habits.
You want to emotionally eat purely because you have been repeatedly responding to your emotions with food.
Change your habits
Only by changing these habits, you will be able to change your cravings and lifestyle.
You probably do want to eat healthily, lose weight and be more active but you are struggling with desire and motivation to change.
It requires mindfulness and effort to make better food choices when we don’t feel like it.
It requires commitment, perseverance and discipline to start being more active after years of being sedentary and being overweight.
For that reason, it is really important to make the changes gradually:
- Start drinking more water (aiming for 2 liters per day) and ditch the soft drinks,
- Start eating regularly without skipping meals,
- Start adding more fruit or vegetables to each meal,
- Start swapping white flour for wholegrains bread, rice and pasta,
- Start adding more protein to each meal (lean meat, fish, chicken, tofu, beans and dairy),
- Start adding more healthy fats high in Omega 3 to each meal (flaxseeds, chia seeds, Omega 3 fish oil, walnuts).
- Start walking and take the opportunity to be more active doing things you enjoy or even if you just clean your house or do some gardening,
- Play with your kids every time they ask you to chase them or fool around,
- Find 15-30-minute workout or dancing videos on YouTube that you can do at home,
- Join a gym or group classes if you like to be social and get a chance to go to a gym.
All of this might seem quite overwhelming at the start.
That’s why is probably better to implement 1 step at a time until it becomes a habit and gradually add another one until your whole life changes.
And repeat these new habits until eating healthy, being active and losing weight become effortless.
Now let’s cover the other category of people.
People who tried every diet on earth and have been dieting all their lives
If this is you, it is time to acknowledge what you have been doing, is not working for you.
You need to see it as it is, diets are simply not for you.
They may work for a very small % of people but unfortunately, you are not one of them.
Your desperate attempts to control your food is making you want to eat and obsess about food more.
And every time you try another diet or trend, you do well for a while but then it’s a matter of time before you binge again.
As this vicious cycle continues, the amount of time you are doing well is gradually decreasing and the frequency of binging is increasing and losing weight becomes more and more challenging.
You need to shift your focus on the big picture:
But what about weight gain?
I know that you are worried about gaining weight if you eat whatever you want.
I’ve done the worrying for 20 years!
I was so afraid to eat sweets and carbs because I thought they were my biggest enemy.
I thought I only had to look at a cake and I would gain weight.
But it wasn’t the sweets and the carbs that were making me gain weight.
It was the dieting and binging cycle.
It was the never-ending starvation and deprivation and then overindulging like there was no tomorrow.
Now I have been binge-free for nearly 6 years and I have been able to eat all food groups and treats without worrying about my weight.
To get to this point, first, you need to get through the “honeymoon” period.
When you first allow yourself to have all the things that you used to consider “forbidden” what happens is that you will have a very high desire to indulge in them.
“The honeymoon” period is when the first time in your life you say to yourself, that it is ok to have all the things that you’ve been labeling as “bad”.
After you have had your share of guilt-free pleasures, the novelty of having these foods wears off.
And suddenly those cakes, donuts or chips, won’t be as exciting anymore.
You can eat whatever you want
Knowing that you are allowed to have them any time, you will be able to use your free will to choose to eat them or not.
And that is why it is important not to weigh yourself why you are transitioning to “no restrictions” zone.
While you are moving from dieting and binging extremes to balance freedom and peace.
Once the “honeymoon” period is over, and your body starts to function properly again, the weight will start coming off naturally.
Mindset & body coaching program
And transitioning into this new lifestyle is exactly what we teach our clients in our Mindset and body coaching program.
And if you would like to learn more strategies about how to overcome emotional and binge eating, you can click on the link below to watch a free training video that I have prepared for you.
At the end of that training, you will also be able to schedule a free strategy call with me.
Here we can talk about what might be holding you back and if I can help you break through those obstacles.
I hope you found this blog was helpful, if you like this content, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel Lucia Veracruz where I post weekly training videos just like this one.
And if you have any questions, write them down in the comments sections below, I will be happy to answer all of them.
I hope I will see you next time again, take care and goodbye.