The recent global events have caused many of us to go back to old patterns of disordered eating.
Now it’s time to dig deep and figure out how to stop cravings and binge eating disorder (BED). Stress and isolation are the main culprits. But all is not lost. You can start the journey to overcome BED today. And know you’re not alone in this struggle.
More than 2.8 million people suffer from BED in America. It’s the most common eating disorder affecting both women (3.5%) and men (2%).
Take Note of What You Eat the Night Before
Disorder eating is a vicious cycle.
Once you get on the hamster wheel it can be difficult to get off. But one of the ways to start to break this cycle is to reduce your daily carb intake.
Carbohydrates, especially simple carbs fill us up quickly. The problem is that carbs convert quickly to sugar. Also, simple processed carbs don’t have the nutrients your body needs.
This causes us to have more cravings. The easiest (and often cheapest) thing to do is eat more carbs.
To break this pattern consider more complex carbs like:
- Potatoes (not french fries)
Complex carbs allow you to feel full longer. They won’t spike your blood sugar as much. This in turn will help you lose weight. There’s no reason to cut carbs out of your diet.
Eat complex carbs vs. simple carbs and you’ll see a marked difference.
Keep an Eye on Sugar Consumption
It’s easy to become addicted to sugar.
In the Standard American Diet (SAD) it’s practically found in every food. Sugar can be a hard habit to break. So it’s best to wean yourself off slowly. Start by assessing how many grams of sugar you consume a day.
The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 38 grams of added sugar daily and women 25 grams.
Most people consume at least 77 grams.
One of the best ways to reduce consumption is to go grocery shopping once a week.
Read labels and keep in mind that sugar comes in many forms.
Types of added sugar in food include:
- High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- Agave nectar
- Ethyl maltol
- Barley malt
As you can see the word sugar is not specifically named. As you become more conscious of your intake, you’ll be able to reduce cravings.
Self-Love Is a Major Factor in Whether You’ll Have Cravings or Not
Do you find yourself opening the fridge for no reason?
This could be a sign of needing fulfillment. The thing is, food can never fill an emotional void. You could eat all day and still feel empty inside. External things like food or people cannot fill this void. It has to come within you in the form of love.
To foster this self-love consider:
- Starting a meditation practice
- Taking long walks in nature
- Doing mirror work (saying “I love you” looking deep into your own eyes)
- Practicing mindful eating
The more love you have within yourself, the more love you’ll experience in your outer world. You won’t need food to fill this void because it won’t be there anymore. At first, it’ll feel weird but over time you’ll find yourself happier overall.
Carve out time every day to practice self-love.
Movement Plays a Huge Role in Reducing Cravings
Physical activity is great for combating cravings. You’re able to sweat out toxins within your body.
Your mood is also boosted. It’s best that you focus on moving as much as possible throughout your daily life.
Ways to do this are:
- Do 10 minutes of light ab work or yoga after waking.
- Get up more often when you’re at your desk. Even twirling around in your chair will help.
- Park far away from where you work.
- Use the stairs as much as possible. Nothing gets your heart rate pumping like climbing 12 flights.
- If you have children, run around with them. Being childlike in mind and body helps reduce stress.
- Pace around while talking on the phone.
- Clean and cook while dancing to music.
As you can see physical activity doesn’t always have to be a traditional form.
Binge eating affects more people than any other eating disorder.
To overcome, shifts in lifestyle are needed. You may also want to consider getting guidance from a professional for added support.
Cravings will always be worse if your diet was filled with carbs and sugar the day before so focus on making better choices daily. Over time this will compound and you’ll have fewer cravings.
Self-love is a major factor in helping with cravings. The more love you have within the less you’ll want gratification from external sources (which never work).
Move as much as possible. This helps you take your mind off from food while giving your mood a boost.
Take things one step at a time.