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Dear Dish-It: How Do I Stop Binge Eating?

Dear Dish-It,

Lately, I can’t stop eating. When I wake up in the morning, food is the first thing I think about. And while I’m eating, I think about what to eat next. I crave food all day long and will cancel plans with my friends just to watch TV and eat. I want to stop, but my mind won’t let me! Why is this happening to me and how do I stop?!

Food Machine

Dear Food Machine,

Believe it or not, binge eating is the most common eating disorder, and it usually starts when people are young. Not to scare you, but if your habits aren’t corrected, it could lead to obesity and other related health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.

Why You’re Binge Eating

Everyone has a different reason for binge eating. Some causes include a lifestyle change, stress, boredom, depression, low self-esteem, loneliness or insecurities.

Food Addiction

If you’re feeling completely out of control and can think of nothing but food all day long, you may have a food addiction. Talk to your doctor and see how he or she can help. Also, talk to your parents. They can help you by regulating your food intake or by keeping only nutritional snacks in the house.

You Can’t Quit Cold Turkey

The tough thing about overcoming a food addiction is that, unlike other addictions, you can’t quit cold turkey. You need food to live. So in order to start fighting the constant cravings, you need to develop new healthy lifestyle habits:

Some Tips for Success

  • Choose sleep over eating when possible. People who sleep more tend to weigh less and, naturally, have less time for overeating.
  • Eat several small meals a day, including breakfast. Depriving yourself of breakfast will slow down your metabolism and lead to binging later on.
  • Exercise. This will improve your mood and decrease stress levels.
  • Distract yourself. Whenever thoughts of food pop into your head, force your mind to shift to something else.
  • Stay out of the kitchen. Unless your body tells you it’s hungry, steer clear of rooms that contain food.
  • Conquer boredom. Find a new hobby or activity that you enjoy doing, preferably an active one. This will give you less time to sit around thinking about food.
  • Don’t watch TV while you eat. TV can be so distracting that you keep eating until the end of a show, even if you’re full. Force yourself to eat in silence and eventually you’ll get bored.
  • Keep a food journal. Keeping track of your food intake will encourage you to eat less.

Have Your Say

Do you have any advice for Food Machine? Leave your comment below!

 

 

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Know Someone With an Eating Disorder?

  • Yeah, one of my close friends had an eating disorder.
  • I've personally had an eating disorder.
  • I've heard of people at my school with an eating disorder.
  • No, I've never known someone with an eating disorder.

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