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!




latest videos


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.

related stories

No more sugar asks: "I recently found out I had diabetes. I'm worried that people will look at me...
Normally I don't eat that much, but lately I've been craving food and stuffing myself like...
As kids spend more time in front of the computer and TV, their levels of physical activity have d...
I feel like being fat is ruining my life. I'm trying to starve myself but it's so hard. I get so ...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Hmmm....Then she mustn't be necessarily "using" you, if she is not getting something in return ( As far as we know of). However, It does sound like she is being extremely unfair. That just might be how she is. Not exactly loyal to anyone. Well, try to talk to her about it and tell her how you feel. And, if it doesn't work out, then she might not be a great friend to hang around with, and maybe you will find someone else who enjoys your company. I hope this helps, and good luck :)
reply about 10 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
No not really. Like I said, one minute she's all smiley and then she doesn't even look at me. Most of the time I see her with Daniela and Andrea. Today she was asking me if I was going to hang out with her, Daniela, Andrea and Luisa during recess. When I told her that I was 'going to have to think' she was like, "Whatever." and ran off to catch up with the Threesome. Thanks. :)
reply about 10 hours
EndlessDream posted in Friends:
Is she asking you to do things for her? Like help with homework, carry her books and so on?
reply about 10 hours
XxIHateMathxX posted in Friends:
This is gonna be long:   I have this 'friend' Amelia. She and I bonded really fast last year and we've become inseparable.   But lately she's blowing me off and my other best friend Belen told me: Amelia is actually using you. She does this to new kids at school, especially from foreign countries. She thinks because you're Chinese and the Chinese teacher's daughter, you'll help her. She's also using you as a backup friend - a substitute. There's this new girl Daniela, who Amelia thinks is her new best friend. She thinks that when Daniela stop hanging out with her, she'll have you.   The thing is, Daniela is pretty nice and she probably doesn't know all the trouble she's causing. Belen's old 'best friend' Andrea is doing the same to her.   I also learned that Amelia is seemingly the 'most popular girl in school' because she's mean to everyone. She always passes by the little kids' classrooms and hugs them & stuff. They seem to love her, but now I know it's because they think if they're nice they won't get bullied.   Maybe she WAS using me but I dunno. Belen says that each kid in the entire school has a bad story about Amelia and something she did to them. I said, "Then how was she so nice to me last year?" Then Belen was all like, "She was using you."   I don't know if she's telling the truth. She and Amelia are deadly enemies and she might be making up the whole Amelia story just to get back at her. Although Amelia has been dropping a few signs that she IS using me as a substitute friend.   Sometimes when I walk in, she'll be like "OOOOHHH! CASSANDRA! HI! HOW ARE YOU! C'MON, LOOK AT THIS! WE'RE GONNA HAVE SOOOO MUCH FUN TOGETHER ..."   And other times I'm like, "Hey, Amelia!" and she says, "Oh. Huh? Yeah, hi ..."  Once during PE we had to sit down and on the way to the gym, she was chatting with me in a BBBBFFFF way. But then when we had to partner up she said with Andrea, Daniela and someone else who I forgot.   I don't know what to do. It's just so weird. Even though now I know she MIGHT be using me (I'm not sure if she really is) it just seems WEIRD. Even for a supposed ##### she was my possibly fake best friend for the whole of last year. It's WEIRD to suddenly switch.   I don't even know if this should be happening. We've only just started 5th grade. Doesn't this WEIRD #### start happening around middle school? Thank you, everyone who will help in advance. P.S. Please include flirting advice. - A Girl Who Might Just Lose Her Possibly Fake Best Friend
reply about 11 hours
Okay I have school today and my hair is not sitting how I want it to. But my mum says it is sitting fine WHEN ITS NOT! SHE IS NOT LISTENING what do i do?
reply about 12 hours

play online games