A psychologist offers five helpful ways you can put an end to your binge eating habit.
The pandemic caused all of us to go a little out of control with our eating habits and for valid reasons! However, instead of trying to test out a crash diet (which isn’t sustainable and often causes stress) why not try consciously unlearning the habits you picked up during quarantine?
There are five suggested steps to follow to help break your overeating habit in a sustainable, healthy way instead of starting a diet that’s destined to fail.
1. Set boundaries around trigger foods: Similar to how you may set boundaries with an ex-partner, why not try applying that same concept to foods you’re in the midst of trying to break up with?
2. Stack your pantry with plenty of healthy foods: Make sure to fill your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer with plenty of healthy options. This will help combat feelings of food scarcity which whether you realise it or not, is a result of your primitive brain sending emergency signals (aka, “you’re going to starve”) that can severely cloud your judgment.
3. Identify why you’re overeating: Recognising that the reason you’re overindulging in food is a habit you formed when trying to cope with feelings of loneliness, stress, and sadness during most of 2020 and the start of 2021 is critical for breaking the habit. After all, this habit is likely intensifying those feelings rather than solving them.
4. Eat and snack by design
In order to cut ties with the emotions that fuel your overeating habits, Livingston suggests shifting from an “eat on a whim” to a “eat and snack by design” structure.
Essentially, this just means you get to decide what time the meal starts and ends, how much time you get between meals, or maybe even how many calories each meal gets to be. Setting a loose set of rules can help you stay in line with your goals, but you set the rules!
5. Make sure you socialise daily: Whether you’re meeting a friend who lives nearby for a walk or virtually connecting with a family member who lives in another state, it’s important that you keep social interactions frequent and consistent. This will not only help you keep your mind off of food, but research has shown that regular social encounters make us happier.