RESPONSES: “Binge Eating” – Asha P.

Eating fatty food and unhealthy diet health concept with a group of greasy fast food in the shape of a human head symbol of dangerous nutrition lifestyle and icon of addiction to risky snacks in a 3D illustration style.

Hi Isobel,

I need a bit of advice, I saw that you’re studying nutrition and I need help with my binge eating obsession. I’ve developed it over lockdown and I just can’t seem to stop because I’m always at home, do you have any tips on how I can limit what I eat a bit?

I hope you can help!

– Asha P.

Dear Asha,

Thanks for your email! First of all, I would definitely say don’t make yourself feel guilty for your eating habits in lockdown! It has been a weird time for everyone and I know nutrition has been one of the main things people have struggled with, so know it’s 100% normal and even better that you are aware of your habits! Binging can be due a few reasons, so I would definitely start with being intuitive to your diet and lifestyle – are you eating enough for your weight and physical activity? Do you eat regular meals? Do you restrict yourself throughout the day? Do you eat when you are bored? Once you can understand your habits, you are more likely to find the link as to why you may be going to binge later on! Here’s some tips that I hope will help!

1. Eat foods that have a larger volume of water or fibre that will fill you up for longer. This could be things such as vegetables, oats, soups, smoothies etc. which may help with your cravings. There’s a lot of foods you can use that are low in calories but high in water to make you feel more fulfilled with your meals!

2. Find good healthy alternatives. Work out the main ‘treat’ you are bingeing on and try to find a healthier alternative! For example if you enjoy sweet treats, try some healthy baking (I love banana oat cookies with oat milk, peanut butter and raisins), or if you enjoy savoury try hummus with carrots or nuts. There’s so many things on the web so give it a go! Anything that you can go to, once you get a craving, that will satisfy you!

3. Try to listen to your body. This sounds cliche and may be hard to get your head around, but it’s one of the best ways to learn how to fuel your body correctly. When you get a craving to binge, think to yourself am I hungry? or is it for another reason, for example you are bored, sad or actually thirsty! Your body produced a hormone when you are hungry to tell your brain that you need to eat, so if you are feeling hungry you most likely are! Just make sure to not get this confused with another emotion!

Most of all remember that everything in moderation is key and don’t make yourself feel bad for a treat every now and again. I like to follow an 80/20 rule with my nutrition, where 80% of the time I try to eat whole, nutrient dense food and 20% of the time I treat myself to a chocolate treat or glass of wine!

Hope this helps,

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