I am not a doctor; just a mama basing this information off my own experiences as a mother, athlete, and prior research. Please consult your doctor before proceeding with any of the following information!
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved food! Just to stress the accuracy of that sentence, my favorite was not cake, it was not ice cream or candy, no; my favorite food was always bacon! If that doesn’t tell you how much food was my friend than I don’t know what will.
However, growing up, I had a few food allergies that I had to comply with. I was allergic to dairy, eggs, and gluten (the stuff that’s in most bread products and pretty much everything it seemed like, at the time). When we found out that the reason that I wasn’t feeling good was due to consuming the foods I was allergic to, of course, my mom took them out of my diet so I could feel better. She did her best to replace them with other foods that I liked.
Nonetheless, as I grew older, started to make decisions on my own, and started to see my friends with the foods that made me feel sick, I began to do what any person would naturally would do…restrict myself from them most of the time, then binge eat them out of guilt. Did I feel sick afterward, ABSOLUTELY! However, that didn’t stop me on my weekend cheat day.
The thing is, this exact same spiraled sequence is exactly what most people go through when struggling with binging, regardless of age.
Fast forward to after having my son, (P.S. he’s allergic to dairy and possibly red dye too) I knew something had to change. We have been successfully breastfeeding for almost 20 months (go us!) which means, my binging on dairy products had to stop immediately as soon as I found out that he was allergic- no excuses. So, yes, something, anything that would give me more self-control had, to change!
A lot of body mindfulness and understanding later, the steps that I’m about to share with you are the exact same steps I took to stop restricting myself on foods that I shouldn’t have and in return, stop binge eating!
Step 1: Becoming Aware of Your Replacements
The most important thing that you can do for yourself when trying to stop binge eating (or just eating foods in general) that are not good for your body is to NOT restrict yourself. I will explain more about how to make this shift in your mind later in the post. But for right now, let’s talk the physical side of a nonrestrictive way of eating healthy.
One action that you can take right away is finding replacement foods for what you are removing from your eating routine. Finding replacements will not only make you feel less limited, but also provide you with something equally yummy and still good for you.
The keys to finding the right replacements for you are to
- be open to trying new types of foods and recipes
- finding foods that you truly enjoy
Step 2: The Mindset Shift
I am going to be honest here; you are not going to successfully stay consistent at this if you do not make this mindset shift. I give 90% of the credit for me stopping binge eating to shifting my mindset to the following:
You can have whatever you want, whenever you want. If balanced, you are not going to backtrack your fitness or weight loss progress by eating something that is not good for you. However, YOU WILL feel not your best, YOU WILL obtain negative reactions towards the food, and YOU WILL feel sluggish, bloated, or possibly sick. It’s okay if you make that decision to eat it anyways. But keep the goal in mind of wanting to feel/perform your best, and you will return to eating healthfully quickly or choose to replace the food altogether.
Simple? In writing yes. In action, I know how difficult this mindset shift is, especially as an already overwhelmed mommy! If this is something you struggle with, I go into depth on this mindset shift, how to eat according to YOUR OWN body, and help you achieve healthy eating habits that work for you in my Love Your Healthy Life Transformation Program.
You can learn more here!
Step 3: Keeping Track
You are probably familiar with apps like MyFitnessPal or Lose It! that help you keep track of what you are eating and the details behind it. These apps are great for keeping track of the small details like your caloric intake or fat, protein, and carbohydrate consumption, however, what you are missing in your process of stopping the binge and instead, eating healthy, is a way to keep track of how the food you eat actually makes you feel.
In order to stay consistent in making this eating habit change, you need to see some type of progress. The best way to do that is to track the progress you are making towards how your body feels.
- Track what you are eating
- Track exactly how the food makes you feel, physical
- Re-evaluate and add/replace foods accordingly