You guys, eating your emotions is a REAL thing. Even being a professional in the health industry and knowing what my body does and doesn't need, I still fell into this downward spiral. When I slipped into depression a few months ago I was:
Eating healthy all day long.
But binge eating EVERYTHING at night.
A whole vegan pizza
Spaghetti (my fav)..... but like enough servings to fill a giant
It's a horrible cycle to fall into, and it's bloody difficult to stop. I know it all too well. You wake up in the morning angry you binge ate the day before. You make a promise to yourself to eat better today, and you start off that way. But after a long day, you come home tired and stressed. You reach for the food and the cycle continues.
But I'm here to tell you how I got out of it, and how you can too.
Identify your triggers
For me, I realized subconsciously I was associating TV with dessert. All I wanted to do was eat and eat while watching.
You can keep a journal for a few days and keep note of your surroundings, what you're doing, and the time of day when you start binge-eat.
Avoid your triggers
As night television is a trigger for me, I started working out at night instead of the morning and reading a book instead of TV. Working out releases feel-good endorphins and you are far less likely to binge eat before or after.
What can you do to avoid your triggers?
Focus on the food you NEED to consume
For example; instead of hyper-focusing on a dessert you shouldn't be eating, focus instead on the nutrients you need every day. 2 - 6 cups of greens and veggies, about 3 handfuls of protein/day, a cup of fruit, and about a cup of whole grains.
Make a list of these foods and check them off as you eat them. This will help you put healthy food at the forefront of your mind, which is what you want.
Be nice to yourself, as you would with a friend
You are a human. You're going to make mistakes. IT IS OKAY. I follow the 80/20 rule, and so should you. 80 percent on point, 20 percent food for the soul. Forgive yourself when you fall off track, and move forward.
Keep a journal
I have found journaling out my feelings [sometimes] gives me a bit of relief. I also keep track of what I eat because it helps keep me on track. It's a lot harder to want to grab for the donut when you see how many empty calories it's made of.
Learn to eat mindfully
This is a hard one to get the hang of if you're used to eating until you're over full, but it's worth it. Learn to listen to your stomach & stop eating when you're full.
When you realize you're full but want to keep eating, remind yourself that 1) you're not going to feel good after, and 2) it will taste so much better later on when you're truly hungry.
Always start with the veggies
I always start my meals with a selection of fresh or steamed veggies. My favorite is steamed broccoli with 1/4 cup vegan cheese.
Green veggies are very filling, nutritiously beneficial, and can help curve your sweet tooth. If you don't like veggies, then you just don't know how to cook them the right way.
Seek some support
Make yourself accountable by letting your friends and family know you have a goal. I know it can be a bit embarrassing to admit you binge eat, so instead, tell them you have a goal to eat better.
Educate yourself on nutrition. You don't have to get yourself a certification or degree to learn the basics. Read a book, watch a documentary, or find a credible source on the internet. Learn what your body needs and doesn't need. It's a lot harder to eat junk food when you are aware of the damage it is doing.
We often overeat out of a place of stress, and exercise is a known stress-reliever. It boosts your confidence, releases feel-good endorphins, and generally uplifts your mood. You're less likely to binge when you're feeling good. If you're depressed, and moving just doesn't seem doable, then take a walk. The sunshine, or the night sky, and the fresh air will lift your mood if even only a little bit.
Let me know how these are helping you by tagging me on IG @avocadosandfitness. I can't wait to see the progress you make!
Thanks for reading loves,