Binge eating is a growing problem in the United Kingdom. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 3.4 million people have some form of eating disorder. When you put that into context, that’s one in around 20 people.
Chances are, we know more than 20 people, so there’s a good chance someone you know, perhaps even yourself, could be suffering.
It can be difficult to try and prevent, particularly if someone is already suffering from an eating disorder, but there are some methods worth trying.
Firstly, Get Help
The first and best course of action is to get help for whoever is suffering. It’s a horrible disease to have, and professional help can be integral to entering recovery. Binge eating disorder treatment allows people to find the root cause, develop coping mechanisms support networks, and find ways to ensure they have a healthy and happy life, leaving the disorder behind them.
Practice Mindful Eating
A strategy to take on which can be beneficial and is also encouraged at rehab is mindful eating. The approach is all about being fully present during meal times and paying attention to what can be a sensory experience.
The aim of it is to promote a calm environment, removing distractions and allowing people to enjoy the tastes, textures, and aromas of each bite. By doing this, and eating at a slower rate, allows the body to send signals to the brain that you are full and, in turn, reduces the urges and cravings to overeat.
What mindful eating will also do over time is allow yourself to become more attuned to your body’s hunger and the cues of what it needs?
Eat Healthier, Balanced Meals and a Routine
Binging on food can often come following skipping meals or going for significant periods without eating. So, when it does become time to eat, we have episodes where we chow down and overeat.
In order to prevent this, eating at regular intervals across the day and having healthy, balanced foods during this period will keep blood sugar levels at a good rate and reduce any extreme hunger that can lead to binge eating.
Be Emotionally Aware
There are often trigger points for binge eating, and this is usually around emotions such as anxiety, stress, sadness, and boredom. A good idea is to log periods of overeating and your state of mind at that time.
This will allow you to become more emotionally aware and understand the times when you are likely to be at risk of binge eating. This will then allow you to find a solution. There are some great stress busters around, from running and exercise to meditation, art, and even journaling. Try an alternative and see how that helps.
Portion Control – plan Your Eating
Being mindful of serving sizes and having a plan in place for every meal is a surefire way of working on your eating disorder. Avoid eating from large packages and condense everything down into good portion sizes.
By planning, you’ll be consciously making choices on what you are eating and when. Things like using smaller plates can also make a difference on a subconscious level. It’s all about sticking to a plan and having the self-control to avoid going back to a cupboard or the fridge and overindulging.
Ultimately, the latter four tactics all require self-control, and it can be difficult. If you, or someone you know, is struggling with an eating disorder, the best thing to do is seek help.