Lets Talk Binging – What causes a binge and how I overcame them
If you have every struggled with binge episodes, you are not alone. I was a CHRONIC binger from about 15-21. And i’m not talking about having an extra few rows of chocolate, or finishing a pizza. I mean I would eat to the point of wanting to be sick. Its was a horrible, horrible cycle of binge-restrict-binge-restrict that was triggered by negative thoughts about my body, and thinking that I wasn’t good enough.
When you feel like you want to binge, there are usually two things going on:
1. An Emotional trigger
2. A Physical craving
Sometimes it’s just one or the other, but in my experience, it’s usually a combination of both.
Lets talk about this a bit more…
The Emotional Trigger:
This could be a stress response, procrastination, negative self talk, frustration, the need for comfort, feeling of failure, fear of restriction, or any other negative emotion where food becomes an escape. There is no denying that food gives us instant satisfaction – I get you, but we need to learn how to find other ways of over coming these emotions that are not food related.
The Physical Craving:
Then there’s the physical aspect. Ill use my situation as an example. Although there was certainly an emotional aspect causing my binging episodes, it was also triggered by a very real physical craving because I wasn’t eating a balanced diet. I had developed a fear of both carbohydrates, fats, and calories, and was over exercising.
This meant my body was constantly in a starvation state, which meant whenever I was exposed to high calorie foods, my brain would send signals to my gut to eat as much as possible. This meant instead of getting that satiated feeling after a sensible serving, it would feel almost impossible to stop. This was then made worse by 10 fold when the negative self talk kicked in – and on the cycle went.
How to over come binging:
In order to beat binging you have to fix both the physical and emotion triggers. It doesn’t matter how mentally strong you are, if your body is crying out for nutrients, it’s going to be very very hard to resist a binge on mental strength alone. The most powerfull way to stop is to target BOTH the physical and mental aspect.
This is the approach I use with clients who struggle with binging.
A) I teach you how to fuel yourself ensuring all nutrient requirements are being met and that there is no longer any feeling of deprivation. It’s especially important that you are fuelling yourself based on the training load you are doing. And here’s the good news. Fixing the PHYSICAL craving is easy. Once you start nourishing yourself with the right nutrients for YOUR body, these cravings start to go away very quickly.
B) We work on changing those negative thought patterns after an imperfect meal to positive thought patterns that switch the body out of “panic mode”. This will be different for everyone depending on what the emotional trigger is. We work on your current thought patterns and come up with positive affirmations that work and resonate with YOU.
I know it is scary adding things like fats and carbs back in to your diet if you have been avoiding them for weight control reasons. I HAVE BEEN THERE. But trust me, it only takes small amounts to work, and 90% of the time there is no weight gain. Instead, body fat usually drops because the body no longer feels the need to hold on. And with the binging habits gone, it stops the weight fluctuations, and allows you to maintain this long term.
So I hope this has given you a bit more of an understanding of what might be going with your body if you are struggling.
I am very open about talking about my past struggles, so please never hesitate to reach out.
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