I decided to tackle this subject because until quite recently, it was one of my biggest downfalls. I suspect that it might, and I do repeat the word might, be a problem which affects women more than men.
After all, we do tend to deprive ourselves more than men, and being totally realistic, although men nowadays are much more concerned about their weight and health, they do not take it to extremes as a general rule.
Women are much more susceptible to mood swings caused by hormone imbalances, and are much more more sensitive in terms of what people think of them. There are many more pressures on them to look good, or to measure up to the latest fashion trend and so on.
What man I ask you would continue to read any magazine that told him that he really did not measure up, or was the wrong shape, height or weight etc. Women strive for perfection, and sadly perfection is not possible. We can only make the best of what we have !.
So women go to extremes (yes we do, if we are honest with ourselves), and in pusuit of this unattainable image that we strive for, we deprive ourselves of so much that is necessary for good health.
In fact if the truth were known, we often starve ourselves, which is totally fatal, and leave ourselves craving for all the things that we miss out on. The consequence of this often leads to a full blown binge! Any one who has ever been on any diet, will know all about the disadvantages that binge eating causes. Straight out of the window goes all the hard work that you have done to lose your excess weight. A binge strikes completely out of the blue, crumbles your resolve and leaves you feeling a total failure.
Well let me tell you that you can control your impulse to binge. What it all comes down to, is how you choose to act. In other words it means controlling your behavior. Perhaps you find as I did, that negative emotions like depression, anger, anxiety, and feelings of failure can all spark off a binge.
I must stress however, that for any severe eating disorder it is always best to seek professional help!
Do not despair though, there are many self help steps that you can take to prevent the occasional indulgences, and stop periodic binge eating, from becoming a habit of constant over eating. You will need to map out a plan to prevent you from starting a binge in the first place, and if you have given in to one, the steps to take to cope with the effects of the aftermath.
So watch out for the triggers that can set you off on a binge! Sometimes it helps just sitting quietly by yourself, getting in touch with how you are feeling, and deciding which is the best way to cope with the temptation. You will learn that your feelings are not all that scary, it is not actually so terrible to have negative feelings, such as frustration, confusion, or even jealousy or hatred.
We all suffer from them, and to have such feelings is certainly not unique to you.
If we are not eating enough food when we are cutting down on our calories, we can find ourselves being drawn to binge eating. Your body needs a certain amount of calories just to function, so if you are constantly feeling unsatisfied and hungry, this will most likely lead to a binge. I suggest therefore, that you bulk up on plenty of vegetables, fruit and high-fiber foods, and by drinking plenty of water with your meals you will feel much fuller.
In turn this should stop the desire to binge eat!
When you do have a craving, sometimes it is best just to give in and indulge in a portion of what you are craving for. Otherwise, before you know it, you are eating everything else in sight, and most probably whatever it was that you were craving for as well! This in turn will make you feel absolutely lousy and a total failure. You will have tripled your calorie intake in that one binge, whereas if you had eaten what you craved for in the first place, your calorie intake would have probably been less.
Remember do try and stop and analize what is triggering you into wanting to binge. Is it just that you are hungry, or are you angry, frustrated, bored or just lonely! Could your body be missing something somewhere! The more you analize, the more you will understand yourself, and be able to cope with why and what makes you binge.
Keep these five steps in mind: –
1. Determine why you want to eat so badly right now!
2. Try hard to delay your response (are you hungry because you have skipped a meal). Really take
The time and think about it!
3. Try and distract yourself for about 15 minutes. If you are at home, have a shower, give yourself a manicure, (with wet nails you will find it hard to binge!) If you are at work, take a break, go for a walk, or just freshen up in the ladies Room. The longer you delay the binge the more likely it is to pass.
4. Distance yourself as much as possible from temptation, and do not surround yourself with foods that you tend to binge on.
5. Decide how to handle the situation, it is up to you after all, you have the choice and it is only you that controls your behavior. Consider what you are doing, understand why, and realize the consequences.
If you have done all of the above and still cave in to temptation, "do not" I repeat "do not" feel dispirited. Just go back onto your normal eating regime and please do not beat yourself up, (what's done is done!) Many of us can let a binge completely destroy our diet, and just keep being out of control.
Please do not let that happen, forgive yourself and always try and understand the reasons why you let it happen in the first place. You will feel much better by just starting your normal eating pattern again. Look at the good qualities that you have, and also your achievements so far, and focus on them, not on the negative feelings after a binge.
Keep telling yourself what a likeable and worthy person you really are. Do not waste another second on the negative aspects of it, just keep on being positive.