Binge eating - I fully understand what this is and that it is now a recognised eating disorder. I have tried CBT and know certain ways to combat it. It gets worse after drinking alcohol as this makes you go "screw this lets eat" but also when stressed and depressed. Do you have any advice or help you can give?
Thanks for getting in touch.
I'm sorry to hear you've been struggling with this issue. As you've mentioned binge eating is a recognised eating disorder, and is therefore quite a psychological issue. For this reason it is a little outside of our remit I'm afraid, as we do not have a registered dietitian or CBT therapist working with us.
From a nutrition point of view, I can offer you some practical tips and things to try. But in order to get to the root cause of the issue and to overcome it, I would advise you to talk to your GP who can refer you to the relevant medical professional.
If you're finding things particularly difficult at the moment, perhaps you could try just using Nutracheck to take control of your eating – so don’t set yourself a weight loss goal for now. Perhaps setting a maintenance allowance and just using the diary as a way of keeping track of your eating might work better for you for now, until you can get the help you require?
We don’t like to think of Nutracheck as a diet but more about a lifelong change in the way that we approach food.
Planning ahead may also help you so you know what you are going to eat, and you have the ingredients for a meal ready and waiting – this may help to reduce the amount of bingeing that you are doing. Make sure you plan in some treats and still eat your favourite foods - as sometimes the feeling of deprivation can lead to binging.
What to eat
The other important thing to do is to ensure that you’re eating the right sort of foods that keep you full up for as long as possible, and that don’t allow for hunger. So make sure you’re eating regular meals – breakfast is essential (around 20% of your calories). Choose a wholegrain cereal such as porridge, Shredded Wheat, Weetabix etc topped with fruit to fill you up. Have a mid morning snack – fruit is great, but a low fat yogurt, rich tea biscuit or rice cakes are all good options. Lunch should be using up about 30% of your calorie allowance – choose a wholemeal bread sandwich with low fat filling, filled pitta bread, a jacket potato or a salad for example. Your evening meal should also be around 30% of your calories – fill your plate with veg or salad first, followed by a lean protein such as chicken, turkey or fish, then add a small amount of complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, wholemeal pasta, brown rice etc.
So the plan should be 20% calories at breakfast, 30% for lunch and dinner, leaving 20% for snacks during the day. Obviously you can adjust this to suit your lifestyle but try and stick to a plan. If you know you always get hungry in the evening then save some calories during the day to allow for this.
Regular exercise is great - not just for weight loss but also for a sense of wellbeing. So try and fit in as much activity as you can. Exercise is proven to release a feel good factor which can help with feelings of anxiety and depression so it’s really important to be as active as you can. Now the weather is improving, a brisk walk outside will be great for calorie burning but also for building up Vitamin D stores!
The final thing is to try and identify the triggers for your bingeing. You mentioned when you're stressed or depressed it can be worse, and also when you drink. For this reason, reducing or cutting out your alcohol consumption certainly seems like a good way to get a better hold on your eating habits. In terms of stress and low mood, there are some great articles on the Nutracheck website on emotional eating which might help you to find some solutions. To find these, click on the 'Food Triggers' link at the top of the diary page.
I hope this helps to give you some ideas of things to try. I'm sorry I can't give any more personalised advice, but please do speak to your GP if you feel you need extra support with this.
Take care and do get back to me if you have any questions at all.
You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...
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