10 Things to Do Instead of Bingeing

Part of the Overcoming Binge Eating For Dummies Cheat Sheet

In order to interrupt any addiction, and to overcome binge eating disorder (BED) in particular, you have to find ways to get through periods of temptation and find alternatives to the unhealthy behavior. Try these tips when you feel the urge to binge:

  • Set a timer and postpone the binge for 15 minutes. Distract yourself with television, music, knitting, reading, or anything else that fully engages you. Hopefully by delaying the binge, you can prevent it altogether.

  • Reach out to someone you trust. Call a friend or family member — someone you trust — to talk about what’s bothering you.

  • Take a walk. Just move your body for 15 minutes and give yourself a chance to clear your head.

  • Write about what’s bothering you. Keep a journal close by so you can put your thoughts and feelings onto paper if you feel the urge to binge. Don’t edit yourself — just download it all from brain and heart to paper.

  • Breathe deeply. Inhale deeply as you count to six. Hold the breath for another count of six, and blow it out for six. Repeat four to six times or for up to ten minutes.

  • Make a containment box. Write down your thoughts and place them in the box. Bring them to your next session with your therapist and don’t take them out until then.

  • Use art to express yourself. Draw or paint how you’re feeling. Be as expressive as you can be. You may want to bring what you have created to your next therapy session.

  • Accomplish a concrete task. Balance your checkbook or reorganize drawers or a closet. Anything that refocuses your attention and allows you to do something productive.

  • Brush and floss your teeth. As simple as this sounds, taking care of your oral hygiene can help decrease the oral fixation that’s so often a part of bingeing.

  • Make a list of at least five ways bingeing hurts you. Include both physical and emotional effects, and be specific. A specific list can help to combat the rationalization you may be making for why it’s okay to binge.

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Overcoming Binge Eating For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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