10 Eating-Healthy Tips for Binge Eaters - dummies

10 Eating-Healthy Tips for Binge Eaters

By Jennie Kramer, Marjorie Nolan Cohn

Part of Overcoming Binge Eating For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Healthy eating is a key step toward overcoming binge eating disorder, or BED. Following healthy eating tips can help you look at food and eating as healthy and pleasurable without the negative feelings bingeing evokes.

  • Check in with your body’s hunger and fullness signals. Figuring out how to assess your hunger and fullness takes practice, but you begin by noticing how your body feels before, during, and after a meal. After some practice, you’ll be able to distinguish between hunger and fullness and to recognize how much food you need to satiate your hunger. For example, if you still feel hungry after a meal, wait 15 to 20 minutes and distract yourself with another activity. If you’re truly hungry, you will still be hungry after 20 minutes has passed.

  • Set yourself up for success by starting slowly and by focusing on making realistic changes toward healthier eating over time. Quick fixes haven’t worked up until now and still won’t.

  • Remember that it’s not just about what you eat, but how you eat it. Focus on slowing down, chewing your food, and enjoying mealtimes. This is mindfulness. You deserve to enjoy your meals – not the book, computer screen, TV, or other distraction with which you share it. Then your body doesn’t even register or remember that you ate.

  • Focus on variety. Aim to have three or more different food groups at each meal and snack.

  • Eat breakfast every day within an hour of waking to support healthy blood sugar throughout the day. Don’t think that by skipping breakfast you’ll save calories for later. Nothing could be further from the truth. Without a wholesome breakfast, you’ll set yourself up for intense hunger later.

  • Healthy eating starts with healthy shopping. Make sure your kitchen’s filled with the best foods for you by making and following a grocery shopping list. Don’t shop when you’re hungry!

  • Plan to reduce, not eliminate, trigger foods. Completely cutting out certain foods often backfires, so plan to have those foods, if that’s what you want, but in moderation and by saying to yourself, “There’s always enough — this is not the last time I can have this. There’s always enough.”

  • Think about what you can add to your meal plan, not what you should take away. Variety and moderation are key.

  • Pay attention to what foods and combinations of foods most satisfy you. Notice the word “satisfy”. Satiety is a lovely and grounded feeling; eating until you feel stuffed is not.

  • Keep a food journal. Food journals aren’t just useful when you’re struggling with food or bingeing. Journaling’s a tool you can use anytime, anywhere to increase overall healthy eating.