This article is reviewed by a team of registered dietitians and medical doctors with extensive, practical clinical and public health experience.
How To Stop Binge Eating [UK]: 10 Useful Tips You Should Try 2023
You may find yourself in a cycle of binge eating for many different reasons. Perhaps you are having trouble with a negative body image or feel overwhelmed by emotional issues. Do you binge eat when bored or need to control something in your life?
Some people overeat to get rid of excess food or to quiet an obsessive voice in their heads.
No matter the reason, if you’re looking for tips on how to stop binge-eating episodes, you’ve come to the right place. Anyone struggling with eating disorders understands that something isn’t right. If you’re eating is out of control, you can learn ways to reduce cravings and improve healthy eating habits.
Learn more about mindful eating and other ways to help yourself below.
10 Helpful Tips To Stop Binge Eating
Everyone’s health journey looks different, but if you are trying to learn how to stop binge eating, you may want to look into these 10 tips.
- Know what triggers you.
- Make a schedule.
- Consult with a dietitian.
- Take up healthy habits.
- Avoid unhealthy outlets.
- Rethink how you view food.
- Prioritize self-care.
- Seek treatment.
- Be reasonable.
- Drink plenty of water.
What Is Binge Eating?
When someone binge eats, they consume a large amount of food in a short period of time. This serious eating disorder has several causes and symptoms, leaving those who suffer from it feeling overwhelmed and unable to stop.
Many folks overeat from time to time. Who hasn’t had seconds or dessert when they were already stuffed? Unfortunately, if you feel this way several times a week or more, you may be experiencing a more serious problem.
There is hope and help if you believe you’ve gone from occasional overeating into a binge-eating disorder.
This is common, but people don’t talk about it because they feel shame and embarrassment. Also, an eating compulsion is hard enough without feeling you’re to blame for your own condition.
Let’s bring it out of the darkness to get your deserved help. Check out these symptoms. Do you:
- Diet frequently without losing weight?
- Eat lots of food in a short amount of time?
- Believe your eating habits are out of control?
- Eat when you’re not hungry?
- Eat quickly without tasting or enjoying your food?
- Eat until you feel stuffed?
- Secretly eat?
- Eat only because you can?
- Feel disgusted, depressed, ashamed, or guilty about your eating habits?
How To Stop Binge Eating Disorder
Know What Triggers You
Understanding yourself through this journey is vital. You can only experience long-lasting success if you know what triggers you before binging behavior begins. You can manage or eliminate those triggers only when you understand what provokes you to overeat.
Keep a journal and write down your thoughts and emotions before you eat something. This includes snacks and meals and labeling binge eating trigger foods. You can even indicate the time of day and whether or not you felt hungry.
What emotions were you experiencing before wanting to eat? Did you notice any environmental triggers, like being around certain people or talking by the vending machine at school or work? Pay attention to your compulsive eating patterns and any events or feelings you experience as a result.
Make A Schedule
Slowly ease back into a regular eating pattern. What does that look like? A good way to begin is to schedule three healthy meals each day, along with a few snacks in between. You can start by making a list, going grocery shopping, and then writing meals on your to-do list the day before.
Make every effort only to go two to three hours between meals. No skipping meals. Grazing, instead of fasting, will reduce hunger pangs and binge-eating urges.
Consult With A Dietitian
This isn’t always easy or convenient, but a registered dietitian can help change your thoughts about food. RDs are experts in ways to get proper nutrition from food intake without overeating. They can also help you with mindful eating and engage you in cognitive behavioral therapy for emotional overeating.
Take Up Healthy Habits
Sometimes a lifestyle change can make all the difference in the world. How much time do you spend on the couch watching television or in a chair looking at your computer? Without addressing bad habits, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Set the alarm during the day to remind you to get up and take a walk. Begin an exercise routine before the day begins to set a tone or in the evening if that’s a vulnerable time for you. Start small and build from there.
Avoid Unhealthy Outlets
Be mindful when you’re feeling bad about yourself. What triggers any negative emotions about your body or how you look?
Is it a Photoshopped Instagram model? Or the unrealistic-looking and possibly airbrushed model on a magazine cover? The young are easily beautiful, especially compared to your own unretouched impression of yourself.
Consider recycling unrealistic magazines and stop subscribing to them. Throw away or donate diet books that are no longer serving you, and limit your social media by deleting the apps on your phone and checking in less frequently.
Rethink How You View Food
Stop categorizing food as good or bad. There’s no such thing, and labeling food can be counterproductive. Eating what you think is bad food makes it easier for you to feel like a failure.
Negative appraisals, e.g., failure, lead to unhealthy eating habits, which doesn’t help anyone.
Maintaining a nutritious diet is part of self-care. But that’s not all it is. Self-care is also about being kind to yourself and finding ways to enjoy yourself daily.
Self-care allows you to recharge your batteries in a way that means you’ll be a better friend, employee, partner, or parent.
A competent therapist can use multiple ways to help treat your eating disorder. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy has been quite effective in helping people establish regular eating patterns, change ideas about self-image, and find alternatives to binge eating.
Other therapies to treat binge eating disorders include interpersonal psychotherapy and dialectical behavior therapy to change the person’s adaptive functioning to decrease counterproductive behavior. Binge eating is sometimes a symptom of trauma or other issues; these therapies address those underlying causes.
People must understand that fad diets, or any eating plan that involves extreme food restrictions, usually don’t work. They lead to cravings which result in overeating.
Anything promising you a quick fix via radical changes in diet, fasting, juicing, detoxing, etc., is rarely based on sound nutritional advice. Warning signs include any diet that suggests you:
- Will lose weight rapidly.
- Label some foods as bad.
- Eliminate entire food groups.
- Don’t have to exercise.
- Limit food choices.
- Incorporate rigid meal plans.
In the end, losing weight means consuming fewer calories than you burn. This is done by reducing calories and routinely exercising. Slowly and steadily incorporating healthy changes to your diet, like eating whole vegetables and fruits, is more sustainable and long-lasting.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Stay hydrated. This will help you reduce cravings and overeating at the same time. It also helps improve your skin tone and boost metabolism, contributing to weight loss.
Why You Should Learn How To Stop Binge Eating
You want to stop this eating disorder for the following reasons:
- You’ll feel better.
- Sleeping is easier when you eat healthier.
- Your immune system will work more effectively.
- Your brain will function better and know when to signal that you’re full.
- Feeling relaxed is more attainable with healthy habits.
Precautions & Safety
Sometimes, people want to stop binge eating with the help of a dietary supplement or herbal products. Some promise to suppress your appetite or aid in weight loss, but too many are ineffective and may be misused by someone already vulnerable in this area.
While some weight-loss supplements or herbs can be helpful, others have serious side effects and may be dangerous when combined with other medications. Discuss all potential risks with your physician.
If you’ve been saying to yourself, “I can’t stop eating,” there is hope. You can overcome binge eating.
Consider your needs and discuss this issue with your doctor and dietitian. Often, you must implement healthier lifestyle changes like eating three regular and healthy meals a day, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and being kind to yourself.
+ 4 sources
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- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Binge-eating disorder – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/binge-eating-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20353627
- Auxier, B. (2020). 64% of Americans say social media have a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the U.S. today. [online] Pew Research Center. Available at: https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2020/10/15/64-of-americans-say-social-media-have-a-mostly-negative-effect-on-the-way-things-are-going-in-the-u-s-today/
- CAMH. (2023). Interpersonal Psychotherapy IPT. [online] Available at: https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/interpersonal-psychotherapy.
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