Tips To Help Curb Compulsive Eating
First, a definition: Compulsive overeaters do not attempt to compensate for their bingeing with purging behaviors such as vomiting, fasting, diet pills or laxatives. Compulsive overeating usually leads to weight gain and obesity, but not everyone who is obese is also a compulsive overeater. A person who appears to be of normal or average weight can also be affected by these behaviors.
- Avoid temptation. You’re much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts and unhealthy snacks in the house. Remove the temptation by moving these foods to the back of your fridge and cabinets, so they are not the first foods you see.
- Stop dieting. Strict dieting usually involves hunger and deprivation. This may trigger food cravings and the urge to overeat. Instead of restricting foods, focus on eating in moderation. Find nutritious foods that you enjoy and avoid labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Try to eat more small meals throughout the day.
- Exercise. Not only will exercise help you lose weight and improve your health, but it also helps depression and reduces stress. Exercise is a natural way to boost your mood and can help put a stop to emotional eating.
- Reduce stress. Learn how to cope with stress in other ways that don’t involve food. Compulsive overeating has little to do with hunger. Individuals will often eat when they are not hungry or use food to fill an emotional need. Impulse eaters may take that extra bite because “it is there” and they often deprive themselves of food.
- Don’t try to change your relationship with food overnight. Set small goals and give yourself some positive feedback. If you tell yourself, “I need to add more fruits and vegetables to my diet,” it will be more positive than saying, “I need to stop eating candy.”
- Be kind to yourself and don’t expect to be perfect. Learn from your experiences and experiment with what works best for you. If you are suffering with compulsive overeating and feel it’s getting out of control, you should really seek professional help to stop the unhealthy, weight-gaining, self destructive behavior.
- Staci Leavitt Kobren, R.D.
^^^this is so helpful.