As a mind-body eating coach who helps women build healthy, more joyful and balanced relationships to food, below are a few of the things I hear most often from smart, capable women who are trying to break the binge eating, emotional eating, or yo-yo dieting cycle — and how to reframe if you find yourself falling into the same pitfalls.
1. Trying just one more diet.
I know, I know. Just this last one so you can lose the weight, and THEN you’ll work on a healthier relationship to food. (Been there.) The problem is, dieting is often what LEADS to disordered eating in the first place. It awakens an evolutionary part of your brain always on watch for famine. As soon as it feels a diet, it starts sounding the alarms to overeat, holds tight to weight as a safety measure, and turns all of your brain’s focus to food, food, food. The easiest way to perpetuate the binge cycle is to keep dieting.
What to do instead: Eat healthy, real food in a balanced way. That works with your life. Simplify the process so food becomes the easiest thing in your life. So you feel full and satisfied between meals, and have less cravings to contend with.
2. Just trying to drink some water when cravings come on.
So good in theory, right? Have a craving, distract yourself with some water or a walk instead. But how many times has that ACTUALLY helped? I am all for drinking water… if you’re actually dehydrated. But if there’s something more emotional going on causing the stress eating in the first place, throwing water on it isn’t going to help more than throwing water on a cheeseburger. Instead, it takes knowing how to help the root causes of what’s causing the emotional eating in the first place. I love me some water, but I don’t know the last time it helped me feel better over a breakup, boredom, or stressful day. You? 🙂
What we do instead: Address what’s causing the emotional, stress, or boredom eating in the first place. Choose things that actually help that, instead of sound nice in theory but wind you back to where you started, feeling like there’s something wrong with you.
3. Cutting out certain foods cold turkey.
Ever thought to yourself, “I just can’t be trusted around chocolate. I have to just cut it out from my life?” The challenge here is that every time you do something — from driving home to interacting with food — you’re reinforcing a neural pathway in your brain. A default, automatic way of doing things. So when you banish certain foods, then overeat them later, you are literally training your brain to associate those foods with overeating. You’re strengthening a habit in favor of all or nothing with food. So by the time you reintroduce sweets or other goodies, you’re not only working against will power, you’re working against a solidified, strengthened habit that’s as hard to break as smoking.
What we do instead: Master moderation and balance with all foods, so eventually, trigger foods have about just as much power of you as spinach.
4. Hating their bodies into change.
I personally believe that binge eating or emotional eating has a wisdom to it. Because weight, food, and health challenges are so frustrating, it also makes them really good at getting our attention. I think our bodies, in all their silent wisdom, know this. And when they need to get our attention on something, when they need us to say look more closely, it often surfaces as a food challenge. It’s why the best diet or meal plan in the world can’t help emotional eating. It really takes seeing what the food challenge is pointing to that needs our attention. It’s why, in my program, we help women get the most out of the food they’re eating, of course, but then we also go in deep to the emotional, mental, behavioral side of food.
What we do instead: Know that the power of your binges is the same power available for healing, growth, and self-love. Redirect the power, and see how powerful you really are. 💓
5. Staying in information-gathering mode.
To be fair, this is probably what makes you so effective in so many areas of your life: you can figure things out. Why would this be any different? But if you’ve…
Read all the things on the internet, but are more confused than ever…
Bought all the books, but haven’t been clear on how to translate into tangible steps…
Tried all the diets, but they typically only last a few days or weeks…
You, my love, are not alone. Information is a part of the puzzle, but you may already have that piece nailed, and be ready for your NEXT step. Someone who’s been where you’ve been, and trained in breaking the cycle, can help synthesize all of that information into transformation.
What we do instead: Give you a step-by-step process to get from binge eating, emotional, eating, or dieting mentality, and into balance, ease, and freedom with food. Reset your habits. Rewire your mindset. Take new actions, which lead to new results.
If you’re ready to relate to food in a healthier, more joyful way, join me in The Binge Breakthrough!