Five Tips to Avoid Binge Eating

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. | May 22nd 2015 Jun 1st 2017

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Therapy

Based on a review of 38 studies, the most effective intervention to reduce binge eating (BE) is to see a qualified psychotherapist and learn structured self-help techniques.

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Practice delayed gratification

The ability to delay gratification can influence eating behaviors. Something as simple as waiting until noon to eat lunch versus eating when the first hint of hunger or boredom strikes can help with eating control. It can be hard but the more you practice, the more self-control you develop and the easier it becomes.

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Cope with emotions

Some individuals binge eat in response to varying emotions. Instead of using food to deal with or hide your emotions, try a brisk walk outside or 20 minutes of yoga. You can also talk to a friend or write in a journal. Emotional eating can be a slippery slope into binging that can trigger even stronger emotions, such as extreme sadness.

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Treatment

Binge eating can be hard to talk about due to stigma. However, some believe that binge eating is caused by neurotransmitter irregularity that can be corrected with prescription medication. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

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Avoid comfort foods

Lack of sleep, late-night eating and the need to regulate our emotions all can lead to an increased consumption of comfort foods. Replace the foods in your pantry that are high in sugar and fat with foods you can healthily eat a lot of such as carrots, fruit, and rice cakes.