4 idiotic tips against binge eating

4 idiotic tips against binge eating

Even though binge eating is usually a secret, there is always someone around who somehow sees the problem, or maybe we're the ones who have introduced it. The title is a bit strong, but I'll take it, no one should take it to heart. In this article, I have put together a collection of suggestions that we are inundated with from those around us who want to help. If you hear these suggestions from someone, take it as a sign: that person has nothing to do with this. Before we get started, let's discuss what I mean by binge eating.

Binge eating, not binge eating disorder

I'm not talking about binge eating, I'm talking about binge eating. The characteristics of a binge are wide ranging, but the symptoms do not reach clinical severity. You may experience the following features during a binge:

  • You eat faster than usual
  • You experience a subjective loss of control over the quality or quantity of food
  • You experience guilt and/or shame after eating
  • You eat large amounts of food, which may be subject to objective or subjective judgement
  • You eat regardless of the body's hunger signals
  • You eat to an uncomfortable fullness
  • You "delete" the binge episode from your memory.


If the above symptoms have been occurring on a weekly
basis for at least 3 months, I strongly recommend that you see a psychiatrist as it may indicate an eating disorder.

It is important to note that the above symptoms can be lived with a bar of chocolate, and of course 2 bars. Now for the subclinical cases, as always. Let's see the "genius" advice you'd better run for the hills.

Just a question of willpower

This is the sentence that makes my hair stand on end. Anyone who tells you to work on your willpower has probably never had a binge. The thing is, in most cases, you're being controlled by your unconscious or your life instinct. In such cases, willpower is NOT an option. It can obviously be mentioned later, once things have been sorted out and brought to the surface, but in 99.9% of cases it is not the lack of willpower. Anyone who comes to you with something like this had better be labelled as frivolous immediately, as they know nothing about the subject and most likely nothing about you.

There can be a problem when you yourself think it's your willpower. 99% of my clients blame lack of willpower for their binge eating. I mean, that's exactly what I did, I totally understand. But now I'm in the fortunate position to be able to say with confidence that it's very unlikely that it's your willpower.

Here is a living example

To give you an example from the clientele: my client has got it into his head that he needs to strengthen his willpower and then he can resist binge eating. She put a lot of energy into working on this, to build willpower. However, since this was not the cause of the binge eating (obviously), he kept failing. He was regularly frustrated because he put energy into developing willpower, but he still could not overcome the problem.

So he tried even harder to strengthen his willpower, but of course he was even more disappointed when the willpower didn't save him from the binge eating. Eventually, we discovered that behind the binge eating was a fear OF failure. So, in the end, by building up willpower, he triggered the seizures even more. Well yes, it can go very wrong. The point is, don't always blame your willpower.

Distract yourself

My first coach, who I saw for binge eating, suggested that when I feel the urge to eat, I should go for a run, meditate, distract myself. Khm... sorry but I just smiled. It's so palpable that you've never had a similar problem in your life. The thing about binge eating is that you LOSE control and you are not in control. Who the hell can meditate at a time like this? It's a joke, really. I would never in a million years recommend that to anyone below a certain point.

A shitty note on the fridge can't hold you back

He also suggested I stick little pieces of paper on the fridge and cupboard and write: "Are you sure you'll feel better?" "You are strong!" and my favourite "Eating is not the answer." -I was stupid and eager to write the slips and trusted that this was the right direction...

Well, anyone who gives you advice like that is best avoided. The fact is that the above advice has some merit, but only if the root of the problem is at the surface, if the biological factors and the psychological aspect are addressed. These pieces of advice come in a much later chapter, not when you are specifically experiencing seizures. And then again, it's going to be that a crappy note on the fridge can't keep you from having a binge and then you're the weak-willed one... come on!

Replace with healthy food

If you're on the verge of a binge, replace junk food with healthy versions. Haha, I'm sure I have the presence of mind to stuff myself with nutella at 11 at night, but I quickly get carried away and start grinding turmeric nuts and steaming holy water... Again, this is in the joke category. Clearly, you can't replace binge eating because you are having a BINGE . The concepts are completely slipping through the minds. Also, feel free to ignore this idea, it won't work.

Make up rules and limits

This is my favourite: you're plagued by binge eating and so more diets, rules are suggested by "knowledgeable" friends, coaches etc. I guess on the basis that because you're irregular, more rules will help keep you in check. Only problem is that you can trigger episodes rudely with this provision. Forcing more rules on yourself will only make a temporary change, it's very likely that your body will later manifest as a guilty Matyis and give you back the restrictions three times.

Well, the point of the article was not to take advice from someone who doesn't know the subject and doesn't know your personal background and thoughts. Don't allow others to make you feel that you're not good enough because you can't follow their stupid suggestions. The point would be a change of perspective, a deeper understanding. But this is really hard work, hard, long work. In the following articles, I will also cover how to approach binge eating.

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