Last time, I wrote about better understanding binge eating and where it comes from. I’d like to focus a little here on how to cope with binge eating.
Many practitioners treat binge eating as problem behavior. It’s often judged. Binge eaters can be overwhelmed with shame and a desire to self-punish. In most cases, it’s a bad behavior that the eater just wants to fix.
One way people try to “fix” binge eating is by restricting – the amount, frequency, food type, meal skipping or reducing pleasure from eating – in an attempt to “control” the binges. Ironically, that strategy is nearly always a set-up for a binge which will occur as soon as a physical or emotional need presents itself. The iron-fisted restrictions give way and you’ve begun another cycle of binging and restricting! Not a very effective strategy.
But what if binge eating is, as I’ve suggested, a symptom, calling your attention to something in your life that is very out of balance? In that case, the most effective way to cope with binge eating is to listen to the symptom, rather than just striving to stamp it out, unheard.
When binge eating is a result of tightly suppressed emotion or a counter to areas in your life where you are in very tight control, then you’ll need to release the pressure in those areas in another way before the binges will disappear. So it may be time to get some counseling or coaching around areas in your life that are highly stressful and tightly controlled.
It might also be time to let go of the idea that a binge is the enemy. Instead, try to listen to its wisdom, pointing you to pay attention to something in your life that isn’t working. When we binge, we often check out, shoveling food in before we have a chance to taste it, let alone make a conscious choice about how much to eat. So the first strategy in dealing with binge eating is to slow down. Become present. Notice what you’re doing. Don’t allow your eating to go on automatic pilot. Take some deep breaths in between bites. Eat your binge foods on lovely tableware instead of out of the box, bag or container.
Naturally, the physical effect of an adjustable gastric balloon will help fill your stomach so you’ll feel full sooner. But since binge eaters often eat past the point of comfortable, try some of these other techniques to help you combat binge eating at the source.
Author: Rebeca Espinoza
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on or at [email protected] Like the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon page on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest for healthy eating tips, inspiring quotes, videos and photos and more.