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Ways to help control binge eating.

First of all, there are many reasons why a person binge eats. From coping with a negative body image, underlying emotional stress, out of boredom, or simply because the food is there. People with binge eating disorders struggle to control their eating and feel powerless in terms of how to stop it. They may think about food all the time and feel guilty or depressed after eating.

Here are some ways to help control binge eating;

-One of the best ways to address binge eating is to plan out your meals ahead of time. Not only can it help to control portions, but you can make sure to keep meals nutritionally balanced. Instead of wondering what you will eat when a craving comes up, you will know exactly what to eat and how long you have to wait to have it. Some people may also skip meals in order to eat less. Skipping a meal may seem like a good idea, as you are eating less, but it can also lead to hunger which can trigger binge eating later in the day. There are many consequences of skipping meals, including lowering metabolism, impairing mental focus, dizziness, and weight gain, among major health conditions.

-Increasing your protein intake helps with feeling satisfied for longer. Studies have shown that people who eat high amounts of protein feel more satisfied after a meal compared to people with low protein in their diets. In other words, protein makes you feel full. If you feel full and satisfied, you are more likely to be able to wait until your next planned mealtime to eat.

-Like a protein-rich diet, water can curb appetite. Staying hydrated can help to avoid cravings and keep you feeling satisfied until your next planned meal time. Water can also help overcome cravings as they are happening. Many times, when we think that we are hungry, we are actually thirsty. If you are feeling hungry and it’s making you want to binge eat, try drinking water instead. This may satisfy your craving and keep you from binge eating.

-Regular exercise can improve your mood and energy levels. It can also help to relieve stress. If you feel more relaxed and have higher energy levels, you may be able to avoid emotional eating and have the energy to do other things to distract yourself from binge eating.

-When you don’t sleep enough and wake up tired, your body might crave foods that are high in sugar to help give you a boost of energy. Getting plenty of sleep can not only help with these cravings but can also improve your mood and help with appetite control. A study on sleep and appetite regulation found that sleep affects the level of leptin, the hormone which regulates appetite. Leptin levels were 19% lower in people who get less sleep versus those who got a full 8-12 hours of sleep each night. Since leptin signals to the brain that there is an energy balance in the body and that food is not needed, having higher levels of leptin can help control appetite.

-Keeping yourself busy will give you less time to think about food and you will be less likely to binge eat. Many people with binge eating disorders find themselves eating out of boredom. Instead of reaching for a snack when you are bored, try distracting yourself. You can distract yourself from binge eating by taking a walk, calling a friend, listening to music, taking a bath, or reading.

-Binge eating can be triggered by certain foods. A trigger food is one that will cause you to go into an episode of binge eating and then regret it later. To avoid this situation, don’t buy your trigger foods and do not keep them in the house. Remove temptation, if you do not have direct access to them, you are less likely to be triggered into a binge eating episode.

Above all, the best way to get over binge eating is to address the underlying reasons. Seek professional help.

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