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  • Writer's pictureShaina Painter

Regaining Control: 4 Strategies for Binge Eaters

Feeling out of control around food can be overwhelming. It's important to recognize that you're not alone in this journey, and there are effective strategies to regain a sense of control and find peace with food. As a non-diet nutritionist, I'm here to provide you with four empowering ways to feel less out of control around food and embark on a path to healing.

Embrace Mindful Eating

Mindful eating is a transformative practice that can help you reconnect with your body's hunger and fullness cues while fostering a more conscious relationship with food. Here's how to get started:

  • Slow Down: Take your time during meals. Put your fork down between bites, chew slowly, and savor the flavors. This allows you to better tune in to your body's signals.

  • Engage Your Senses: Pay attention to the colors, textures, and aromas of your food. Engaging your senses can enhance the pleasure of eating and reduce the likelihood of overeating.

  • Listen to Your Body: Check in with your body before, during, and after eating. Ask yourself how hungry you are and how full you feel. This practice helps you recognize true hunger and satisfaction.

Challenge Food Rules and Restrictions

Binge eating often stems from rigid food rules and restrictions, so it's essential to challenge these beliefs. Here's some ways my clients may start this journey:

  • Ditch the Diet Mentality: Abandon diets and focus on nourishing your body. Reject the idea that certain foods are off-limits.

  • Build a Balanced Plate: Aim for balanced, satisfying meals that include a variety of nutrients, such as protein healthy fats, flavor, and fiber. When your body is nourished, it's less likely to crave large quantities of specific foods.

  • Allow All Foods: Give yourself permission to enjoy all foods in moderation. Restriction can lead to cravings and subsequent binges.

Practice Self-Compassion

Binge eating is often accompanied by feelings of guilt and shame. Practicing self-compassion can help you break free from this cycle:

  • Replace Self-Criticism: Replace negative self-talk with kind and understanding words. Remind yourself that you are not defined by your eating habits and there is no morality in food choices.

  • Forgive Yourself: Understand that regression is a part of the journey. Instead of punishing yourself, practice forgiveness and use each experience as an opportunity to learn, reflect, and lean into what you need.

  • Seek Support: Consider working with a therapist or counselor who specializes in binge eating, along with a non-diet nutritionist. A team trained in non-diet, trauma-informed care can provide valuable guidance and emotional support.

Build a Supportive Environment

Surrounding yourself with a supportive environment can make a significant difference in your journey toward feeling more in control around food:

  • Share Your Goals: Let your friends and family know about your journey and ask for their support. Having a supportive network can be empowering.

  • Limit Triggers: Identify situations or environments that trigger binge eating, and try to avoid or modify them as much as possible.

  • Celebrate Progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Building a positive feedback loop can boost your confidence.

Feeling out of control around food is a common struggle, but it's one that can be overcome. As a non-diet nutritionist, I encourage you to embrace mindful eating, challenge food rules, practice self-compassion, and build a supportive environment.

Remember, your journey to healing is unique, and it's okay to seek professional help if needed. By taking these steps, you can regain control and find lasting peace with food.

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