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Three Tips on How to Control Binge Eating

8/17 16:54:59
The first step on how to control binge eating is by being aware. That's right, the first most effective means of dealing with binge eating is awareness. Typical awareness techniques are:
1. Counting calories.
2. Using food equivalents.
3. Behavioral modification techniques such as:
a. using a smaller plate.
b. putting the fork down between bites.
c. eating very slowly.
4. Daily weigh in.
5. Stop thinking (cognitions).
6. Diets.

And these techniques do work for those who eat from habit. Let's define "eating from habit". "Eating from habit" is stopping by Dunkin Doughnuts every morning on the way to work, or coming home in the afternoon, walking through the living room, into the kitchen and raiding the refrigerator. It's basically the habit of being at a certain place and time where there is food.

And yes, if all binge eating were from habit, then a lot more people would be successful with any of the six awareness techniques mentioned above.

Even though habitual binge eating may be a large part of the problem, it is not the entire problem. There are other issues:
1. Eating Emotional Stress
2. Poor self image.

Both will interfere with any personal improvement plan. And when we look at eating emotional stress, there are actually two types of emotional stress.
1. Emotional eating associated with basic emotions such as frustration, boredom, happiness, excitement, depression and so on.
2. Emotional eating out of fear of being successful--fear of being thin because of all the additional expectations placed upon the individual by others and self--mostly self.

At any given time the over eater may be 50% of the time eating from habit. Weight from overeating then could be 50% from eating emotional stress.

Another day, the percentages could change--20% habit, 50% basic emotion, 20% fear. A week later, the percentages could change again to 25% habit, 25% emotional, 50% fear.

Attempting to use only awareness techniques (which are successful with the habit aspect of overeating) is overall like trying to put a round peg in a square hole. The overweight person gets on the diet or into the program and is avidly counting calories, involved with exchange equivalents, or whatever and with the initial burst of excitement, begins losing weight.

Later when the burst of excitement has quieted from starting the program and there's an emotional stress, the program is momentarily abandoned, there's quick self incrimination (calling oneself stupid and so on), doubts of ever being able to succeed, and the program is lost, weight gained back, and gluttony wins.

Unfortunately the emotions which started the downfall are never dealt with. Following are three tips on how to control binge eating--the best for any personal improvement plan. They are:
1. To acknowledge the emotional feelings. This in itself is often a challenge because most of our training from child hood has been to ignore emotions or pretend we're not feeling them.
2. Embrace the emotion. By embracing the emotion the need to dilute it with food is diminished.
3. Profit from the emotion. This is the challenge of managing stressful emotions vs. having the emotions manage us. Specific preference statements make it possible for the brain to move beyond the emotion and discover a creative outlet or experience of the emotion.

Remember, not all eating is the same. Weight gain is a combination of habitual and emotional eating. Using habitual eating techniques will not eliminate all binge eating. That is only one part of the equation. How to control binge eating is to acknowledge and handle emotions effectively.

A progressive approach on how to control binge eating involves asking important questions "What is missing here? Why are you not getting the results you've been promised?" It is clearly insane to keep dieting and using techniques to deal only with habitual eating when the results are so poor. It's more important to gain a grasp on how to deal with emotional eating than it is to read the scale. Besides focusing on the scale doesn't empower you to be a better more enlightened person, whereas learning how to control emotional binge eating empowers you in all aspects of personal change aspects of your life. If you're a sales person, you'll be a better sales person. If you're an assembly line worker, you'll be a better assembly line worker; a mother, a better mother, and so on. Overall, you'll build self worth and find that what you really want to eat is far more nutritious and less in quantity than you ever before imagined possible.

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