How to stop binge eating (+ stop obsessing over food)

Do you spend all day eating well but comfort eat when you get home? Do you eat healthily during the week but overeat on the weekend? 

Want to know how to stop binge and emotional eating? 

Take it from someone who knows first hand. You can’t just adopt more willpower to stop emotional or binge eating. Here are some of my favourite tips to stop emotional and binge eating. 

1. Give yourself permission to eat the foods you want to eat.

When you create a list of ‘forbidden’ foods, you make them even more tempting.

You have to give yourself full permission to eat everything.

Practice reminding yourself: “I am allowed to eat everything. What do I really feel like”.

When your body trusts that you aren’t being deprived, you will stop emotional eating and no longer feel the need to binge on this food.

Related post: 9 Things I wish someone told me before losing weight

2. Skip the judgement. Change your language.

Avoid referring to food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

When you ‘try to be good’ and avoid fattening or ‘bad’ foods, you’re only setting yourself up for more emotional and binge eating.

Feeling guilty or getting angry with yourself for overeating will only cause you to binge more – not less.

You can’t shame yourself into bingeing less.

3. ‘Normalise’ forbidden foods

Avoiding ‘bad’ foods in front of other people will only cause you to binge on them later in private.

To stop emotional eating, give yourself permission to eat your trigger foods in public.

That means order the peanut butter on toast at a café, say yes to the dessert when offered and grab an ice cream with a pal.

4. Eat at the table, switch off the TV.

When you eat in front of the TV, you condition your body to get hungry and feel like eating when you turn on the television.

Never eat in front of the TV or any screen, and eat. Give yourself permission to eat – and watch TV, but not at the same time.

5. Stop striving for weight loss.

Ironically, aiming to lose weight will prevent you from reaching your goals.

Shift your focus from trying to lose weight to building a healthy relationship with food.

Because when you have a healthy relationship with food – you’ll stop emotional and binge eating and your body will naturally find it’s healthiest weight.

6. Swap guilt for curiosity after each binge.

A binge is not a failure it’s simply your body’s way of trying to get your attention and tell you something.

Feeling guilty, angry and promising to ‘get healthy tomorrow’ will make you restrict again, causing another binge.

Stop fighting against your body and learn to listen to what it’s trying to say. This is the only way to stop emotional and binge eating. 

Instead, try to work out what triggered your latest binge. Were you tired? Feeling restricted? Was it out of habit? Did someone say something that made you feel terrible? 

7. Get extra support to stop emotional eating

It’s tough to stop emotional and binge eating without support.

You don’t need to ‘just try harder’ – you need to try something different.

I’ve created a program to stop emotional eating. Keep It Real is an online course to help teach and support you to stop emotional eating with 40 engaging video tutorials, whole foods recipes, interactive workbooks and PDF downloads.

Check out the Keep It Real Program to find out more.