Medically reviewed by Serena Benali, Registered Dietitian. Published June 21, 2021. Updated July 17, 2023.
Are you tired of the cycle of binge eating and want to regain control over your relationship with food? In this blog, we will explore nine effective strategies that can help you overcome binge eating and develop a healthier, more balanced approach to eating.
From reframing your mindset to building self-care practices, these strategies are designed to empower you on your journey towards healing and recovery. Discover practical tips, expert insights, and actionable steps that you can implement in your daily life to break free from binge eating and cultivate a positive relationship with food. It's time to take charge of your well-being and create a healthier future.
If you're here post binge wondering what to do, don't miss our blog on what to do after a binge to stop the cycle.
9 Effective Strategies to Stop Binge Eating:
1. Refrain From All-or-Nothing Thinking
The all-or-nothing mindset is so prevalent in our culture. We strive for perfection in our eating habits but this pressure to eat perfectly creates immense tension within us, leading to unsustainable patterns. It's like a volcano building pressure, waiting to erupt. Eventually, we find ourselves on the other side of a binge, wondering how it happened. Break free from this cycle by rejecting the diet mentality and embracing a more balanced approach to food.
Strategy: Ditch the diet mentality. Shift away from rigid, all-or-nothing thinking and open yourself up to the beautiful space of balance. Embrace the freedom that comes with flexibility.
2. Recognize and Detaching From an Unhealthy Desire for Thinness
Having an unrealistic body standard for yourself can cause significant mental distress and contribute to disordered eating patterns. It can lead to extreme dieting and restricting that contributes to binge eating and eating disorders.
Recognize that each person has a unique weight range, known as a set point, where they can maintain through a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods and physical activity. Embrace the concept of allowing all foods to fit into your life, promoting a healthier relationship with food and body.
Strategy: Instead of fixating on a specific weight, redirect your attention towards how you want to feel, your energy levels, and the kind of relationship you aspire to have with food and your body. Set goals that prioritize overall well-being and nourishment, allowing you to cultivate a positive and sustainable approach to health. By emphasizing holistic aspects rather than a number on the scale, you can work towards achieving true vitality and fulfillment.
3. Stop dieting
Extensive research highlights the detrimental impact of dieting on binge eating patterns, creating a never-ending cycle of bingeing, restricting, feeling guilty, and repeating the cycle. Dieting is also a risk factor for eating disorders. Incorporating balance into your meals is key to nourishing your body and preventing extreme hunger that can trigger binge eating.
Strategy: Establish a structured eating routine by consuming regular meals, whether it's three meals and two snacks or two meals and three snacks, based on what works best for you. Maintain consistency with your chosen eating pattern to promote a balanced approach to nourishment.
Explore our blog on meal planning and intuitive eating for valuable insights and inspiration on how to plan your meals with a balanced and intuitive approach.
4. Eat enough during the day
Our body strives to maintain balance, so when we don't consume enough throughout the day, it compensates by triggering intense cravings in the evening, often for high-fat and high-sugar foods. This is a normal response as these foods are more calorie-dense, enabling our body to make up for the deficit.
Strategy: Prioritize balanced meals throughout the day, including carbohydrates, protein, and fats. If you tend to overeat or binge in the evening, consider trying breakfast as it may help curb late night cravings. Consistency in meal timing and composition helps regulate your hunger and reduces the likelihood of overeating or bingeing. Get inspired in the kitchen with our FREE meal plan, packed with delicious and nutritious recipes to support your balanced eating goals.
5. Get enough sleep
Sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice when our life gets hectic however is should always be our one constant in life. Lack of sleep can disrupt hunger and satiety hormones, causing increased feelings of hunger and potentially leading to overeating. Prioritize quality sleep to support your overall well-being and balanced eating habits.
Strategy: Consistency is key when it comes to sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night and establish a relaxing bedtime routine that brings you joy. By prioritizing restful sleep, you can support your overall well-being and reduce the likelihood of engaging in emotional eating or bingeing behaviors.
Reading is not only a wonderful way to wind down and relax, but it can also contribute to building a healthy sleep routine. If you're seeking valuable insights and practical strategies to overcome emotional eating and cultivate a healthier relationship with food, look no further than our curated selection of the best emotional eating books and food addiction books.
6. Eat foods you enjoy
As a dietitian, I believe enjoyment and satisfaction from eating comes from two different aspects: mental and physical. Mental meaning eating foods that are mentally satisfying and physical meaning foods that provide satiety and fullness. When we eat foods that don't really satisfy us, either physically or mentally, we don’t receive the full satisfaction and pleasure that the eating experience has to offer us. Inadvertently, we subconsciously end up making our way back to food again... and again. It can be a big reason why you eat when you're not hungry.
By nourishing your body with foods that satisfy both your cravings and your hunger, you can reduce the tendency to engage in emotional eating or overeat out of dissatisfaction.
Strategy: Eat foods you enjoy! Prioritize foods that bring you both mental and physical satisfaction. Before you sit down to eat, ask yourself if the food is mentally satisfying. For physical satisfaction make sure you include protein and fat to provide satiety and satisfaction. Embrace a mindful approach to eating and savor each bite, allowing yourself to fully enjoy the experience and find true satisfaction in your food choices.
7. Engage in regular self-care and stress relief
How do you release the built up stress from day-to-day? Even when we don’t have a significant stressful event the small stresses from day-to-day life do build up. If we don't have practices in place to relax and destress overtime, this tension builds up and eventually erupts. In addition, we may find ourselves turning to food and emotional eating to try and manage our stress.
Strategy: Prioritize regular self-care activities and stress relief practices to release accumulated stress. Find activities that help you relax and unwind, such as practicing mindfulness or meditation, engaging in physical exercise, spending time in nature, journaling, or pursuing hobbies that bring you joy. By actively managing your stress levels and finding healthier outlets for stress release, you can reduce the likelihood of turning to food as a coping mechanism and cultivate a more balanced relationship with food and emotions.
Take a moment to prioritize self-care and nurture your relationship with food by downloading our Free Healthy Relationship with Food Starter Guide. Discover practical tips, insights, and exercises that will empower you to make mindful and nourishing choices.
8. Do things that bring you pleasure, daily!
Food provides a lot of pleasure and sometimes it's people's only daily dose of pleasure. Explore activities and experiences that bring you pleasure on a daily basis, beyond just food. Engage in hobbies or interests that you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, practice self-care rituals, or engage in activities that bring you a sense of fulfillment and joy. By expanding your sources of pleasure and nourishment beyond food, you can reduce the reliance on food for emotional satisfaction and develop a more holistic approach to well-being. Remember to prioritize self-care and make time for activities that bring you genuine pleasure and fulfillment.
Strategy: Take time to appreciate the beauty of nature, savor quiet moments of solitude, or engage in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. By being present and fully immersing yourself in these experiences, you can find a sense of pleasure and contentment that goes beyond food. Embrace the ordinary moments and find gratitude in the small joys that surround you every day. Remember, it's the simple things that can bring the greatest happiness and nourishment to your life.
9. Resources to breakup with binge eating
Getting support for binge eating can truly change the trajectory of your life. I see it with my clients consistently. You are not meant to struggle with food for the rest of your life! Get extra support with our e-guide to Breakup with Binge Eating: 5-Day Challenge where we walk you through step-by-step five days of concepts to help you breakup with binge eating.
Books can be powerful tools for embarking on your journey of recovery from binge eating. If you're looking for a good read discover our handpicked best binge eating books that provide valuable insights and practical strategies to overcome binge eating.
Key takeaways: How to stop binge eating
In the journey to stop binge eating, it is essential to focus on key strategies that can lead to lasting change. This article explored nine effective strategies to help you overcome binge eating and establish a healthier relationship with food. By reframing your mindset, practicing self-care, and developing a balanced approach to eating, you can break free from the destructive cycle of binge eating. Remember to prioritize self-compassion, seek support from professionals, and implement these strategies consistently in your daily life.
With commitment and perseverance, you can regain control over your eating habits and embark on a path of healing and recovery. Take these key takeaways to heart and start your journey towards a healthier, more balanced relationship with food today.
Get support from a registered dietitian
If you're seeking support and guidance to overcome binge eating, our team of registered dietitians are here to help. With our expertise and proven program for binge eating, we provide valuable insights and practical strategies to address your specific concerns. Our registered dietitians will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan that promotes a healthier relationship with food and supports your overall well-being.
Our team of dietitians offer IFS for eating disorders recovery. Explore our blog on how Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy can be a transformative approach in binge eating recovery. Our blog post on IFS for overcoming binge eating the principles and techniques of IFS and its potential impact on healing your relationship with food.
You don't have to face binge eating alone – contact us to learn more or book an appointment with our experienced dietitians today and take the first step towards a healthier, more balanced life. Embark on your journey to recovery today!