I am a night-time binger. When all the world’s dark and there’s no one to watch, I stuff my face. Chocolates, cheese, biscuits… anything in the kitchen is fair game. It’s a miracle I’m don’t weigh two hundred pounds. I finally found a way to conquer bingeing: Accept that you will be tempted, and create safe responses when that happens.
6 tactics to conquer bingeing
1. Clear your fridge
It may be painful to clear out your fridge initially. There are probably lots of chocolates and other delicious snacks you’ll have to throw out or give away. Make it easy on yourself by looking at the stuff you throw away not as money or food down the drain, but fat in your body that hasn’t actually entered your body yet. Don’t you wish you could pinch an inch off your waist and just throw it away? Well, here’s you chance. It’s all still in the fridge instead of your waist.
2. Stock up on healthy snacks
You are allowed to keep some snacks in your fridge, of course. Life has to go on, right? Just keep only healthy snacks there. Any kind of raw fruit or vegetable counts as a healthy snack. Other relatively safe foods are pretzels, hard boiled sweets, biscuits made wiith flour rather than butter, and plain yoghurt. Anything that’s low in calories but takes time to chew will help you to contain the aftermath of the binge.
3. Drink something instead
A tasty drink made of malt or milk can soothe your sweet tooth while going easy on your digestive system. The ideal drink though, is one without any calories. Herbal teas are best since they also don’t have caffeine. Sip on the drink for as long as you can. I like to make a pot of hot herbal tea, since I have to wait for each cup to cool before drinking it. If you can last ten to fifteen minutes on just drinking, often the urge to snack would have passed.
4. Brush your teeth
This works surprisingly well. When my mouth feels clean and fresh, some part of us wants to keep it that way. So I find it easier resist putting food into it to dirty it again. If you’re in the habit of brushing your teeth before your sleep, then brushing will also send a signal to your brain that it’s bedtime and not dinner time.
5. Stand on the scale
If all else fails, then you need drastic measures. It’s easier to binge when we’re in denial (“one little chocolate won’t make much difference”) and much harder when the number on the scale reminds us that we’ve already eaten a hundred chocolates too many.
6. Visualise the body you want
This is the most effective long-term measure. Find a picture of your ideal body. Sports magazines may be a good place to start. Paste this picture on your fridge or wherever the urge to binge seizes you.
What you’re doing is programming your mind to make that picture a reality. The subconscious mind is very obedient and will strive to achieve whatever image you give it. Once it has registered that its job is to give you that body, it will filter out whatever does not achieve that aim, and focus on what does. You’ll start to find, miraculously, that the apple actually looks more delicious than the chocolate bar.
Conquer bingeing, and you can binge now and then
I still binge now and then, but it’s under control. Your body has a set point for weight. The occasional binge is alright since the weight that you put on will be quickly lost again as the body adjusts back to its set point. It’s uncontrolled and regular bingeing that does the damage since over time the constant intake of food causes your body to register a higher set point.
Now excuse me, I have to go look for some chocolate. I mean, an apple.