How I Stopped Binge Eating to Help Me Lose Weight

Binge Eating Tips
16 Jul

Last Updated on May 21, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

One of my biggest hangups for losing weight is binge eating. Out of nowhere, I’ll get an insatiable appetite and loot the kitchen. Lately, I’ve been doing quite well addressing that issue, and it’s made a huge difference in my fitness goals this month.

But, I can tell you that I still struggle some days, especially since I’m a stress eater. And the last few months have been exceptionally difficult.

Keep in mind, though, there are legitimate times when you’ll need to eat. I’m not a fan of starving yourself. This post is for those who snack too often or wind up eating too much throughout the day.

5 Ways I Keep from Binge Eating

Now, these tips probably won’t work for everyone. These are just the things that have made the biggest impact on my binge eating. And yes, I still have my moments of not doing as well.

However, I’m still losing weight after the past few weeks by doing one, or a combination of many, of these tricks.

1. Filling Up on Water

One thing I’ve been doing a lot lately has been adding more water to my daily intake. In general, I really don’t get enough outside of coffee.

Water does a decent job at filling up your stomach. And a lot of people mistake thirst for hunger, so, this may help when you have the overwhelming urge to grab a bag of Oreos.

The bottom line is that I snack far less throughout the day thanks to having a water bottle next to me. Not to mention the fact that I’m actually getting hydrated.

2. Keeping Myself Active

A much better way to spend time than to jump into binge eating is to find ways to keep me active. Sometimes this means going out for a walk in the backyard. Other times, it’s jumping in front of the Xbox…literally.

The idea is to occupy your mind with things other than eating. This is especially difficult for me any time after dinner. It’s the night snacking that winds up being the most difficult to overcome.

If you find a good hobby or activity to take the place of when you snack the most, it can help divert the need to binge.

For example, at night, I’ve been taking to writing or playing games again. Those are fun activities that usually keep me focused. As long as I have my water nearby, I don’t even get the compulsion to snack.

Unless I’m extremely exhausted. Then, I should just go to bed.

3. Take a Closer Look at Costs

How much do you spend on eating? How much do you think you eat while snacking? These are things I really didn’t put much thought into until I started budgeting my money closely.

I’m actually planning on a case study soon involving how much money it actually costs to eat healthily. And it’s not as much as you might think.

At any rate, I sat down with a spreadsheet once and tallied up all of my eating habits. It was quite impressive, in an “eat your savings” kind of way.

I thought I would rather put that money to other positive uses than just give me something to snack on. Plus, I concluded out how much cheaper it is to make lunch from Trader Joe’s rather than stopping at McDonald’s.

4. Snack on Healthier Foods that Fill You Up

If you absolutely cannot stop yourself from binge eating or snacking, try healthier alternatives. Personally, I love fresh peas off the vine, which is why I grew them this year.

In fact, there are all kinds of fruits and veggies that will help you feel satiated without the calories, carbs, and sugar count.

For example, bananas are not all that expensive when you break them down per unit. They are often cheaper than candy bars and deliver more nutritional value, such as the much-needed mineral, potassium.

My point is that there is literally a world of healthier foods if you absolutely need to snack.

5. Use MyFitnessPal to Track Intake

I’m a huge fan of the free app, MyFitnessPal. It has been one of the primary tools I’ve used to lose more than 70 pounds. In fact, I lost 20 pounds within the first six weeks.

And the best part is that I’m still able to eat the sweet and tasty stuff without issues.

With MyFitnessPal, you keep track of every morsel of food you eat. Using a colored number system, the app will tell you if you can have more food (being in the green) or if you’ve surpassed your caloric intake goals (being in the red).

The first time I entered the amount of food I used to eat at Taco Bell threw me for a loop! I was eating more calories and carbs in one sitting than I should have throughout the entire day.

At any rate, if you can get yourself afraid of seeing the numbers in the red, it’ll help curb your snacking.

What Not Use Appetite Suppressants?

I’m not generally a fan of supplements or pills. There are a few things I’ll take to augment my day, such as drinking a glass of Emerge first thing in the morning.

But, I’m one of those kinds of people who get more out of the sense of accomplishment through action. This means I’d rather feel the pride of doing it myself than having something handed to me.

I’m like that in everything, really…video games, work promotions, household expenses, and yes, health and fitness.

There are a few things I’ll take, though. Technically, Emerge also acts as an appetite suppressant. But when it comes to everyday living, I’d rather come up with strategies that will help me accomplish my goals.

Now, I’m not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with an appetite suppressant to curb binge eating. In fact, they may prove quite beneficial in your situation.

But I’m driven by the idea of looking back and saying, “Yeah, I did this.”

On the other hand, I know how difficult it can be to change eating habits. Remember, I’m a stress eater. So, if you need something like an appetite suppressant to help change those habits, then go for it.

Just be sure to consult a physician before you make drastic changes to your lifestyle. There could be more at play than just feeling snacky. Especially those of us who are getting up there in the years.

Find Ways to Deal with Binge Eating that Work Best for You

The best way to stop yourself from bingeing on foods that are less than ideal is to find whatever works for you. Everyone has unique needs and wants, and to be successful, you’ll have to do a bit of the trial-and-error process.

The above is a list of things that work best for me. And yes, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times. But this doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It just means I need to try harder and identify what triggers my eating habits.

See what kind of behaviors you can modify today to keep yourself from binge eating the kitchen.

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2 thoughts on “How I Stopped Binge Eating to Help Me Lose Weight

  1. Some good tips here, Michael. I’ve had occasional success with all of these (except MyFitnessPal…signed up but never used it). But like you say all the time, the best way is to find what works for you.

    My best results in recent years have come from trying to be more “mindful” when I do catch myself binge eating. I rarely consciously choose to binge. It’s more of an autopilot type of thing, where my mind is off thinking about something else while my hands are mindlessly shoving food into my face.

    Nowadays, I often catch myself poking around in the fridge and stop for a moment. It’s like, “Wow. What am I doing here? I just ate an hour ago. There’s no way I’m literally hungry.” Then I try to think back about what triggered the behavior of heading to the fridge. And this past year I’ve found that 90% of the time, the activity I was doing right before heading to the kitchen was writing. I was at my laptop, supposed to be writing an article for a client or writing a blog post, and then seconds later I’m in the kitchen again.

    Ah, the joys of working from home =)

    Sometimes I now cut myself off and head back to my desk without bingeing. But that isn’t consistent.

    Another tip I’ve been playing with is to give into the binge, but do it with damage control in place. So I have some low-calorie stuff on hand and just allow myself to rip into it. At least that way, I still satisfy that habitual urge but with half the calories. Some stuff I allow myself to graze on:
    1. raw veggies
    2. fresh fruits
    3. sugar free cereal with milk
    4. whole grain sandwich bread (but no bagels – too calorically dense)
    5. diet soda

    Sometimes a glass of ice-cold diet soda does the trick – at least for an hour or so.

Let me know what you think...