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  • Writer's pictureabikevans

You must break the pattern today, or the loop will repeat tomorrow…

Updated: Nov 15, 2022


Binging can often be mistaken for a loss of willpower, a setback in achieving your ‘dream bod’. But a lot of the time – the binging episode is actually serving a purpose. Often it’s your body’s ways of saying “I need more energy to survive!”.


Naturally, after a binge it can be easy to feel inclined to punish yourself by restricting how you eat for the next few days. You may be successful with this … or you may not be. Even if you manage at first – what you are really doing by undereating to ‘compensate’ for the binge is proving your body right.


When we overeat, more often than not it is because that is fuel that our body needs. By undereating to compensate, you are programming your brain to believe that binging is the only way to get enough energy and ultimately it will happen again.



My Experience & The Vicious Cycle


Personally, I have experienced years of this kind of fast + famine cycle. Sometimes I would go a month or maybe longer with no binge and convince myself that what I was eating at that point was OK. However, as long as I held onto my restriction – the binges ultimately always ended up coming back with a vengeance.


REMEMBER: This pattern of behaviour is probably quite hardwired into your brain – especially if you have been struggling for a while. Don’t feel hopeless if you binge again! It can be a great moment to think about what the triggers for you are & work on how you can alter your behaviour next time to begin reducing the frequency of these events.


So, how do we break the cycle? Below are a few of the techniques I have been finding the most effective during my recovery...


Tip #1: Try writing down the feelings you experience before, during & after the binge

Tip #2: Make sure you are getting the right nutrients into your diet

Tip #3: Routine as a powerful tool to overcoming the binge


 

Tip #1: Try writing down the feelings you experience before, during & after the binge


I know that it is probably unrealistic to try to write down your feelings leading up to/mid binge. Instead try recording your feelings when you start to feel better but while the thoughts are still fresh in your head. How has it made you feel? Did you notice any behaviours prior to the binge? Might something have been stressing you out which may have caused it? How can you make small changes to remove these triggers/how you deal with them?


Noticing patterns in your behaviour can make it easier to make small adjustments in the future. For me, I noticed that prior to a binge I would spend a lot of time looking at recipes, spend more time planning my meals & weighing food. By realising this usually resulted in a binge, I learnt that this meant I had been undereating and was able to increase the amount I was eating while maintaining in control before the bingeing urges took over.



Tip #2: Make sure you are getting the right nutrients into your diet


An important tool that has helped me to reduce the frequency of my binges has been to ensure that my diet includes food that gives my body the right nutrition. Doing this ensures that I stay fuller for longer and do not experience such great urges to overeat.


This link will take you to my post explaining which nutrients to include for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This was something given to me by my therapist early in my sessions & helped me to become less focused on calories and more on what the food was actually doing for my body.


A good starting point the day after a binge is to ensure that you eat a good breakfast. As I said at the start of this post, restricting will only reinforce to your body that bingeing is the only way to get enough food. Here are some of my staple breakfast recipes!


I find it helpful to remind myself when I am about to compensate that by eating after a binge, that I am actually going to end up eating less because I won’t end up bingeing in the future.


Tip #3: Routine as a powerful tool to overcoming the binge


By building a routine when you are in a more positive headspace – you can create good foundations which will make recovering from a binge much easier. Often a binge will not only throw off your eating habits, but can also affect your social life, hygiene & motivation for life in general.


Try to start introducing a simple morning routine into your day. If you can practice this on days when you are feeling stronger, you will be able to fall back on this routine when you need a bit more support and structure. Click here for more information and tips for structuring your morning routine!


With love,


A b i x x

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