There are times when you will be about to binge or trying to convince yourself that you won’t binge if you just let yourself have this one thing that has historically been a trigger food. Stop. Before you do anything, ask yourself, “am I hungry?” If you are, let yourself eat a protein dense food. If you’re not, if you’re just wanting to eat, tell yourself that you are absolutely allowed to go and binge, but you are going to wait 20 minutes before you do anything. Set an ordinary kitchen timer for 20 minutes and in those 20 minutes before you get your binge food, let yourself engage in some kind of relaxing activity. If you’re at work, get outside of the office and take a walk. If you’re at home, take a hot bath or do some light stretching or yoga, or call a close friend and chat for a while. For other ideas on what to do while you are delaying, check out 101 things to do instead of binge eating. At the end of 20 minutes, check in and see if you’re still wanting to binge. You might at that point have enough distance from it to make a choice that’s less compulsive and more calm. When you postpone the binge, you take the compulsive behavior out and put mindfulness in. It’s easier to make an informed decision when you are conscious. You might still binge, but each time you give yourself some time to postpone, you are strengthening the part of you that is learning to care for yourself without abusing food.
An old school mechanical kitchen timer is a great tool because it’s something that you can just keep there in your kitchen, it’s easy to just grab and turn without sitting and messing with your timer on your phone. Having something to grab and touch and use your hands with is a great way to interrupt a binge compulsion and pull you out of it without pulling you into your phone.