I’ve been trying to be on a diet under 1200 calories a day so that I can look good during my graduation which is two weeks away. For the past few weeks I’ve been exercising on an average of four days a week and trying to keep my calorie intake in check. But this this week, things just got way out of hand. I began craving junk food more. I started buying ice cream bars, muffins, chips and eating it alone all at once. I felt really stuffed and uncomfortable and very guilty afterwards. I though then that maybe I would binge for one day and then from tomorrow onward, I would start eating clean again. I didn’t work. I ate more junk. The more I eat, the more I crave. It has been about 3 days of bingeing on junk already. i feel like i am totally out of control and i really want to get out of this vicious cycle. My exams are starting tomorrow and i am constantly thinking about food, and i am unable to focus on my revision at all. Please help me.
Stop! Take a nice deep breath and try to relax.
I know that you want to “look good” for your graduation. But as you’ve experienced, obsessive dieting is going to push you right into a binge cycle.
The immediate answer is to stop trying to get back to where you were and decide from this moment to go forward in emotional and physical health, that doesn’t include obsessive dieting. This will help to stop the obsession so that you can think about something other than food. Recover from your 3 days of bingeing.
Tell yourself that you are allowed to eat sweets or what you call “junk,” but only one serving each day and at the end of the day, after you’ve eaten a healthy dinner. Legalizing treats will help you to keep from obsessing and take the aura of mystique and shame away from them.
Remain calm, drink water, drink tea. Wake up each morning and fix yourself a good healthy breakfast– don’t count calories. Something like 2 eggs, 1-2 pieces of fruit and maybe some cheese or a piece of toast and a cup of tea or coffee. Lunch should be something like a salad or roasted vegetables with protein like chicken plus some beans, plus a fat, like olive oil or full fat salad dressing and some cheese. Or a nice sandwich made with protein and a fruit to go with it and a drink. Dinner could be protein, like a filet of salmon or steak or chicken, a lot of cooked vegetables or winter squash, a sweet potato or yam with butter. Then have a desert. A cup of ice cream or one cupcake or whatever it is. If you are hungry, eat. But ask yourself before you eat, “am I really hungry or do I just want food?” If you don’t know the answer, wait for one hour and then ask yourself again. As far as exercise is concerned, keep exercising, but it doesn’t have to be four days a week of extreme cardio, it can be long walks, water aerobics, swimming, hiking, dancing, anything that you find enjoyable, not punitive. Care of the self is about loving the self, not punishing the self.
I hope that this was helpful for you. Please do comment in the comments sections with anymore follow-up questions.
Do you have a question about binge eating, bulimia, anorexia, or anything associated with eating disorders? Send an email to bingeeatingtherapy at gmail dot com. All questions will be kept confidential. Include your first name or the name you want to be referred to as and your location. Are you interested in online therapy to deal with your eating disorder? Please see my website or email me to discuss getting started.
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