Binge Eating Therapy

Friday Q & A- I am stuck in a cycle of bingeing and dieting

I'm sick of dieting!Question:
My name is Lisa and I live in Texas. I overweight when I was young and went on a diet at age ten and lost 20 pounds. I became super healthy and absolutely loved being in shape and eating healthy foods however it has slowly become more like slavery to me. I never eat anything unhealthy but I tend to binge and go crazy with food before starting like a cleanse or cutting out a certain food because I think it will be my last time to eat that food. My binge consists of tons of dried fruit or several protein bars in one sitting. I get super full and don’t throw up but I feel very guilty and disappointed in myself. I don’t know how to get out of the feeling of deprivation because that’s what leads to the binging..thinking I won’t be able to have that food for a while. What can I do to get free from this problem!!??? Thank you!


Hi Lisa,

I’m sorry that you are feeling stuck in the tyranny of bingeing and depriving. But I think that your answer is in your question. You state that you “binge and go crazy with food” before you start a cleanse. You didn’t say what a cleanse means to you. Does it mean a fast or an intense deprivation diet? Whatever it means to you, it is setting up your black and white thinking. Meaning, as you say in your note, that you believe that you will never be able to eat something again, so you binge on it. After the binge, you feel terrible.

I am wondering why you choose to go on cleanses or why you choose to cut out certain foods. Are you allergic to them? Do they make you sick? If the answer is no, then you have answered your own question,  the solution to your problem is to stop depriving yourself. How about allowing yourself to eat the things IN MODERATION that you are cutting out? This will then stop your cycle of bingeing on them. For instance, instead of saying, “I can never ever eat dried fruit again,” tell yourself that you are allowed to eat a handful of dried fruit for desert each night.  Because the prior statement seems to create a lot of anxiety for you. Saying, “I can never _________again…” is triggering your all-or-nothing thinking and making you vulnerable to binges.  You say “I don’t know how to get through this feeling of deprivation because that’s what leads to the binges,” the only answer to that is to stop depriving yourself. You can be healthy and in shape and occasionally eat a protein bar or dried fruit. What’s more unhealthy than including some treats here and there is stress induced bingeing, self-hatred, guilt and shame, etc. It’s just food. People who exercise, eat well 80% of the time, and keep their stress levels down tend to be healthier than people who are either inactive and binge and overeat constantly or people who are so anxious about food that they are unable to enjoy their lives.

Try to allow yourself some more “yeses” and more self kindness and watch how the bingeing decreases.


I hope that this answers your question and you’ve found this helpful.
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.

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