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Intermittent Fasting and Binge Eating

Intermittent Fasting - A cure for binge eating disorder or just new fangled dumbness?

Intermittent Fasting: 

The newest  old thing with a fancy name. 

I have been getting lots of emails recently asking me if Intermittent Fasting is helpful for people with Binge Eating Issues. I have lots of thoughts, but I want to start by telling you about my early experiences with IF. 

The very first time I learned about intermittent fasting was in 1985. I was in 5th grade and my best friend’s upstairs neighbor, who was in 6th grade had lost 13 pounds through intermittent fasting. I mean, we were children and it was 1985 so it wasn’t really intermittent fasting, it was that Shoshana drank a cup of tea for breakfast,  a diet coke for lunch and then whatever her parents gave her for dinner.  I thought that sounded CRAZY! But then in 7th grade, when my hips and breasts started coming in and my period started, I thought that I would try it. Of course it wasn’t called intermittent fasting back then. It was called  “the diet that we all went on so that our parents wouldn’t know that we were dieting.”

Puberty, incidentally is a high risk time for girls to begin eating disorders. That’s because in order to start menstruating, girls’ bodies begin to put on body fat and the changes that take place can seem sudden and out of control. I remember for sure that when I began maturing, my mother made many comments about how my body was changing and that I’d better watch out because once I got my period, weight would be impossible to lose. Wow! Crazy messaging!  But I believed it and wanted to do whatever I could to stop that cycle. So I went on Shoshana’s special diet of tea for breakfast, diet coke for lunch and dinner was whatever my mother gave me. 

Nowadays, you can’t open your computer or look at your phone without seeing something about intermittent fasting. An eating disorder for adolescent girls turned into a way of life for tech bros. People have written books about it, people sell programs, apps, meal plans… it’s just the next diet plan that people are looking to cash in on. I mean, Shoshana Kaufman could have written a book back in 1985, it would be called “How To Diet Without Your Parents Finding Out.”

Intermittent Fasting: Or How to Diet Without Your Parents Finding Out By Shoshana Kaufman – Grade 6. P.S.24, Bronx, NY 1985

Chapter One – Don’t Eat Breakfast

Chapter Two– Don’t Eat Lunch

Chapter Three- Eat Whatever Your Parents make you for dinner

Often I will write about certain diets and I’ll be attacked by people for having a differing opinion about them. I wrote a post about low carb diets some years ago and got attacked by the low carb mafia. Really nasty, nasty emails and comments. Here’s the thing… this is a blog for people who are trying to recover from an eating disorder. And for people who have eating disorders or disordered eating behaviors, these kinds of rulesy eating plans are always contraindicated.  However, there are so many promises that intermittent fasting makes that people are being led to believe that it’s a panacea for all that ails them. 

Intermittent fasting has lots of promises behind it:

Promise #1. You will become “clear-headed” and able to concentrate better if you’re not worried about eating.

My thoughts: Are you able to concentrate when you’re hungry? I’m not. In fact all I can think about is food. I remember being in school as a kid during my restriction days and just zoning out while I fantasized about food. I did this in college too and early on in my adult life when I was still in my eating disorder. In fact, the more I restricted, the less engaged in life I was because I was just focused on not eating and fantasizing about food and what I would eat when I finally let myself eat! 

Are there people who are clear-headed? I’m not sure, but what I do know for sure is that my anorexic patients do come to a place of feeling almost ethereal when they’re not eating. Why? It’s likely because their brain and their organs are beginning to shut down. Their body is using less energy and trying to conserve what it has to use. 

Promise #2. It gives you lots of energy. 

My thoughts: Well, as someone who was an athlete in high school and continues to be athletic now, I can tell you for sure that not eating NEVER gave me more energy. On the days that I would do Shoshana’s diet, I was super sluggish in swim practice. On the days that I did eat breakfast, I would fly through the water. As I got older and started running, I had the same experience. A banana goes a long way before a morning run. A run on an empty stomach in the morning is nothing but a way to run out of gas immediately. Again, I have no idea why people would suggest that their energy is increased. My suspicion is that if you are someone who wakes up and eats a very large and difficult to digest breakfast that creates more sluggishness in your day-to-day, then this would be an improvement. Yet that can also be solved with mindful eating, figuring out what gives your body energy and vitality through your own self-experimentation and trial and error. For instance, I’ve figured out that breakfast cereal will leave me feeling sluggish and hungry, but eggs and cheese and fruit carries me straight through my morning and holds me until lunch. That’s something I had to figure out on my own, not something that someone else could tell me. Your body, your needs. It’s okay to experiment until YOU find what works for YOUR body. No one else can tell you that. 

Promise #3. You will lose weight effortlessly

My thoughts: Now here’s when we come to the Binge Eating Disorder issue. When I did Shoshana’s diet, I was very, very, very likely to binge at night. And honestly, I did that crazy diet for many years. I did it from the age of 12 until I was in my early 20’s. Not every day of course, but I did it often and I binged pretty much every day. It was awful.  And did I lose weight? Actually, no I gained a good amount of weight because of the bingeing. 

If you have an eating disorder, intermittent fasting is likely not the right path for you. Here are the reasons: 

People with eating disorders tend to have black and white thinking. Thus, if you are planning to restrict your food for a set amount of time and then you “mess up,” it’s likely that it will trigger some extreme behaviors, like either a binge or compensatory exercise or a purge or a long period of restriction. 

People with eating disorders teeter between extremes so a full day of not eating could often lead to an evening of binge eating. 

People with eating disorders will often go to extremes to “get it right” even if their body tells them that they need to eat, so they might either completely ignore the cues of their bodies or they might engage in dangerous behaviors (like drugs or excessive coffee drinking) to ensure that they stick to their goals. 

Read How Intermittent Fasting Triggered my Binge Eating Disorder

Do I think that there is anything valuable about Intermittent Fasting? 

If you have a propensity toward eating disorders, I’m going to say that no, intermittent fasting is nothing more than the same diet you went on in elementary school that started this whole disordered eating thing to begin with. You could have written the book and sold the items. Intermittent fasting teaches you how to ignore your body’s cues for hunger. And those of us with disordered eating have known how to do that for years. And we know what happens when we ignore our bodies’ cues for hunger – when we are tired, our body fights back and we binge.  Perhaps for people who eat mindlessly all the time, a day or two of intermittent fasting might help them to hear their bodies’ cues for hunger and learn what that feels like, but beyond that, I don’t believe that this is the best new thing. I think that people have found a way to package an eating disorder into a new fangled diet with a fancy name.

What intermittent fasting does is the same thing that all diets do, it takes away choice – and in that taking away of choice, people feel safer around food. It creates a structure where they can control their food intake. As Soren Kierkegaard said,  “anxiety is the dizziness of freedom…” and it’s true. People become so overwhelmed with choice around food and diets, that this feels like an easy way to take away the choice and limit their food intake. 

As always, my opinion remains – listen to your body, give it what it needs when it needs it.  You CAN trust your body to guide you toward what it needs to be healthy. Your body knows. I can promise you that. You might not always get it right, but the closer you listen, the better you will get to know your body. Your body has so much wisdom. Unlike 1000 or even 100 years ago, food is readily available to you and so you have the opportunity to give it yummy, nourishing food when it needs it. 

Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting and binge eating
Intermittent Fasting and binge eating
Intermittent Fasting and binge eating

Intermittent Fasting and binge eating

intermittent fasting and binge eating

 

Friday Q & A – I’m out of control with food and I feel helpless

Why can't i just get back on my diet?

This question comes to us from Aubrey in Missouri.

Question:

On July 19th this last year (two years after my brother’s car accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury) I decided that I was going to change my life. I was 206 pounds, a *tight* size 15, and completely unhappy with my body. My goal weight was 140 pounds and I couldn’t wait to get started. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I have a rare condition called Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis. The condition makes it nearly impossible for me to exercise since I have it so badly. Whenever I get too hot or exercise enough to get hot I begin to go into anaphylactic shock (my throat and face swell, my skin gets red, and I struggle to breathe). Obviously, I knew that working out probably wasn’t the best choice for me, but I continued to stay on my 1500 calories a day diet. 

Eating healthy wasn’t always easy, but I stuck with it. Finally, I got down to 158 and a comfortable size 11. I was extremely proud of myself and my confidence levels were higher than ever! It was then that things started to get tough for me in my personal life, so I decided that I would take 5 days off of my diet. I continued to eat fairly healthy (outside of my one meal from Mcdonald’s). Although, I have to admit that I was eating an excessive amount of food, even if it was healthier food. Once I got back onto my diet things were so much harder. Suddenly I found myself going back into my old binging habits. I would eat only 1000 calories a day for a week, then I would fall off the wagon and eat 10,000 calories in a day. Now, I’m trying to control it, but it feels like the monster is out of it’s cage. I haven’t lost weight for months, and I’m back up to 170 pounds. 
I feel helpless. The worse I feel, the worse I feel the need to binge. The cycle has started again and I don’t know how to stop it. I want to get back on track and lose more weight, but it feels like I can’t. It was so difficult for me to get this far, and now I feel like I’m just going backwards. I don’t want to struggle with my disorder like I used to. I just want to be beautiful and healthy.

Answer:
Hi Aubrey. First off, I want to say that I’m very, very sorry to hear about your brother’s accident. What a horribly tragedy. I’m sure that watching him go through this has been incredibly difficult for you and for your family on many different levels.  I do hope that you’re getting support for this.
First off, try to take a breath and calm down a bit. You lost almost 50 pounds, and you’ve only put 12 back on. This is salvageable and you don’t have to go back to where you were.
Sometimes, in an effort to “catch up,” or compensate for a binge, people will do things like reduce calories dramatically. Like you say that some weeks you only eat 1000 calories per day. That’s not sustainable. It’s not healthy and it will lead to one of two things– anorexia and loss of menstruation and eventual organ failure, or binge eating. Binge eating is usually the more common of the two because bodies will do what they can to survive.
In 1944, the University of Minnesota conducted a study  called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment which was done to learn about the effects of starvation and how to rehab those who were victims. For that they created a controlled famine.
Here’s the gist of it:
For 3 months, each participant was give 3,200 calories per day — which helped them to achieve or maintain their ideal weight.
For the next 6 months, each participant was given on average 1560 calories per day– which was considered semi-starvation. This amount of calories caused severe weight loss in people who were at their ideal weights. The idea was to induce people at their ideal weight lose 25% of their weight. So a 175 pound man would go down to 130 pounds. Pretty extreme.
For the next 3 months, each participant was given a controlled amount of calories to help them heal from their 6 months of starvation.
For the next 2 months, each participant was given the ability to eat whatever they wanted in unrestricted and uncontrolled amounts. Which resulted in bingeing and a preoccupation with food.
The results of the experiment showed that the participants experienced food obsession, binge eating,  severe depression, and there was even self-harm when one of the participants  amputated three fingers of his hand with an axe.  Sexual interest was drastically reduced, and the volunteers showed signs of social withdrawal and isolation They also  reported a decline in concentration, comprehension and judgment capabilities.
So, why do I share this? Because I think that this mirrors your process in some ways. You went on a strict 1500 calorie per day diet and lost approximately 25% of your weight on it. You then went off of it and when you tried to go back, you became preoccupied with food.
So, that doesn’t mean that this is hopeless. Your ability to eat healthy is definitely intact.
Right now, in this very moment, make a decision to stop looking back right now and begin to look forward. Don’t try to make up for the weight that you’ve put back on, this will put you on a horrible roller coaster (like the 1000 calories per day some days and 10,000 calories per day on others.)
1.Stop counting calories.  When you do, you put unrealistic constraints on yourself. If you decide to eat 1500 calories per day, and then you accidentally eat 1800 that day, you might find that your mind decides that you “ruined” it and that you wind up eating another 3000-5000 calories.
2.Decide that you are going to begin to love and respect your body and give it what it needs. Give yourself a variety of fruits, vegetable, grains, meats, dairy, whatever it is that your individual body needs.
3.Practice Intuitive eating– give your body the foods that it needs to run efficiently.
4.If you find that you would prefer to continue counting, I say to use a hunger and satiety scale.
        -Decide that you will eat 3 meals per day and snacks if you need them.
        -Rate your hunger on a scale from 1-10-. 1 being so hungry you could pass out,  5 being totally neutral and 10 being so full you    could throw up.
        -Don’t ever let yourself get so hungry that you’re under a 3- try to eat at a 3-4.
        -Before you eat, check in with yourself and see how hungry you are. Write that number down in a journal.
        -Try to eat slowly. Very slowly. In the middle of the meal, stop, put your fork down and see what number you are at. If you are at a 5 or below, continue to eat slowly, checking in with yourself at every few bites. Once you get to 6 (satisfied) put your fork down and be done with your meal. Write down what number you ended at for that meal.
         -Check in with yourself several times during the day to see where your hunger is.
         -Rather than counting calories, your goal is to eat at a 3-4 and stop at 6-7.  You want to eat slowly and give your body what it needs.
         -A guided meditation for mindful eating might be helpful as well.

5. As for exercise, you need to discuss appropriate ways to exercise with an exercise physiologist, an allergist, or sports medicine doctor. You might be able to do gentle things such as long, slow walks, or isometric exercises to help you tone up. Hard core cardio is obviously dangerous for you.
6.Get support. Don’t do this alone. Food issues and eating disorders thrive in isolation. Find a group of women who are learning how to let go of pejorative eating rituals (such as extreme calorie counting) and who want to learn to eat mindfully, intuitively and healthily together.
I hope that this answers your question and you’ve found this helpful.
Warmly,
Leora
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.

How To Stop Binge Eating? – Top 20 Ways to Stop Binge Eating

Quick Tips on How to Stop Binge Eating

How To Stop Binge Eating

 

Here is a quick little round up of different tips on how to stop binge eating and how to heal from binge eating disorder. Several of these tips are longer posts in other parts on this blog, so you can bookmark this page and come back and read more when you are ready or just go through the tips quickly. Enjoy!

1.)Eat a balanced, healthy breakfast with protein every morning. Starting your day off with a solid meal will stave off hunger and mindless eating during the day that can trigger binge eating.

2.)Give up Dieting. Diets actually cause binge eating. Instead begin to adapt healthy eating patterns by adding a healthy habit instead of subtracting a kind of food or food group.

3.)Get Support. Binge eating is a disease of isolation and secrets. When you attempt to recover in private, you perpetuate the isolation that drives the disorder. Getting support helps you to be accountable and helps you to talk it out with other people who are going through the same issues. Good places to go to for support: A therapist, a 12 step group, an online support forum, online or telephone meetings or the Recover From Binge Eating online program to help support and teach you how to stop binge eating.

4.)Don’t let yourself get very hungry. When you let yourself get very hungry, your blood sugar drops which in impairs cognitive skills. Your body just needs glucose and it needs it now, so instinctively, you will start to grab for anything you can to raise blood sugar. Instead, use the hunger and satiety scale to help yourself eat what your body needs. One of the tricks that people use when they are figuring out how to stop binge eating is to eat protein first, at least 30 minutes before a meal to help stabilize their blood sugar.

5.)Learn intuitive eating. This is the opposite of dieting, where your body is the wise one that lets you know what, how much, and when you need to eat. Your body wants to be healthy, so learning to listen and respond to it, will help you to find peace with food and with your body.

6.)Exercise Daily. This doesn’t mean spending arduous hours at the gym or running 5 miles a day. This is about moving your body. The more you move it, the more aware of it you are, and the better you begin to treat it. This can mean anything from 30 minutes of walking each day, to doing yoga, or going on a jog, or lifting weights or even just window shopping. But moving and being out in the world is crucial. Need some motivation to exercise? Try this.

7.)Learn Mindful Eating. Mindful eating is the act of slowing down and actually noticing, tasting and being with your food. Mindfulness is about being in the here and now. Binge eating is about chasing the taste. You don’t necessarily taste your food when you’re bingeing because your waiting for the next taste, the next bite, and this hunger is insatiable. When you incorporate mindful eating, you learn how to stop and interrupt a binge. Mindful eating is peaceful, yet it is an amazingly effective tool in fighting binge eating. If you would like a free mindful eating meditation download, click here! 

8.)Add more protein. Nutritionally, protein will feed your brain, keep you feeling fuller longer and it will help your brain to function better so that you can make better choices about what kinds of food to eat.  This doesn’t mean eschewing carbohydrates, but eat your protein first so that you can make better choices about the next bite.

9.)Set a timer. When you feel the urge to binge, set a timer for 20 minutes, in that time, do something different other than binge. Let yourself know that you can binge if you still want to in 20 minutes. Often the very act of interrupting the compulsion will stop it.

10.)Meditate. Daily meditation will help you to slow down so that you can think about what you’re doing. You don’t even have to do it every day or make a big deal about having a practice. You can spend a few minutes each day breathing. Even in the middle of a work day, you can escape to the bathroom, close your eyes and breath for a few minutes to help slow down and ward off stress. You might want to download meditations to stop binge eating.

11.)Eat by the clock. If you are too entrenched in binge eating, the when part of intuitive eating might be difficult. So, at the beginning of learning how to stop binge eating, when you are first starting to recover,  you might want to set some parameters around when to eat. Example. Breakfast 8am. Snack 11am Lunch 1pm. Snack 4pm. Dinner 8pm. Or whatever feels right for your. Don’t forget to include at least three meals per day.

12.)Give Up Diet Coke.  A lot of people who suffer from Eating Disorders are addicted to Diet Coke. There are some theories that postulate that diet drinks cause weight gain. That may or may not be true. But what is true is that many binge eaters attempt to substitute food with diet soda. This causes bloating, discomfort and lethargy, all of which contribute to body disconnection making  binge eating more palatable.

13.)Remind yourself “I can always have it later.” Because binge eaters view food as so black and white (this is a special occasion, I have to eat it now) they tend to justify their binges. Just because it’s Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to eat Pumpkin Pie. Seriously. You will not stay up all night regretting what you chose not to binge on. This isn’t the last time that you can eat ice cream, it’s not black and white, it’s not all or nothing, that pumpkin pie will always exist. But do you need it right now? Can you have it tomorrow instead? Think about what your body needs in the moment.

14.)Know your triggers. Does going to the movies make you binge on popcorn? Does Halloween make you binge on Almond Joys? Does going to your parents house make you binge on bread? Does looking at Facebook cause you to binge on candy? Does looking at fashion magazines cause you to binge on pasta? Get to know why and when you binge and intercept these events at the pass. Find ways to deal with the binge before it happens. For instance, if you know that going to the movies causes you to binge on popcorn, get there without time to go to the concession stand.

15.)Get more sleep. Being tired can cause binge eating. Again, being more cognizant and mindful of what you are doing can help you to extinguish these behaviors.

16.)Treat yourself with Love. Remember to do nice things for yourself at least once a day. This could be showering, taking care of your nails, your hair, your skin, making your bed.  Being self nurturing will remind you of your own value so that you can feel better about yourself.

17.)Don’t compare yourself to others. You have your own path and your own dharma. Comparing yourself to others takes you off your path and stunts you. Try to look forward and move forward on your path rather than stopping yourself by looking longingly at other people’s paths.

18.)Be kind to your body. Learn how to love your body.  Don’t say mean things to your body, don’t call it fat. Don’t engage in fat chat with other people. Don’t bond with others by discussing how fat you are or what different diets your going to go on. Don’t talk about other people’s bodies no matter what they look like. When you think about how to stop binge eating, a big part of that is letting go of negativity and bringing more kindness into your world.

19.)Learn how to fight the urge to binge eat. Remember that wanting to binge isn’t enough of a reason to binge. Even if it feels overwhelming. Remember that you are stronger than the urge to binge.

20.)You are not perfect. If you have a slip, just start again. You don’t have to wait for the next day, you have millions of moments to start over. Start over immediately. Wash your hands, wash your face, take a shower and just recover from the binge. You can do that in any given moment.

 

How to Be More Patient

What even is patience? We spend so much time quoting the virtues of patience, yet most of us find ourselves extremely impatient.

According to wikipedia, patience is the state of endurance under difficult circumstances, and is studied as a decision making problem, involving the choice of either a small reward in the short term, or a more valuable reward in the long term. When given a choice, all animals, humans included, are inclined to favour short term rewards over long term rewards. This is despite the often greater benefits associated with long term rewards.

No wonder it’s so difficult to avoid compulsive behaviors when we are evolutionarily inclined to choose instant gratification over long term happiness.

But how much better would our lives be if we were all patient? Compulsivity is mixed with this primal fear of “I’ll never have this opportunity again. It’s now or never…”  Which is why so many people fall prey to compulsive spending, compulsive eating, compulsive sexual behavior, get rick quick schemes and all sorts of compulsivity. This is a very  animal behavior.  Patience is a learned, newer, evolved behavior that is not instinctual.

Of course patience (or lack of) and eating disorders go hand in hand. For compulsive dieters who alternately restrict and binge,  there is the inherent fear that we only have that one single opportunity to have that ice cream sundae, because come Monday, we can never have anything like that again. And on the flip side of it, comes dieting. The belief is that we need to be thin immediately, so if we do something drastic, like cut out all carbohydrates for 2 weeks, we will lose a dramatic amount of weight in a very short period of time. This is rather than taking time to get to know your body, understand what it needs and cultivate mindful eating and intuitive eating and healthy exercise.  This takes patience.

So as animals, if patience is not instinctual,  how do we cultivate patience?

1.) Patience is a learned trait, so first off, tell yourself that you are going to be patient with this learning process. It’s not going to come instantly. So every time you lose your patience, forgive yourself and accept that you are working against human instinct.

2.)Decide what patience means to you. How are you choosing to be patient? What does that pertain to? What kind of patience do you want more of in your life?

3.)Try some patience exercises. My favorite is washing dishes. Rather than loading up your dishwasher (if you have one) make a plan to wash your dishes slowly and mindfully. As you do, allow yourself to actually savor the experience of washing the dishes. Feel the warm water on your hands, enjoy the satisfying feeling of completion as each dish is cleaned, try to enjoy the time as it passes. Listen to music, breath, let yourself relax into the chore rather than waiting for it to be done. When you begin to allow yourself to melt into your world in the present and enjoy your time moment-by-moment, you are learning patience. The opposite of patience is trying to quickly reach the end.

4.)REMEMBER TO BREATHE! When you are feeling impatient (either standing online or waiting in traffic, or running late or wanting to exercise or eat compulsively) take a break and turn inward and just breathe. Bring yourself into the present and get away from the future.

5.)When it comes to food and weight, remind yourself of all the diets you have tried and where it’s brought you and all the time that you’ve wasted. Take it day-by-day  and even moment-by-moment (rather than  saying something like “i’m cutting out all fat, sugar, and wheat for the next 30 days”) and each day make an intention about finding health and well-being. And if for some reason you find that you’ve had a slip, forgive yourself and move on to the next moment. Each moment in your life gives you an opportunity  to choose the behavior that you want.

6.)Keep the big picture in mind. Remember that the opposite of patience is impatience and compulsive behavior. When you find yourself ready to act out compulsively, slow down and think about what is really important to you. For instance, if you all of a sudden find yourself wanting to return a text message but you’re driving, either pull over to do it, or wait. The safety of yourself and others around you is more important than reading or returning a text.

7.)Figure out what people and what situations trigger your impatience or compulsive behavior. Try to make it a game. Practice patience around these people or situations.

8.)Visualize the future the way you want it to look and then just let it go. Know that you can have the life that you want but not instantly, that the journey is important as well.

9.)Laugh a lot. Especially when things aren’t going as planned. Having a sense of humor about yourself, life, the world around you can help you to relax into it. Life is too serious to be taken too seriously.

10.)Let go of the impatience and anxiety in your body. When you are feeling tense and impatient, notice where you hold it in your body. Breath into those tight spots and try to let them loosen up.

11.)Eat something delicious very, very, very slowly. Take a half hour to sit and eat this thing that you love. Don’t scarf it down, let yourself savor it, taste it, feel it. Engage all your senses. When you are finished, don’t immediately grab more. Know that you can have more at a later time or another day.

Practicing Slowing Down– How to start mindful eating

learn mindful eatingOne of the easiest exercises that you can you do to help you let go of binge eating is practicing mindful eating.

The first step in eating mindfully is to slow down.  When you serve yourself a meal, don’t pick or snack until you are sitting down with your plate in front of you. Then, when you go to eat, pay attention to your food. Don’t eat in front of the TV or internet, notice each bite. Notice what it feels like on your tongue, notice what it tastes like, notice what it feels like to chew and to swallow. Pause between bites and allow yourself to enjoy what you are eating in the moment that you are eating it. When you are binge eating, you’re chasing the taste so you barely get a chance to enjoy what you are eating in the time that you are eating it and it becomes a race to finish one food and get to the next.

Today, plan just one meal that you can eat mindfully. When you eat it, slow way down. Taste and savor  your food — no matter whether it’s romaine lettuce or a piece of dark chocolate. Allow your body to integrate the nutrition into your cells. You might find that when you slow down, you become more conscious of your needs and you might even find that you need less food or more food.

As you begin to slow down your meals, you might find that you can even slow down your binges, when you do that, you might find that you are able to make the choice not to binge, that mindfulness and thoughtfulness will win out over the compulsion.

slow. slow. slow. That’s the word of the day when it comes to mindful eating. Slow down and let your body make the choice rather than the binge. You might want to try this guided visualization to help you learn mindful eating.

Hypnosis for Binge Eating, Bulimia and other Eating Disorders

hypnosis for binge eating

Hypnosis For Binge Eating– $12.99 for download

Millions of people suffer with Binge Eating. If you fit into that category, this session can help you to get control over the impulse to binge. It will help you to recognize that you are stronger than the urge to binge. Although that urge can feel overwhelming, you are ultimately in charge and this session will help you remember that. This will help you to be more in control so that you can choose the behavior that you want to have. It will allow you to feel more peaceful around food and your thoughts about food.  DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR BINGE EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Bulimia -$12.99 for Download

Bulimia is a very serious condition where a person eats a large amount of food and then gets rid of it through purging by self-induced vomiting. This session will help you to get control of your bulimia. You will know that you are stronger than the urge to binge and purge. You will find calmness and peace through breath and mindfulness when you believe that there is nothing else to do other than purge. Imagine feeling calm around food. Imagine letting go of the shame that you have around your eating disorder. Imagine finding peace from within to help you deal with whatever it is that triggers your symptoms. This session can help you to achieve that. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR BULIMIA HERE

Hypnosis for Compulsive Eating –$12.99 for Download

Compulsive eating is eating without restraint or thoughtfulness of what goes into your mouth. Do you know the feeling? It’s when you find yourself just grabbing food because it’s in front of you, not because you’re hungry, not because you’ve thought out what you’re going to eat. This session helps you to bring thought and mindfulness to your eating. It helps you to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied rather than just eating food because it’s there. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR COMPULSIVE EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Emotional Eating$12.99 for Download

Are you someone who turns to food when you are feeling stressed, sad, angry, depressed, anxious or happy? Is food your response to emotions? This session can help you deal with your emotions in a healthier way. Eating in response to emotions is a way to stuff your feelings down without validating them or metabolizing them. This session can help you to respectfully process your feelings without fear or needing to turn to food in response to them. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR EMOTIONAL EATING HERE

Hypnosis for Sugar Addiction-$12.99 for Download

Some people find controlling their sugar intake completely impossible. They find that one bite of something sweet will have them spiraling out of control into a sugar binge that they cannot get out of. This session can help. This will help you to let go of your addiction to sugar. Some people have found that after listening to this session, they are able to completely give up sugar for good. Others find that they are able to set limits around sugar that they could not previously stick to. This session will give you that peace and control around sweets that you need and allow you to feel safe and comfortable. DOWNLOAD HYPNOSIS FOR SUGAR ADDICTION HERE

Hypnosis for Intuitive Eating-$10.00 for Download

People can also be addicted to dieting. Sometimes they find that they have success with a particular kind of diet plan, but they gain the weight back, and then they try and try and try to replicate that initial success again and again. It becomes exhausting. This session can help you to let go of that diet. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the diet because you believe that you will lose all self-control. However, the truth is that the obsession with the diet and the weight loss is what has taken over. This session will help you to release the obsession and integrate healthy, intuitive eating. With intuitive eating, your weight will naturally come to the place that your body is meant to be at, and you will begin to feel safer around food. You won’t end up overeating or eating unhealthy foods because you will be giving your body what it needs. Your body doesn’t want to be filled with junk or overstuffed. It wants healthy amounts of nutritious food. This session will help you to achieve that. DOWNLOAD INTUITIVE EATING MEDITATION HERE

Mindful Eating Meditation-$12.99 for Download

This session will help you to incorporate mindful eating into your healthy eating regimen. Mindful eating is a way to understand what your body needs, how much it needs and when it needs it. Practicing mindful eating will help you to learn the very simple practice of eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. It will also give you the power to be aware of what you’re eating while you’re eating it. You will become more intimate with the tastes, the textures, and the nourishment of your food. You will find a sense of gratitude for what you are eating as well as an appreciation for food and your body. DOWNLOAD MINDFUL EATING MEDITATION HERE

 

Love Your Body- Guided Meditation for Positive Body Image – $12.99 for Download

Many people deal with body image issues and feel bad about their size, their shape and what they look like in general. This session can help you to respect your body. When you love and respect your body. You feed it healthy food and appropriate portions. You feel more confident in your skin and generally happier. Your body deserves love and respect, not criticism and punishment, no matter what the size or shape it is. This session can help you to let go of the inner critic that tells you there is something wrong with you and helps you to treat yourself with the loving kindness and respect that you deserve. Imagine what it would feel like to feel peace and calmness in your body. DOWNLOAD POSITIVE BODY IMAGE MEDITATION HERE

 

Stop Eating Junkfood -$12.99 for Download

This session will help you to let go of unhealthy eating habits and integrate new healthy eating habits. It’s not about self-control or will-power, it’s about wanting to eat healthy. You will find yourself desiring healthy foods and eschewing junk foods. You will find that you are not tempted by foods that don’t serve you. It’s not that you will be struggling to eat the right foods or make good decisions, it’s that you will find you have the desire to take care of yourself. You will be able to stop and think about what you want and what your body needs rather than compulsively grabbing at something that is not good for you out of habit. DOWNLOAD STOP EATING JUNKFOOD START EATING HEALTHY HYPNOSIS HERE

Hypnosis for Motivation to Exercise– $12.99 for Download

Not everyone is a star athlete. Many people just can’t seem to find the time or the motivation to exercise. This session will help to take the anxiety out of getting started. Often, people find that they don’t exercise because they become very overwhelmed at the prospect of just getting up and getting out. Exercise should be easy and enjoyable, not an overwhelming task. This session will help you to get over the initial hurdle of exercise so that it becomes a habit, rather than something to dread. After a few weeks of developing a new habit, it will become second nature so that the anxiety and stress are no longer there. The motivation to exercise will naturally be there, so that you will look forward to and enjoy exercising. DOWNLOAD MOTIVATION TO EXERCISE HYPNOSIS HERE

Question: How do I use these MP3s?

Answer: Use headphones or an ipod to listen to these recordings. Listen to them when you have uninterrupted time to lay down, relax and close your eyes. It’s best to listen to a recording each day for a few weeks to help reinforce the change. Night time is often best because they relax you enough to help you fall asleep and help your unconscious mind absorb the changes.

Question: How do these sessions work?

Answer: Self-hypnosis and guided visualizations work by changing the way you think. The beliefs held by your unconscious mind are the driving force behind your actions, so the point of these sessions is to help you to change those beliefs. This is done by first helping you become deeply relaxed. At this point, your conscious mind takes a back seat while your unconscious mind is open and receptive to suggestions. The changes take place as you begin to visualize them. Your unconscious mind then changes your thoughts and beliefs by releasing those that no longer serve you and creating new, healthier beliefs. Once your unconscious mind begins to have healthier beliefs, your behaviors completely transform. You begin to notice yourself making changes that you had wanted to make but weren’t able to because you were stuck in old patterns.

Question: How do I know that I can be hypnotized?

Answer: Some people can’t, but most people can. What’s important is not that you are being hypnotized per se, but that you are able to listen to the recordings and visualize the change for yourself. The calming nature of the sessions will help you to relax and that in itself will create a huge benefit for you.

 

Question: How long will it take to work?

Answer:  Many people receive a benefit and notice a change after the very first time they listen.

Question: Will I remember anything from the session?

Answer: Yes, you will most likely remember everything. You are not unconscious, you are just deeply relaxed and peaceful, as though you’re meditating.

Question: Will this cure my Eating Disorder?

Answer: Hypnosis is not a guaranteed cure all but is a wonderful complement to your recovery program which can include nutritional therapy, psychotherapy, and a support group or 12-step group.

 

FOR ADDITIONAL HYPNOSIS DOWNLOADS, VISIT HYPNOTHERAPY FOR WELLNESS

Hypnosis MP3

Postponing a Binge

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. 

Just One Day Without Binge Eating Challenge

can i go just one day without binge eating?One of the many AA mottos is “One Day at a Time”  That just has to be true.  People who binge eat are often very polarized in their thinking. It has to be all or nothing. So,  when people decide to recover from binge eating, they set the bar very high for themselves. “I’m never ever going to binge eat again. I’m only going to eat healthy every day for the rest of my life.” Wow. That’s really way too much to think about. And not only that, but it’s a giant set up for failure. When you decide that for the rest of your life you’re never going to binge, you establish a really difficult task for yourself. And it’s a set up for a binge. “Well, if I’m NEVER going to binge again, I might as well have a really good one tonight. Then tomorrow I’ll be perfect.” That almost never works. You wake up ill the next morning and are unable to eat or feeling too guilty to eat for several hours. When you finally do allow yourself to eat, you are so hungry that… well, you know. The cycle starts again. There are variations on this. And certainly, there are people who make a decision to never binge again or never binge and purge again and never do. But, for the most part, this is incredibly overwhelming for the psyche. And it backfires. However, if you can break the task down into small, manageable pieces, recovery becomes more tangible.  So, make a decision that you are going to choose one day. Just one whole day, where you don’t act out in any eating disorder behaviors. No bingeing, no restricting, not purging, no overexercising. You are going to take one day to act as if you are recovered. Just to see what it’s like. You must do this with the caveat of letting yourself know that this is only a one day experiment. That is what will make it more palpable.

So, here’s how you do it.

1.)Pick out a day that you are going to act as if you are  without eating disordered behaviors.

2.)Remember, it’s only one day, so you don’t have to prepare yourself the day before by bingeing or starving.

3.)Wake up that morning and EAT BREAKFAST!  What I find  incredibly common in binge eaters  and bulimics is the propensity to skip breakfast. The idea for most is to go as long as they can without eating. The belief is that if they skip breakfast, it will set up a “bad” precedent for the rest of the day. But remember, this is the day that you pretend that you have no eating issues, so go ahead and eat breakfast.

So, when I say breakfast, I don’t mean a piece of fruit. I mean a good hearty breakfast. Try to have a high protein breakfast with some fiber and complex carbohydrates. Such as two eggs and a cup of oatmeal with a piece of fruit, or some turkey sausage with whole grain bread and fruit, or if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, a tofu scrambled with vegetables and a side of fruit.

4.)When you make your breakfast, make it with loving kindness. Try to get up a bit earlier than usual. Instead of rolling out of bed and chugging coffee while you’re running out the door, set your alarm for 1/2 hour earlier. Before you shower, before you do anything, give yourself some time to make yourself a nourishing breakfast and really take time and space to eat quietly. Sit down at a table without turning on the television or looking at the internet or reading the paper. Eat slowly. Notice your food. Notice the tastes, the textures and the feeling of eating. Let your body take in the nutrients it needs.

5.)Notice as you shower and get ready for work what it felt like to give yourself some time and space and nurturing in the morning.

6.)As you begin your day, notice what your body feels like. Check in with your body for cues of hunger and satiety. If you did indeed feed yourself a good hearty breakfast, but you feel hungry in an hour, this is probably not physical hunger, but emotional hunger. Are you stressed about something? Are you tired? What else might be going on?  Continue to assess your hunger throughout the day using the hunger and satiety scale.

7.)When it comes time for lunch, again, don’t skip it. Don’t eat lunch in front of your computer. Eat something healthy such as a salad with protein and a broth based soup, or a sandwich on whole grain bread with lots of vegetables and some kind of non processed meat and a piece of fruit. As you did with breakfast, try to give yourself space and time to actually taste your meal. Don’t inhale it. Notice it bite by bite. Allow it to feed your body and nurture your cells.

8.)Check in with yourself throughout the day. Am I hungry? Am I tired? Am I stressed? What do I need? How can I give myself what I need? Do I want to eat? Do I want to eat because I’m hungry or do I want to eat because I’m feeling something else?

9.)If you are finding that you are feeling hungry in the afternoon, let yourself eat something with protein and fiber, such as nuts and fruit together. If you want to eat something with sugar like a cookie, limit yourself to one serving and eat it with some protein such as raw nuts or seeds or a piece of string cheese or even a hardboiled egg or slice of meat.

10.)When you get home that evening, if it is a time that you usually binge, remind yourself that this is only one day of not bingeing, it’s just a one day challenge, and see if you can use your recovery tools to do something different.

11.)Again, make yourself a good dinner and eat it peacefully.

12.)After dinner, let yourself unwind. No work, no running around, no gym, no errands. Just a relaxing evening. You might want to take a bath or get into bed with a good book, or talk to a friend that you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

This is just one full day of self care and trying to see what it might be like to be on the other side of this. It’s just an experiment. As people with eating disorders, the days are filled with experiments. Experimenting on how little you can eat, what you can omit from your diet, how much you can eat, this diet, that diet….  Try seeing what it might be like to do this.