How To Stop Eating So Much
The #1 question I get by far is how do I stop eating so much?
This is followed by how do I stop eating disorder behaviors? I get it. A few years into my eating disorder – namely, bulimia – I was asking the exact same question.
I couldn’t break that binge purge cycle. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t stop the eating disorder.
Strangely, I was asking the wrong question.
A coach gently suggested that if I wanted to learn how to stop eating so much, I might start by asking a different question.
My eating disorder coach explained that our brains respond more favorably when we aren’t being forced to do something.
This makes sense I thought. The more you tell your brain NOT to do something, the more your brain WANTS to do it. Same goes for my children.
I asked my coach what the right question was.
Instead of asking how to stop eating disorder behaviors, ask how you can start doing something that serve you.
Hmmm. This felt tricky to me. But what did I have to lose. I was desperate to learn how to stop binging and purging.
Before I go further. There is an OBVIOUS answer here on how to stop eating so much. And that IS to START nourishing yourself regularly throughout the day.
ARE YOU DIETING?
When you restrict, even a little bit, your body will want to binge. It’s like telling your child he or she can’t have something. Trust me, your child will want it.
If you are dieting or find yourself “in between” diets, it’s time to learn about intuitive eating. Dieting leads to eating more.
You are putting your body in restriction mode and in time, it’s going to want more. Email me for the research on this topic around diets not being sustainable over the long run and how eating more can lead to less binging.
Okay, assuming you understand why diets won’t serve you in the long run, then keep reading. This next tip is for you.
MAKE A LIST
So I made a list. I wrote down five things that I could do every day that would serve me. It’s important to note that my list felt doable for me. I wasn’t shooting for big dreams and the items weren’t necessarily all related to eating disorder recovery.
I did keep the goal in the back of my mind. Ultimately, I was adding things to my day in an effort to stop eating so much.
1) Drink enough water – half my body weight in ounces – every day
I didn’t measure, but I ball-parked here. I didn’t drink too much water and also didn’t leave myself dehydrated.
2) No matter how hungry or not hungry I felt, I would eat breakfast at 830am
Okay, this one sort of pissed me off, but I understood the importance of it. Lots of science to back it up and important NOT to do it for weight control but for brain power. I wanted to think clearly throughout the day.
This made me less likely to have eating disorder thoughts.
3) Write down 5 things I’m grateful for
Five things felt doable. It has since grown to ten. I didn’t see the immediate effect but looking back I can notice what a big impact this has had on my mindset. Not to mention, the studies and research on gratitude are endless.
4) When I felt the urge to binge, do this one thing
So this “one thing” changed over time, but having a go-to thing for how to stop behaviors helped immensely. What helped me most was texting three friends to check in on them. I’d simply send a text – hey, just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing.
5) Start sleeping better
Notice I didn’t stay “start sleeping through the night” or “start sleeping 8 hours”. I just wanted it to be better. When I didn’t sleep well, I made terrible decisions which often led to eating disorder behaviors.
For me to sleep better, it meant taking medication. My pride got in the way oftentimes and tried to convince me not to take it.
For me, it helped to say “I’m learning how to stop eating so much and how to stop binging. Once I learn those things, I may not need the crutches anymore. Meds are like a crutch. I need it now and that’s okay.”
If you are looking to co-create a plan to stop behaviors and start living a life you dream of, schedule a call with an eating disorder coach today.