Snapping Out of a Binge Eating Urge
There are three super simple tools I used myself to fight back binge urges that were calling me into the kitchen. I think every binge eater can easily memorize them so when the urge strikes you don’t have to wrack your brain trying to remember them.
- Take 5: The first and easiest tool I can recommend is to Take 5. All Take 5 means is if you feel you want to eat and find yourself in the kitchen or in a fast food drive through, turn around and go park yourself in a chair or a parking spot and just sit for 5 minutes. Set a timer if you need to. Use those 5 minutes to examine yourself and your feelings and talk yourself out of the urge. If after 5 minutes you’re still having the urges, take another 5 minutes. You’ll notice that urges usually come in waves and if you’re patient enough you can ride the waves out.
- HALT-B: Second, as you’re doing your Take 5s, you can also incorporate another tool at the same time that I absolutely love and used all the time myself with the Take 5 rule. I call this the HALT dash B rule. That’s H A L T – the letter B. Hungry, angry, lonely, tired and bored. Am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired or bored? and if I’m experiencing any of those feelings, what am I going to do about it? That’s HALT-B. hungry, angry, lonely, tired or bored.
- If you think about it and you’re really hungry then maybe you need to eat but make sure you’re just going to eat something that’s healthy or good for you that’s going to satisfy you.
- But before stepping into the kitchen, next ask yourself if you’re angry or upset at something. If you are, use this time to calm yourself down and try to relax. Stretch, meditate, do some deep breathing exercises. Anything to calm down.
- Maybe you’re just lonely. Many times we mistake loneliness for emptiness and we actually feel that as hunger? If you’re lonely then reach out to someone like a friend or family member and connect. Email someone. Call or text with someone. It’s all good stuff to keep you from feeling lonely.
- If you’re tired that often messes with your body and can send false signals to your brain that you’re hungry. If you’re actually just tired then take a nap, relax or go to bed. Resist the temptation to go eat. That’s what really forms those bad late night eating habits as well.
- Finally, are you just bored and want to eat because you need something to fill the time? This is also another easy trap to fall into and identifying boredom will keep you out of it. If you’re bored then find something to do that’s not related to food or eating.
- Remember When: Third is the “Remember When” tool. It’s fighting dirty and hits a bit below the belt but sometimes we need that. Let me explain it real quick. It’s also pretty simple. To use Remember When, try to conjure up in your mind the memory of your last binge eating episode. Really try to remember this. Remember all the food you ate and how uncomfortable you felt afterwards. Remember feeling sick and unhappy with yourself. Really throw yourself into this state. Try to relive the moment. Feel it. Almost try to get yourself feeling a little sick to your stomach if you can do it. Yeah… Remember When is fighting fire with fire. It may not be the most elegant way to stop an urge but it sure can be effective.
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