I'm going to teach you how to stop binge eating in the evening...because it's the worst!
I would wake up in the morning full of regret. The first thought in my head the second I opened my eyes was frustration over binge eating the evening before. I would then snap myself out of bed, pump myself up that today would be different and head off into my morning! I'd have a healthy breakfast. Or better yet! I'd skip breakfast altogether to give myself a chance to burn up some of the food in my stomach. The rest of the day would go ok, I'd manage to exercise and not binge. Sometimes I'd even make it through a healthy dinner. But the in the evening, all hell would break loose. Ugh!!! Why was I good most of the time but then would flip the switch in the evenings?
Let me explain! The thinking and methods above will never work. Not ever. Because there is too much restriction and not enough intuition. Once I COMPLETELY changed my approach to binge eating recovery, I started to heal. I realized that I had to address things in my life other than the food I was eating. Eventually my eating disorder dissipated into thin air. Just like that.
Here are 5 tips on how to stop binge eating in the evening –
1. Get your chores out of the way first
When you get home at night you're beat down from the day and exhausted. The evening is your sliver of a moment to relax and be free. So make sure to finish your day the minute you get home, before your evening begins. I began to notice that if I started to binge eat immediately when I got home from work it would last a longer time. Because I was dreading what would come next. Unpacking my bag, washing up, getting ready for the next day, writing that one last email, etc. So I made it a point to knock those things out THE MINUTE I walked in the door. This way they weren't hanging over my head and keeping me in the bliss of a binge as a way to avoid them. Because there wasn’t anything left to avoid, everything ahead in my evening was enjoyable. Even the non-food things. Bang out your chores or "must-dos" immediately when you get home, as fast as possible. And then have dinner after.
2. Get comfy FAST
You binge eat because you feel pain. This can be big, obvious pain. Or smaller more subtle things that are harder to notice. Believe it or not, but the slightest amount of discomfort can send you into a binge. Because eating food is distracting and makes you feel better. It's a crutch for uncomfortable situations of all sizes. In the evenings, we're often bent out of shape from the day and have some clean-up to do before getting into relax-mode. We need to remove our uncomfortable clothes, take off makeup, shower, etc. The sooner you can get comfy and ready for bed, so it's not looming later in the night, the better! Once your chores are done, before you start eating and relaxing, wash up and get ready for bed! Get warm, clean and COMFY! The better you feel the less likely you are to binge. This is a simple one but profound habit to get into.
3. Stop restricting all day
If you restrict all day you will binge at night, GUARANTEED. If you're living by rules and holding yourself back, stop. Start going with the flow and giving yourself what you need. Otherwise you will snap, which is what happens when you binge. Instead of starving yourself or trying to be perfect all day long, eat three meals per day no matter what. And let yourself eat what you're in the mood for. This way when the evening comes around, you won't need some big release. When you let yourself feel satisfied throughout the day-to-day, the evenings aren't as big of a deal. You'll feel more even keel and consistent, I promise.
4. Know what you’ll do with your time instead
You can't remove something without replacing it with something new! So! If binge eating is your #1 evening activity, you'll need to replace it with something else. Or many other things. I like to make lists, so I know exactly what I want to be doing with my time instead of binge eating. Write down ideas for productive things but also fun, relaxing and nourishing things. Everything you want to be doing instead of binge eating. When the urge to binge comes on, refer to your lists! Do ANYTHING on them instead of binge eat (as long as it's not harmful or self-destructive). Practice this over and over again until it starts to work wonders!
5. Visualize the regret in the morning and use it to your advantage now
Before diving into a binge in the evenings, think about yourself the next morning. Get into that state of mind. Feel the physical discomfort. Get angry and frustrated. By tapping into your future self, and knowing how horrible you'll feel the next day, you can influence your decisions in the moments. It's like sending a message from your tomorrow-self to your current-self. If you don't binge eat now, in exchange you'll feel SO MUCH BETTER tomorrow morning. And then, the momentum builds. The more you do this, the more better decisions you will be able to make. And it's the most wonderful snowball ever. This little trick helps me a lot!!
Are you ready to stop binge eating? Start by identifying your unique triggers. And learn what to do about them!