We’ve all done it.
We’ve gorged on an entire tub of ice cream. That Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food is sooooo good!! We’ve tucked into an entire pack of biscuits rather than taking just one or two. We’ve worked our way through a complete sharing pack of crisps (yes those ones meant for four people) … by ourselves. But the thing is if we want to stay healthy, we should stop binge eating and we all know this. Mortified!
Whether you’ve had a hard day at work, stressful time studying, issues going on at home or just feel you deserve a moment of indulgence, it’s all too easy to treat yourself in the wrong way.
So first of all, I should clarify that treats are totally fine! Life would be miserable if you couldn’t order that takeaway, have that chocolate bar or enjoy a bag of sweets.
However as is often the case in life, moderation is key!
But how can we stop going that one step too far?
I thought I’d share some great but simple ideas …!
1) Portion control your snacks. Right, so you’ve been and bought your favourite 200g bar of chocolate. Once it’s open, it’s pretty easy to work your way through the entire lot. Why not put it into smaller portions immediately and store them separately. When it’s time for a treat, you then only need take one carefully measured portion. In this way, you can stop binge eating.
2) Only eat treats when you truly crave them. Research has shown that we actually only crave our naughty-but-nice snacks about 10% of the time. The rest of the time, being drawn to that snack is most likely just habit. Listen to your body. If you truly crave it, have it. If you don’t, then reach for the salad drawer instead!
3) Stop when you’re full. Apparently, it is impossible for babies and toddlers to overeat or be greedy as their brains tell them they’re full and then they just stop. Clever huh? Something must happen at some point in life that switches off this handy ‘full-ometer’ in our brains. So be conscious yourself. If you are feeling that you’ve had enough, then stop!
4) Slow it down. It has been reported for a while now that eating more slowly can help you feel full quicker. If you wolf down your snacks then your brain doesn’t have time to realise you’re actually full. Slow it down, enjoy the treat. Savour it!
5) Drink water or chew gum. If you drink water after a small treat, it naturally cleanses your palate and makes your mouth feel fresh again. Chewing gum (make it a sugar-free one!) increases saliva in your mouth. This can help general oral hygiene which is an added plus but also the fresh minty taste can make you not want to reach for the treats straight afterwards. Think of the nice ‘just cleaned your teeth’ feeling and you’ll know what I mean. Embrace that sensation. It will also stop binge eating or eating a lot at one time.
6) Think about why you’re doing it. Have you got a problem that needs sorting out? Are you upset about something? If you address the issues that may be causing you to binge in the first place then you may be able to break the cycle before it starts.
And don’t forget, if you want to treat yourself, it doesn’t have to be with food.
Why not treat yourself to that new top? Run yourself that nice bath? Get that face pack on? Paint your nails? They are all feel-good alternatives that can still give you the boost and satisfaction you are craving. So, stop binge eating, treat yourself with alternative ways you find satisfying.
If you opt for your naughty-but-nice edible treat, then just remember … moderation. It’s all about moderation.