HOW TO- Stop Binge Eating/Late Night Snacking
Binge eating is one of the most common eating disorders in America. Every year, males and females both struggle to control their appetite each and every day. In order to beat this nasty habit, the mental relationship with food needs to change. Below is my experience with binge eating.
Over time, I have developed a great relationship with food and have coached hundreds of people to do the same. The mental mindset that goes along with fixing the problem of binge eating can be tricky. However, with work, it is very possible. Here is my guide to success!
1. Learn how to use macro-nutrients to stay in your limit.
All food is made up of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients consist of protein, carbs, and fat which all contain calories. The micro-nutrients which is vitamins and minerals contain no calories. Macro-nutrients is what your body needs the most of each and every day through your food intake. 1 gram of protein is 4 calories. 1 gram of carbs is 4 calories. 1 gram of fat is 9 calories.
By having set macro nutrient targets each day (example- 150g protein, 190g carbs, 70g fat) will keep you in check by making the foods and nutrition labels fit your criteria for the day. This will make you feel like you have more control over what is actually going into your mouth.
2. Realize that sugar will spike cravings and exercise will power.
The truth about sugar is that it is extremely addictive. People will often fit carbohydrates into their macro-nutrient intake each day but the sugar content is far too high. Sugar will send reward signals to your brain making you want more and more of it. Excess sugar intake each day will make it very hard to control your appetite and will leave you hungry at many different times throughout the day.
The goal is to make the majority (all if you can) of your carbohydrates each day whole food based. Carb sources that are high in fiber and made from earth have low levels of sugar. This will keep appetite in check and blood sugar levels will stay low. Constantly spiking blood sugar levels with sugar throughout the day leads to high release of insulin in the body to flush glucose out of the blood. Insulin is a fat storing hormone. High levels of insulin is the opposite of what you want in your body.
3. Experiment with intermittent fasting.
A period of fasting each day is a great way to keep binge eating under control, especially for people that have problems with late night snacking. A morning fast of 4-6 hours will leave you with large amounts of calorie room to play with later in the day. This allows larger meals in a condensed window which helps with satiety. Intermittent fasting has became very popular in the health and fitness industry because of the amazing results it can yield.
One of the great things about fasting is that it is NOT a specific diet or macro-nutrient ratio, it is only an eating timeframe. If you take two people with the same allowed number of macro-nutrients each day, the person who is fasting gets to eat all of their meals in a much more condensed time frame. This allows the people a sense of indulgence while still staying in their designated caloric limit.
My day of fasting experience below.
4. Find an eating lifestyle that you can stick to.
This point is very simple. If you do not enjoy the foods that you are eating, you will not stick with it! Make your daily allowed number of macro-nutrients work with you, not against you. This is key to unlocking a diet lifestyle that you enjoy, feel like you're in control of, and blocks those nasty cravings because the foods taste amazing.
5. Do not place an end goal on your fitness or eating lifestyle.
When you make food a diet and not an eating lifestyle, mental restriction and cravings will start to set in. Do not place end goals on weight loss or body fat, instead focus on keeping a healthy diet that you can enjoy and maintain with ease. The goal needs to be to adhere to the process long term to keep health and weight in check. Eating for function and performance in the gym is what makes a person fit.
End dates on fitness or health leads to binge eating and relapse of old habits that are hard to break. When you mentally tell yourself that "I'm done" it is very easy to give in to each and every craving and food type at any time. Mentally excusing yourself will have repercussions in the future due to the fact that you are starting back at square one evaluating your binge decisions.
6. Eat for workout performance. Not starvation.
One of the biggest problems that people have when trying to lose fat is forgetting about workout performance. Strength in the gym is going to be the driving factor in metabolism and lean body mass retention to keep muscle tissue.
It is absolutely crucial that workouts are tracked in order to monitor gym performance. Chasing gym performance will always lead to improvements in your physique and lean body mass to weight ratio.
The ability to identify cravings from the beginning and mentally evaluate what you need in order to use the least amount of will power possible will lead to massive improvements in eating habits and health. A persons relationship with food is one of the most important things in health and fitness.