How can I stop binge eating, especially in the evenings?
May 29, 2013 5:50 AM   Subscribe

I am in my 30s and have recently developed binge eating habits, and would like your advice/suggestions on how to approach this, when already feeling overwhelmed with life. Medication info and other elaboration inside...

Managing my eating habits when things are normal are hard enough... I've been working at a very stressful (to me) job for the past 10 months almost, and when I am tired and weak at night, I have zero willpower to eat healthy food, and end up eating at McDonalds or just a bunch of cheese and junkfood more times I want to admit. I also don't order a normal amount of food, and am very ashamed of my eating and try to cover it up/don't talk about it to people.

This is probably emotional eating -- I do feel better/relieved shortly after eating like this at night. Guilt, regret, and stomach aches come later.

I always have had issues with eating a bit too much, and had successful bouts with Weight Watchers, including one for about 4 weeks in February... but I'm back to binge eating, and since I never have been a binge eater like this until reent years (I am 34) I am very confused how to deal with it. I feel like I am maiming myself with food, if that's even a thing. I have gained 50 or 60 lbs in the past 2 or so years, and I am a short (5'4") person. (probably around 210 right now :( )

My therapist suggests working with a nutritionist, but I am already doing psychotherapy (paid for mostly out of pocket), and physical therapy (fat+sedentary=pain, go figure), and I have a lot of chronic fatigue issues, so one more appointment feels like too much for me to handle right now. But if it has worked for you and you recommend it, please feel free to suggest it -- as well as any other tips that might be able to help me. I am feeling really hopeless about this right now. Thanks in advance.

other information of note: I take a lot of meds for depression and fatigue, and one med is a known weight gainer (lithium) but I am taking it at a very low dose.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (21 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Hi Sweetie,

I feel you, I really do. I worked with a therapist who specialized in eating disorders and I found it to be really helpful. One thing that I laugh about now, is that she pointed out to me that a movie sized box of candy, eaten in one sitting is a binge. I never thought of it like that.

I have found that restricting certain things really helps me make better decisions. For example, not eating fast food, not eating anything with high fructose corn syrup, no carbonated beverages, no candy, no corn tortilla chips. While restricting is a sign of an eating disorder, I find that restricting groups of trigger foods is VERY helpful.

Planning is essential. Knowing what you're eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day is super helpful. Get a menu plan on-line (there are a gazillion places.) Eat what's on the menu plan.

I find that eating low carb is HUGELY helpful for curbing carb binges. Low carb really controls cravings for me. Also, making the effort to get 5 servings of fruit and veggies, it's good for you and it's a challenge. How much salad, how much cantaloupe (low carb fruit), how many different veggies can I eat in a day? I gamify it and it helps.

One thing I can promise, is the better you eat, the better you feel. I started shopping at our local "farmers market"-it's more of a co-op, but the food is very high quality, grass fed meat, free range chickens, etc.

I will say that it doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition. If you do slip up, just acknowledge it and get back into your groove.

Check out a paleo or low carb food plan and try it for two weeks. Be aware that there's a time in a low carb plan when your body shifts from burning carbs to burning fat and you'll feel like absolute shit. That's okay, once you work through that, you'll feel a lot better and you'll have more energy.

I'm on anti-anxiety drugs, High Blood pressure drugs, HRT, and I'm post-menopausal. I may not be losing weight, but I'm feeling a LOT better.

I would recommend starting out with an elimination diet. I did this and discovered that I am sensitive to wheat/gluten, nuts, chocolate and eggs. It's kind of a nightmare eating around those constraints, but I feel better than I have in YEARS!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:05 AM on May 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

Three things really helped (and are helping) me:

1. Exercise. I run; the endorphins last all day and really help me stay sane (well, you know...).
2. Hypnotherapy. I did hypnosis for weight loss with a local hypnotherapist and it has REALLY helped. I can resist the junk food and sugar that I was eating ALL THE TIME, and am craving fresh veggies.
3. Removing temptation. My worst time for eating junk is at the office (when I'm tired (thank you small humans)) or at home (again, when tired). I had to get rid of the garbage in these places so that when I want to snack, I'm stuck with healthier options like fruit and veg, or maybe pretzels. No more chocolate, no more candy.

Out of the three, though, #2 helped the most. I no longer sneak off to the grocery store to get bags of candy that I binge on and then hate myself for eating. And the stress of hiding these habits is gone, which has helped me in a lot more ways. It's kind of a feedback thing; I get stressed, I want sugar and carbs, I eat them, I feel stressed because (a) I ate junk and (b) I feel the need to hide it from my loved ones, and then get more cravings for garbage food.

I think the key with the hypnosis is to keep up with it. I listen nightly to my recordings; at some point I'll be able to quit listening nightly but right now I'm in the middle of trying to change my habits and thought patterns.

Just as a bit of additional anecdata, I suffered for YEARS from emetophobia. Did hypnosis for it when I was pregnant with my first ('cause little people barf) and it REALLY helped. So at least for me, hypnosis works.
posted by tigerjade at 6:06 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Came back to say, if you're interested in self-hypnosis that Paul McKenna's I Can Make You Thin is EXCELLENT for disrupting harmful thought patterns.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:10 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

When was the last time you had a physical? See your GP to be sure you don't have anything else going on physically, like a thyroid problem.

I get the urge to eat at night too - I think it's easier for me to sleep on a full stomach. You can make it easier on yourself to eat healthier when you're stressed out. Buy tons of grapes, apples, celery and carrot sticks. If you eat a whole bag of baby carrots, that's fewer calories than anything at McDonald's. You could drink a ton of water, seltzer, diet coke, and still feel full. Make it a routine - get home from work, watch tv, eat as many apples as you want.

I understand being too tired at night to eat healthy. Could you order something healthy take-out-wise earlier in the day and pick it up at night? I order salads for lunch so I don't pay attention to the food trucks in my area. Even if I'd rather have tacos, I hate wasting money and I already paid for my salad.

Could you do yoga in the evening, even from a dvd or youtube at home? It's relaxing and something to do. A lot of my snacking is boredom-related so the more time I spend doing something else, the less time I spend snacking.

Can you meet people late for dinner? What about calling someone when you sit down to eat? Call someone who likes to talk a lot. They'll do the talking, you eat but you'll feel like you're eating with someone, hopefully making eating feel less shameful.

Also, brush your teeth after you've had dinner. Eating after brushing feels kind of gross, at least to me. People with eating disorders also recommend using teeth whitening strips. Bonus - whiter teeth!
posted by kat518 at 6:23 AM on May 29, 2013

I dealt with this four years ago and got great support from the somethingfishy forums and the book Overcoming Overeating. It was helpful to me to think of binge eating as a symptom of stress and body dissatisfaction, and address those primarily. I worked directly on accepting my body the way it was (e.g., I stopped weighing myself and did not allow doctors to tell me my weight, identified and avoided triggers for bad body thoughts like fashion/celebrity magazines and conversations about food/bodies with others, and did "mirror work," where you regard your body in the mirror as a work of art or a statue and try to appreciate its inherent beauty, and stop the second you have a judgmental thought), stopped delineating food as "good" or "bad" and avoiding "bad" food, and went to a therapist to deal with my stress and self-judgment. As anecdata, after about 6-9 months, I no longer binged. I gradually decreased the use of the strategies I described previously for a year or so afterwards. I can now eat a wide variety of foods (including foods I formerly thought were "bad") without feeling badly or binging. I'm at a normal weight and feel very happy with my body. It's great.

On preview, I disagree wholeheartedly with suggestions to continue restricting your food intake in various ways. In a lot of people with issues with binge eating, binges can be caused by restriction. I tried the strategies that people above recommend first before trying what I described previously and I feel strongly that strategies that involved trying to lose weight or in any way restrict food made my issues much worse than they would have been if I had worked on accepting my body. As long as you think you "shouldn't" eat certain food and binge eating represents a failure, you will continue to binge

Even if you don't feel like you have an eating disorder, you will get much better advice on the somethingfishy forums (populated by people with a range of eating/body issues, up to and including actual eating disorders) than you will here.
posted by quiet coyote at 6:24 AM on May 29, 2013 [11 favorites]

Binge eating/compulsive eating is something I have struggled with all my life and it got me to 335lbs and I am the same height as you. I know how you're feeling. I've since lost ~95lbs so this is something that can be changed. Have hope.

What worked for me was:
1. Joining weight watchers. The simple act of having to track and pay attention to the food I was eating cut the binge eating way down. I made a point of tracking my food even when I did binge. Seeing how I ate a day and a half's worth of points in an hour is very sobering and helped break me out of it.
2. Make it as difficult to binge eat as possible. I did NOT keep any garbage foods in the house. Like you, cheese was often a binge food. I kept only single serve cheese sticks (ie. cheese strings) around because I would know exactly how many I ate and would be able to accurate track the food. I also kept my house pretty empty of food. I grocery shopped almost daily, buying only what I needed for that day. Keeping the food out of the house helped.
3. Identified what was making me binge (for you it sounds like stress, for me it was lonliness and depression) and came up with a list of ways to deal with it when those feelings came that didn't involve food. Super indulgent candle lit baths were something I learned to turn to when I was feeling bingey.
4. I preportioned EVERYTHING. When I began doing weekly grocery shopping again I portioned everything off the second I got home. I am a package eater and always feel the need to eat all of something. Having everything portioned out in to their own package I can still satisfy that urge without binging.
5. I had occasional treats (candy bar, ice cream, etc) but only ever one/single serve portions. And when I did eat them I enjoyed them fully without any guilt. It is about moderation not deprivation.
6. Joined the gym. Yes, at 335lbs I bought a year membership. I started extremely slowly but I went. Seeing the progress in my fitness was key in detrailing my binge desires. I didn't want to undo it. Also, working out decreased my stress, made me happier (yay endorphins!), and over all I just felt better. And the better I feel, the less I feel the need to binge.
7. Reward with things that aren't food. I used to celebrate/lament everything with food. (Got a good review at work? Go out for a fancy dinner! Had a really bad day? Order in pizza!) This was a big part of my problem because my reward foods were often binge trigger foods. I came up with other things to reward myself with, mostly makeup. If I had a bad day I would go buy some new nailpolish or eyeshadow (which usually costs way less than the food I would have eaten). If I had a great day and wanted to celebrate I'd buy myself a sassy new lipstick and then wear it out on the town that night. For a while there I had way more makeup than a person should ever have, but I was losing weight and it was working.

Other things I reward/console myself with:
- a hair cut
- manicure/pedicure/other spa treatment
- new pillows and pillow cases (I cycle my pillows every 6 months or so and I love pillowcases)
- trashy magazines (Cosmo works well)
- "permission" to have a truly hedonistic lazy saturday where I stay in jammies and do nothing. (I never have those days, I'm a fairly high strung person with a lot of responsibities, so when I have a reward lazy day it is a real treat)
- massage

memail me if you want to talk. I really do know what you're going through and I'm happy to help you in any way I can.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:31 AM on May 29, 2013 [8 favorites]

So much of this sounds like me, a heck of a lot, over some of my thirties and early forties. One bit stands out:

or just a bunch of cheese and junkfood

Ah hah. Your body (and mind) may have become gradually addicted to protein. Especially through cheese. When I went vegetarian, I didn't realise it but that's what happened, and my cheese intake - especially in the evenings, oh dear god especially the evenings - went through the roof.

The one thing that keeps this at bay for me is to eat lots of protein in a low fat form. Skinless grilled chicken is particularly effective, especially if pre-made; have some in the fridge at all times. Takes seconds to grab and eat, doesn't matter if I eat it in the evenings, and it stops my cheese and junk food lust. Without other changes in my routine, it's been the one thing that has made the positive difference.
posted by Wordshore at 6:37 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

And fwiw, I too went to a nutritionist. It didn't help me in the slightest. It wasn't that I didn't know that what I was doing. I knew it was unhealthy. I knew what a normal portion was. I knew what I should be eating. Knowledge wasn't going to fix it. My issue was more psychological.

posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 6:38 AM on May 29, 2013 [4 favorites]

I used to be a compulsive eater. When I was depressed in college I would skip out on the meal plan at the dining hall, get in my car and drive to a fast food restaurant (the kind of place my pretentious hipster friends would sneer at), buy enough food for multiple people, then sneak it into my dorm room and eat alone. I did variations on this kind of behavior for years (when I graduated and moved into a city where I could have ice cream delivered to my apartment and I could order it online without talking to anyone, the situation became even worse).


Somewhere along the way I started exercising, mainly to lose weight because (big surprise) I was also having a lot of body image issues at the time. I didn't actually lose much weight from exercising, but I found that it had virtually the same effect on my mood as bingeing, except without the massive feelings of shame and guilt afterwards. I felt depressed and miserable... I went for a long walk, I felt a little better. I saw my ex with someone else... I put on my shoes and went for a jog (and believe me, this meant "jog for 15 seconds, walk for two minutes, repeat"). I felt shitty, I moved my body, I felt less shitty. It didn't have to be anything specific, just some kind of movement that was somewhat challenging for me that day.

To make a long story short, I stopped bingeing and the weight more or less came off. I ended up becoming a competitive athlete because I learned to love moving even when I wasn't using it as a coping mechanism (though I assure you I still do).

So that's my suggestion. When you want to binge, go outside and start walking. Break into a run for a few seconds. Do whatever it takes to break a sweat. You'll feel tired and sweaty and gross, but you'll also feel a little better.

Good luck.
posted by telegraph at 6:45 AM on May 29, 2013 [7 favorites]

You skate over the medications. In my experience they can have a massive impact on appetite and weight gain. I take it you avoid alchol, if not, you should do so. My approach was to break my dependence on food. Food was something I simply could not do without. Even a day trip was planned around eating. Slowly I have manaaged to break this dependence simply by recognising it for what it is and choosing not to be that way. I think I was addicted to food if that makes any sense. The cure was thinking differently. Good luck.
posted by BenPens at 6:48 AM on May 29, 2013

Are you eating enough during the day? It's easy to under eat when you're busy, and if the job is stressful you might be skipping food and not noticing the hunger signs. Then when you get home you overeat. Try inverting your eating - eat a larger breakfast, medium lunch and smaller dinner.

Personally I have found intuitive eating very helpful. I don't know if that's a thing. I just stopped making food "off limits" and refused to feel guilty for the food I ate, whatever it was. After two months of eating anything and everything, the "not allowed" factor went away and then I just started eating more naturally. The only rule was "am I really hungry, or is this boredom / emotional?" If I was hungry, I ate whatever I wanted and stopped immediately when I was full. No clean plate club here. If I wasn't hungry, just bored or emotional, I didn't eat, and would tell myself that I could eat whatever I wanted provided I was actually hungry for it. Anyways that's my 2C.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 6:48 AM on May 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

Hey, can you make up a whole whackload of quick, yummy, healthy meals and snacks on the weekend so that when you're exhausted and hungry, you don't need to cook or think, just pop the food in the microwave and eat?

I find having a meal plan is good too because then you don't even need to make decisions. I lay mine out in incredible detail- like "at five, have Snack 2 which is in the fridge labelled Snack 2. Then, put Meal 1 in the microwave and eat it. With it, have Side 6, which is labelled in the fridge as Side 6. At ten thirty, have Snack 7...", etc. I do it for all meals (when I'm on the ball) except weekend meals, and breakfast is usually always the same thing. I have alarms on my phone labelled with what meal it's time to eat and my snacks. I know that it sounds really over-the top, but if I don't do this, I will go all day (or several days) without eating and then have a cake and a quarter of a block of cheese and a family sized bag of chips for dinner. My rules are that I must eat when the alarm goes off whether I want to or not, and I must at least attempt to eat the planned food. I only make food I like, which helps.

Smoothies are also a quick, easy, delicious way to get a shot of flavour and energy without a lot of work. I find lack of energy is what is most likely to have me grabbing quick pleasure-rush stuff. That's why having a snack is so important for me.
posted by windykites at 6:59 AM on May 29, 2013

It's hard to suddenly switch out comfort food for fruits and veggies without feeling deprived. But if you stock up on grapes, carrots, bell pepper, etc. (I hear you on the fatigue issue, but if you spend 15 minutes washing all this stuff and bagging it up--a slip of paper towel helps with excess moisture--you might be more inclined to grab that when the cravings hit).

I got into a high-protein habit (cheese!), and when I started putting a bowl of grapes on the coffee table too, I'd find myself amazed at how good they tasted, even as a complement to the other foods. Eventually I craved more and more of the stuff my body had apparently forgotten existed.

That's not an overnight solution, but it's pretty surprising how snappy and refreshing some cool, fresh fruits and veggies can be when they don't feel like a requirement. Just adding those to your current diet could spark your body's interest in them.

(Please don't worry for now about "negative-calorie" veggies or whatever--just remind your body that fruits and veggies taste and feel good.)
posted by whoiam at 7:00 AM on May 29, 2013

Hello fellow binge eater! I feel your pain. A couple of years ago, I packed on about 60 pounds in about a year. I have lost about 40 of that and am struggling with the last 20.

My first positive step to combating this was to start exercising. I now exercise at least three hours a week and even more if my schedule allows. My body has become a lot stronger and my endurance is a lot better. A one hour fitness class was pure torture a year and a half ago and now I get through it quite easily. In fact, I look forward to it. The only way I was able to do this was by joining a fitness group led by a person who offers a variety of classes. Now it's not just about exercise, but it's a social activity where I have made friends. This explains a lot to me in terms of why I failed terribly at going to the gym. Having a group to exercise (and meet goals) with has made all the difference. Pupper McSockerson makes a great point above about this helping to not want to undo the progress done by exercise with bad food. Someone once told me "You can't out-train a bad diet" and that has stuck with me, especially when I'm eyeing a bag of chips after an hour of intense cardio.

I am terrible at eating breakfast, so I have really been trying to make myself eat early in the day, even when my body is telling me I'm not hungry. I can make a batch of delicious steel cut oats on a Sunday night and have that for breakfast for the next few days. I also cut waaaay back on sugar and found that when I was presented with it, I didn't even want it and was able to say no much more easily. Cooking in larger batches and packing and freezing the leftovers gives me a quick meal to go when I need it.

Treats are another thing. You have to have them. They're my "carrot on a stick." Also I give more consideration to my treats. I'll say no to the store-bought cookies and yes to the homemade cake at a dinner party.

Also important, hobbies! I picked up painting again last year (for the first time since my teens!) and I love it. I spend hours a week painting. I end up with something tangible for my efforts and those are hours I don't spend opening the fridge and cupboards a hundred times a night.

And if you haven't already, get some basic blood work done. I had long attributed my general malaise to my shitty habits and it turns out I have hypothyroidism. Now that I'm being treated, I feel a hundred times better. Good luck!
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:13 AM on May 29, 2013

There's a lot of great advice here. I was a lot like you a while back. The whole thing tends to snowball and made me feel worse about everything and binge eating was a comfort thing. One thing I'd add to all this is what do you like? What do you enjoy; is it reading, is it hiking.. there must be something out there outside of food that makes you feel good. futureisunwritten has it. I like to walk. Once I could figure this out, I walked (mostly in the evenings because I didn't want to be seen). Not very far but just enough to get going. It really started something for me. If you like sedentary things, find something a little more active - like doing exercises while reading (I like to combine stuff). It's a long process to lose weight and become fit and that was something that was lost on me when I first started. I did everything everyone has written here, I got rid of junk food, stopped eating fast food, started exercising slowly. Life is hard enough without trying to be perfect - do it for you and not anyone else's idea of what you should look like. Good luck.
posted by lasamana at 7:42 AM on May 29, 2013

Frozen fruit is hard to eat quickly. Carrots are great for binge eating, as is celery. Stay away from ranch dressing though.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:37 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you use any stimulants, as they wear off in the evening, they can often increase food cravings.

Feeling better after eating in the evening leads me to think another thing causing it could be dropping blood sugar. Watch your diet during the day and make sure you are eating a diet that doesn't cause blood sugar fluctuations.

Finally, if you are anything like me, you may just have that genetic predisposition where your "I'm full" signal doesn't work quite right. I can eat until I explode without feeling full. I've had to learn to respect that and train myself to not expect to feel satisfied by eating, because it will never happen. If I choose correct portion sizes and don't over do it, I feel fine 15 minutes after eating. So really, all I have to do is delay my gratification for 10 - 15 minutes and it works out much better.

(Also, not overeating keeps the digestive system running smoother which in turn keeps the blood sugar thing a little more regulated.)
posted by gjc at 9:21 AM on May 29, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hi, Lots of good advice above.

I actually practice hypnotherapy and was trained by Paul McKenna, mentioned above, as well as several others. However, Paul's book 'I can make you thin' is mostly based on NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) and I recommend this rather than hypnosis or psychotherapy (which I also have training in) as the main approach to both binge eating and weight loss. I suggest you find a good NLP practitioner, preferably SNLP licensed.

The first thing for an effective therapist to do is to tackle your stress and teach you better ways of responding to it. There are many effective ways of doing this within NLP, and hypnosis is also good for this. I would work to the point where the temptation to binge eat has disappeared. This took about 90 minutes with my last client.

If there are self image or self esteem issues, then these also need to be dealt with. This can take as little as one or two hours for many people. Longer for others, bur still worth it.

Next, there are ways of making your undermining foods less appealing. This is to do with how your mind codes different foods and the coding can be easily, quickly and appropriately changed. This rarely requires any aversion techniques unless a particular food is an actual threat. (Some people have had a chocolate addiction strong enough that they have become dangerously obese. Aversion might be justified in these cases.)

Next, recode good foods that you are not bothered about, so that they become attractive and appetising. This whole recoding usually takes less than half an hour.

I also agree that restrictions are usually self defeating. Paul McKenna's well researched principles for general weight loss are:
1 Eat when you are hungry and not when you are not. You can test for real hunger if you are not sure by drinking some water.
2 Eat slowly. Avoid distractions, so that you pay attention to the taste and texture of your food and only swallow it when you have reduced it to soup consistency. With drinks and soups, take small sips and savour the flavour properly.
3 Stop eating as soon as you feel you have had enough. This is a lot sooner than when you feel full and is far easier to sense if you are eating slowly. Be prepared to leave food on your plate, rather than finish it.
4 Eat whatever you like. If you eat slowly, this will adjust itself.
I personally suggest you avoid salty or spicy foods to avoid eating too fast or too much. I also subscribe to avoiding rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, but these are both more easily achived by the recoding method above. Also, eating the same carbs slowly, will tend to avoid stodgy food cravings later on after a meal.
5 Take modest exercise. This raises your metabolism, which burns off more calories than the exercise itself.
6 Avoid weighing yourself too often to avoid getting disheartened by natural variations in weight. Once per fortnight is enough.

Hope this helps.
posted by David Owen at 10:13 AM on May 29, 2013

I was basically in the same place that you and telegraph are describing last year.

I have an incredibly stressful job, and for the latter half of 2012 I was trying to 'take care' of myself by giving myself permission not to exercise, to eat whatever I liked from a portion and content point of view - basically, I was comfort eating (though I didn't really realise that until about thirty seconds ago, so thanks for that little moment).

Obviously I knew deep down that I was not actually 'taking care of myself' by doing these things, so I graduated into weirdly wanting to punish myself for being, I dunno, too weak to be able to cope like a normal person? Who knows.

So I started to exercise at the start of this year out of sort of weird self-loathing - to force myself to have a 'normal' life despite the fact that I actually don't have the time or energy to go to the gym some days.

But, here's the thing - whatever my reasons for doing it, it has made me so much healthier as a person, and not just physically. I don't eat at weird times now, or binge eat, or always pick the unhealthy thing because 'I deserve it'. I actually don't want it anymore. I want to be able to run further or stretch better, and I don't want a fucking cheese sandwich to get in the way of that, thanks very much.

Memail me if you want to talk about this. I'm you six months in the future.
posted by citands at 11:12 AM on May 29, 2013

Lithium and your eating habits are causing a folie a deux. I'm on quetiapine and that can make you want to eat constantly, and feel really unwell if you skip a meal or eat later than usual. I've never been on lithium, but on a higher dose of quetiapine, I had constant physical hunger pangs and no message to my brain to tell me when I was full. The thing with anti-psychotics is that some of the regular tips and rules regarding snacking/overeating are difficult to apply, as your brain is constantly telling you that you are starving, and with some your metabolism slows right down.

Until recently, I was in a living situation that was making me stressed and miserable and my biggest craving was ice-cream - probably, like the cheese, it was protein my body needed. I'm hoping now I've changed that that I will be able to adopt more healthy habits, and I sympathise with you for the stress eating. What helps me is sticking to a routine. I tend to have cereal in the morning, a snack (olives or savoury popcorn) around 12, lunch proper around 2 (usually something with low fat protein like tuna or sliced beef) and then a yoghurt or some jelly in the afternoon if I get sweet cravings. I am going to start upping my exercise soon as well - I know I like exercising outside, so I'm going to start walking some of my way home a few times a week.
posted by mippy at 9:37 AM on May 30, 2013

I have the same problem and what I realized is that I CANNOT stop binge eating in the evenings. It'll never happen. What I CAN do is not go to the grocery store hungry, make a shopping list and meal plan and stick to it on a Sunday morning, etc. What I mean is that the decisions can't be made when I'm at my lowest, I have to make them at my best. If I do that, then I've got the right food for dinner and I don't have any crap (ice cream is my current beast) that I want to binge on in the house. And I'm lazier than anything so I am not going out to get crappy food so it kind of stops it cold.
posted by marylynn at 6:09 PM on June 1, 2013

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