Are you plagued by unwanted eating habits?
I’m talking about those out-of-control eating behaviors that you feel like you just can’t stop.
It could be anything from grabbing a snack to quell your stress to full-on binging. No diet or food restriction rules seem to help, no matter what the experts say or how hard you try?
Ugh I get it, I was stuck there for years and good news…it doesn’t have to be this way!
Watch the video below to learn the 3 things that lead to unwanted eating habits, and the 3 things you can do to shut them down for good!
I’ve been free from binge and emotional eating for about 6-7 years now. But the struggle was real for me, and it went on for almost 12 years.
Needless to say, I still remember that wretched feeling the morning after a binge all too well.
We’re talking about waking up with that bloated, groggy, feeling when you went too far with food the night before. Not to mention that creeping guilt that makes you desperate to get back on track to make up for the night before.
You know what the conventional wisdom says, right? You go back to the diet, hoping to get back on track.
Only to fall right back off track again when another food trigger hits.
It’s a vicious cycle, and it plagued me for over a decade. If this sounds like you, trust me, you’re not alone!
So what do you do when your relationship with food feels more like a constant battle?
If you’ve got cravings that feel irresistible, if you can’t stick to a diet, or if even a small indulgence with food ends up triggering a binge, read on.
Here are the 3 main causes of binge and emotional eating. I’ve also got 3 powerful tips to stop each of these triggers, and take back your power with food once and for all!
Cause #1: Being stuck in survival mode. What is “survival mode?” In short, it’s the state your brain and body are in when they’re afraid they won’t be properly fed.
Survival mode springs from controlling or restricting your food, and making your brain and body believe that food is scarce.
So what is the number one way most of us control and restrict their food? By dieting, of course.
What happens when you diet though?
You restrict your calories and your macronutrients. There are rules about what you can and can’t eat. So there’s all that pressure to get it right or else…
From there, you start thinking about food all..the..time. You go from a normal, balanced person to someone who is 24/7 obsessing over what they can and can’t eat.
Sooner or later, your brain and body start doubting that you’re going to feed them sufficiently. So they do the only thing they know how to do.
They trigger you to eat more food. You can guess what happens next. Binges. Overeating. Eventually, weight gain. And fear.
Then fear makes you go back to the only way you know how to solve an overeating problem. You go right back to what started the problem in the first place–the diet.
You’re right back where you started, and set up to repeat the detrimental cycle again.
So the first cause for binge and emotional eating is being stuck in survival mode. The first solution, then, is to get out of survival mode.
If dieting causes survival mode and survival mode leads to binging, is the answer to just stop dieting?
Well, yes–and no.
Of course, you want to let go of the food rules and restrictions. After all, no matter how well intended or “healthy” a diet seems, eventually, every diet makes you snap.
BUT there is one caveat. Going directly from strict dieting a food free-for-all can trigger unintended overeating. You’ll end up losing control with food, and gaining unwanted weight. (Which, of course, might make you go running back to the diet again…)
What is the solution? It’s connecting with your body. Then it’s assessing what you need. Then it’s eating enough supportive, nourishing food to meet your body’s needs. This way you don’t feel the need to overeat just to survive.
Step one is to eat in a way that breaks the survival cycle. Then, to eat in a way that supports your body’s needs in a loving and healthy way.
Cause #2: The mental patterns that form (kinda like habits that keep you stuck). What is a habit? It’s a behavior that you repeat so often that it becomes automatic. Those actions you repeat so often that they become your second nature.
Now, let’s say what happens when you repeat the binge-diet-binge cycle we just talked about for a long time. What is the result? Binge and overeating becomes a well-ingrained habit. It’s a pattern that you repeat like a daily routine.
You see, your brain creates patterns based on all the behaviors and actions you repeat the most. Eventually, these patterns become your path of least resistance.
It could be anything from brushing your teeth every day or driving the same way to work every day. The more you repeat it, the more established it becomes.
The same is true for the binge-diet cycle. The more you repeat it, the more the behavior becomes a regular routine in your brain.
This brain science lesson was a huge revelation for me. When I understood that my brain was creating a path of least resistance with food, I realized that I wasn’t broken.
In other words, it wasn’t that I didn’t have any willpower. I didn’t keep failing on the diet because there was something wrong with me.
I was simply repeating the same out-of-control eating patterns so much that it became a routine!
When I understood the brain science of binging, I realized two big things. First, I saw that binge eating was not a reflection of the real me, it was merely an old pattern. Second, I understood that if I could create a pattern that didn’t serve me, I could also create a pattern that did.
So the second cause of binge and emotional eating is the behavioral patterns it creates. The way to stop this cause is to start creating new patterns, one step at a time.
I’m not gonna lie. I understand that creating new habits isn’t always easy. It takes time. But it IS doable. The more you repeat supportive behaviors, the more second-nature they will become.
So one step at a time, start replacing damaging thoughts and actions with supportive ones. Do this on the regular and watch what happens!
Cause #3: The emotional patterns. We’ve talked about the behavioral patterns that come from survival mode. Now, let’s talk about the last major factor–the emotional one.
The thing is, like mental patterns, emotional patterns can contribute to unwanted eating habits, too.
For instance, when you’re stressed out, do you grab a bag of chips or a cookie to make it all disappear? Numbing your feelings with food can become a default response as much as a mental pattern can.
So along with everything we talked about, the emotional component of unwanted eating habits is a thing, too.
Here’s the deal with emotions and eating. Contrary to what some coaches might say, you don’t have to heal all your emotional patterns to stop binge eating. All you need is awareness to start!
First become aware. Then, learn to be with your emotions rather than stuff them down with food at every turn.
But of course, it’s a process. Take it easy on yourself, take it one step at a time, and you’ll be well on your way to food freedom!
The top 3 things that cause binge and emotional eating, and the top 3 things you can do to break their power.
First, getting out of survival mode.
Second, breaking the behavioral patterns that trigger binging.
Third, learning to interrupt the emotional patterns that make you reach for food and relate to your emotions in a way that you can manage the ups and downs of life without going to food!
At this point you might be thinking this all sounds easier said than done! But I want you to know that if you’re looking for support in this area, we are here for you! And right now, we’ve got a special opportunity we want to share with you…
For a limited time, we at Beating Binge Eating have opened up our calendar for a few free clarity sessions, and you’re invited!
Click the link (image) below and book a time for a quick chat with either me or our coaching director!
We’ll talk about where you are, identify the underlying causes of your struggle and help you get clear on your next steps to break free.
We’ll set you up to start breaking these old patterns and let go of what’s holding you back. From there, you’ll be on your way to a beautiful life of food freedom!
You will leave this call feeling supported, understood, and clear on your next steps. There’s no obligation, and just might be the breakthrough you’ve been looking for.
I hope you found this helpful! Once you’ve booked your call with us, leave a comment below and tell me which of the 3 causes you struggle with the most, and which solution you plan on implementing.
Can’t wait to hear from you!