Is binge behavior or over eating the bigger problem for you?  Or both?

1.  A binge eater typically goes from adhering to a set of food rules, to completely letting go of those very rules and binge eating.  The desire to overeat is intense, relentless, and overwhelming.

They may eat 1000 calories a day for 5 days and then eat 5000 calories in one sitting.  

This kind of binge occurs more right after a period of restriction and leads to negative self talk, feelings of defeat and a renewed conviction that they need to control their eating with the very food rules that caused them to binge in the first place.

2.  Dieters who over eat, but do not binge, often suffer from three different patterns. 

The first is deal making.  This is when a dieter talks themselves into over eating by making deals with the future. 

For example, "I will eat this dessert and work out for an hour tomorrow."  Or, I am going on a diet Monday, so eating this large entree is okay.  Deal making take dieters out of the present, and perpetuates a cycle that disconnects dieters from hunger and satiety.

The second pattern is a fear of hunger.   Dieters have tolerated hunger, fatigue, and feeling unwell in order to follow food rules.  And that makes dieters see being hungry as negative state of being, instead of an opportunity for great pleasure.

Instead of welcoming hunger, as naturally thin people do, dieters try to avoid or manage hunger, which inevitably causes over eating.

The third pattern is an all or nothing mentality. 

This is exhibited in a pattern that is not as extreme as binge eating, but still causes dieters to overeat.  For example, if a dieter eats a donut at 9 am, they may feel they have ruined their day, and give up trying to be "good" that day.  Instead of ordering their usual salad at lunch, they will order something they perceive as decadent because the day is already shot.

What happens if you do both?

I know when I was a dieter, I would binge and over eat.  T

To overcome both of these patterns it is really helpful to understand the differences between binge eating and chronic over eating because they need to be addressed differently.

For binge eating, you must rebuild trust with your body.  And that is done by calming your body down with consistently appropriate amounts of food.  When you do this- BINGE BEHAVIOR GOES AWAY.

I know that is hard for bingers to believe, but it does.  You don't diet because you binged, you binge because you dieted... That is one of my favorite sayings.

For chronic overeating, you need to stop making deals, and STAY IN THE PRESENT.   

Thoughts that help are:

I can eat this whole thing, just not all at once

Feeling hungry is fantastic, because that means it is time to eat.

The only thing that matters is that am I, in this moment, hungry?

If any of this post sounds familiar to you, and I am sure it does, I want to assure you that taking the time and energy to build your Healthy Thin Mentality is the best gift you will ever give yourself.

Whether you struggle with binge behavior, over eating, or both, learn how to end this fight, once and for all.  

You will be so happy that you did. 

And you will be the one at a party, calmly looking at the buffet, not in fear, but in joyful anticipation of a wonderful eating experience.