6 Ways to Stop a Binge Before it Starts

Ever feel like you KNOW you are going to put down a whole lot of food? You just can't get the food out of your mind? Well, here are 6 Simple Ways to Stop a Binge Before it Starts. www.happyfoodhealthylife.com #eatingdisorder #dieting #food #gethealthy

Many people email me asking questions on how to get more motivation, how to eat healthier, and how to truly listen to their bodies. But the number one question I get from people who are struggling with food issues is this one:

Night-time cravings that lead to a binge. Does this scenario sound familiar to you at all? I know I’ve been there. You wake up in the morning and eat a healthy breakfast like you’re supposed to. Maybe a small healthy snack a few hours later. Healthy lunch, snack, and dinner throughout the day. You’re doing everything you’re “supposed” to be doing. But by the time dinner is cleaned up, your sweet tooth is freaking out! You’ve got the kids to bed. You don’t have anything you’re really supposed to be doing, and holy hell, all you want is to be able to eat a bowl of ice cream, but you just don’t want to ruin your diet that you work so hard on during the day.

So you head to the cupboard to see what healthy snacks you can find. You look past the cookies, the chips, and the Twinkies (oh wait, you probably don’t have any of those anymore now that Hostess is no more). You end up at the chocolate chip granola bars and think that’s not all that bad. But this is where it all starts. You taste that sweetness of the chocolate, and it’s all over at that point. Two granola bars down, then the chips, then the cookies, and maybe even the last Twinkie you had been saving for an emergency situation. And then when it comes down to it, you end up at the freezer eating ice cream out of the carton because that’s really what you wanted in the first place.

I know this is one of the biggest struggles for people, and I want to be able to help you. Let’s get to it.

I’ve created a little video for you to watch. If you’d rather read than watch (although you’ll get to see me freak out over a spider if you watch), some of the main points are down below.

Here’s a re-cap of what you just watched (minus the funny mini-freakout over a spider)

1. Don’t Restrict Foods

I think this is the most important tool you can keep with you on your journey to a happy and healthy life. if you are looking for a normal relationship with food, you have to learn that there are no bad foods. There shouldn’t be anything that is on a “Cannot Eat This” list. If you want to eat something, you should have free reign to do so. This is key. The sooner you learn this, the sooner you will be able to eliminate all night-time (or any other time) binges. Think about it. If you allow yourself to eat a bowl of ice cream when you want it, there is no real reason to binge later on. Your body will soon learn that you can have whatever you want and will stop turning into a monster the second everyone in the house goes to bed and you’re left alone with all the food in the house. So key point – don’t restrict any foods!

2. Don’t Keep Foods Around That Won’t Satisfy You

If you know you don’t have much of a desire for potato chips, there is no need to keep them around. If you are going to keep potato chips around and they aren’t really your food of choice, you will probably end up binging on them and then feel even more badly about your binge because they didn’t do anything for you. If a binge is going to happen, don’t you want to take in foods that you truly value and that bring enjoyment to your life? Not that a binge is usually anything to enjoy, but I think it’s an easier thought to swallow if you’ve actually enjoyed the foods you ate.

 3. Have a list of things to do

Right now (while you’re hopefully not caught up in the moment of wanting to binge) create a long lost of all the things you can do when you’re bored or thinking about binging. This is a great list to refer to to keep yourself busy. Dancing to music, exercising, painting something, organizing something, doing a craft you saw on Pinterest, etc. Having this list made up ahead of time will help you if you get stuck in a situation where you need help.

4. Destroy your negative thoughts

When you are having a bunch of negative thoughts that are leading you toward a binge, one thing you could do is to write the thoughts down on a piece of paper and destroy that paper by burning or ripping it to shreds.

5. Go to your recovered place

When you’re not ridden with the thoughts of a binge, I want you to think of what your recovered life will (or does) look like. I want you to think details. Who your friends are. What sorts of relationships you are in. Where you are living. What sorts of foods are you eating. Etc etc. Then when you are thinking about binging, you can refer back to this place as a reminder of what your goals are.

6. Snap away your Negativity

Have a rubber band on your wrist that you can snap every time you have a negative or unhealthy thought about yourself or your life. This will help associate a negative feeling with negative thoughts and hopefully allow you to eliminate negative words.


Well, I do hope this has helped you in some way. If you enjoyed this video and you are interested in watching some of my other videos (including my Cooking with my Kid series), please head over and subscribe to my YouTube channel where you will find them all in one spot.

Do you have any ways that you divert your attention from your food cravings?


    • Holly says

      Thanks Erin! I’m glad you found value in this article. You right though, keeping foods around the house that don’t really do a whole lot for you is key. Much of the time we just munch on things that don’t really do anything for us and just make us feel guilty in the long run. Hope this little tip works for you!

  1. says

    Great article. I think the only thing that really works for me is keeping the junk food out of the house – very tough with kids! That and remembering how I feel after a solid binge.

    • Holly says

      Andrew, you’re right – it is VERY difficult with kids around. Now that my son is 6 and is learning some really good healthy habits, I try to urge him to keep his snacks healthy as well. Sure, I let him be a kid and have some fun things, but we don’t go crazy. And I really enjoy baking, so the treats I make for my family, I try to make healthier than what you would buy at the store. That’s helped me a lot.
      And you’re right… the feeling alone is enough to keep me away from a binge.
      Thank you for coming by!

  2. Jessie says

    Thanks for the tips. I find that sometimes I actually plan for a binge (I know it sounds really crazy) but I actually look forward to when no one is around so I can just open all the cupboards and still eating non stop till I am stuffed! Sometimes even on healthy food eg a whole jar of peanut butter or a loaf of homemade bread…. I just can’t seem to stop myself and get really angry but when I am eating, that feeling is really good. I really hope I can overcome this binge for good but it always return after a few days 🙁

    • Holly Waterfall says

      Jess I know exactly what you’re talking about. I used to always plan my binges. I would go days and days without eating and then when I started to feel too weak, I’d start making the plans. I’d go buy all the foods I wanted to binge on and just go to town. It was sick. And I’m so glad it’s behind me. And you can put it behind yourself too. The problem was that I was restricting all the foods that I thought were “bad” so I felt a need to binge on them. Once I allowed all foods in my life whenever I wanted them, life changed for the better.

  3. Annie Aybee says

    Is it unrealistic to withhold food from yourself because you don’t WANT to want the junk food? I don’t want to want it, so I restrict myself because I know the harm it can do to my body. It’s important to me, so I hold off as long as possible… until a binge comes on and I start destroying all the food I am so opposed to eating. I am vegetarian and feel that our bodies aren’t built to properly digest anything processed, genetically modified or ridden with chemicals and preservatives. I refuse to give in and eat a little of it when I have a craving because until I reach that collapse of will-power, I can easily reason with myself why I’m not going to eat it. The 50 un-pronounceable ingredients. I want my body to stop craving cheezits, candy, pastries, etc. If I give in and “allow” myself a little of these foods when I have a craving, I will just feel down on myself more often. My brain is very much ‘black or white’ with all aspects of my life, so the more often I cave in and go against my own values, the more ‘black’ I feel. I just want my body to adhere to what I believe. Restricting myself is the only way I can hope to eliminate those cravings, but also what causes the binges. I have to not binge AND continue to restrict what I eat for long enough to detox the bad stuff out of my body. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place!

    I like your suggestion on #3. I’m definitely going to do that asap.

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