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.