When you have a negative feeling, the thought of comforting and drowning yourself in food sounds like a good idea. Your mind will be taken off of dealing with your emotions and food will heal… Well… at least for the first five minutes of a binge. After that, you will continue to eat, but not because you are hungry. You will start to notice that your original feelings of sadness or other reasons will come back, along with new feelings of guilt because you just ate so much food. Is there a way out of this crazy cycle?

Of course there is!

Here are five steps that you can start implementing into your daily life to conquer a binge.

The first step is to feel deserving of yourself. You need to feel that you are worthy enough to change your binge eating habits. Only after you do this and improve your self-esteem can you win the war over Binge Eating Disorder.

The second step is to throw out all foods in your house that you like to binge on. Remember, if the food is not readily available to you, it will be harder to binge. This also means when you go grocery shopping. When you don’t purchase foods that you binge on, it will be easier to conquer a binge while you are at home. You want to make it as hard as you can.

The third step is to buy a journal (it can be electronic as well). I like to use the Day One app in the App Store. In your journal, you are going to record all binges and what feelings were present during the binge. Record all details including the time, day, what you ate, how much you ate, and how you felt before and after the binge. Journaling is a great tool because this will provide insight to you as to why you turn to food like you do. This will help to narrow down your binges so that you will be able to see any similarities that happen when you binge.

The fourth step is to find a healthy replacement. Simply stopping a habit (especially a lifelong habit) will be difficult. Not to mention impossible unless you replace your bad habits with a healthy one. For me, when I get bored, I like to watch YouTube fitness videos or health documentaries. It’s hard for me to do something unhealthy when I am constentlt learning about health. I also make it a habit to do some calisthenics while I am watching my favorite shows. It makes it much harder to eat out of boredom if I am busy working out. The point is to occupy your time with something you like and enjoy instead of trying to fill a void with food because food can never feel that void (at least in the long term).

The fifth and final step to stopping a binge is to talk about it. Talk to a friend or anyone else that you can trust about how you are feeling. If you are upset, vent your frustrations out to them. Just having someone listen will be very helpful to you. You will feel that a weight has been lifted from you after you get everything off of your chest.

When we hold our emotions in, the emotions will continue to build up negative energy to the point that it will explode and you will give into temptations. By talking things out, you release any negative pent up energy that can fester causing you to reach for food, to numb temporarily numb your emotions. This in turn just causes more negative emotions because you beat yourself up for binging only to repeat the cycle again and again.