This is a reader request post that I’m more than happy to answer, though I don’t know that many people will like my answer.
I can’t speak for everyone, because people that are binging because they have a true Binge Eating Disorder won’t be helped by the same things that helped me.
However, I think many of my readers are in the same place I was– maybe at a healthy weight, but still trying to be fit and thin and so being very careful and somewhat rigid about what is eaten. I was unintentionally eating far too few calories for my lifestyle and slowed down my metabolism. I was bingeing not because I lacked self control, but because my body needed more food to function properly.
The hard part about needing more food is that it usually comes with more weight.
While I was healthy by BMI standards (not a good measure!), I was smaller than my body naturally wanted to be; Smaller than my growth curve showed I should be; Smaller than my mom, whose body type I resemble almost perfectly.
So when I started to eat more, satisfying any and all cravings and fixing my metabolism, I gained weight.
It was scary at first. Giving into all my cravings made me feel like I was bingeing because I would eat so much. It didn’t get better for a week or two, but eventually food lost its power and my body regained normal hunger signals. I started to crave more normal amounts and combinations of foods.
It took me just a few weeks of giving up control completely, coming to terms with gaining some weight, and eating without ANY restriction to stop bingeing.
No more sick to my stomach. No more rolling in bed because I’m so full I can’t sleep. No more tears.
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I gained a pants size or two (depends on the store) but then things evened out. My weight stabilized, my hunger signals are normal and I can go a while in between meals. I’m just used to eating more calories in a day, so it has become the new normal. My metabolism is back up to speed so I can eat more each day without gaining weight, which is great.
Sure I have days I still overeat, little moments where I feel I don’t have complete control, but I can proudly say there has not been a SINGLE BINGE in many months. I don’t even know how many because I can’t remember the last time. I guess it’s about five to six? That feels so good to say.
And that’s how I stopped bingeing. Not the easiest, but 100% worth it.