Don’t feel alone, it happens to the best of us…
Everything seems to be going well, fitness regime is locked down, eating habits are the best they have been for some time, and then suddenly you fall off the wagon!
One cheat meal turns into two, and then three. The snack cupboard is making a comeback, and you’re sitting wondering how the hell did this happen.
And before you know it you have embarked on a slippery slope with no motivation to carry out those fitness sessions. The only session that does seem appealing is a Netflix and chill with crisps and dips.
Then the guilt sets in, and you’re left wondering why this happened? You were grinding so hard! How is it you were doing so well and yet it was so easy to get distracted and STAY distracted!!
Well, let’s have a look at that.
The Addictive Drug Of Food!
When people think about addictive substances that ‘help’ with stressful situations, it’s usually alcohol, nicotine or illegal drugs that come to mind.
However, food most definitely belongs in this category.
The pleasure hormone dopamine is also trigged by those cheat meals and sugary snacks we come to enjoy. The brain familiarises your response to these treats, which makes you crave it more.
The addictive substances mentioned earlier have a similar effect.
So it’s of no surprise that one handful of treats can result in the whole bag being demolished, and the same again the following day.
So how do you stop it? Seems cliché but the best way to avoid this is to resist the first bite!!
Now it’s time to ‘Beat the Binge’
My advice is to think logically. Think about how you will feel after you’ve indulged in the binge. Is it worth the guilt, the bloat, the acid reflux and the frustration? The answer is of course NO!
You can bet that almost all the elite fit and those who have worked hard to achieve their desired toned physiques have been there too. We all at times have a bad habit of yielding to short-term pleasures at the expense of the long-term happiness. However, your power is in your awareness of this behaviour.
Having alternative good / positive habits at the ready for when the urge to dive into a binge eating session hits can make all the difference. Remembering what and why got you started on your health and fitness journey in the first place and KEEP GOING!
Need some examples of ‘Good / Positive habits’? Here you go…
Go for a walk – As soon as the temptation to binge hits just get up and walk out the door. So simple yet highly effective. Out of sight and out of mind, plus you’re banking some extra fitness points. If it’s difficult to get out the house because of responsibilities then jog on the spot, walk up and down the stairs or do some push-ups. Whatever it takes to clear your mind of those cravings and remember your ‘what and why’.
The challenge of taking control – If you view the urge to binge as a challenge of taking back control over your life, you may just enjoy the feeling. The victory over your diet will encourage you to stay on track in all aspects of your health and fitness journey.
Stay away from the temptations – It wouldn’t be ideal for a recovering alcoholic to spend lots of time in a bar. Well, it is no different for food! Why surround yourself with the temptation of Pizza Hut and McDonalds when you are trying to lead a healthy lifestyle! Even if the intention is to refrain from ordering once inside and just ‘socialise’, it’s not worth the possibility of a setback.
Healthy snacks at the ready – The market for healthy snacks is constantly growing and the variety on offer is enough to keep your cupboards full. Why not keep some on you or in the car, for when those cravings strike? Beats the alternative!
Be open and proud – Tell a friend! You may be surprised how much respect those around you will have for the journey you are embarking on. So much so that they may decide to join you. Wouldn’t that be great! Broadcasting your intentions can also help you to become accountable for your actions.
So there you have it! You are geared up with the knowledge and tools to beat the binge!
Remember that binge eating is a learned behaviour, therefore it can be unlearned.
The biggest challenge isn’t getting on track, it’s staying on track – but not anymore right?
You got this!