You are having one of those bad days. Whether it’s a break up, job loss, or just general stress, for many of us bingeing is how we cope. Add to that the determination to stay on a healthy path, and you sometimes have the tug of war between denial and gluttony. You may feel horrible about yourself, but don’t. The binge eating phenomenon is partially a product of the scary processed frankenfoods on your market today that never existed. The scientists that work on these unnatural flavorings and additives for processed foods have admitted that their goal is create tastes and flavors that make you want to eat more. That coupled with the fact that your body is craving food for nutrients and the processed foods are nutrient-less is a recipe for binge eating! You may want to stop, but your body has not gotten the nutrition it needs, and the chemicals cue you to want more. It’s a vicious cycle.
I know first hand about the dangers of extreme bingeing, because when I was in college from my sophomore to junior year I struggled with bingeing. My last year of college I finally got control of my eating issues by seeing a therapist and dealing with emotional trauma. At the time I would say I had an eating disorder, but now looking back I would say it was a combination of several things: emotional trauma from a less than perfect childhood, stress, parasites, and the inability to confront my emotions head on. When you are an extreme binger, most times you binge instead of allowing whatever emotions are arising to just be. On the more average spectrum, bingeing may be the result of restrictive dieting or cravings when transitioning from an old lifestyle to a new one. At either extreme, I think there are several things you can do to keep yourself from overeating yourself into sickness or messing up your healthy regimen. Below are some tips from a Raw Girl who is proud to say she no longer has the urge to binge! -XoXo Raw Girl
Don’t Diet, Commit to Lifestyle Changes. If you are approaching healthy living, veganism, or raw foods as a diet, just like any fad, your zeal will come and go and all that will be left is you with indigestion and an empty tub of Haagen-dazs you said you wouldn’t eat. I’ll say it again don’t diet! Your lifestyle change should be about transitioning to healthier behaviors and taking care of yourself, emotionally, physically, spiritually. That is the only way to have lasting effective change.
Find Healthy Subsitutes for Junk Foods You Love. In the beginning and even later, it’s all about substitutes. When you are going from meat to vegan you may go the fake meat route to help you get there. I’m a sweet tooth girl, or at least I used to be in extreme (parasites!) So when I was transitioning I found raw sweets, which are even more rich and satisfying than junk food, and that did it for me. Now if I need some ice cream, I grab a small pint of raw hazelnut (YUM) icrecream that will never ever have me yearning to binge on some Breyers. It’s important to know your taste buds and what you crave most and find things that fulfill that. You may be a more crunchy/salty person, so its about raw or vegan chips, crackers, nuts. Make an effort and there’s no way you won’t find something satisfying. For every type of junk food there is in the world, there is a more satisfying and nourishing raw or vegan alternative. That I can put my money on.
Deal With Your Emotions. The rule I have had for years now, since dealing with bingeing issues is to not eat when I am stressed, angry, sad. You have to start training your body to not seek emotional relief from food. Talk it out with a friend, journal, scream, dance, find a way to release that energy without grabbing three extra portions of something you know you shouldn’t be eating. You can binge on “healthy” foods too, and even if it’s better than the junk you used to eat, you are going to be doing damage to your digestive system and your colon if you over consume in excess. Not to mention, you shorten your life span. Studies have show that eating less as we get older increases our longevity.
Find Nutritional Balance. Some cravings are the result of an addiction to the unnatural flavors, and others may be because your body is lacking well rounded optimal nutrients. When you are getting off the junk food lifestyle you have to recognize that it can be as powerful as drug addiction. So give yourself room to mess up, but continue to stick with your resolve to be healthy, find substitutes, and after some trial and error your body will get sensitive enough that it may reject the foods you once loved. No matter what you eat whether you are a meat-eater or not, you need to make sure that your meals are giving your body the nutrients it needs. To get a boost I highly recommend adding in superfoods like spirulina, maca, seaweeds, cacao etc. because they are packed with nutrients. Now, I know that at times, I crave certain vegetables and fruits because my body needs the nutrients that are in them. once you get on the healthy path, you’ll be more in tune and rather than just letting your taste buds alone guide what you eat, your body will sometimes give you cravings to resolve imbalances.
#MOVETHATBODY & Find Your Spiritual Center. When you excercise your emotions and mood get an immediate boost from the increased levels of serotonin in your brain. Beyond a mood boost, working out is a good remedy for controlling your eating habits. Usually when you workout you feel better and are more inclined to make and sustain healthy food choices throughout the day. So get up and get moving, NO EXCUSES. Stress can also play a big part in the urge to binge. Exercise can combat this and so can mindfulness and spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation, and prayer. Do what you have to do and find what works for you to help you stay calm in the midst of life storms. That way the next time a catastrophe hits, you’ll be centered enough to handle it without overeating.
Do a Parasite Cleanse. I know, I say this about everything, but seriously, if I could talk to my former self when I was dealing with this issue this would have been one of the first things I would tell the former me. Take a look at what kind of food you are binge eating. Are they mostly carbs and sugar? I have this theory that the majority of overweight people in our country that cannot stop eating are dealing with the fact that yes the foods are addictive, but also that their colon health as been further compromised by parasites from eating a bunch of junk which in turn heightens cravings. I can tell you firsthand that parasites will make you crave things to stay alive and feed off your nutrition. When you begin to eat green they are literally fighting for their lives and so suddenly although you haven’t touched bread in years, or had those cookies or whatever, the parasite inside you may drive you to feel you need that food. This is not a joke, and I wish more people were cleansing, because so many other health issues would cease from plagueing our population. Whether you think it’s parasites or not, do a cleanse anyway. Better safe and parasite-free than sorry and bingeing.