Binge-eating disorder is a psychological condition that affects millions of people around the world. This disorder does not discriminate. It can occur in anyone, even those who follow a very strict diet. I would say 90% of bodybuilders that compete in shows have some sort of a binge-eating disorder after their show. Here are some tips to help overcome any type of binge-eating:
BUILD A SUSTAINABLE DIET: One of the important aspects that trigger binge-eating is being on a very strict diet or not eating enough food on a daily basis. NEVER BE ON A VERY STRICT DIET! Trust me, you can still lose weight by following a sustainable diet. Yes, you heard that right! Overly restrictive eating methods will trigger 99% of binge-eating episodes. Instead, build a sustainable, long-term diet that fits your macros and keeps you in burning stats while staying lean and fit. Eat more whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Moderate your intake of treats rather than excluding them from your diet all- together. This can help reduce binge-eating and promote better health.
INCREASE PROTEIN AND VEGGIES IN EACH MEAL: If you choose to be on a diet for a short period of time, be sure to increase your lean protein intake for each meal (chicken, fish, etc…) and load up on your veggie intake (salads, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc…). Increasing your protein and veggies will keep you satisfied with less chances to crave, cheat, and binge-eat.
GET RID OF JUNK FOOD AND MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES: Clean out all the junk food from your house. Junk foods, or what I call trigger foods, can increase your cravings. You can end up in another binge-eating episode. Start by clearing out all sweets and processed snack foods! Swap them for healthier alternatives. My theory is, “if you don’t see it ,you don’t have it.” However, make sure that you can have a small cheat meal on the weekends just to keep your hungry eyes full.
SUBSTITUTE WHITE WITH BROWN FIBER: Another way to fight binge-eating is by switching to whole grains/wheat! Whole grains will definitely keep you full longer and decrease your binge-eating habits. These grains have an outer coating that contains bran or fiber which keeps you feeling full longer and helps your digestive system function better, providing better gut health. Brown rice contains more fiber than other rice varieties, so brown rice is definitely a good grain to try! Increasing whole grains in your diet can lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar levels, keeping you full and satisfied longer.
FREQUENT EATING AND NEVER SKIP MEALS: Frequent eating is what I consider eating every 2.5 to 3 hours. Do this and try not to skip meals so your body won’t get into the hunger game that causes insulin spikes! Skipping meals can contribute to cravings and increase the risk of over-eating. Most important, do not skip breakfast!
WATER: Aim to drink at least 6-8 bottles of water daily! Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a simple yet effective way to curb cravings and stop over-eating. In fact, increasing water intake will definitely decrease hunger, caloric intake and keep you satisfied between meals.
CONTROL TRIGGERS: Reduce stress, depression, and anxiety by controlling your personal triggers.
GYM AND SLEEP: I believe this is a well-known fact that each of you already know. Exercising regularly and sleeping at least 6-8 hours will decrease stress levels that trigger over-eating. So be sure and get to the gym and also get enough sleep!