Can I Really Stop Binge Eating On My Own? How?
If you’ve been eating out of control for months, you’re probably desperate to change by now, but you’re wondering how. Maybe you’ve tried joining a support group, reading a book or journaling while eating mindfully, but haven’t seen signs of major improvement. These techniques can help, but they usually take forever to produce the results you’re seeking.
If you don’t have a huge budget to spend on therapy or coaching, your question by now is probably: “How do I stop binge eating without therapy, fast?” Maybe you just can’t take it anymore: You hate yourself for eating so much, but just can’t find the way out. That’s why I’m so excited to share with the method that has helped me quick any addiction on my own.
I must warn you: Stopping compulsive eating without help can be difficult. Nonetheless, I know it can be done. In order to stop, you need to develop certain skills, as well as change the way you think. You’ll need to devote a little bit of time and energy to fix the problem, but, more importantly, you’ll also need commitment, desire and persistence, as well as a healthy way to handle relapses.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that I believe kindness, proactive self-love, and forgiveness are much more powerful than a strong will and discipline. They are key to your binge eating recovery.
Below are the exact steps you must follow to gain full control of the way you eat.
Step One: Accept and Welcome Your Situation
As long as you are denying that you’re addicted, you cannot evolve. Accept your addiction but do not identify with it.
You want to see yourself as a perfectly lovable and acceptable person with a temporary issue. So from now on, make it a practice to repeat “Even though I sometimes eat out of control, I’m a perfectly lovable person and I accept all of me.” Repeat this sentence every time you reject, belittle or criticize yourself. Most often, the root cause of addiction is the idea that you’re some mix of flawed, bad to the core, not good enough, unacceptable or rejected, or that you cannot cope on your own. You will have to be persistent in facing and gently shifting your beliefs.
You’ll also have to accept that it will take a little time. There will be steps forward and maybe a few relapses, and that’s perfectly OK.
Step Two: Create a Daily Routine
Over time, you have created a belief system that acts like a magnetic field, which pulls you towards addiction. Your beliefs and repeated behaviors have created pathways in your brain that are ready to create a binge at any trigger.
To change permanently, you’ll have to rewire those pathways and create a “magnetic field” that pulls you towards healthier habits. In order to succeed, you must work at creating that field daily. Otherwise, the pull of the old field will take over, and you’ll end up binging again.
If you binge emotionally, at some point, you decided it was better to eat than to feel or address your stress, conflicts, and difficult situations. You then started obsessing over food to avoid experiencing negative emotions like the fear of rejection, or feelings of unworthiness, anxiety, guilt or shame. Each time you did, you “imprinted” your mind and brain with this reaction. Now, it may happen so quickly that you cannot even feel it happening within you. You just know you want to binge.
If you’re serious about learning how to control binging, you have to create an efficient daily routine to start imprinting new reactions to external and internal triggers.
Your worst enemy is self-sabotage. Your second worst enemy is your exceedingly high self-expectations and perfectionism. I’ll tell you more about both below, but for now, remember that you’ll have to work at this daily, probably for weeks. I don’t like the word “work,” because it doesn’t have to be a lot of effort. Instead, expect to spend consistent attention, presence, choices, and action on the issue.
In your daily routine, you’ll have to learn to be present to yourself, to stop and listen for what you feel and need, and to create a new set of beliefs. You’ll also need to take action to nurture yourself. For example, if you feel the need to be alone, you’ll have to cancel unnecessary engagements.
In other words, you have to commit yourself to your well-being without binging. Until now, you have been deriving your pleasure from your food addiction. Now you want to do so by nurturing yourself and taking full responsibility for your well being, all without using foods.
Some of my clients achieve results almost instantly after I help them experience that kind of self-nurturing and self-dedication in our sessions. They are then able to reproduce this new behavior and thinking in their lives. And then, binge eating is gone. Relapses just don’t matter so much: These individuals know how to make them go away easily and quickly enough so that the addiction doesn’t take over. In other words, they know how to avoid binges.
It will take a bit longer to develop that level of self-control on your own, but it’s possible. What matters is that you build new skills that will help you relieve stress, let go of self-doubt and self-blame, and keep yourself motivated and focused on what you want. This way, you’re able to make the right food choices and stop eating whenever you want to.
Learning EFT and other stress and emotional-releasing techniques like I teach in my program is a must. I wouldn’t have become the person I am today without learning how to control my stress levels, release negative emotions, traumas, be present with myself, set healthy boundaries and mentally create the future I want.
I never impose a particular technique. But you must find one that works for you. And, then, you must create a daily routine, combining as many powerful techniques as possible — all presented in the right order — if you want to permanently remove the magnetic pull towards your old habits. If you want to know how to overcome binge-eating habits, that’s key.
Even today, as I’m trying to change new aspects of my life and myself, I have a daily routine. This process has evolved to accommodate my new goals, and it seems I can’t succeed without this routine. Without it, fear takes over and I procrastinate. Before I know it, I’ve lost track of who I wanted to become and what I want to accomplish. I get pulled back to my old self. I then have to pick myself back up and start over. It’s OK, but I have lost momentum. So if you want to succeed, try and be extremely consistent.
“The only way to really change permanently is to adopt a new behavior and thought pattern for long enough that it becomes automatic or “non-conscious.”
There is no way you can accomplish this without persistence, consistency, faith, and patience. Your daily routine may take only 30 minutes, which is spread out throughout the day in 10-minute chunks. This time may seem really short, but without it, you will get pulled back to your old ways with it your imagination is the limit.
Now you see how commitment and persistence are vital to your success. A coach will push you and keep you on your toes when you fall off the wagon. Without help, you have to do that yourself. The only way is by never skipping your routine for more than 48 hours. If you can do that, you will succeed.
If you don’t, it will be very hard. The daily routine I recommend has very little to do with foods and nothing to do with food charts, scales or journals. These are not really helpful. You want to retrain your non-conscious self, because that’s the part of you who is driving your addiction. That’s why you need a routine that will help you to access that self, then retrain it.
Also, you want to be impartial with yourself. Denial is your worst enemy. Look at your behavior with honesty and, if you don’t like it, then acknowledge it and change it. Denial can be really sneaky, so learn to identify and acknowledge its tricks.
The Two Biggest Pitfalls to Avoid If You Want to Learn How to Stop Binge Eating without Professional Help…
Step 3: Prevent Self-Sabotage
Change can be relatively easy, but, somehow, we tend to fall back to a familiar, but unpleasant, comfort zone. For binge eating, that means eating out of control or obsessing on food or dieting. That’s your comfort zone.
If you want to take full control of your life, you’ll have to accept feeling really uncomfortable for a while. Maybe you have already read or heard this quote:
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. ― Neale Donald Walsch
Always remind yourself that it’s OK to experience fear, or feel very uneasy each time you want to stop binging. Accept it. It’s normal. Tell yourself regularly: “Hey, it’s OK to have fear. I’m here for you.”
As a former love addict, when I started looking for a new relationship after being so emotionally abused for so many years, I was petrified. The idea of falling in love was terrifying. To me the idea of falling in love meant losing myself, giving my power and my life over to someone else. Therefore, I had to change my concept of love to be able to welcome it into my life. You will have to change your thoughts on what food is to you in the same way.
I had to build the belief that I could love, remain myself, keep my personal power, and achieve my dream life, all at the same time. It took a little time, but until I had this positive vision to pull me away from my fear, all I had when I felt love for someone else was a kind of frantic panic. I would then sabotage my chances to get what I wanted: a happy, committed relationship.
To feel comfortable letting go of your food addiction, you’ll have to create the belief that you can enjoy life, be strong and happy, all while eating normally.
As long as your old set of beliefs is active, you will a have the tendency to sabotage your progress. A part of you believes you can’t cope without binging or that it’s not safe or it’s the only pleasure you can have in life. To that part of you, it is almost vital that you binge in some way. That part is wrong and you have to teach her the truth: it’s safe, good and pleasurable to eat normally
If you stop binging without changing your beliefs, you may create a new addiction. I remember how Karl Dawson, who trained me in EFT and Matrix reimprinting, described AA meetings. He felt that people at these meetings were all addicted to coffee as much as they had been to alcohol.
My purpose is not to help you shift addictions, but rather to let go of addiction permanently. I don’t feel that my job is done if I haven’t.
So How Do You Become Addiction-Free?
One way is to expect resistance and fear: Welcome it, observe it and accept it. I have covered how to handle the fear of change in “Conquer Your Fear and Stop Eating So Much Food in Four Easy Steps.” Please study, and use that advice. It will help you let go out of self-sabotaging yourself.
You also need to observe your thinking as if it was someone else’s. In other words,
“Don’t take your beliefs personally. They have nothing to do with you.”
If you haven’t taken the time to do an inventory of your beliefs, now is the time. Sit down and write what you think about food, about eating, and about you. Think about what you deserve, what you can do. Just write without thinking. The first thing that comes to mind is right, because it’s your unfiltered self-talk. Keep performing that inventory every day, for 30 days.
Practice noticing the beliefs behind your thoughts. You will then understand why you’re eating compulsively: You’re trying to protect yourself from dangers and fears you perpetuate.
You can change, but at first, the best way to avoid sabotaging yourself is to observe and accept what you think, feel and do. Once you have, you want to claim your birthright — believing you’re absolutely fabulous and deserve the best in life — and then start treating yourself with love and respect.
So the obvious second step is to consciously pick a new set of beliefs that will serve your purpose (i.e., eating normally). I’ve covered this in depth in “How to Stop Emotional Eating: The 3 Most Important Skills You Must Know to End It Once and for All.”
Consciously choosing your new set of beliefs is an extremely empowering experience. The most exciting part, though, is when you start making it your new reality.
Step 4: Eliminate Self-Hate, Fear, Shame and Perfectionism
The last thing I want to mention that can block your progress is perfectionism. Perfectionism feeds your non-conscious self that’s it’s unacceptable to be a binge eater or to have relapses. It tells you that you’re bad and inadequate to the core, that you don’t belong.
I say: “Perfectionism is not acceptable.” It’s OK to be human and to have difficulties. Perfectionism unnecessarily blows your failures out of proportion. One thing I know about successful people is that they remember their successes and forget their failed attempts. That’s the mental habit I want you to master.
First, practice forgiveness. Forgive yourself for not being there for you and not knowing how to do better. Then, send yourself love and attention. That’s the only way you can become addiction-free and peaceful. Beating yourself up only reinforces the idea that you are not acceptable. Give up that pattern, once and for all right, right now!
Now is the time to obsess on your progress — no matter how small — and congratulate yourself. Practice gratitude towards yourself for all the things you’ve done for you. Remind yourself how much you have already accomplished, and take a moment to feel good about it.
Then, forgive those people who have taught you perfectionism. They just didn’t know better, but now you do. You know.
“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear.
That is why it is such a powerful weapon.”
—Nelson Mandela, in “Invictus”
Now you have everything you need to get started. Make it your goal to become happy and self-confident, to look and feel good, and to have an exciting life.
Small goals, like “I just want to stop binging,” are not motivating enough, so think big. Learning how to stop binge eating on your own is just the first step. Just imagine what else you’ll be able to do once you have learned this. You’ll be unstoppable, and your happiness will shine in this world. You’ll become a source of inspiration for others. I hope this perspective excites you.
If you haven’t done so already, grab Sara’s case-study. It will show you how she was able to stop binge eating in 5 days.
You will be blown away by how easy and fun it was for her. She couldn’t believe it herself.
There are many things, I didn’t have time to cover here… like what causes the diet-binge cycle and how to break free from it… But I don’t want to turn this blog post into a book. So, I have given you enough to get started. And,…
I would love to hear which are the key takeaways you have gathered in this article to help you stop binge eating without professional help, and, what is the one strategy you’re going to implement today. Let me know in the comments below.