1. Think Before You Eat
Before you reach for that jumbo bag of chips, freeze — and ask yourself these questions:
Am I really hungry? Sometimes, just pausing for a few minutes allows the urge to pass.
Have I had enough to drink? Often we mistake thirst for hunger.
Will I truly savor this food? If you’re eating out of emotion, chances are you’ll feel guilty.
3. Keep A Food Journal
You hear it all the time, and for good reason: It works! Write down what you eat, noting your mood and rating your level of hunger each time. By keeping track, you stay accountable and can identify situations in which you’re more prone to emotional overeating.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Research shows that sleep deprivation can increase hunger by decreasing levels of leptin, the hormone responsible for sending the “I’m full” signal from your stomach to your brain. You’ll also be less tired and have more resolve to resist the urge to grab foods for comfort.
7. Have Something Else First
When you feel a binge coming on, try the “three-food interference” strategy for damage control. Before digging into the high-calorie food, first eat three (yes, three) of these healthy, low-cal options:
• 1 cup baby carrots
• 1 apple
• 1 orange
• Half a grapefruit
• 6 oz nonfat light yogurt (plain or flavored)
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes
• 1 sliced cucumber
• 1 bell pepper
• 2 cups chopped lettuce with 1 Tbsp low-cal dressing
Most of the time this will be enough to quash the urge — or at least fill you up a bit so you eat less of the “treat.”
8. Find A Distraction
Paint your nails, phone a friend, tidy up the house, go for a walk, dance to your favourite music…whatever it is, just don’t give in to your cravings. Over time, the steps you’ve learnt above will help you to successfully fight the desire to binge and keep you from stress eating.
(Text by Joy Bauer, Woman’s Day (Bauer) / Additional Reporting by Natalya Molok)