How To Stop Binge Eating

Tips to stop overeating, stop emotional eating, stop eating fast food, stop eating junk food


This topic contains 35 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  lina 3 years, 4 months ago.

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    hi all. just wondering what your collective opinion is on something… as most of you know, i have stopped binging and my last binge was over 6 months ago. as you also may know, i have been working on some physique & training goals with a personal trainer. last week via email he told me i need to keep my calories to 1200-1400 5 days a week, and have 2 refeed days at 2400-2800 cals.

    so now i am having a dilemma. i definitely don’t want to open a big can of worms, however at the same time i feel like i have progressed beyond the binging now, and feel i have the tools not to succumb – or at the very least recognise the urges, say no, and stop counting calories and dropping so low if the urges become frequent. my main concern is getting hungry on the low cal days and feeling “unable” to eat, however i also feel i now know how dangerous this is and that i will use common sense and eat if i am starving.

    then again i am very aware of how hypocritical this would be considering how anti-dieting i am so wanted to be honest with you guys about what i was doing. in a way, i think it might be interesting to use myself as an experiment to see if it’s possible to diet in a more dedicated way, once the binge eating has been resolved. but i’m not sure… arrrgh…

    what do you think? good idea? bad idea? meh? has this got “relapse” and “i told you so” written all over it?



    Hey Tobe *hugs* been awhile :-)

    The short answer is yes, it actually can be done. Recognising what causes an urge allows you to disarm it. However, it …calorie restrictions…will CREATE urges. Now that is reality. So ask yourself if you really want that tug o war 5 days a week. I know I had to ask myself the same thing as I transitioned. I concluded that it would wear me down eventually, and opted not to do it. I am eating way healthier than I ever have been as per my body’s request.

    Plus, for me, if keeping a certain body fat % would require my doing this restriction on a permanent basis, which it most likely would, that makes it a lifetime commitment. A lot of pressure.

    I guess as a fellow recovered BED sufferer, my only advice is to test it out for yourself. By definition it is a diet, but it will be how you interpret the urges that will determine if it becomes problematic. If we could remove the urges completely, problem solved, but as you well know…a diet awakens them. There is no freakin way around that.

    You can give it a test run Tobe, see how you feel. You can decide if the battle will be worth it. It really is a personal thing, but no, it does not have to return to full blown BED.

    I am in your corner no matter what you choose. I am truly pulling for you. You are a class act who has helped many, and continues to inspire. We are all human after all, and the fact that you raise this awareness for your own situation shows how pure of heart you actually are. I will keep checking in in hopes my two cents worth could be helpful.

    All the best :-)



    For me, I feel the idea of keeping such a strict count on calories, even with too days of allowing for more, would make me obsess… though I am only 3 weeks binge free…. maybe for you this will work better and you’d be able to focus more on the nutrition aspect and not deprive yourself because it is for training, but personally I would not try this out. just an opinion though!



    My opinion is that it is a very bad idea.But that would be if it was me. It is restrictive dieting to the extreme. It is someone else telling you to eat very little then eat lots! You worked very hard to get the bingeing under control and listen to your body telling what and how much to eat and now you are considering letting someone else tell you how much you can eat. However you asked advice from an expert to get the physique you want and you can decide whether to go with their advice. So I guess if it is your decision to follow the advice then it will work and you will get the right result.



    hello everyone, thanks so much for all the replies. it helps to get different opinions and you all make very good points… i am going to think aloud for a bit:

    what i am hoping to achieve with this is a body i am happy with. i don’t have an issue with self-worth or anything like that, however after a long time of binging and too much cardio, i now have a big flabby tummy with everything else quite lean. i feel like i look like gollum, and people have commented on it, so i know i don’t have any misconceptions. so that’s the motivation for my physique goal – stop looking pregnant!

    i think the main problem is that my trainer doesn’t know my history with binging, so perhaps i need to talk to him about it before we head further down this route. no doubt he has had clients in a similar situation before! i’m a little annoyed that we initially agreed there would be *no* calorie counting, and i have spent ages re-learning my hunger signals etc. i really don’t want to backtrack here.

    however! the way it will work is that there will be 2-3 days of low calories, and then a refeed day (like a planned binge, in a way?), so it’s not like i will be continuously eating under maintenance. there is also NO WAY i am going back to my wretched spreadsheet, rather i will have a vague idea of what to eat and when (much as i have been doing up until now anyway) and i am not going to worry if i don’t eat exactly what i am supposed to.


    i think i have talked myself into giving it a go for a week, to see what happens. if it doesn’t work out, i will simply stop. ugh.

    DY, i am so happy you are still here :) hugs right back atcha! x what you say is very wise, and in fact it encourages me that you have tried it, seen it wasn’t for you, and were able to extricate yourself from the whole thing before it got messy. you’re totally right that the low cals will bring on the urges, i know this. i feel like a moth to a flame to be honest!

    kimwhit, yeah i agree completely! i really don’t want this to turn into another calorie obsession. hopefully if i don’t use my spreadsheet it will be ok… and also knowing this time that i am allowed to eat when hungry. thanks. basically i need to be so, so careful…

    nannyg, thanks to you too, i do feel like this is potentially a disastrous idea.. i hear what you are saying, i am, however i am paying this guy to tell me what to do. i think i need to come clean with him and revisit the whole calorie idea. it’s impossible for him to advise me if he doesn’t know the whole story – he is not the enemy here. ok. thanks, that was a really useful comment!

    ok. rethink #2. i will try this out until i see my trainer on monday, at which point i will ‘fess up to my binge history and see what he says. but i think for now i need to stop posting in other journals, because doing this low cal thing while advising others not to do it just doesn’t sit well with me. i’ll be back (just like arnie!) next week and let you know how it goes. i am sure you are all on the edge of your seats! haha… have a good week everyone. and thank you again to the three of you for the replies, it helped a lot xxxx



    Hi tobe, thought I’d give you my initial thoughts. Firstly I believe unless your trainer has experienced BED for him/ herself the advice given will probably be worth jackshit. It will come with all the best intentions but is unlikely to have any value. The second thing is that I have been binge free for close to ten years sitting happily at around the 69kg mark, spot on for my height etc. Because I had been in control and free of food obsessions for so long I thought that it would be ok to try and see if my body was able to hit the 65 kg mark. The plan was to try it and see if it was sustainable. If it was too hard I would take it as a signal that 69ish is right for me. Well, to cut it short, 69 was clearly where I needed to be but with a couple of months trying to lose weight then a couple of other little hiccups in my world, I have found myself at 77kg and battling with the binge monster again :-( . Enjoy where you are now!



    ToBe…what a CHAMP you are not only to all of us on this forum but, most importantly, to YOURSELF. 6 months BF and I picture your boat out there on the calm seas, you know a storm is coming. Do you head your boat for safer waters or just decide to meet it head on? What is different this time is that you have the tools and awareness to handle the rough seas. All of us have set goals here one time or another….yours is to lose that tummy fat, the last thing your body ever wants to give up. I love the idea of sharing your history with your trainer, he or she may not understand totally but it completes your picture. Challenges for ourselves are a good thing, you’ve come so far! My thoughts are you are the type that will certainly set boundaries and if the seas get to rough, set your sail and get out of there. There is never a time when we can’t turn around and change our course.

    Wishing you a loving and sane day.



    Oh, no. Please don’t do this, tobebingefree. I have been following your journey on here, so I feel like I know and understand a little bit about where you have been. You have been so kind and giving to everybody, it hurts me to see you do what I feel may jeopardize your new-found sanity.

    I understand your need to “get rid of” that tummy. I do. But concentrating on numbers again and creating an artificial calorie deficit that triggers the panic of starvation in your body instead of concentrating on listening to what your body needs? I’ve been where you’ve been, and even after over two years of not binging and not starving myself, I still notice how the grip that food used to have on me continues to give way to freedom. A few weekends ago, I went to get breakfast with my husband on Sunday morning. I was really hungry and tried to remember when I had eaten last. Turns out I had a big late lunch the day before and after that, I had not eaten for the rest of the day. I was full. And the other day, I was so focused on work in the morning, I only remembered that I had forgotten to eat breakfast and lunch when I got dizzy getting up from my chair around 2pm. This is happening to a severe exercise-bulimic/anorexic who for over 15 years thought about food 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You could have woken me up in the middle of any given night, and I could have recited from the top of my head every single calorie I had eaten and exercised off the day before and the 5-10 days before that. I’m not kidding or exaggerating!

    I’m just telling you this in so much detail because during my recovery, I considered many times to just go on a quick fast. Loosing the binge weight wasn’t going fast enough for me, and I felt confident that I would not go back to the dark place I had been in before. I can’t say I resisted the temptation to starve myself again, but something inside me that was wiser than my brain, took over and just didn’t let me do it. Today, I want to cry out of gratitude for that. I know that from my perspective back then, the fast made sense to me, but having continued with my recovery, I know it would have messed me up in a way that I can understand from the place I’m in now, and could have never even assessed from the place I was in back then.

    This sounds as if I thought I was smarter than you and wanted to lecture or something, but that’s not at all what it is or what matters. What matters is that food is not something to measure and restrict. It’s not an artificial concept or a tool to make you look a certain way. It’s nourishment for your body so you can be sane and healthy and strong. And when your body tells you to eat because it needs fuel, why would you refuse to eat? It enforces the message that none of us need to hear: That you only matter when the tummy is gone, when you look a certain way.

    Don’t go back there. Keep going forward. There are much more important matters in your life than loosing a tummy. Keep your strength and sanity, live a full life without hunger and the obsession it breeds, and the tummy will go all by itself, you know?

    I want you to know that my heart wrote this, not my ego, and that I only wrote it because I wanted someone to care for you and be there for you the same way you have cared for so many people on here for such a long time.

    Please be well!



    I just have questions here:

    1. what reason does your trainer give for wanting you to do this? after all, total calorie intake for a week would be the same.. so what is the purpose for breaking it up in this manner?

    2. I’ve often wondered why (as you have said) you are banned from doing cardiovascular exercise. What is the reason for that? some aerobic exercise is good, for everyone.

    It is hard to comment on what you propose w/o understanding your situation. what is wrong with your physique (the way it is now) that you require “sculpting”? I often wonder why anyone needs a personal trainer anyway. Most people who have them can’t motivate themselves to exercise on their own and want someone to tell them what to do. You don’t seem to be that kind of person.

    xxx sciencefreak



    tobe, i’m going to read everyones comments later cause i’m sure they have good insights but am in a rush now.

    But in my opinion this is so not worth it.

    What do you really want out of life? Is it happiness and balance? We are talking terms of quality of life here. Even if this doesn’t get you back to bingeing, you can’t enjoy social occasions because you’ll be watching calories, you cannot be as free as you are now.

    Also i read you posted somewhere that you really enjoyed cardio but don’t do it anymore. I also don’t really think this is idea. If you enjoy something thats healthier for you then get in there and do it. I’m not talking 2 hours of cardio on an elliptical at the gym. But a 30 min run, 30 min cycle? its great for you mind and body. Its all about balance, resistance training is critical too as is HIIT, but you are now doing alot of those, so why not throw in cardio too, get a good balance and be happy. You don’t need to cut out cardio just because you think it causes hunger pangs, or keeps you “flabby”. Look at the olympians or distance runners, they are as lean as it comes and they eat thousands of calories a day. just a thought



    just saw your follow up post and understand a bit more, but not totally. You refer to yourself as a “gollum”… not very flattering (I actually had to look it up). Why would you call yourself that (some hobbit like creature)? I’ve never heard anyone call themselves that. That seems like a mean comment you made to yourself. xxxx sciencefreak



    I think this eating plan can either work very well or lead to disastrous results. It all depends on your resilience and willpower. If you feel that giving yourself a couple of days of eating an increased amount of calories after the majority of the days having a very limited calorie intake WITHOUT eating excessively and doing this consistently, then by all means you should do it. I myself have tried something similar to this (carbohydrate cycling) and I ended up binging on the days I allowed myself a little more leniency. My advice to you is to try it out and see for yourself if it works or not. If it ends up not working, no harm done. Just keep a cap on it and do not spiral back into binging constantly. Good luck



    Hi tobe, hope all is well in your world. I forgot to talk about one thing when I posted earlier: your tummy. I so understand how it feels to have a body part that can let you down – for me it’s saddlebags – hate them! The thing I learnt over the years is that that is one part of my body which is never going to be the way I want it to be. Some parts of us are not going to be how we want them to be no matter how much we try. One other thing you said was that it is not in your mind because others have made comments. Many people make these kind of comments based on there own insecurities, perhaps seeing you as a threat, someone they wish they could be. Just something to think about. :-)



    so that’s a ‘no’ then :D lol

    goodness you guys, i wasn’t expecting such an outpouring and i am so grateful to each and every one of you for your replies. i’m actually a little overwhelmed by how much you all have my back on this, thank you SO much.

    i’m going to reply to each of you individually if that’s ok, it may help me to collect my thoughts. i’m going to refer to my trainer as PT to save my weary fingers. here we go!

    aim, yeah totally, i even had a trainer before this one who binged as well (she is a figure competitor) and even she couldn’t advise me on this stuff. in fact she now directs her binging clients to me for help!! i am not expecting PT to help me with binging, rather for him to be aware that calorie counting will have repercussions that are specific to me and my BE history. what you said about your 69/65 saga really hit home by the way. i need to think about how important this is to me before i do anything stupid. as for my tummy.. i am not going to resign myself to having this stomach forever – especially as i know i have the power to change it! people who made these comments are people who i asked directly – extremely supportive people usually, including my mother who has always in the past told me i am perfect, irrespective of my current weight. these people aren’t snippy or insecure, they’re just being honest. i wish i could post a picture up so you all know what i mean. for the record i am around 18% body fat at the moment, and yet people will offer their seats to me on the train because they think i am pregnant!

    eemslo, i absolutely love you analogies and way with words, thank you. you’re right, i have a much greater awareness this time round and am hoping i am clever enough to put a stop to it if i feel like things are heading the wrong way. i am definitely not ready to settle for a body that i feel doesn’t represent me. what you say makes total sense and i feel i will be revisiting your post over the weeks to come!

    dc, wow what you said also hit home in a big way, much like aim’s story before. you’re right that this idea with low calories that my PT is suggesting is because i am not getting results fast enough. i am getting results, dont’ get me wrong, but it is painfully slow which is why he wants to expediate things. maybe i just need to tell him i am willing to be patient if he is. just to let you know, i have been doing intermittent fasting on weekends with no problems at all. it’s just something about calorie counting and such a mindful deficit that strikes the fear of god in me.. thank you so much for your message, it means the world to have someone care enough to write all that x

    sciencfreak, thanks so much for taking the time to understand what i am doing. to answer your questions: 1) PT wants to help me lose body fat, which is what i have told him my goal is. what we have been doing up until now has been working, but very very slowly, so he wants to speed things up a bit. as for 2), the reasons not to do cardio are many! however the main ones in my case are a) to lower evening cortisol, b) to not exhaust myself or overtrain, and c) not to make myself unnecessarily hungry. i get a cardiovascular workout from my weights and HIIT anyway, so running is not necessary. every time i try to do any running or go on the cross trainer these days, i just get overly tired & hungry, and i lose muscle. PT recently allowed me 1 week of cardio and it backfired completely – for all of those reasons. so while i miss my cardio, it’s not good for me & my goals. i have a PT not because i lack motivation – far from it! in fact my PT has to tell me over and over again NOT to go to gym 7 days a week. it’s because i want to take my training to the next level that i am working with him. if only i had a degrees in sports science, nutrition, kinesiology and personal training like he does… it’s a hobby and a passion of mine, but i need help with it. as for the gollum comment, i am not being mean! just honest :) basically i am lean everywhere apart from my big stomach – i look malnourished, and i really don’t like it. there’s some more detail about my physique in what i wrote to aim up there ^

    lina, thanks, you make a good point about social occasions – however as i said it’s not going to be a meticulous adherence to a spreadsheet like before – more that i know i should watch my portions when out and about. the other thing is that, with the 2 refeed days, i can time my social events to be on my carb day or my fat day, when i am not so bothered about my intake. but yes, the restrictiveness of it all is already messing with my head a bit, which is ringing alarm bells all over the place! as for the cardio – i explained a bit about that to sciencfreak up there ^, basically the upshot is that it is NOT good for me, which is why i shouldn’t do it. it’s a lot more to do with cortisol, sleep and hunger, rather than body fat. if i look at olympians, i actually wouldn’t want to look like a long distance runner! i don’t think they look healthy at all. i’d rather look like a sprinter or a heptathlete. actually i would rather look like jessica ennis, but beggars can’t be choosers :D xx

    cudizone, yes that’s exactly the aim (carb cycling) – or rather it is calorie cycling with one carb day (for metabolism etc) and one fat day (to encourage ketosis) per week. i am finding that there is almost too much food to get through on my higher calorie days, however the refeed days are less than a third of what i used to get through while binging so it’s always possible i’ll go overboard. thanks for sharing your experience! it seems to me that a few of you guys have tried this and it didn’t work, which definitely makes me want to reconsider.

    and finally…

    just a few more thoughts, and then i’ll stop typing!

    i am sad to say that quite a large part of me was pretty excited to be dieting again. it’s amazing how close all those feelings still are, even after 6 months. however, another big part of me is already in diet-stress mode, and i’ve only just started! i do want to give it a try at least, and i’ll push through until monday and then review.

    thank you once again for all your messages. even today i am bowled over by the support and love given by complete strangers on this forum. thank you all xoxoxo



    I think it was WW that had something like Wendy’s way. The principle was , like exercise, our body adjust itself to our usual caloric intake and can slow down the weight loss. So Wendy’s idea was to bounce around higher and lower intakes during the week to fool your body. Made sense to me.

    Wishing you the best ToBe..and that is all you are asking…ToBe your best!

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