If you’re reeeally bored right now, or feeling more edgy than normal, you’re not alone. And if you want to eat when you’re not hungry more often, then oh baby, you’re DEFINITELY not alone.
A pandemic + quarantine lock-down would do that to pretty much anyone. And last week my inbox was flooded with questions about eating when you’re bored and what to do about it. To help you out, I have 3 tools you can use that I’ll talk about in a moment.
Because there’s so much fear and panic (and boredom) in the air, I think it’s fair to assume that some of us will binge no matter what. This is just real talk. I’m not going to promise that I can help you completely stop the binges immediately, because that would be something that I can’t guarantee, which is what I don’t sell. But if you follow my guidelines you WILL stop over time.
The truth is that nothing triggers binge eating like fear and lots and lots of time at home…cough… So here’s my recommendations:
The first line of defence is always to Stop, Get present and Feel. I hope you’re practising this daily. In fact, let’s all try to do this for 2 minutes every day for the next week.
Before you reach for the chocolate (funny how I always use chocolate as an example…!), set your timer for 2 minutes, and promise yourself that you can have the chocolate after the timer goes off if that’s still what you really want.
Then, hit ‘start’ and just get present. Check-in with yourself.
How are you doing? What are you feeling? What’s there?
Then, once the timer goes off, see if you still want the chocolate. And if you do, give yourself permission to have the food. Having permission — to have as much as you want — somehow helps us eat less than if we were feeling shame and guilt around eating the thing… And even if you eat the entire box, so what? You’re still on the straightest path I know towards developing a normal relationship with food.
The majority of the time, when you take time to stop, get present and feel what you’re feeling, it takes away enough edginess that you can choose to skip the chocolate if you’re not hungry.
During a pandemic…….. it might not be so effective because you’re out of any normal routine. Which is why… Regardless of how often you’re feeling your feelings, there will likely be a point where you know you’re going to binge or emotional eat no matter what… Honestly, that’s just reality during times like these.
So, be kind to yourself. And remember that overeating is always an attempt to care for yourself. I repeat:
Overeating is always an attempt to care for yourself.
Instead of beating yourself up for it, see if you can follow my tips on “how to do a binge right.”
How to do a binge right
- If you have done the stop, get present and feel and you have still decided that you want all the food then the first thing to do is ALLOW yourself to do this.
Release the guilt and shame and ‘naughty’ feeling, because this is what drives us to eat even more than if we were eating from a place of allowance and love.
2. Go buy exactly what it is that you want. I understand that most countries are only allowing essential shopping, so pick up some bread and milk while you’re at it 🤣… Ok, I’m only partially joking, be responsible.
So anyway where was I.. if you are craving a specific chocolate brand, go get exactly that. If you want Netflix and Chill Ben & Jerries, get that one, not the half stuff. This part is really important because you are honouring what you want.
3. When you are going to eat, choose where you will be most comfortable, set your area up to really amplify the pleasure. For example, light some candles, put some music on, get a cosy blanket etc. Make this whole experience as pleasurable as possible from a mindset of allowance. If you were to eat your food standing up with the fridge open or in the toilet or something (that was totally me!) then you’re not giving yourself the experience and enjoyment you deserve.
If you have a spouse or partner that judges your eating behaviours this part can be extremely difficult. (I’ve been there, hence the eating in the toilet!). My advice for this is either to have a conversation with them and explain that you’re following my advice (explain briefly who I am so he/she doesn’t think I’m a nutter!) and you would appreciate their support and judgement going forward with your eating behaviours.
If talking to them is not an option, then I recommend taking yourself off somewhere you can be alone and enjoy your food without worrying about judgment. Even if this IS in the car for now. Park up, put some nice music on. Take your seatbelt off, put your seat back… you get the gist… Anyone would have thought I was an expert in this. 😉
4. Put your food into cute little bowls or on small plates so you’re not eating them out of the packet. This helps massively with the allowance part and the fact that you’re making an effort to display the food to yourself as attractive as possible. It also helps us to eat more mindfully…which brings me nicely to…
5. Eat mindfully. Aka, take the time to enjoy your food. If you’re going to eat you may as well thoroughly enjoy every bite. Why wouldn’t you? Smell it, make orgasm noises when you eat it, pay attention to the textures, don’t multitask! Don’t scroll through Social Media or watch the TV. Make the effort to choose not to shove food into your mouth without giving yourself the chance to truly experience the pleasure of it. Remember that YOU’RE NOT DOING ANYTHING WRONG, so why would you be speed eating in shame?
6. Stop when you feel satisfied. Whatever that means to you. Remind yourself that you can this food again whenever you want it. Reverse psychology and ALLOWANCE is ridiculously powerful and helpful.
7. Move on! DON’T beat yourself up. I repeat – You’ve done nothing wrong! You’ve just chosen to follow your emotional desire to eat . That’s it. If your freaking out about gaining weight, this is where you need to ask yourself;
“Has dieting (and the binging that comes with it) helped to achieve my ideal body or has it just sent me into a crazy person around food?”
You also need to trust this process. I have plenty of blogs, Youtube videos and podcasts to help you to finally give up the diet-binge cycle and become free around food and in your body. I always talk about a process and if you follow the process, you WILL end up happy at your natural healthiest body size.
If you are binging regularly then that will most likely be smaller than you are now. If you are restricting more than you are binging, it might mean you end up a little bit bigger than you are now… But you have a choice;
Would you prefer to stay where you are now, on a different diet every week, constantly falling off the wagon and feeling guilt and shame, starting again every Monday and constantly hating your body…
or would you prefer to work through the process which will probably freak you out at times, but you will get to the point where you no longer think about food unless you’re hungry, you eat all your favourite foods whenever you want without losing control or ever feeling guilty AND you’ve made peace with your natural healthy body size which is effortless to maintain…?
It might sound fuc*ed up to you, but allowing all foods and stop looking at your binge or emotional eating as bad or wrong will actually help you stop binging.
And I might lose some of you here but… The key is to allow the binges to happen.
It’s the permission that ultimately liberates you.
Sign up for my Ultimate food freedom & body confidence program!
Giving up dieting, Breaking free from binge eating, making friends with your body and reaching and maintaining your natural healthiest weight and being happy about it all is 10000% possible for you!
I promise you! If I can do it so can you. Read my story to see where I started on this journey.
I hope these tools are helpful.
I’ve got your back because we’re truly in this together.
Sending my love (from at least 2 metres away),
If you liked this post please like, share or comment as it will help others that need it to find it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤️