Dealing with binge eating can often seem like an insurmountable challenge, leaving you feeling utterly defeated and out of control. This struggle is particularly intense when discipline, the very goal you’re striving for, feels like your biggest failure. The situation becomes even more complex when coupled with body dissatisfaction, creating a maze of emotional and physical hurdles. This is where the strategy of ‘Meal Planning to Prevent Binge Eating’ can become a catalyst for change.
In our work with clients, we’ve identified 5 key mistakes that often precipitate binge eating episodes. Understanding and managing these triggers is crucial in our approach to helping you overcome this difficult journey.
1. Did you skip breakfast?
Either because you remember how much you ate yesterday or you aren’t a “breakfast person”.
2. Have you tried to calorie count and keep under a certain number?
Standing on the scales in the morning can take away all good resolutions of starting the day fresh…
3. Are you regularly weighing yourself and feeling negative about the weight you see on the scales?
We often find that people will weigh themselves throughout the day and then be triggered by the natural changes they see on the scales.
4. Are you avoiding carbs in an effort to reduce calories?
All over social media there is a focus on carbs causing us to gain weight, so these are often eliminated in an attempt to eat less.
5. Are you missing meals or snacks to go out in the evening and socialise with friends?
After understanding what the trigger points are, we help create a plan that will overcome the binging. VERY importantly, we NEVER expect this to work on the first attempt. Like learning to ride a bicycle, it might take many attempts until the day, week or month goes by without incident. We focus on making sure the day has structure, with regular meals and snacks. We try to make sure meals and snacks are eaten just before you are hungry, rather than waiting too long. A bit like going food shopping, if we shop when we aren’t hungry, we are more likely to buy what we need and leave. If we shop hungry, we tend to buy more than what we need.
Below is an example meal plan to help prevent binge eating. It provides structure in the day, providing you with a mix of main meals and snacks.
Meal Plan Example
The concept behind this meal plan is based on the following:
- If we need a certain number of calories per day, let’s spread them out across the day, rather than trying to cut corners in the earlier part of the day. We are therefore less likely to overeat/binge in the evening.
- We need carbs for energy. If we don’t include these during the day, we will look for quick energy foods in the evening to help give us energy.
- We need foods we enjoy. Foods that give us pleasure. If we don’t include these foods, we might not binge today, but we might later in the week. It’s another form of restriction and is based on the concept that we will gain weight if we eat those foods.
We hope this gives you ideas on what to work on. It can often feel terrifying adding more food into the beginning part of the day as you are so scared that this will result in weight gain. Nicky and I have been working in eating disorders for many many years now and we can definitely assure you that this is more likely to result in weight stabilisation than the restrict/binge cycle that you might currently be in.
For further advice or a more tailored approach, please go to Bookings and book an appointment with Nicky (adults) or myself (adolescents).