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Can’t Stop Binge Eating? Here’s WHY and how to stop.

Can’t stop binge eating? aka on the diet-binge roller coaster from hell?

I get it, gurl.

Binge eating was my nemesis for YEARS.

I literally used to dig food out of the trash—after throwing it out earlier because I didn’t “trust myself” to be around certain foods without bingeing my face off. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until I finally understood the root causes of my binge eating (which I’ll get to in a moment), I spent most of my time alternating between periods of “being good” or successfully “controlling myself” around food

…followed by intense bouts of “losing control” around food. 

I’d regularly find myself knee-deep in chocolate-covered whatever-the-hell-it-was—swearing I’d get back on the wagon for good starting tomorrow.

Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for me to make myself so full and sick from eating that I could barely get up from my couch…let alone go out with my friends, be productive at work, put on real pants, etc.

I was a “low-bottom” binge-eater and tried everything to stop—from 12-step groups to “food addiction” programs…I even had a 45-day inpatient rehab stint for Binge Eating Disorder…only to find myself bingeing my face off again within a couple of days of being released. 

How to Stop Binge Eating: Understanding Why You Binge Eat 

For the most part, all of the various programs I tried to stop binge eating suggested that binge eating was a self-contained psychological defect—the result of a “spiritual malady,” or bad habit, or perhaps some childhood trauma.

In other words, they all suggested that if I could just fix the underlying emotional problems that “triggered” binges, I would be healed.

Doing everything in my power to get this problem “under control,” I went to therapy, I went to church, I journaled, I made up with my mother…and for years, I just couldn’t stop bingeing.

It wasn’t until years into my healing journey, that someone finally suggested that perhaps my bingeing wasn’t just a response to difficult emotions or “neurological junk” in my brain…

perhaps my binges were a natural response to countless years of dieting and feeling deprived around food as a result of innumerable attempts at weight control throughout my life.

 

The Root Cause of Binge Eating

Despite an enormous amount of effort by the diet industry to suppress research that suggests “diets don’t work,” it is widely evidenced in the scientific literature that binge eating is primarily a symptom of dieting (that is, attempts at food and weight control).

If you’d like to read the pages and pages of research supporting this claim—it will take you a while—but I would start by referencing the literature collected by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, who are the nutritionists behind the book, Intuitive Eating, (which I’ll discuss later in this post),

as well as the book Health At Every Size by Linda Bacon, which reviews decades worth of research on the most common symptoms and outcomes of dieting and weight suppression. More to come on “Health At Every Size” as well.

This all to say—trying to control binges by restricting foods makes binges worse. You can not stop binges with the very behavior that cause them…and they are 100% caused by dieting, food restriction, and other attempts at food or weight control.  

 

Binge Eating vs. Emotional Eating vs. “Getting Really Full”

The terms “binge eating” and “emotional eating” are often used interchangeably, even though they are actually very different behaviors and need to be treated in different ways.

Since you can’t heal a problem you don’t fully understand, let’s start by defining these terms so we can all make sure we’re talking about the same thing.

I give my definitions of “binge eating” and “emotional eating” in greater length in this free video series…but here’s a quick summary:

 

What is “Binge Eating?”

I now understand that binge eating is—plain and simple—a reaction to deprivation around food.

In other words,

  1. it’s eating because you haven’t had a piece of bread in 3 weeks and you can’t hold yourself back one-second longer (that is, a biological instinct to relieve oneself from food restriction—aka falling-off-the-wagon eating”)
  2. or it’s eating because you already screwed up, so you “might as well” finish the bag and start over tomorrow (aka “last supper eating”).

This type of eating can also be triggered by unhealthy attitudes about food and weight—aka “Diet Mentality.”

For instance, people who feel guilty or fearful about eating certain foods are much more likely to binge-eat or feel “out of control” as they judge, analyze or criticize their choices with food.

This all to say that binge eating is NOT a stand-alone or self-contained behavior—it is simply one part—the second part—of the diet-binge cycle.

As such, attempts at “self-control” around food are not only unproductive in managing binge eating, but may actually be the primary risk factor for binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder (BED). More on this here

 

What is “emotional eating?”

“Emotional Eating,” on the other hand, is eating for emotional pleasure or to soothe uncomfortable feelings.

A “normal” eater may eat emotionally from time to time, but will likely do so far less often than dieters and restrictors, for reasons that I explain here.

That being said,

the reality is…most people eat emotionally sometimes

As my friend Wendy Shankar says,

“there are only 6 people who eat food righteously as fuel and nothing else…and all six of them are Kenyan marathon runners.”

The difference between a person who has a bowl of ice cream after a hard day, and the person who flies off the handle into a week-long binge…

is whether or not they were trying to “control” their food and weight to begin with—is whether or not they struggle with diet-mentality around that experience.

Folks who are not emotionally attached to “being good” around food—that is, folks who are not on a “wagon” around food—will not “fall off the wagon” when they eat emotionally. Dieters will…and “falling off the wagon” is ALWAYS more intense than an easy bowl of ice cream to self-soothe.

Additionally…

 

Binge Eating is NOT the same thing as “getting really full”

Despite conventional wisdom—it is completely un-useful (and actually quite problematic) to define binges by volume or amounts of food. More on this in my vid series.

What is much more useful is to define binges by their motivation…by what actually *causes* the behavior, rather than by some arbitrary amount of “this-is-not-okay.”

Ultimately, there’s a big difference between reacting to deprivation (aka bingeing) and eating a bunch on Thanksgiving because your mom’s mashed potatoes are AWESOME.

This sounds like semantics, but it’s really important to remember—

Like “emotional eating,” getting really full sometimes is a normal part of life. Restricting your food choices and then rebelling against those restrictions when you can’t take it anymore doesn’t have to be.   

 

“I don’t think I’m a dieter, but I know that I binge-eat…”

Because “diet” has become a 4-letter word in the Wellness Industry, many of my clients don’t realize they’re dieting unless they’re on Weight Watchers or Atkins or some old school weight loss “program” of some kind.

The reality, however, is that anyone who defines themselves as a “binge-eater” is almost certainly dieting or, at the very least, struggling with diet-mentality. More on this here.

If you’re struggling with binges or extreme “loss of control” around food—you are, by definition, trying to control your food in the first place.

After all—you can’t fall off a wagon that you’re not on. More on this here.

 

What exactly do I mean by dieting or “restriction?”

There are a couple of definitions of dieting that most often lead to binge eating behaviors:

  • A diet may include any attempt to restrict or limit food intake for the purpose of weight loss (or weight “control”)

In other words, a diet may include anything from:

  1. limiting certain types of food,
  2. or certain amounts of food,
  3. or limiting certain eating behaviors

…for the purpose of weight loss or weight control.

If weight loss, weight control, or weight-management is your goal, you are most certainly “on a diet.”

  • A “diet” may also mean ANY kind of food restriction to which you feel emotionally attached (whether it be for weight loss, or “health,” or any other possible reason).  

For instance, restricting dairy or gluten because you have allergies will not necessarily lead to binge eating in and of itself

…but if you feel emotionally attached to “following” that instruction “correctly,” 

if your self-esteem or feelings of emotional security depend upon you “sticking to” your particular definition of “health,”

you will likely find yourself “falling off the wagon,”  just like you would any weight-controlling diet.

 

“Diet Mentality” can also lead to binge eating.

Although physical diets or restrictions around food are the primary cause of binge eating, it takes more than canceling your Weight Watchers subscription to rid your mind of years (and possibly decades) worth of toxic diet-culture beliefs around food—which can also trigger binge eating.

When you start paying attention, you may be surprised by how judgmental you are of your food choices, or how fearful you are of eating certain foods. You may walk around feeling terrified of gaining weight or eating “too much,” all of which can be just as triggering as the diets themselves.

In other words—fear, shame, and judgment of your food choices can themselves trigger binge eating.

When we judge a particular eating behavior as “not okay,” we subconsciously send ourselves the message that food should be restricted in the future, thus sending us back into “last supper mode” around food (i.e. binge eating behaviors).

 

How to stop dieting…so you can stop binge eating.

Ultimately, the only way to stop binge eating is to *truly* let go of dieting…which is not always easy in a culture that constantly tells you your life’s happiness depends upon you eating (and looking) a certain way. 

Fear usually comes up. 

Most of my clients ask,

“But if I stop dieting, I’ll just eat and eat and eat FOREVER!” “I’ll never stop gaining weight and Oompa Loompas will  pop out of my closet and kill me!” 

how to stop binge-eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Putting aside that this fear—Fatphobia—is likely the real root of your food obsession, and is certainly not helping you recover from binge eating,

let’s briefly review the reality of the situation: 

Dieting makes us feel like there’s no amount of food in the world that could possibly satisfy us—but the reality is, when we’re not constantly depriving ourselves around food—we discover that we are, in fact, satiable.

Satiation is influenced by several factors— including your history of dieting, your current diet-mentality, as well as where your weight currently rests relative to your natural set point weight. 

Your set point weight is the weight you naturally arrive after you let go of dieting and eat in accordance with your bodies natural hunger signals.

This weight will be different for everyonedepending on genetics, environment, hormones and other factors.

Whatever your set point weight is—where ever you happen to ‘land’ when you have a healthful relationship with food —is, by definition, the perfect “healthy” weight for YOU.

On that note, below are some basic tips to help you make the transition from diet-binge cycling into “normal,” biologically-attuned eating. 

 

#1 Practice “Intuitive Eating”

Diet Recovery typically starts with a practice of “Intuitive Eating,” or listening to your own biological hunger signals for information about what to eat, instead of external diet plans, etc.

When you tune in and listen, your body knows exactly what it needs to eat at any given time—you just need to start honoring and trusting those signals, which is what a good Intuitive Eating coach should be helping you accomplish.

More on Intuitive Eating here.

 

#2 Challenge your diet mentality.

While listening to your body’s hunger signals for information about what to eat is super helpful in making sure you get enough food,

be careful not to fall into the trap of the “hunger & fullness diet,” which will backfire just like every other diet on the planet.

At the end of the day, rules and restrictions around food are the real enemies when it comes to binge eating recovery—and practicing “Intuitive Eating” can only go so far if you’re still struggling with diet-mentality around it.  

 

#3 Practice “Health At Every Size”

People who pursue healthy behaviors (like exercising, eating vegetables, etc.)—without worrying or focusing on weight outcomes—are significantly more likely to maintain those health behaviors over time.

Additionally, people who pursue health behaviors in a weight-neutral way enjoy better health outcomes (e.g. blood pressure, blood sugar, cardiovascular health)

…as well as significantly better mental health outcomes, especially around food and body image.

Since there is little-to-no evidence to support forced “weight loss” or diet interventions—because they are rarely sustainable, and often lead to weight gain over time, 

there is increasing support for a “weight-neutral” approach to health—citing sustainability and long-term health outcomes as a reason to ditch the scale and focus on taking care of the body you actually have.

I would argue that pursuing health and nutrition in a weight-neutral way is critical for the safety of anyone in recovery from eating disorders, or binge eating of any kind.

 

#4 Pursue Body Positivity (heal your Body Image NOW) 

Letting go of the “goal” of weight loss, and committing to pursue actual health, can be challenging in a culture that regularly stigmatizes people on the basis of size.

We are constantly being fed messages that we are only worthy or lovable in thin bodies, and this can trigger a cascade effect onto our food:

Body Shame → Dieting (and/or Diet Mentality) → Binge Eating

Of course, binge eating often leads to more body shame…and the cycle continues on and on indefinitely.

While many hesitate to work on body-image believing that self-hatred is somehow “motivating” them into thinness,

the truth is, it is VERY difficult to overcome diet-binge cycling (and binge eating in general) without doing significant body acceptance work right off the bat.

The sooner you work to accept the body you have, the sooner you’ll be able to truly let go of dieting and eat “normally” in accordance with your biological hunger signals.

Work with a coach, find a body-positive or body-acceptance support group, do what you need to do to remember:

how to stop binge-eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Help for Binge Eating

At the end of the day, binge eating is a reaction to dieting or other attempts to “control” food and weight.

You can think of it like a Bow & Arrow:

The farther back you pull a bow and arrow (aka dieting), the farther that bow’s gonna fly in the other direction as soon as you let it go. More on this here

If you want to heal your binge eating for real, you’re gonna have to stop straining your body through dieting and other attempts at food or weight “control,” and re-learn to respect and honor your bodies natural instincts around food.

This will also mean learning to respect and honor your bodies natural size, which is different for everyone. 

If you’re concerned about the relationship between your weight and health, or are concerned that an anti-diet approach to binge eating recovery won’t work for you because of your size—make sure to check out this blog post about the Health At Every Size approach to binge eating recovery.

In my opinion, there is NO SUCH THING as lasting recovery from binge eating without a weight-neutral perspective.

 

Binge Eating Recovery Resources

To learn more about the non-diet approach on how to stop binge eating, make sure to check out my free video training series at StopFightingFood.com.

You can also check out my free guide, “How To Not Eat Cake…really fast, standing up, when nobody’s looking” by filling out the form at the top of this page.

Lastly, if this post was useful to you, please share! You can share this post directly to Facebook by clicking here. Easy Peasy. 

 

What is Intuitive Eating? A Guide for Binge Eating Recovery

Today I’m answering one of the most foundational questions I get in my work…what exactly is Intuitive Eating? 

For context, let me tell you how I first learned about Intuitive Eating… 

Let’s start here: I was a “low-bottom” binge eater—meaning, I would make myself so sick and so full with food that it was not uncommon for me to call in sick from work or leave work early after raiding the corporate kitchen. 

More than that, I was OBSESSED with food. My entire life revolved around what I was going to eat that day, how I was gonna get my steps in, how I was gonna track my points or carbs or macros or whatever-the-fuck-it-was-that-month

…in essence, a near-constant stream of food-and-body NOISE in my head all day long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trying to lose weight—or maintain weight loss—was a full-time job

…that to be honest…I wasn’t very good at…the binges always found me eventually.  

ENTER: INTUITIVE EATING.

Now, before I get into the role of Intuitive Eating in binge eating recovery,

please note, that Intuitive Eating was only ONE PART of my healing process (albeit a pretty important part), and there were several other steps I had to take mentally, physically, and emotionally to fully recover from binge eating and my generalized obsession with food and weight.

That being said, in this post I’ll be talking specifically about the role of Intuitive Eating in binge eating recovery, as well as what you can do to make these changes in your own life.  

What is Intuitive Eating?

what is intuitive eating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intuitive Eating is the process of making decisions around food based on your bodies internal hunger cues and other physical sensations—rather than trying to adhere to externally prescribed meal plans, food rules, etc.

In other words, Intuitive Eating is the process of choosing to eat what makes you feel good on a moment-to-moment basis, rather than trying to follow “shoulds” dictated by an external authority—or by your own obsessive dieter mind.

There are many reasons to eat intuitively,

the most obvious being that most people can’t sustain “food rules” for very long, and “shoulds” often lead to rebellious rebounds or binge eating in the long run.

We’ll talk more about how to get started with Intuitive Eating in a moment, but for now, consider this:

when a dieter makes decisions about what to eat—they might ask:

“What should I have for lunch?” or, “What can I have for lunch?” and try to stick to whatever rules or boundaries they have set for themselves in the name of “health” (or more typically, in the name of weight control).

An Intuitive Eater, however, may ask—

  • “What do I want to have for lunch today?”
  • “What would feel good to eat right now?”
  • “What am hungry for?”
  • “What would satisfy me?”
  • “What would be pleasurable to me?”

In other words, Intuitive Eating is about pleasuring and caring for the body you have in this present moment—while dieting, meal plans, “rules” and “restrictions,” are more typically about controlling your body (especially trying to control your body’s size).

It’s worth noting that all humans (and animals!) are naturally designed for Intuitive Eating—and struggle with dieting and food restrictions—hence the phrase “diets don’t work.”

We humans—like all other animals—have evolved to regulate our food and weight naturally through instinct, feeling, hunger, etc.,

NOT calorie counts, nutrition facts, food labels, or “food rules.”

When we deny our natural instincts around food (through dieting or restriction), dysfunction around food ensues very quickly.

Common symptoms of chronic dieting and food restriction include:

  • Binge Eating,
  • Weight Cycling (or “yo-yo dieting”)
  • Food Obsession,
  • Compulsive Eating,
  • Emotional Eating,
  • and pretty much any kind of clinical *eating disorder* you can think of.

Yikes.  

Why Does Intuitive Eating Help Stop Binges?

At its core,

Binge eating is a biological reaction to deprivation around food.

Binge eating may be a response to physical deprivation (e.g. hunger, dieting, weight suppression, etc.) or it may be a response to emotional deprivation, which you can read about here.

Binge eating is eating because you haven’t had bread in 3 weeks and you can’t hold back one second longer…(aka “falling-off-the-wagon eating”)

OR it’s eating because “fuck it…I’ve already screwed up…I might as well eat EVERYTHING that isn’t nailed down…and get back on the wagon starting tomorrow” (aka “last supper eating”).

In other words,

binge eating is what happens when we deny—or threaten to deny—our natural, biological instincts around food.   

Intuitive Eating—on the other hand—is the practice of responding to our hunger signals (and other bodily sensations) as they arise.

In so doing,

Intuitive Eating eliminates the most pressing and common cause of binge eating—which is physical dieting or restriction around food.  

Will I lose weight from Intuitive Eating?

Unlike diets—which I define as forced attempts at weight loss through restricting or trying to “control” food,

the goal of Intuitive Eating is NOT weight loss, but to have a healthful relationship with food both physically and mentally.

In other words, the goal is to stop feeling like a crazy person around food—not to be thin at all costs.

As you heal your relationship with food—both physically and mentally—your body will arrive at its unique “set point weight,” which is the weight your body sustains effortlessly when you are not dieting and bingeing (i.e. when you’re eating “normally”).  

While some people advocate Intuitive Eating “for weight loss,” it is dangerous to pursue this path, and can easily trigger binge eating just like any other diet.

There are both physical and emotional reasons for this, but the primary reason why “Intuitive Eating for Weight Loss” usually backfires is that effective Intuitive Eating depends upon letting go of diet-mentality (more on this later).

The pursuit of weight loss is the #1 trigger—and possibly the defining feature of—diet-mentality, which you can read more about here.

Intuitive Eating and Weight Set Point Theory

When you are eating intuitively AND have a healthy relationship with food (physically and mentally) you will eventually arrive at your unique set point weight.

This is the unique body weight that you maintain effortlessly when eating “normally” (aka not dieting and bingeing).  

Everyone’s set point weight is different and may be higher, lower, or the same as your current weight—depending on where you currently are in your “yo-yo” dieting cycle.

This weight may or may not line up with your dreams and visions of permanent thinness—which are largely dictated by unrealistic beauty ideals—but it will be the body that you can sustain effortlessly without dieting, binging, or obsessing about food.

Most people are not capable of maintaining weights below their set point for very long (hence: binge eating)—and for the few who are “able,” there may be grave physical and mental health consequences to suppressing your natural size.

In other words, the weight you arrive at when you’re eating intuitively is probably the healthiest weight YOU can be.

This weight is largely genetically determined—although it may be affected by environmental, biological and other factors, most of which are outside of our conscious control.  

How to get started with Intuitive Eating

There are several books that teach the core principles of Intuitive Eating—or more specifically, there are several books that teach people how to listen to their bodies for information about what to eat, rather than externally prescribed diets.

Some of these books actually use the words “Intuitive Eating” and some don’t. For instance, I’ve heard the words “attuned eating” or “hunger-directed eating” used to describe very similar concepts, with some differences from book to book.

Most of these books focus on listening to hunger and fullness signals specifically, although they may also discuss other bodily sensations (e.g. “how does a particular food make you feel, physically, after you eat it?”)

I personally have my own unique way of teaching Intuitive Eating, which I discuss at length in my coaching programs.

The core themes, however, are the same—which are (in short) tips, tools, and “how-to’s” for learning to listen to your body for information about what to eat, rather than relying on diet rules.

The Intuitive Eating Book & Workbook (Review)

The most widely read book about these concepts is likely the original “Intuitive Eating” book by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch—for which the term was coined in 1995.

intuitive eating book

Their particular take focuses on their own “10 Principles of Intuitive Eating,” which include:

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality
  2. Honor Your Hunger
  3. Make Peace with Food
  4. Challenge the Food Police
  5. Respect Your Fullness 
  6. Discover the Satiation Factor
  7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food (FYI—I find this particular principle a bit problematic for reasons explained below).
  8. Respect Your Body
  9. Exercise: Feel the Difference
  10. Honor Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

I’m hesitant to go through and review each “principle” because it would take a lot more writing than a single blog post can provide—however, I will say:

while this book is far from perfect (for reasons I’ll explain in a moment), I do generally recommend this book as a starter guide to Intuitive Eating principles and the non-diet approach.

This book explains in great detail how your body’s hunger signals work, what they feel like (ish), and why they are a much safer (and more dependable) guide for making choices around food than traditional diets.

If the actual “how-to’s” of noticing signals like physical hunger or fullness elude you (or simply overwhelm you, which may well be the case after years of dieting),

this book can provide pretty in-depth support in your transition to trusting your body’s hunger signals around food.    

That being said, there are parts of this book that I think can be problematic for clients in recovery from diet-binge cycling or other disordered eating behaviors.

Below are a few common “challenges” or “pitfalls” that my clients often fall into when reading (or possibly misreading) this book, or when pursuing other versions of hunger-directed eating.

Intuitive Eating Challenges & Pitfalls

The 3 most common challenges/pitfalls that people struggle with when they first begin Intuitive Eating are the following:

  1. “The Hunger & Fullness Diet”  (or the “Don’t-Eat-Emotionally Diet”)
  2. Underestimating hunger (read this even if you don’t think it applies to you)
  3. Trying to control weight through “eating intuitively”

The “Hunger & Fullness Diet” (aka The “Don’t-Eat-Emotionally” Diet)

The “Hunger & Fullness Diet” (aka the “Don’t-Eat-Emotionally Diet”’) are terms I coined to describe the single most common pitfall I see clients fall into when they beginning Intuitive Eating.

This happens when people turn “hunger and fullness” into RULES to follow—

for instance, when people turn “eating when physically hungry” or “not eating emotionally” or “not getting too full” into things they “should” or “should not” do.

The “Hunger & Fullness Diet” is problematic for a few reasons:

First off,

trying to eat ONLY within certain “acceptable” boundaries (e.g. “hunger and fullness”) can trigger binges when you inevitably “give in” or “fail.”  

When I first started practicing Intuitive Eating, I used to feel incredibly guilty (or even ashamed) when I would eat emotionally, or get really full. In other words, I thought my “emotional eating” was a “screw up.”

Of course, whenever I thought I “screwed up,” I would then binge my face off, because…

“I’ve already ruined my day—so I might as well binge my face off and try ‘Intuitive Eating’ again tomorrow.”  

In other words, I turned Intuitive Eating into a “wagon” that I could fall on and off of.

When you turn Intuitive Eating into a “wagon” that you can fall on or off of, you’re almost guaranteed to “fall off” of it eventually—and probably binge your face off in the process.

Underestimating Hunger (Don’t Skip This)

It’s clear in retrospect that I highly underestimated the amount of food I really needed in my early days of Intuitive Eating.

This is likely because diet-mentality (especially the “hunger & fullness diet” or the “don’t-eat-emotionally-diet”) got in the way of my trusting my natural instincts around food.

For instance, if I didn’t feel a “growl” in my stomach or other physical sensations that I personally labeled hunger, I would put that urge into the “emotional eating” category.

The reality, however, is that I may have been experiencing signs of appetite…which is simply a “drive to eat” that may—or may not—accompany specific physical sensations in the body.

Thinking about food is often the first sign of physical hunger we experience,

which is why trying to draw a narrow line between “emotional eating” and “eating for hunger” is actually more complicated (and less reliable) than you might think.   

This is one of many reasons dieters and restrictors spend so much time thinking about foodthinking about food is a “symptom” of hunger.

Additionally, it is quite normal to want (and need!) to get very full when recovering from restriction or weight suppression.

Your body may legitimately need much more food than your definition of “acceptable fullness” might suggest.

Why trying to lose weight through “eating intuitively” usually backfires

Another common pitfall people fall into when attempting to “eat intuitively,” is practicing Intuitive Eating in an attempt to control weight, rather than as a method of weight-neutral self-care.

This fails for very similar reasons as the first two common pitfalls—

DIET MENTALITY.

When you pursue any particular “way of eating” for the purpose of weight control, it’s almost inevitable that you will judge your “performance” every step of the way, probably try to undercut your needs, and as a result, you may very well continue binge eating too.

You can read more about why this doesn’t work in my post “How to Stop Binge Eating” by clicking here.

Instead of using Intuitive Eating as a form of “weight control,” try using it as a tool for taking care of the body you have right now, and for the purpose of living your mentally and physically healthiest life (rather than your thinnest-at-all-costs life).

Binge Eating Recovery takes more than Intuitive Eating…

In my opinion, learning to listen to your body about what to eat is only ONE part of the total recovery equation.

Making the necessary mental and emotional shifts to truly let go of dieting (and diet mentality) is the “real challenge” that most people face in healing their relationship with food.

While the Intuitive Eating book addresses some of these challenges, most people need more support to combat diet mentality—especially through the perspectives of Fatphobia, body image concerns, or a general desire to “control” food or weight.

If you’re feeling like,

“I don’t know what I’m doing wrong! I’m trying to eat Intuitively, but I just keep binge eating!”

You are almost certainly still struggling with unhealthy attitudes about food and weight, or are trying to use Intuitive Eating as a form of food or weight control.

Diet Mentality is complex, can take many forms (e.g. the “hunger & fullness diet”), and typically reflects a person’s body image, fatphobic beliefs or societal ideas about what eating “should” look like.

Resources for Healing Diet-Mentality (& Diet-Binge Cycling)

In addition to the Intuitive Eating book,

I highly recommend checking out the book Health At Every Size, which describes the importance of pursuing a weight-neutral approach to health—rather than the traditional “diets-for-health” approach, which is almost certainly hurting our collective health (and sanity) long-term.

Additionally, if you’re struggling with binge eating, emotional eating, chronic dieting or food obsession—check out my  Master Class + Group Coaching program

…or get a free peek at StopFightingFood.com

Can’t wait to hear what you think!

xo Isabel

Have you “fallen off the wagon” with food?

The only time a person EVER “falls off a wagon”

is when there’s a wagon to fall off of; 

a set of rules, ideals, or beliefs around food that we let determine how we feel about ourselves.

“I was sooo good with food yesterday, and today, I SUCK.”

Sound familiar?

and I’m guessing when you go into the place of “I suck,”

when you “fall off the wagon,”

you fall hard…like knee-deep-in-brownie-batter-hard. 

Not fun, and so avoidable. 

If you want to make peace with food, and stop shame-eating cookies in the middle of the night,

Ask yourself,

what “wagons” am I trying not to fall off of?

Where am I judging my performance with food?

Where did I draw an imaginary line of “not okay” around food?

And slowly start to peel off those layers within yourself. 

Because as long as there’s a wagon to fall off of—you WILL fall off of it eventually.

“Falling off” is not your problem. Your wagon is your problem. 

Like this post? Check out my free video training series and end the diet-binge cycle once and for all. 

How “emotional eating” could be saving your ass.

Most of my clients think that emotional eating is a curse. That it’s an unfortunate defect they’ve been blighted with, and they were dealt a bad hand in life when it comes to food and weight.

“Poor me! I’m sick of this! Will this food problem ever not torment me?!”

Or something along those lines.

But here’s my take on it…

I’m not sure emotional eating is a bad thing. In fact, I think it might be my guardian angel. 

Stay with me…I promise I’m onto something…

Emotional eating is an attempt to deal with a tough problem, feeling, or situation that we don’t know how to deal with and often don’t even know that we have without some kind of symptom to remind us. 

That twitchy feeling that makes us want to rummage through the cabinets is really just a gentle signal reminding us to clue into what’s bothering us before it becomes a more serious problem.

(…and if you’re thinking to yourself “my emotional eating isn’t so gentle…” remember, binge eating and emotional eating are not the same thing…and have different fundamental causes. To learn more about the difference between binge eating and emotional eating, check out my free video training series here.)

This all to say…

When we strip away all the harsh judgement of our emotional eating—when we stop calling it a disease, a defect, a problem in and of itself—we can finally see it for what it truly is:

An alert that something in our life needs our attention. Something completely unrelated to food or our weight. 

Be grateful for the reminder. It might be saving your ass.  

Like this post? Check out my free video training series and end the diet-binge cycle once and for all.