At this point, most of you have heard and intellectually understand that diets directly lead to binge-eating. The classic and most common understanding as to why diets cause binge-eating is that deprivation is unsustainable — both physical deprivation and emotional deprivation (emotional being the kind that happens when you don’t allow yourself to have a certain food, although you are technically getting all the nutrients and calories that you need without it).
But the question many of us have is, “what about Health?” There are people in the world who are able to “not eat” certain foods (for medical reasons, or ethical reasons for instance) that don’t binge-eat — what’s up with that?
Again and again, the difference between the two boils down to one thing: how they feel about themselves (or how they would feel about themselves) if they “break the rules.”
When a “normal” eater eats something that they “shouldn’t,” it has little to no bearing on their core self-esteem. They don’t think about it beyond the thought “I might pay for this on the toilet later.”
On the flip side, when an emotional eater “breaks the rules,” they feel like a failure, and feel a deep sense of shame or anxiety, almost always attached to their weight.
Shame is the difference between “man, I really want that cupcake,” and “man, I want the whole box.”
A “normal eater” who doesn’t eat gluten because they’re allergic, doesn’t see themselves as an unloveable fat pig when they choose to eat gluten — they just see themselves as a person who’s about to feel sick.
They don’t attach further meaning to it, and are thus truly able to let it go, rather than spiral out of control, raiding the cabinets for anything that isn’t nailed down.
CRITICALLY IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Because 99% of an emotional eater’s shame around eating boils down to a body image problem,
I could by transitive property say that the difference between someone who can successfully cut out foods for medical reasons, and the person who can’t, lies in the degree to which they disapprove of or don’t trust their bodies. Making a food choice because you don’t want to feel bad, is very different than making a choice because you think you are bad.
If this cleared things up for you, share and get this info out there.