Weight Loss NHS
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How do others cope?

Started couch to 5k. Started following 5:2 diet principles. List half stone first week. Starting Week 2 run 1. Off work today, walked my dogs feeling good this morning. Then had a cup of tea. Then the binge happened. When it hits me it's uncontrollable. Now I'm sat on sofa watching loose women Archie and Rosie either side of me (my dogs - false love they are looking for crumbs!!). I am feeling devastated with myself. I know I need support - hoping by writing this and sharing my embarrassment with you all it will put me back on track. This is my biggest problem - psychologically my brain is saying "have a full blown binging day" however my guilty side is saying get on cross trainer. There's a small part saying "make yourself Ill". In my younger days I had "issues with food" then I had children gained a lot of weight. Then January 2011 fractured ankle and vowed I would lose weight. Lost 6 stones in weight. April 2013 had two puppy labs, although walking with them not got heart rate going. Consequently have put 3 stones on. Then came across NHS health choices. Got a Ball to go to in February and will need to look good in ball gown. I've gone off track and rambling my question is what are your coping mechanisms for stopping binging? How do you cope after should you succumb? I need help and support please.

13 Replies

If you have binge tendencies then it's recommended that you don't do the 5:2 diet because as you've experienced the chances are you will over compensate the "fast days" with a binge.

Honesty is the best policy and I applaud you for that, being open and honest about your food mistakes is the best way to deal with them.

Binging can be for a number of reasons, take a look at nhs.uk/Conditions/Binge-eat...

I used Binge a lot during past "Unsuccessful diet" attempts, sometimes they would start because I would starve myself to death trying to lose weight, other times it would be in response to weighing too often and not getting the result I had hoped for, then thinking "Sod it"....

You could try having a routine that you do when you feel a binge coming on, could be a simple as putting your coat on going for a quick walk or taking a shower, it needs to be something that interrupts your pattern of thought. The other more extreme option is to remove temptation if practical, obviously the ultimate end game goal is to have the willpower to resist but it could be a short term option.

What will probably help you the most though is to rethink your weight loss plan and eat a healthy and well balanced diet everyday, aiming to lose 1 or 2 pounds a week, ideally you should not feel hungry.

Also keep in mind that some foods are known to trigger cravings in some of us, often these foods contain simple/processed sugars, so a healthy well balanced diet with little or ideally none of these foods might really help. Wheat triggers carb cravings in me for example!

Try and remember how crap you feel now, and then draw on that memory next time you feel yourself slipping.

Good Luck with all!


Thank you OlsBean


The best thing to do is to accept that it happened and make sure you don't use it as an excuse to give up for the day (or even worse the week). One binge will not have undone all your work and I'm sure it will make you feel better if you can get back on track for the rest of the day.

I don't tend to binge that much most of the time. But I do tend to eat too many snacks when I have had something to drink, as it lowers my willpower somewhat. Since I still want to be able to enjoy a glass of wine or two, I've had to work out ways of avoiding the extra snacking.

The practical tips I have are

(1) try to buy single serve packets of things you might overeat, it is much easier to stop after one small bag of crisps than than part way through a family size bag!

(2) if you absolutely can't resist at the moment, just don't buy that food. There are often less calorific alternatives that can be just as good (e.g. my favourite low cal snacks at the moment are black pepper popcorn and BBQ Sakata rice crackers, both only about 100kcal a portion)

It might be helpful to develop some strategies to avoid boredom/distraction eating. Sometimes, I find myself snacking mindlessly when watching TV so I try to turn it off and do something else instead (e.g. get out in the garden tending my veg patch, go for a walk/run, phone up a friend for a chat).

Also, perhaps you got too hungry. I agree with Olsbean that sugary food makes me feel more hungry later on, not less! Try to get some protein in each meal or snack - protein seems to make me feel full for longer so less likely to go back for another helping!

Don't beat yourself up about this, everyone sometimes goes overboard. Just start afresh and try to work out how to avoid it happening too often.


My best advice for adopting a healthier lifestyle is take one day at a time and if you slip up (as everyone does), draw a line under it and move on. I've not tried the 5:2 myself so can't comment on that. I've lost weight by calorie counting and exercise. I eat the same things as I did before but within portion control - so still have chocolate every day :-) I've found that by not denying myself I don't feel I'm missing out. Its great you've started the Couch to 5K and that you go dog walking. As mentioned above, its a case of distracting yourself from thoughts of food - a good one for me is painting my nails! Good luck.


Good idea with the pampering as a distraction. I have some posh face masks I got for my birthday, so I can enjoy a home facial this weekend - light a scented candle and lie back on the sofa with some nice music. :)


Thank you all very much for supportive /constructive comments. I did get back on track and I did check out that useful link OlsBean. Xx


I must admit that I occassionally "binge" and over-eat, but afterwards this only reminds me how "crap" this feels compared to my normal healthy regime.


I struggle with binge eating especially sweet stuff. I did the 5:2 as my husband was doing it so I decided to do it for some extra support and as OlsBean said I used to over compensate and binge eat on non fast days. I did lose a few lbs but my body fat went up by 5% so I decided that it definitely wasn't healthy for me. I am currently reading shrink yourself which is a book about binge eating that I am finding really interesting. At the moment I am just trying to eat healthily and stay away from the cakes and biscuits in the office :) good luck with you journey!


I totally agree with the above comments. If I get hungry I binge so 5:2 definitely not for me. Thats why the NHS plan (not diet) is good. Don't get too hungry and don't deny your favourite foods, just count calories and portion control (but try to eat a reasonably healthy diet). As you get fitter your tastes will change anyway.

Like Albionjen I never buy big bags of snacks as if I have a glass of wine at the weekend I will then eat the lot!

Good luck.


Dear Mrs. Determined,

This probably does not apply to you, but I might as well say it. The first thing you need to do is find out whether what you do is a "binge" in the medical sense or just overeating. If it is a "binge", then you might benefit from reading a book called Overcoming Binge Eating, by Dr. Christopher Fairburn. If you go on to Amazon, you can browse the book. Page 5 has the defn of binge eating. It is a self guide recommended by the NHS as well, I think. The reason I say this is that, according to the book, binge eating is sometimes incompatible with dieting (you completely stop eating certain "bad" foods, invariably slip up, and then binge). Now I am no psychologist, but I have read that book and it has some very useful information.

Hope the above helps.


Thanks Navpar I will have a look


A lovely post, I too have been very good today until my OH came home with roses and a big bag of chocolate eclairs and I'm still munching. :(

Hopefully I too will take on some of the advice offered.


Have you tried eating meat with the fat, to help shut off your appetite?

Decide what you're going to do instead of binge. If I say don't think of a blue tree, you might never have thought of one before, but you start to think of one to conceptualise what I mentioned. Similarly, if you tell yourself not to binge, it brings binge eating to mind. Replace old habits with new, and practice, practice, practice.


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