Binge eating

i posted yesterday about lacking motivation when it comes to having the odd treat and then sticking to just having a little bit.

The responses people left were encouraging and made me decide to stop buying 'bad' things and do more meal prep.

However, today my mentality has been 'eat everything I can'. I made a carrot cake; my housemates parents are visiting and then had some friends round so we had a slice each but then every time I walked past I would cut a slither. Now over 2/3s has gone.

I also ate a whole selection box of chocolates just because they were there.

I need to get back on track and I'm just worried that ill fail and end up binging again. I've been feeling good about my self over the past few weeks and have done lots of meal prep so plan to stick to that. Does anyone have any advice on how to avoid binges or situations where I know pudding will be involved. (I have at least one dinner parties every week for the next 5 weeks, sometimes two!). Should I just say no, or take a small bit so I don't then binge when I get home/when people leave after I've hosted.

Thanks for any advice :)

19 Replies

  • Hi Charlotte, I really recommend incorporating cake-like snacks into your diet, combined with really trying to eliminate temptations so they're not in the house. I make healthy banana cake/ apple flapjacks with no added sugar. I calorie count the whole recipe then divide into portions where each portion is about 150cals. Then I freeze the lot, and take one portion out each day to defrost and have with a coffee in the afternoon.

    The trick is to feel like you're heaving a 'treat' without it being too moreish. I use fruit to add natural sweetness, the result tastes a lot less sweet than normal cake recipes, but psychologically it still feels like I've had cake. The freezer is your friend for stuff like this. Even freezing chocolate can help, makes it harder to bite. Also preparing things as small individual portions is good practice. Try to allow yourself a bit of what you like, but only get mini chocolate bars, pref dark choc, small calorie counted snacks every day, so you don't build up a craving.

    Lastly, get things in that you don't like so much. My bf likes to have biscuits around, which I find very tempting. So I get him types of biscuits I'm less keen on, maybe do something similar for your dinner parties. Deliberately get an afters that you won't like as much, that way it'll be easier to avoid the temptation to go back for more.

  • Hi Ruth canal runner,

    really excellent advice! I will use those devices then in the future, thanks

  • I'm known as the Pudding Queen locally - cakes and puds are my speciality and I love making them. However, I always make loads and end up eating it (usually when there's nobody looking) so have now gone to making fresh fruit salads. Boring maybe, but much healthier and people do seem to enjoy them. I make them for our grandchildren and they love them as well. The other option. Is to freeze pudding left overs straight away. I hate that I'm not making cakes much now, but just have to go,with that.

  • Hi Charlotte, it sounds like your binging behaviours have got much less frequent, that you have a clear idea of what triggers them and realise that you need specific plans. From my experience that is definitely on the way to coping with them.

    I can't even have a mouthful of sweet stuff without triggering a binge so nowadays I simply tell people that. I am older than you and it is probably easier for me to do than you.

    I go out a lot. Any dinner party scenario I make sure, when I accept, that I tell them in advance that I am not having dessert/chocolates/cheeseand ask their help in sticking to that plan. I rehearse the refusal and have ways of being really nice about it.

    This is drastic but you could try out some of the following - all of which I do:

    Give up baking, send all your baking supplies to a deserving home

    Throw away immediately or, if possible, politely immediately give back gifts of chocolate or cookies or cake.

    Don't make desserts when your friends come over. They will still feel appreciated.

    Ask your housemates to keep chocolates in their own room -tell them why.

    Flavoured coffees or teas add vanilla, ginger, cardamom and -weirdly - marmite on a cracker all kill the sweet tooth itch for me.

    If you wear glasses take them off when people eat pudding.

    Best suggestion I ever got was from a book by Christopher Fairfax. Don't skip regular healthy meals ever. Even if you have just finished that selection box of chocolates have a proper supper.

    I really like Ruth's idea of serving things you don't like that much and Dee's idea of freezing stuff immediately and I will try both.

  • Your comment about glasses made me howl with laughter :)

  • Three excellent replies. Binge eating is my downfall too - will try out all of these suggestions!

  • I think you have to make your own decisions for the long-term. Some foods it just doesn't seem to matter how little we have, they stimulate our appetites to eat and eat and eat.

  • Hi charlotte_ph, an idea I picked up whilst on all inclusive holiday that had buffet style food, was to firstly watch the portion size. For instance Mr Kipling packs of individual lemon cake slices are simply too large. At the buffet, the cakes were the size of one of these slices cut in half or even a third. So, firstly, don't allow manufactures of cakes and sweets to dictate what a portion size is. likewise with ice cream and snacks.

    A dessert for me would be a mixture of complementary items. Typically, I would have a small one inch square of cake, accompanied by a couple of slices of pineapple and a small or very small scoop of ice cream or sorbet.

    At dinner parties and in company, this is far better than loading the plate with a huge chunk of cake. It also looks far more presentable and is healthier with the addition of fruit.

    Other fruits I use to complement a small portion of cake are strawberries, pears, blueberries, bananas, kiwi fruit and more.

    It's quite possible to load your plate up along with everyone else, but with different things.

    I understand that it was the hotels intention that we all ate less, maximising their profits but it is the manufacturers of cakes and sweets to maximise their profits by encouraging us to eat more. The choice is always ours, so never allow others to take control of how much you eat, this must always be our own choice.

    I also agree with Ruth_canal_runner who has made some very good suggestions which I may take on board myself :) :)

  • Hi Charlotte,

    I have an addictive nature and cannot just taste, or have a little, for me it's all or nothing. I've chosen nothing, so therefore, if I'm not allowed to eat it, it's not allowed in the house.

    My advice, just say no......................or at least no thanks, very politely and smiling sweetly :)

  • Thank you for all your posts!

    I've got set meals for today and am planning on getting back on track. Last week I tried a 'no baking Monday - Friday' which I stuck to but clearly having bake day yesterday didn't bode well. I cannot deal with having it in the house. I think this means that I won't be baking unless it's as a present for someone else (and won't be kept in the house).

    To those who are struggling with binges- when I'm not having my own nightmare- I find having food prepared in advance really helps. Even if it's just a Tupperware filled with cooked veggies that you can snack on whilst waiting for your meat or fish to cook. It also helps as a little snack if you're feeling peckish as it isn't very calorific.

    Additionally I agree with little and often if you can. I understand that some people cannot have 2 chocolates and walk away but if you can, do! It means you are probably less likely to binge and eat a whole bar or box when you're presented with the opportunity.

    tewson- your tip about loading up your plate with fruit and only having a little piece of cake is a great one! Aside from yesterday I've been quite good at doing that and it definitely satisfies the sweet tooth but doesn't make me feel 'bad' after.

    Best of luck to everyone!

    Happy Sunday x

  • snap charlotte! i'm exercising more and eating more healthy food BUT back to bingeing. I think it is emotional eating. really tough to break the habit. i love food and use it to reward myself if i feel sad. i need help too.

  • Drink a lot of water. Put it behind you and start again. Maybe don't bake any cakes at all until you feel on top of this. I have caged my cravings by buying stuff for others in sealed packets or bottles and handing the whole thing over so nothing falls into my mouth or glass.

  • I find giving up baking very hard as my hubby wants cake and so does my little one want=ts biscuits. I guess I will just have to seal my lips as I want to desperately shift some weight off. Unless anyone out their has any better suggestions? I find it very hard when I am surrounded with tons cake..

  • I love baking too - it's my go-to activity when I'm bored (and I'm a housewife, so I get bored quite a lot!). My husband and son don't like fruit cakes, so I always have to eat all of those (!), so I just don't make them very often any more. My husband loves ginger cake, so I can make as many of them as I like and the tin gets emptied out PDQ!

    NEVER, EVER ALLOW A SELECTION BOX IN THE HOUSE. They are the work of the devil. (But oh so yumptious!)

    My current evening treat, because I HAVE to have one each evening or I feel very hard done by, is a fun size bag of maltesers - 98cals per pack, and I suck them to make them last longer in between slurps of tea. You have to be strong and not go back for a second pack though ...

  • Do you end up eating any of the ginger cake?

  • Just a little, but it all gets accounted for on MFP!

  • Sorry what does MFP stand for?

    So you are human after all! I guess we are all the same.

  • Very very human battling my demons daily! MFP = my fitness pal.

  • Thank you for clarifying things! Now I know the trick yes cheat a tiny dot and just count it in. Thanks!

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