“I don’t know how it happened! One minute I was fine and the next minute, I was plowing through food. It was like someone else was in control of my body!”
Have you ever had an episode like this?
Bingeing is one of the biggest, darkest secrets of the fitness industry. In one study 67% of bodybuilders were rated as having symptoms of an eating disorder or body dysmorphia. I assure you that more people struggle with this than you realize. If more people knew how common this issue was, I think people would feel much less ashamed of it.
There are so many reasons why someone may struggle with binge eating, and I am not looking to offer a single solution. BUT, this pattern comes up again and again and again in folks from all walks of life. Most of the time, when a binge episode occurs, someone was simultaneously in all three of these states at once.
If you are too tired, too stressed, and too hungry – a binge is almost inevitable. This graphic explains it.
Pay attention to your levels of hunger, stress, and the amount of sleep you’re getting. It is normal to not have all three of these things in balance all of the time. And there are certain periods of life where you KNOW one of these will be out of whack
Just had a baby? Your sleep will likely suffer for a while. Try to make sure you feed yourself well and keep other stressors low.
Up for a promotion? Stress is probably going to increase. Be sure not to skimp on sleep and eat as nutritionally as you can.
Trying to lose 15 pounds? You’re going to be hungry more often than usual. Sleeping a bit extra and building in de-stressing techniques can help mitigate that.
Looking ahead at obstacles coming down the pipeline and regularly assessing where you’re at with these three states can REALLY help you to avoid binge-eating episodes (and stressful meltdowns in general!) and can also help you know to build in extra self-care when you realize you’re playing with fire.