Has the temptation of a binge eating habit crept in to your life?

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This brave 17 year old girl shares some really interesting truth about a binge eating habit. I think anyone reading this whether you struggle with binge eating or not, will learn a lot from this post.

I recently received an anonymous question from a 17 year old girl on a weight loss journey. In short she wanted specific help with her arms. We ended up going a lot deeper than that and this is my second question and answer with her. The first post is here.
“Hellooo!! It’s the 17 year old girl. So okay.. I was thinking… And I thought I wasn’t completely honest in what I sent you… So there’s a lot of temptations around me at home.. Chocolates, cakes, candy, fried food; just a bunch of stuff that would keep you fat. I workout yes, but I binge on the wrong food… I basically don’t eat anything the whole day up until night time as it is closer to bed time. And I just start eating so much of the wrong food.. after that, I just sit there regretful…”

My Reply-
Hey my friend! I still don’t know your first name by the way…

This is some great self awareness, thanks for being honest! This is actually a common problem with a lot of my clients and I see it in the general population as well.

First you have to realize that eating very little during the day and binging later in the day has become a habit. This habit is not getting you where you want to be in your health and fitness. Lets change this habit. I also want you to think about this quote.

Your Life Today Is The Sum Of All Your Habits.

Second you have to throw the motivational fallacy out the window. Motivation is a short spike in dopamine (neurotransmitter) and it’s not meant to last 24/7, let alone an hour.

I find that a lot of people shame themselves out of change.

Likewise with Willpower, think of it like a tank of gas filled up at the beginning of your day and it gets depleted with every decision you make. If this is true, that explains why you probably don’t feel like you have a lot of self control at the end of the day.

BINGO…now you can stop feeling bad about your binging because your body physically AND mentally is telling you to eat and it doesn’t care what you eat…enters sugar.

I don’t always want to brush me teeth every night. But it’s a habit, I don’t think about it, I just do it. Thank goodness because I don’t want nasty teeth. This is part of my identity. This links to a stronger habit formation.

My Identity

In my case I say, “I’m the type of person who brushes their teeth and has nice teeth.”

In your case we could say, “I’m the type of person who eats healthy to feel good and look good.”

Habits that are tied to our identity will make a stronger connection in our brains. The stronger connection helps make them sustainable and easier to change.

Our quote, “Your Life Today Is The Sum Of All Your Habits.” Your established identity is how you navigate through your life.

Hello Binge Eating Habit
The author of Better Than BeforeGretchen Rubin’s sums this up well on her website.

Often, habits can’t change until identity changes. For instance, a person identifies as the fun one, the one who says “yes” to everything — but also wants to cut back on drinking. A person identifies as a workaholic, but then wants to work reasonable hours. The identity is incompatible with the change in habits.

Are you ready to make this shift? Then what are you waiting for, keep reading!

The Temptations

Before we change the habit we want to make it as easy as possible to accomplish. In this case the sugar and sweets that you’re surrounded by or see often in your house are tempting you and making it harder to avoid them.

I don’t recommend going cold turkey off sweets. I would start with putting them all in one place that isn’t easily viewable.

In this specific case of losing body fat you will need to cut down on sweets eventually. Remember, “I’m the type of person that eats healthy to feel good and look good.

Sweets can be eaten in balance with this identity. Or you may decided to clear them from the house and only go out to get portions of sweets.

This is where having a coach can be really helpful. It’s hard to be in a fight for new habits and make certain decisions without someone to help.

My personal approach at home is to keep sweets out of my house and when I want to treat myself I go get the sweets outside of my house. This also changes the environment that can be helpful in working with new habits.

Again, don’t start changing this habit by cutting out things right away or maybe ever. The cold turkey approach rarely works and usually makes it harder to make a sustainable change. Sustainable change is the most important to me and my clients. I want to see a win that lasts the test of time and gives you a healthy future.

Making Change Happen

There are many ways you can begin to change your habit. I would suggest adding in a meal during the day with all your food groups to start out.

This will start to appeal to your hunger hormones, blood sugar levels, and fight all the biological responses fighting your change.

I would make this goal as specific as possible to start.

For example, at 9am I am going to have 1 egg, a fist side portion of spinach, a quarter of avocado, and a half a cup of oatmeal.

This is just an example but I have a protein, veggie, fat, and carb with specific portions.

Whatever time or meal you decided you must ask yourself how sure you are in achieving the goal you have set.

The Quick Test that locks in success. I learned this from my Precision Nutrition certification.

1-10, 1 being no possible way you can do it and 10 being absolutely no problem you could add this habit in to your daily routine.

If you choose a 9 or 10 you have found your first step in changing your habit. If it’s an 8 or below then you need to make the change smaller. For example, at 9am I am going to have a hard boiled egg. This might sound absurd but if I could yell at the top of my lungs and make you hear one thing I would say,

“Make the new change VERY SMALL and sound easy to accomplish.”

My Stanford Experience

When I wanted to start writing a morning journal I sought help and found a online study done by a BJ Fogg, a Stanford professor.

I enlisted in a month long course to help start a new habit. The first week of the course seemed to simple but I was shown how wrong I was.

My first step looked like this,

Week 1- Everyday at 5am get out of bed and sit in my office chair for 1 minute.

That’s it, that’s all I did that week. Somedays I journaled after I sat down but it wasn’t my goal, that was just a bonus the first week.

I also added a reward at the end. In this case positive self talk was a good enough reward because I really wanted to make writing a habit.

I reaffirmed my learning several years ago when I read Charles Duhigg’s best–selling book, The Power of Habit.

He wrote about a cue, routine, and reward.

I like James Clear’s idea of the “Three R’s, Reminder, Routine, Reward” because it’s easier to remember. He has a free pdf you can get here on building habits.

In week 1 the “Three R’s” looked like this.

1- Reminder
“Get out of beta 5am” (The triggering event to start the behavior)

2- Routine
“Sit in office chair” (The actual behavior or action you begin)

3- Reward
“E-mail my instructor and tell them I accomplished my goal.” I was also given positive reinforcement for finishing.  (The benefit you get from following though)

Using this technique is actually how we started brushing our teeth in America, Slate wrote a article on what Duhigg references to in his book.

In short Pepsodent Toothpaste had created a very strong reminder, routine, and reward. The reward stands out because you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about.

You know the tingly sensation on your tongue and gums you get when you brush your teeth? That’s done on purpose by toothpaste manufactures. The feeling we you made people feel like they had clean teeth, still does.

Therefore it became not only a reward but a physical addiction. After I brush my teeth I want to feel the tingle or else I don’t think my teeth are clean.

This reward has clearly held the test of time because last time I checked everyone I know is still brushing their teeth. Thank goodness!

If you put all of this together you have a solid foundation to make any change such as, lose the extra body fat!

The Overview

1st –  I have shown your life is a projection of your identity made up of a bundle of habits that play out everyday.

2nd- I beat down the haters that say, “Just try harder, get motivated, or be more disciplined!”. This should also eliminate your shame that comes from failing.

3rd- Don’t forget this is a human struggle and we are all struggling to become our best selves, you’re not alone.

4th- I also showed you how temptations really get in our way and how to make it easier to resist.

5th- You hold the power to create whatever life you want. No more excuses, go build it!

If something is still holding you back please follow up with questions. This is part of my coaching approach with all my clients. If you need extra help, I’m an e-mail away!

And last but no least, make sure to sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss my next video or article! I’m also giving a lot of help for free to my subscribers, don’t miss out!

Lift Life!

Give all these awesome people some love!

  • BJ Fogg, Director, Stanford University
  • Charles Duhigg, Author, The Power of Habit
  • Gretchen Rubin, Author, Better Than Before
  • James Clear, Writer