After 10 years of dealing with an eating disorder, I know a thing or two about getting stuck in the very painful Diet-Binge Cycle.
I truly want to help you get out of it because I know what it's like on the other side.
Before I dive into why we get stuck, I want to talk about the word “diet” really quick.
Because the word “diet” has become a dirty word in the world of wellness, we all seem to want to toss it out with the trash.
Subsequently, people keep telling me that they are “not on a diet” but they identify with being a binge eater.
What they mean is that they are not on a traditional diet, like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Atkins.
Nowadays, it's all about the lifestyle diets, you know, like Paleo or Veganism. Which are treated exactly the same way as if it were Weight Watchers, but we mentally tell ourselves "it’s not a diet, its a lifestyle change" to which I empathize and understand.
But if you feel emotionally attached to eating a certain way (meaning you are good for eating one way and bad for eating another way) then you are likely on a diet.
When I say the word “diet” what I really mean is any way of eating that has to do with your weight and influences your emotional state.
And it has way more to do with what you think about the food then what food you are actually putting in your mouth.
For example… you might think that there is:
A right and a wrong way to eat or,
An ok and not ok amount to eat or,
You are ok for eating one way and not ok for eating another way.
It could also mean that you are doing anything with food including but not limited to:
-intentionally reducing or removing a certain food group (i.e I can't eat carbs)
-or controlling the amounts of food (like calorie restriction)
...as an attempt to control, lose or maintain your weight.
If your way of eating has anything to do with your weight, then you are on a diet and that is absolutely triggering the binge eating.
Effectively, its reallllly hard, if not impossible, to be a binge eater without also being a dieter or being stuck in a diet-mentality.
So continuing on that note, here are the top 10 reasons why you are stuck in the diet-binge cycle.
1. You think that there is a right and wrong way to eat
There is no a right way. And certainly no one from the outside world knows the best way for you to eat, your body is the only one that can truly confirm the right way for you to eat. Its likely that you have not been listening to your body signals because you have been dieting.
2. You think there is an amount of food that is ok to eat and an amount that is not ok to eat
When you eat an amount that is "not ok," you judge yourself harshly and feel deeply bad about it. Judging the amount of food we eat from a place of fear as opposed to just listening to our body and appetite, which can change from day to day, contributes to the diet-based way of thinking and thus binge eating.
3. You are afraid of the idea of gaining weight or not losing more weight
If we are not ok with the way we look it's unlikely that we will be ok with the way we eat. And if we are only ok with ourselves if we look a certain way, we will only be ok with ourselves when we eat a certain way. The two feed off one another.
4. You are trying to control your food to control your weight
Any attempts at controlling your food means you are on a diet and diet means restriction which means binge eating is bound to happen eventually.
5. You believe willpower is the answer to no longer binge eating
The more you use willpower, the more you white-knuckle through the day, the harder and faster you are likely going to land into bingesville. Willpower has nothing to do with your problem with food.
6. You believe emotional eating is most of your problem
Eating in response to emotional needs is a very normal, natural, often healthy thing to do as a human. Making it wrong, by judging it, contributes to binge eating.
7. You believe your life will improve when you are thinner
This belief limits our self-expression and steals joy from our present life. We put our life on hold and wait to live until we are thin. This is very painful. Additionally, it's also what keeps us going back to dieting or restricting following a binge, putting us right back in the cycle.
8. You firmly believe that thin is better.
If we didn't have an internalize belief about thin being better we wouldn't have an internalized fatphobia, or be afraid of gaining weight or not losing more weight. Furthermore, we would not be so desperate to control our food as a way to control our body. Body dissatisfaction is gasoline for the binge eating fire.
9. You earn your food or make up for your food
For example, you ate cake today so tomorrow you have to only eat salad and work out extra hard. Or since you worked out and ate salad today, tomorrow you can have cake. This way of thinking and relating to food contributes to the diet-binge cycle.
10. You do not use your hunger and fullness signals from your body to drive your eating
You often do not eat when you are hungry or eat enough to fully satisfy your hunger. Conversely, when you binge eat you are likely eating way past the point of being comfortably full.
Now that you know why you get stuck, I bet you want to know how the efff to get unstuck!
Don't you worry- I got ya covered.
I know what being trapped in this feels like. It’s the main reason I do what I do now, helping others, just like you, break free! Click the image below to down load my top 10 tips to break free from binge eating.