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Why do we binge eat?

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Binging…why do we do it?
 
I have vivid memories of my sophomore year of college when I lived with two roommates. I would wait for them to leave and then I’d binge eat their snacks. Sorry, MJ and Megan, I owe you snacks! These are pretty painful memories for me because I felt out of control, sad and guilty. That year, I hit my highest weight, 200+ lbs.
 
So why did I do this and why do many people who battle with weight loss binge? I didn’t know then but I know now:
 
❌RESTRICTION❌
 
I wasn’t happy or healthy and desperately wanted to lose weight, so I tried to completely cut out all the “bad” foods. This would last for about a week until the restriction made me go crazy and all I wanted was those foods.
 
What I SHOULD have done instead was:
✅ prioritize whole foods, protein, movement, sleep and water
✅ allow myself goodies in moderation
✅ cut back on high-calorie drinks (I binge drank most weekends, but also had multiple, high-calorie chai lattes per week)
 
It sucks that it took me more than 10 years to come to these realizations, but better late than never!
 
As a nutrition coach, I teach my clients how to continue to enjoy their favorite foods while also losing weight. This can be a huge mental hurdle for some people, but once you learn how to eat in a balanced way, you most likely won’t feel the urge to binge.
 
My clients are amazed they can still eat pizza, ice cream and cheesecake. No, they’re not eating these foods every day, but they continue to enjoy these goodies to help satisfy their cravings, which sets them up for long-term success.
 
*There are other reasons for binging as well, including serious eating disorders. If you have an eating disorder, I recommend seeking help from a registered dietitian. This post focuses on my personal experience with binging.
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