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How can I cope with my binge eating in the evenings?

Abstract: Alternatives to binge eating in the evening.

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How can I cope with my binge eating in the evenings?

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Written by: Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist, certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor of psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 13 Aug 2008.

I suffer from binge eating, especially in the evenings.

I eat moderately during the day, but I know that in the evening, when I eat dinner, the problems begin: I gorge myself with pretty much everything I have at home: sandwiches, ice cream, etc. I eat even if I have had enough, and it does not taste good at all in the end. Despite this, I must have some more! I cannot cope with this problem by myself and I need help. I have joined the Weightwatchers and have lost 10 kilos, becoming a new person and feeling great. Unfortunately, I continue with my binge eating from time to time. Simetimes, I go out and buy sweets, cakes, cookies, sandwiches and eat everything! After that, I can restrain myself for several weeks, though.

It is not a problem to decline buns and cakes when I drink coffee during the day. My rationality works well then. Unfortunately, I am a totally different person in the evening.

Now it is getting even worse, which means that I binge eat every evening. After gorging myself I go to bed and sleep, in order to escape the anguish that follows.

Every morning I think: “Today I must pull myself together”, but now I am gaining weight again. My life is always centred on food. I am particularly active in the evening, but there are always chances to eat something. I would be really grateful if you could help me with some good advice.

Answer:

You wrote that your reason works fine during the day, but in the evening you become someone else. In the evening you are probably tired and stressed, and that is why you should use your rational hours of the day planning your evenings in order to eat moderately. When you eat supper, you gorge yourself with everything you have at home such as sandwiches, ice cream, etc. Try not to keep sandwiches, ice cream or other fattening, unhealthy food at home. Be sure to buy in advance the ingredients you need to prepare a large, tasty salad, so that you can have a big meal that is not fattening and unwholesome for your body.

A binge-eater is not supposed to start the therapy trying to lose weight. It will just aggravate the binge eating. The main task is to get healthy, wholesome and reasonable eating habits. If you do this in the first place, your body weight will go down to a level that fits your physical constitution.

The alternative to escaping the anguish by binge-eating is feeling the anguish. This can provide useful information that you might need for accurate estimates in life. Be curious about what can come out of your feelings and ideas if you desist from gorging yourself with food.

Lie down and focus your attention inside of yourself. Be brave! What you feel may not be pleasant. But these unpleasant feelings usually die away after a while and afterwards you are enriched with a new understanding of your inner feelings and you will feel generally better.

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