How to Have Your Cake and Your Skinny Jeans Too: Stop Binge Eating, Overeating and Dieting For Good Get the Naturally Thin Body You Crave From the Inside Out (Binge Eating Solution) by Josie Spinardi is an incredibly accessibly written book with clear practical strategies and sound evidence-based approaches.
Your body is programmed to maintain a naturally thin weight. You don’t need to know your ideal weight or calorie balance. More calorically dense foods and slower metabolism just means you get full sooner and stay full longer.
Diets only address the symptom of extra weight. “Overeating or binge eating is in fact a very powerfully anchored conditioned (learned) response to both dieting (food restriction) and a shortage of skills to navigate certain distressing emotional states.”
Most dieters get stuck in “The Dieting Trangle of Despair,” a cycle of dieting, bingeing, beating self up, and then dieting again… only to binge again all over in more and more extreme ways. Studies like the Ancel Keys show “dieting leads to food obsession, emotional distress, and – wait for it – binge eating.”
Eat like a naturally thin person. Enjoy satisfying portions of tasty normal foods without worrying, without dieting to try to compensate. If you eat so much you feel uncomfortable, just make a note it doesn’t feel good to be too full.
Eliminate the “learned habit of overriding your body’s internal signals for hunger and fullness.”
Use Root Cause Analysis to identify the real reason for Non Hunger Eating:
a) Gasping for Food violently out-of-control in response to deprivation, bingeing on banned foods. By eating only what’s right for you according to physical and psychological needs, you can be confident in any situation instead of being ruled by food obsession, deprivation, or “kryptonite.”
b) Eating Cuz You Ate breaking a diet rule. Tuning into internal forces helps.
The Mean Girl Munchies “presses mute” on critical self-awareness with rapid-fire bites of crunchy food regardless of taste. Meditation is a healthier approach to focusing in on a single something.
c) Licking Your Wounds involves avoiding and soothing with slow, sweet, creamy indulgence in learned helplessness. People who lack the skill to engage in task-oriented coping are more likely to emotionally eat. Instead, act directly to resolve, mitigate, or eliminate stressors. Try positive psychology with an empowered paradigm.
d) Recreational Eating is just a response to boredom or procrastination, particularly in times of transition like coming come from work. For a more even balance of things you want to do and things you have to do, sprinkle fun activities throughout your schedule. Give yourself permission; see the value; enjoy your life.
If you decide to eat before you’re physically hungry, enjoy some of what you really want and then move on. “This is not the eat-when-you’re-hungry-and-stop-when-you’re-full diet.” This is not about rules; it is general guidelines to make you feel good – like resting when you’re tired.
1. Eat when you feel physically hungry. “Preventative eating” doesn’t work. “Physical hunger is a gentle, hollow, warm sensation in your stomach.” You gradually start to become more sensitive to food cues. “You feel really light, active, and energized.” Hunger growls are high in the stomach, not below the navel, which is the sound of digestion. Skip sugared beverages between hungers until you can recognize hunger signals. Don’t stress if you can’t eat immediately – your body will use its own fuel – but don’t make a habit of going hungry too long because you might get a headache, irritability, and Gasping for Food.
2. Eat what you really, really want to be psychologically satisfied.You’ll likely at first indulge in the foods you’ve been restricting then it will transition to consistently healthier eating. “Completely release the brake” and “move all foods into the No-Guilt category.” Instead categorize by what you like and how it makes you feel. Your body is designed to desire a variety of foods so make small amounts available (out of sight) and accessible.
3. Sit down, be present, and thoroughly enjoy what you’re eating. Satisfaction comes from environment, freedom, perceived portions, etc. Take a substantial portion and commit to what you’re eating. Sit and eat in designated eating zones. Be present to enjoy eating and eliminate conditioned triggers and escape of self-awareness. “Construct and savor the perfect bite – every time.” If eating with others, enjoy food and conversation separately.
4. Stop eating when you feel comfortably satisfied. The first signal you’re nearing fullness is a slight dip in taste. Try taking a 5-minute break after eating half of current portions as an experiment. Leave a quality bite of food on the plate to signal abundance and empowerment. Ask yourself if the next bite will make you feel better or worse. Create an end-of-meal routine like brushing teeth, washing dishes, or walking 10 minutes. Plan for post-meal pleasure like only allowing a TV show after dinner.
5. Check in. Notice how the food makes you feel. Pure motivational states come from consistent feeling states, i.e. pleasure both now and later. Conflicted states require willpower, so build “wantpower” by transforming Shoulds into Want To’s and the Shouldn’ts into Won’t’s. Notice discomfort after unhealthy foods for tangible memories to change their motivational pull. Check in 30 minutes, an hour, three hours, and again up to five hours after eating rating energy, hunger, mood, concentration, and other factors like digestion.
6. Exercise if you want to feel happier and look better – not to burn calories. Rate your mood, energy, tension, and problem solvability; then, walk at a comfortable pace for 10 minutes listening to music or talk; rating the same factors afterward, you’ll see the difference. Also, use a slightly snug clothing item to track progress rather than the scale.