This post covers 5 practical tools to shift out of compulsive or disordered eating behaviors so that you can become free from obsession, and eat and live in a way that involves more joy and supports whole body health.
A lot of clients show up to me feeling frustrated, having been on and off different diets, losing and regaining the same 15 pounds, and they’re over it.
They just want to find a sane way of eating that gives them energy, gives them a body they feel good in, and helps them live their life and go on more backpacking trips and feel more confident at work and, you know, not have a heart attack at age 50.
No matter what the specific health goal, a common obstacle which many of my clients are dealing with and which you may be dealing with is having eating patterns that they don’t like, like regularly eating past satisfaction or episodes of binge eating. There’s usually some level of obsession, feeling out of control, or experiencing guilt and shame around food and/or their bodies.
Practical Strategies to End Compulsive Food Patterns
Before you can have a more peaceful relationship with food, you need to take care of this physical body that you live in. Eating in a way that balances blood sugar and your hormones is going to help a WHOLE lot when it comes to breaking free of binge eating and other self limiting patterns.
1. Eat Real Whole Food
This includes fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, eggs, grass-fed meats, legumes, and other items that come from nature. Limit packaged items as much as possible and when you do choose them, scan the ingredient label. The shorter the list the better. Look for ingredients you recognize.
Real foods have water and fiber and the micronutrients that your body needs for optimal health. They’re harder to overeat, unlike foods that are manufactured in a lab, which are designed to have just the right combination of sugar, salt, and fat, making them hyper palatable and very easy to overeat.
Your body knows what to do with real food. Your digestion, your hormones, your energy will all be better.
2. Eat for Blood Sugar Balance
If all you’re eating is fruit all day long because someone told you that was healthy, and you can’t figure out why you’re exhausted and unfocused, blood sugar dysregulation. Your blood sugar is spiking and crashing.
To balance blood sugar, eat fiber, fat, and protein at each meal. You’ll experience fewer cravings and be more satiated.
Fiber is found in fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. Choose sources that work for your body. Healthy fats include things like avocado, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil. Avoid trans fats and highly refined oils that are often rancid and harmful. Healthy protein includes eggs, meat -grass fed if you can afford it, and veggie sources like hemp or pea protein
3. Stop Skipping Meals & Restricting
Eating at regular times keeps your body feeling safe, your blood sugar balanced, and your hormones functioning properly so that you don’t crash and need to overcompensate later with a binge. Restriction or not allowing yourself something generally ends in a binge or overeating episode at some point.
However you’re eating – whether you’re following a certain program or tracking – always check in with yourself and ask: is this sustainable? Could I do this long term?
4. Rewire Your Thoughts
Start with acceptance and love for where you’re at now. Health and body changes don’t come from hating yourself. Most of us have years of mental conditioning around beating ourselves up and speaking negatively to ourselves.
Try this exercise: For 24 hours (preferably longer), pay attention to your thoughts. Notice every thought about yourself. When you have a negative thought, retrain it to something more positive, but still believable. Repeat. Neurons that fire together, wire together. Many of these negative thoughts have been happening automatically for years. Rewiring thought patterns requires repetition, but it’s completely possible, and it’s truly life changing.
Our thoughts create our emotions which determines our actions which determines the outcomes we get in life. When you’re thinking more positive and self accepting thoughts, the choices you make for yourself change and the results you get in life change. Specifically with health, when we start speaking to ourselves more lovingly, we decide we’re worth healthier food choices, and we have better energy, more clarity, and a greater sense of wellbeing.
5. Manage Expectations
This journey is anything but linear. It takes practice. Be patient and stick with it. Your peace of mind is worth it. If you over eat or under eat or eat something you’re not happy about, just be with the uncomfortable emotion. Feel it and let it pass. Know that the process gets easier with practice.
Ready to take the next step?
Book a free Health Made Simple Strategy Call and receive a free assessment of gaps in your wellness routine that are blocking you from your health goals.