Tips to Prevent Bingeing

The urge to binge can be caused by many different things. You may have had a stressful day at work, school or at college. There might have been arguments at home with parents, or with friends or others you care about. Someone may have said something to hurt your feelings and you may be feeling lonely, etc. Whatever the reason, it is important that you have a plan of things you can do to prevent the binge from taking place.

A good idea would be to make up a list of things to do to help prevent you from bingeing. Keep the list handy so that it can be accessed whenever the urge to binge arises. Below I have listed a few ideas that you may find helpful and may want to include on your own list.

  • Call a friend or your therapist and discuss what is happening. Or visit a friend if possible.
  • Go for a walk or leave the environment that is tempting you to binge.
  • Write down how you are feeling at that moment in your thoughts and feelings diary
  • Sit down and think about the real reasons why you want to binge. What has triggered it?
  • Try to distract yourself: watch TV, read a book, do a puzzle, etc.
  • Rearrange furniture or do some housework.
  • If you enjoy gardening spend some time out in the garden, tidying up, maybe putting in some plants and doing some gentle light gardening.
  • Take a bath to relax with some nice bubble bath. Pamper yourself.
  • Do some deep breathing exercises.
  • Make a list of foods you are planning to binge on, seal them in an envelope and throw it out or burn it.
  • Soak the binge food in washing up liquid or bleach and then throw it in the bin.
  • Put on some of your favourite music, shut yourself in your room and sing and dance to it.
  • If you love music and have extra time, learn to play a few songs with an instrument and practice when you feel like bingeing.
  • Go to a church or chapel.
  • Do some crafts. Draw or colour a picture.
  • Pamper yourself (ie polish your nails, get your hair done, get a massage, etc).
  • Attend a yoga class. Or do some light exercise, like riding a bike (but short distances only).
  • Go online to a support forum, such as the Eating Disorder Forum on Uncommonforum or chat to friends.
  • Write a page long letter to yourself about how you are a good and worthy person.
  • If you have a quote that gives you strength when you read it, recite it to yourself when you are feeling down.
  • Flush the food you are planning to binge on down the toilet.
  • Shout at your eating disorder. If you are standing at the cupboard or refrigerator about to binge, slam the door and shout NO! Shouting at your eating disorder gives you power.
  • If possible, make it so you are unable to plan a binge. For instance, if you live with someone, make sure they do not tell you when they will be coming home.
  • If you prevent a binge from occurring, calculate how much that binge would have cost. Put the money in a jar each time you succeed in not bingeing and use that money to do something special for yourself like getting a massage, buying a new outfit, etc.

These are just a few ideas I’ve come up with – some are my own and others I’ve read. Perhaps you could think of a few of your own to add to the list that could help you when you feel like bingeing.