Restriction…A Set Up For Binge Eating
The deprivation – then – binge cycle can be one of the many abhorrent consequences of our diet culture. The solution to beating this cycle, despite common belief, does not come from being better at restricting or having more self-control.
Getting stuck in this overeating, restrictive, binging cycle can be really hard to break. It usually starts with the restricting… you know, when Monday morning rolls around. What the motivations are for the restricting vary. Bathing suit season, an upcoming wedding, or you’re just finally going to lose the weight—famous last words. We may be really “good” for a week, two weeks, a month, etc… and suddenly the thoughts start creeping in about all the foods we “can’t have”.
To combat some of this restrictive eating before the inevitable binge, consider sticking to regulated eating times. Typically, you shouldn’t be going more than three to four and a half hours without eating. If we’re in this restricting stage and we get really hungry, guess what we start to crave? Refined sugar and carbs! Why? Because you’re low on energy and you’re craving quick energy. Than you overeat because you’re SO hungry that you’re no longer paying attention to whether you’re hungry or full.
If you’re sticking to a regulated food plan of three meals a day and eating every 3-4.5 hours there is no need for compensatory behavior because you’re not overeating during these regulated meals.
Stick to your schedule, stick to your plan. If you skip that meal or your snack, you’ll find yourself back in this restrictive cycle where you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. You think, because I restricted earlier in the day, I can eat double the amount for dinner. Then double, becomes triple, becomes the whole box of pizza, becomes the pint of ice cream.
Keep your meals scheduled, nutrient rich, and filling!