I’m Binging and I can’t stop….
I received the following message in my inbox last week:
“I’ve been following your blog for several months and I LOVE IT!! You inspired me to change my diet and it has been going really well. But after eating clean and feeling fabulous for several weeks, I totally blew it. I’m craving terrible foods, binging, and feeling totally out of control. What do I do?! I feel like I’ve already gained back all the weight I lost over the last 3 weeks, HELP!!!!”
This is a great question and something we’ve all experienced one time or another. My first piece of advice?
Just breathe. Breathe again, and again. In & out, slow easy, conscious breaths.
Try to relax your neck and shoulders, take another nice deep breath, exhale…and again.
If you’ve got a guided meditation CD, use it! If you don’t have one, get one!
“It is thought by many cultures that the process of breathing is the essence of being. A rhythmic process of expansion and contraction, breathing is one example of the consistent polarity we see in nature such as night and day, wake and sleep, seasonal growth and decay and ultimately life and death. In yoga, the breath is known as prana or a universal energy that can be used to find a balance between the body-mind, the conscoius-unconscoius, and the sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system. Unlike other bodily functions, the breath is easily used to communicate between these systems, which gives us an excellent tool to help facilitate positive change. It is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. We can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions… Breathing exercises can act as a bridge into those functions of the body of which we generally do not have conscious control.” [source]
Take nice deep breath…and now we can begin!
ADDRESS YOUR STRESS
Binging is typically triggered by stress. Are you worried about something? Money, school, relationships, job, etc? If so, get out a pen and paper and start writing.
Try something like The Work to gain clarity on your stressful thoughts.
The Work consists of Four Questions:
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
- How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
- Who would you be without the thought?
Here is an expansion of how the four questions apply to the statement “My boyfriend should understand me.”
1. Is it true? Is it true that he should understand you? Be still. Wait for the heart’s response.
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Ultimately, can you really know what he should or shouldn’t understand? Can you absolutely know what is in his best interest to understand?
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? What happens when you believe “My boyfriend should understand me” and he doesn’t? Do you experience anger, stress, frustration? How do you treat your boyfriend? Do you give him “the look”? Do you try to change him in any way? How do these reactions feel? How do you treat yourself? Does that thought bring stress or peace into your life? Be still as you listen.
4. Who would you be without the thought? Close your eyes. Picture yourself in the presence of your boyfriend. Now imagine looking at him, just for a moment, without the thought “I want him to understand.” What do you see? What would your life look like without that thought?
Next, turn your statement around. The turnarounds are an opportunity to experience the opposite of what you believe to be true. You may find several turnarounds.
For example, “My boyfriend should understand me” turns around to:
- I should understand me.
- I should understand my boyfriend.
- My boyfriend shouldn’t understand me.
Let yourself fully experience the turnarounds. For each one, find at least three genuine, specific examples in your life where the turnaround is true. This is not about blaming yourself or feeling guilty. It’s about discovering alternatives that can bring you peace. [source]
The Work is a FANTASTIC way to examine any stressful thoughts you have ranging from love, finances, relationships, work, and even body issues. I use The Work as a daily practice and it has helped me tremendously!
Now that we’ve tackled the emotional side of things, let’s take a look at some practical tips that can help with cravings and binging.
DEVELOP A MORNING RITUAL.
How do you start your day? Do you hit the snooze 10 times then jump out of bed and rush, rush, rush to get out the door? Do you eat anything? Perhaps a cup of coffee and a bagel? Doughnut? Green Juice?
If you’re trying to get out of a rut, one of the best things you can do for yourself is set a daily ritual. Instead of rushing out the door with a bagel, how about waking up early so you can take your time getting ready, relax in the quiet peacefulness of morning, and make yourself a delicious green juice or smoothie?
Your early food choices have a very large impact on how the rest of your day goes. Most people find it easier to stick to healthier options if they’ve started their day with a green smoothie or green juice. This is because a body that has received its vital nutrients will no longer have cravings. There are exceptions to this rule but for most people, having a big dose of vitamins & minerals in the form or a green juice or green smoothie will drastically reduce cravings and help the individual to make healthier decisions for the rest of the day.
My Morning Ritual:
- Wake up
- Make my green juice for the day
- Skin brush
- Get ready
- Now it’s time to sit down, check email and start the day!
MOVE YOUR BODY
Gentle exercise like walking/hiking, yoga, pilates, or rebounding is a great way to get the lymph system pumping and blood flowing. We all feel better after exercise and we typically have the desire to fuel our bodies with better foods after exercise as well.
If you don’t feeling like exercising just for the sake of exercising, try something fun like riding your bike, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, playing tennis, or even just casually shooting hoops with a friend. You will have fun AND get those endorphins flowing!!
STARVE THE YEAST MONSTER
Oh the beast that is yeast!! How many of you have heard of Candida?? Well, it’s an issue that more and more people (especially women) are struggling with everyday – and most don’t even know it!
Candida is a yeast-like, parasitic fungus that, when overgrown, can cause infections like athlete’s foot and vaginitis. Under healthy conditions, only a small number of Candida live in our intestine. Generally a healthy bowel will contain approximately 95% friendly bacteria and 15% pathogens (antagonistic bacteria), including Candida Albicans.
The friendly bacteria (also known as probiotics) keep yeast and other pathogens in check. When an overgrowth of Candida occurs, the balance of helpful vs. harmful micro-organisms shifts in the opposite direction.
Candida starts out as naturally occurring, simple, and relatively harmless single celled yeast. However, things like stress, poor diet, antibiotics, excessive sugar and carbohydrate consumption, birth control, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs can all cause the Candida to grow out of control. If left unchecked it can develop large colonies, contributing to a wide variety of health problems in both men and women.
Common Candida Symptoms include:
- Allergies and allergy symptoms, chemical sensitivities.
- Digestive issues (Diarrhea, chronic gas, and abdominal cramps alleviated, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, food sensitivities, lactose intolerance)
- Intense cravings for sugars, sweets, and processed carbs
- Skin problems (skin infections, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, acne)
- Brain Fog / Trouble concentrating
- Constant tiredness and exhaustion
- Anxiety, Hyperactivity, ADD
- Mood swings
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Anger outbursts
- Itchy skin/ Dandruff
- Yeast infections
How to get rid of Candida?
- Avoid processed foods and foods with additives of any kind.
- Eliminate starch and sugars (even natural sugars) & use Stevia instead – I always order my stevia through iherb.com they have the absolute best prices!! I like NuNaturals brand liquid stevia, it’s the best tasting – the rest taste like aspartame, yuck! Since you’re fabulous, use my discount code WAG472 to get $5 off your first order + free shipping on orders of $20 or more. And enjoy some sweets without the yeast, on me
- Take a high quality oregano oil supplement daily – look for a pure source with a high carvacrol content. Carvacrol is the active antibacterial/anti fungal ingredient in oregano oil.
- Try a Black Walnut & Wormwood tincture – seriously amazing!! I use 1-2 dropperfulls in water first thing in the morning and last thing before bed. It is great for killing yeast and candida which in turn reduces cravings and does wonders for my skin!!
- Avoid recreational and pharmaceutical drugs, even alcohol.
- Get a Zapper – I know it sounds a little hokey BUT I can honestly say from personal experience, the zapper has been and continues to be such a tremendous help for me and drastically reduced my sugar & carb cravings. I use it anytime I start to feel any type of candida symptoms coming on.
- Get regular Gravity Colonics.
- Yeast like Candida feeds on sugar and carbs so load up on tons of alkaline foods like green juice, fresh salad, veggies, and lean organic protein.
GET YOUR BEAUTY REST
Is it possible to lose weight while you sleep?
“One of the more interesting ideas that has been smoldering and is now gaining momentum is the appreciation of the fact that sleep and sleep disruption do remarkable things to the body — including possibly influencing our weight,” says David Rapoport, MD, associate professor and director of the Sleep Medicine Program at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City.
While doctors have long known that many hormones are affected by sleep, Rapoport says it wasn’t until recently that appetite entered the picture. What brought it into focus, he says, was research on the hormones leptin and ghrelin. First, doctors say that both can influence our appetite. And studies show that production of both may be influenced by how much or how little we sleep.
In fact, have you ever experienced a sleepless night followed by a day when no matter what you ate you never felt full or satisfied? If so, then you have experienced the workings of leptin and ghrelin.
How Hormones Affect Your Sleep
Leptin and ghrelin work in a kind of “checks and balances” system to control feelings of hunger and fullness, explains Michael Breus, PhD, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta. Ghrelin, which is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite, while leptin, produced in fat cells, sends a signal to the brain when you are full.
So what’s the connection to sleep? “When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food,” Breus tells WebMD.
The two combined, he says, can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain.
Studies: Those Who Sleep Less Often Weigh More
How the hormones leptin and ghrelin set the stage for overeating was recently explored in two studies conducted at the University of Chicago in Illinois and at Stanford University in California.
In the Chicago study, doctors measured levels of leptin and ghrelin in 12 healthy men. They also noted their hunger and appetite levels. Soon after, the men were subjected to two days of sleep deprivation followed by two days of extended sleep. During this time doctors continued to monitor hormone levels, appetite, and activity.
The end result: When sleep was restricted, leptin levels went down and ghrelin levels went up. Not surprisingly, the men’s appetite also increased proportionally. Their desire for high carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods increased by a whopping 45%.
It was in the Stanford study, however, that the more provocative meaning of the leptin-ghrelin effect came to light. In this research — a joint project between Stanford and the University of Wisconsin — about 1,000 volunteers reported the number of hours they slept each night. Doctors then measured their levels of ghrelin and leptin, as well as charted their weight.
The result: Those who slept less than eight hours a night not only had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, but they also had a higher level of body fat. What’s more, that level of body fat seemed to correlate with their sleep patterns. Specifically, those who slept the fewest hours per night weighed the most. [full article & source]
So there you have it! Binging can be a scary and uncomfortable thing to experience but YOU HAVE CONTROL. Take care of your mind, body & spirit. They are all connected. You gain control by loving yourself unconditionally, getting organized, and taking practical steps each day. Have you ever had similar experiences with binge eating? If so how did you handle it. What were the tactics that were most helpful? I’d love to hear from you!
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