There’s a lot of talk around the binge eating community about eliminating sugar and flour to stop binge eating.
Some say it’s the only way.
For the most part, the foods binge eaters reach for are things containing sugar and/or flour.
But I do want to address that not everyone binges on these foods. I’ve had people come to me who binge on healthy foods and I get that because I know when I was in it, I could binge on anything. I just wanted food in my mouth.
So if you’re someone who binges mostly on sugar, flour, and processed foods, do you have to eliminate them?
I say no.
Does it make it easier to stop binge eating?
Yes and no.
I’ve had clients who were able to stop binge eating without us ever talking about eliminating sugar and flour.
After years of binge eating, I eat those foods from time to time and I don’t binge.
It’s not a hard and fast rule that it needs to be done.
It’s totally possible to not binge while still eating those foods.
Although, some may say it’s easier if you do, while others may not.
It makes it easier because the less you eat these foods, the less you crave them.
Simply put, when you eat these foods you get a big dopamine hit in your brain that increases your desire for these foods.
Dopamine hits happen when you eat salad too, but they’re bigger when you eat concentrated foods like sugar and flour. The bigger the hit, the stronger your desire becomes.
So if you eliminate these foods from your diet, then you’ll physically reduce your desire for them.
But then there’s the hard part.
Actually not eating those foods.
If you don’t manage your mind around wanting to eat these foods, then removing them will most likely be a struggle.
If you don’t know how to process your feelings and change how you think about these foods, then you’re going to be using willpower to get you through.
You can try to stop eating them, but if that intense desire is still there, you’re still going to really really want to eat them and not doing it will be really really hard.
But don’t fret, you can still do it, and this is how it works.
If you want to get to that place where you reduce your desire for those foods, then you have to go through the part where you don’t eat them even though you really really want to. You have to feel that desire for them without eating them.
But in order for this to be effective long term, you can’t rely on willpower. You have to change your mindset, which means you shift how you think about these foods.
Otherwise, you’ll just keep on wanting them badly and resisting them until eventually you tire out and give in.
This is something I can help you with and a big part of the work I do with my clients.
But if you’d like to do this work on your own, I’ll give you a starting point. Figure out what you think about those foods now. What makes them so desirable to you?
How are you making these foods into something so much more important than they actually are?
Notice the amount of desire you’re creating just by the way you’re thinking about them.
This is on you. Your thoughts are your responsibility and in order to change any of them, which is 100% possible I must add, you have to know where you’re at right now.
Whether or not you give up sugar and flour to help you stop binge eating is up to you. It’s not necessary and if you do it, don’t expect it to be a walk in the park.
If you want help deciding whether or not you should do it, you can talk it out with me. I’ll help you figure out if it’s the right path for you.