When a fight with your mom sends you running to the snack cupboard, you know what’s fueling your desire to binge eat. But what you may not realize is that your dietary habits—especially ones you think are good ones—could be making you more vulnerable to overating in the first place. Here are three common triggers for binge eating, and what to do instead to keep your mood—and the scale—steady.
Binge Eating Trigger #1: You Wait Too Long to Eat
When your blood sugar dips too low, the lack of fuel to your brain can make you unfocused and cranky—and more likely to toss back Twizzlers after a snarky comment from a co-worker.
The fix: Make time for breakfast every morning and eat something every two or three hours after that. Include "good" carbs (whole grains and fruit) to give you energy and protein to slow digestion and prevent those emotional highs and lows.
Binge Eating Trigger #2: You’re Too Strict with Your Diet
Put can’t-live-without foods on a ”forbidden” list and you’re bound to feel deprived. You may find yourself picking a fight over something petty and then consoling yourself with a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream later.
The fix: Build self-contained splurges into your eating plan. Buy a single homemade cookie instead of a box, or split a small order of fries with a friend.
Binge Eating Trigger #3: You Expect Perfection
If you beat yourself up every time you nab a free sample at the supermarket or nibble off your child’s plate, you may feel discouraged or even depressed—emotions that cry out for comfort food.
The fix: Get some perspective: A bite of cheesecake or a handful of Tater Tots won’t derail your success. Think of every slip as a mini detour and get back on track right away.