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How To Stop Binge Eating And Disordered Eating

Written by: Olivia Shakespear, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Binge eating and disordered eating are highly prevalent and can be hard habits to let go of. They might not be as destructive as some other bad habits and addictions but they can take a lot of enjoyment out of life. I should know. I was a binge eater for over 20 years. The funny thing is, when I did let it go it was easier than I expected. So I want to share with you my three top tips for changing your relationship with food for good.

girl pushing away plate with broccoli and other vegetables refusing to eat

Tip One: Eat Adequately

One of the main reasons people end up with disordered eating is because at some point they started down the dieting route. Restrictive eating eventually hard wires our brain into survival mode and forbidding ourselves from eating certain foods will end up acting as a trigger for our survival centers to fire up and let loose the inner rebel. The outer cortex of our brain is involved in high-level thinking and decision-making, whilst the inner sanctum is concerned with more primitive needs. The latter works in a simplistic, animalistic way, involving automatic reactions and reflexes. Basically, it is this part of the brain that gets fired up when we go on diets, which isn't great news for making rational decisions when it comes to food!

In a nutshell, if we don't eat enough then we will be fighting an uphill battle all the way. This can be a very difficult thing for people to get their heads around at first because they are so used to thinking in terms of dieting. Not everyone who has disordered eating or binge eats wants to lose weight, but many do and find it hard to accept that they can eat more and still lose weight. Of course, when you stop bingeing and eat in a balanced way then your body will return to its natural set point. The pounds might not drop off at quite the same rate as they would on a very restrictive diet, but at least this way when they do drop off, it's for good rather than just a fortnight.

Tip Two: Bin Your Forbidden Food List!

This is linked to the above point, because of the tendency we have for being triggered into wanting the foods we've told ourselves we mustn't have. There is an emotional aspect to this as well, as we start feeling hard done by and deprived through our own self-imposed food jail. The tricky part with this point is that certain foods that are full of chemicals, processed sugars and fats are designed to be hard to put down (there is a lot of money to be made in getting people addicted to junk food!). Whereas a healthy diet full of natural sugars and whole foods doesn't have the same effect, rather it balances out our blood chemistry, making it easier to eat in a stable way.

However, as a former binge eater I can tell you that unless you let go of your fear of certain trigger foods first, it's impossible to move on from the power they have over you. Once they lose their power, which they will do when you no longer see them as forbidden, it's much easier to reduce your consumption of them in a natural way and make more sensible food choices.

Tip Three: Support & Accountability

This is such an important part, as most people who have been on diets for many years know that they can keep things up for a few weeks if they are lucky, but in the end, something happens where they just feel they need that old coping mechanism back and so they turn to food. It's essential to keep the new habits going long enough so that the brain rewires itself and you no longer feel the urge to go down the old paths. Having support on a daily basis and being accountable to someone helps prevent the buildup that occurs before caving in and over-eating. Just knowing that someone is aware of what you're going through and will be checking in on you can give you the confidence you need to keep going through the bumpy patches.

Of course family and friends are often very supportive, but because of the level of support that is needed, especially to start with, this can feel like quite a lot to put on someone. This is why I work with my clients for a minimum of three months and provide a very high level of support and accountability. I've found that this is by far the best way to help people break their habits once and for all. Please do book a free 30-minute consultation through my website if you feel I might be able to support you. I also have a free Support Guide on my website which you can download that has plenty of great information on how to change your eating habits.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and visit my website for more info!


Olivia Shakespear, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Olivia Shakespear is a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist specialising in support for people with binge eating disorder and those who have an unhappy relationship with food. After many years of her own struggles, she created a unique method that is incredibly successful with moving people into a balanced way of eating. Olivia uses nutrition within a truly holistic framework, understanding that problems with eating occur due to multiple physical and psychological factors. She understands the pitfalls of applying a "clean eating" approach, whilst appreciating the incredible power proper nutrition has in healing the mind, body and soul.



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