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How to Prevent the Infamous Binge/Restrict Cycle
Some think that binging and restricting or purging plagues only those who have been diagnosed with eating disorders. That is not true. In fact, many people who have gone on diets have exhibited this pattern because of many reaons. First is the lack of sustainability. Drinking only water and nothing else, no food or other drinks, for 1 day will help you shed a bit of weight. But can you do that for 10 years with no ill effects? Of course not, that’s just ridiculous. So what happens when someone who has been on the water diet, goes back to normal eating habits? He or she rebounds to the same weight, or even heavier in most cases.
Too much restriction can make one feel trapped and deprived, so when the shackles do come off, he or she goes all out because of the mentality that this window of opportunity will not last much longer. This mentality is the basic foundation of the binge/restrict cycle that dieters are not always aware of.
So how do you prevent yourself from spiraling into this vicious cycle?
1. Come to terms with what you are doing.
Don’t just think that you’re doing it because you HAVE to. Do it because you WANT to. You must WANT to lose weight. You must WANT to feel better. You must WANT to be healthier and live longer. When you do things that you HAVE to vs. WANT to, it becomes work and you start to dread anything that is associated with that goal.
2. Balance is key.
Learn how to manage your cravings instead of letting them get out of hand. When you say no to yourself every single time you want something and don’t treat yourself in return, you are setting yourself up for a binge. We all slip up at some point, and when you do, take measures to ensure that you won’t go off the deep end. DON’T make it harder for yourself by relapsing and regaining all the weight you’ve lost through hard work. Try to incorporate a little treat every so often to keep your sanity.
3. Don’t keep it around.
Do you demolish a whole package of oreos when you have a taste of one? Can you eat a whole box of pizza in one sitting? If it’s not around, you can’t eat it. Don’t preempt your binges by keeping around your ‘binge foods’ or sliders. Schedule your small treat meals, have them and move on. Don’t keep them around you so that you’re not constantly tempted by them. It’s all a mind game, and you’re already winning if you make the conscious decision to schedule your treats and control your cravings this way, instead of having them control YOU.
Contact us if you need support on your journey. We’re always happy to help.