Stop Me Before I Binge Again!
6 strategies for taking control
Strategies for Taking Charge of Special Occasions
And what can you do to stop a binge before it starts? Our experts have some
tips for handing occasions that are likely to lead you to overeat.
1. Already bought your holiday treats? There's still time to stop yourself.
"Save a bite-sized piece, eat it, and enjoy it," says Sandquist. "Give the rest
to a homeless shelter. Don't take it to work." Put your imagination to work on
healthier goodies to serve to guests -- like luscious fresh fruit or a raw
2. Have a plan. Eat a nutritious snack before going to a party. Tell
yourself you'll eat just half of what's served, then stick to your vow.
3. Plan active days off and vacations. "I love days of intense physical
activity -- hiking, horseback riding, skiing, and wonderful celebratory meals
at the end of the day," says Katz. "Don't assume you have to gain weight if
you're indulging. Compensate with physical activity."
4. Identify your triggers. For example, if you're going to a family
gathering, are you likely to feel resentful or guilty about long-standing
differences with certain family members? Deal with these issues. Food can mask
them but won't make them disappear.
5. Distinguish between indulging and bingeing. Occasionally allow yourself
to indulge without eating out of control. The tendency to engage in
black-and-white thinking is the hallmark of a problem with food, says Crandall.
"If you think one Snickers makes a disaster, then you might think, 'Why not go
all the way and really binge?'"
6. Snack often on nutritious foods to keep from getting overly hungry. Katz
carries an insulated snack pack everywhere. It's filled with foods such as
dried and fresh fruits, baby carrots, nonfat yogurt, trail mix, whole-grain
cereal, nuts, and baked chips. "You have to defend yourself," he says. "You
can't go out into the modern 'obese-ogenic' environment and hope not to get
fat, just as you wouldn't go out in the rain without an umbrella and expect to
not get wet."