The Anatomy of a Binge

Binge (noun): a short period of time when you do too much of something

For many of us, that “too much” involves an ungodly amount of carbs, like the whole bag of chips or 10 cookies instead of one.  For me, specifically, it’s Mrs. Fields cookies, Australian Licorice, Oreo cookies and/or Ritz Crackers. Everyone has their own kryptonite…what’s yours?

Here is my previous notion of  the anatomy of a binge:


Let’s try that again, because the true anatomy of a binge looks a little more like this: (reminder: this is not science based, this is Nicole based)


You may be thinking, “Emotional trigger? what’s that?  sounds serious,  that’s not me, that’s not my problem, I just eat because  I like food a lot.” And of course, we all LIKE food. But when you just finished a sleeve of Oreo’s and the serving size is 2 there is a good chance it’s rooted in emotions.

I came to this when my nutritionist suggested a plan for me driven by protein and veggies; therefore, very low carb. She created this for me because she wanted me to stop obsessing over calories and just eat until I was full.

In eating this way, my husband and I kept very minimal carbs in the house. So the first time I felt the need to binge, I realized I couldn’t binge because there was nothing I wanted to binge on. LIGHT BULB MOMENT!!! No one binges on broccoli or bananas or carrots. . . the only things in my fridge.That forced me to stop and say…”why do i need this? want this?  why do I only crave certain bad things? where is this coming from? Slowly but surely I learned how to trace every desire to overeat back to an emotion. It wasn’t always  easy to recognize the emotion & it still isn’t easy but it’s there…you just have to find it.

It’s hard to  accept that most binges start with an emotional trigger, no one wants to be labeled an emotional eater, it sounds negative & weak. BUT the first step to stop a binge is to discover YOUR own personal emotional trigger. That emotional trigger can come in many many forms. It can be deeply rooted (ie: a major life fear, a huge insecurity) or very superficial (ie: looking at facebook at someone you think has a better life than you) Think about it next time you find yourself eating 1- 2-3-4 bowls of cereal…what happened before? what’s on your mind? did someone make you feel bad? are you worried about something? what’s eating you that’s making you eat?

Let’s make this the new anatomy of a binge

Emotional Trigger–> Stop–> Confront the emotion–> intercept your binge–>no regret–> no crash diet.

Or try this cycle

Emotional Trigger–> Stop–> Confront the emotion–> start your binge–> try confronting your emotion again, after maybe 5 cookies–>  stop your binge–>proud moment –> no regret–> no crash diet.

It’s ALOT easier said than done but its really a helpful way to shed weight, without dieting.

This is me the day after my wedding, that’s an entire layer of my leftover carrot cake wedding cake. And huge shocker…I didn’t eat that all. I didn’t need to.

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