Urges to binge come in the form of overwhelming desires to eat large amounts of food in a short period of time. They are characterized by a sense of loss of control, excessive food consumption, and often followed by disappointment and shame.
One doesn’t have to have a binge eating disorder or any eating disorder, per se, to be exposed to such urges.
Many people who’ve gone through a period of restrictive dieting experience at least one strong urge to binge. These powerful compulsions aren’t easy to resist. That’s why many of us, at some point in our diet, end up reaching for forbidden foods in larger amounts than what’s reasonable.
This is how we pave our road to ruin and give way to the well-known yo-yo effect.
As food consumption is an integral part of our daily lives, we don’t have the luxury to stay away from it, like in the case of cigarettes, alcohol, drugs or other addictive substances and behaviors.
It’s clear that food can’t be eliminated from our lives, but our thinking and acting around food can, indeed, be managed and optimized.
How can we rise above our durable desire to indulge in food that doesn’t serve us well in the long-term? What can support us in staying faithful to our initial intention for healthy nutrition?
How can we make food choices that we won’t regret later?
The answer is already within you. To be more precise, it is located in the most recently developed region of your human brain called the neocortex.
This part of your brain, especially the prefrontal section, is responsible for:
● Planning and moderating complex behavior (including social behavior)
● Goal setting
● Expression of your personality
● Decision making
Your true self resides in this part of your brain. This is the self that doesn’t quickly lose control when exposed to animalistic desires such as an urge to binge.
How can we call on our neocortex when we want to make conscious food choices?
○ If you're eating enough and still have desires to indulge in fattening foods, consider that desire as brain junk. This act will lift you up to the level of your true-self.
○ Once you allow yourself to engage in a pleasant or meaningful activity, your neocortex will get engaged, and the grip of your urge will lessen until it leaves you entirely.
○ In doing so, you’re activating the part of your neocortex that regulates social behavior. Once you rise to this level of consciousness, your cravings will crumble down, letting you carry on with your day.
These tips are designed for those who have a relatively healthy relationship with food and experience occasional urges to binge. If you suffer from an eating disorder, you’ll find your best results in consulting professional support and recovery assistance.