Text Size

You’re trying to get your binging or binging and purging under control, but it’s hard, it’s a process and there are going to be times when you slip.

Don’t get discouraged and remember that even 2 steps forward, one step back eventually gets you to the place you’re trying to go!

You may already be working to control your binging with techniques like maintaining a food log, avoiding strict dietary rules and keeping your eating on a very regular schedule. But have you considered how you can reassert control over your eating – even during a relapse binge?

Although you may have to accept that slip-ups are a part of the process, you don’t have to give-in entirely – you can still work on your recovery, even during an actual binge…here’s how.

Learning Mindful Binging?

Two essential techniques for retaking control during a binge are:

  1. Mindful Binge Eating
  2. Delay

Mindful Binging

Binge eating becomes a behavior that has certain automatic aspects to it – in fact many people describe going into an almost trance-like state during a binge.

So in addition to working to create a lifestyle not-conducive to binging, you can also work during actual binging episodes to make the behavior more conscious.

Because once you are more conscious of your actions you have a greater ability to control them.

Once you know you’re going to binge, decide that you are going to stay as present and aware as you can and strive to stay focused on exactly what you’re doing – moment by moment – for the duration of the binge.

  • Instead of just eating foods out of the package, plate them nicely and appreciate the way they look on a plate. Make an effort to pay attention to the foods you’re going to consume – what they look like, how they smell etc.
  • As you eat them, pay attention to the sensations of every bite. How does the cracker taste? Is it salty and crunchy or savory and chewy? Think about the textures and smells and tastes as you eat.
  • After finishing what you’ve put on a plate, think about what you’d enjoy eating next, rather than just grabbing whatever binge foods you normally go for.  You don’t have to try and control your binging quantity here, you just have to make an effort to make your binge more of a conscious process by choosing next what you’d actually enjoy most!

Delay Your Binging

Binging is an habitual out-of-control behavior…so anything you can do to retake conscious control helps to minimize the habit’s power over you.

Once you know you’re going to binge and after you’ve plated your binge foods attractively, see if you can delay your first mouthful for a few seconds.

  • Start off by trying to delay for thirty seconds (actually count slowly to 30 in your head).
  • Once you can do that, next time, try to shoot for a minute, then 5 minutes and then for 10 minutes and longer.

By taking more conscious control over what, how and when you binge you increase your ability to control your behaviors and to make better dietary choices in general.1

Email It Send this page Print It Print friendly page Subscribe Subscribe to this topic category

Page last updated Sep 30, 2013

Creative Commons License
Copyright Notice
We welcome republishing of our content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the respective authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Join Thousands of Readers

who receive our weekly recovery newsletter.

Helpful Reading
Beat Cravings with Urge Surfing
Urge Surfing: Beat Cravings and Relapse with a Mindfulness Technique © DavidRphoto
For the next 10 seconds, try not to think of a pink elephant…Impossible, right?! The fact is, the more you try to suppress an impulse to use drugs or alcohol the more fixated your mind becomes on that very impulse, and this is bad news for anyone serious about maintaining their sobriety. Fortunately, you don’t have to drink or use and you don’t have to fight or suppress your cravings, all you have to do is surf over them and they’ll disappear – using a proven mindfulness technique known as urge surfing. Read Article
Addiction Recovery September 27, 2016
How to Let Go of Guilt and Shame Alcoholics and addicts do things in active addiction which leave them feeling guilt and shame. Learn what you can do to get over your guilt and shame to forgive yourself and let go of the past. Read Article
Addiction Recovery January 02, 2015 (5)
4 Steps to Beating Sex or Internet Addiction Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz and his Four Step Program - through mindful awareness you can learn to overcome internet, gambling and sex cravings as you retrain your brain to stop sending such urgent messages of need. Read Article
Addiction Treatment January 25, 2016 (1)
Find Help In...
Like Our Site? Follow Us!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.