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Binge Eating Masterclass - The 4 Reasons You Binge and How to Overcome Them | DFIO Ep.254




About Today’s Episode:

Thank you for being here, I am PUMPED for today’s episode! I am calling this the “Binge Eating Masterclass” and I am going to give you the EXACT breakdown of why you're binge eating and how to stop it.


Based on the conversations I have been having—and the things you guys have said you’re struggling with—I think this is a great time to take a deep dive into this topic.


This isn’t going to be surface-level advice like, “don’t keep junk food in the house.” No, we are going to go into the 4 specific reasons you are binge eating and how to tackle and overcome them.


There’s a ton to get into, so let’s dive right in!


TIMESTAMPS:


Transcript (click to expand)

Why You Need to Get to the Otherside of Binge Eating Before Weight Loss:

There are a few reasons you need to get over binge eating before tackling weight loss:


Number one, if you don’t deal with your binge eating, you’re never going to make it to your goal.


Number two, it can take over your whole life.


We just had a client give us a testimonial about how she has finally gotten over binge eating now that she is working with us, but she really went into a lot of detail. All her bandwidth was taken up by binge eating—she couldn’t go out to eat with friends or follow her passions because it had taken over her life. Now that it’s over, her whole life has opened up.


Binge eating can be debilitating and if you struggle with this, it’s a big deal.


When we get into the reasons for binge eating, the first two, I would say, are more surface-level, but the last two are deeper reasons—and if you struggle with those, it’s no wonder you’re mentally exhausted.


Now, regarding reason number two—I’m going to be blunt—if you’re binge eating, you’re not going to lose weight.


For example, if you want to save money, but you uncontrollably spend your money every day… how do you think you’ll ever be able to save?


You won’t.


It’s the same with binge eating.


If you have goals to look better in your clothes, feel better about yourself, lose weight, etc., you will never reach them if you do not stop binge eating. That is why we need to handle it first.


In our coaching program, we tackle binge eating first. Stage two is where we start to focus on fat loss—on losing weight, losing inches. Stage one is “Dieting from the Inside Out,” because if you don’t get over your binge eating, you will not reach your goals.


People do it wrong, though.


They have a vacation or something coming up in a few months, and say “Oh, I want to get really lean,” or “I really want to lose weight now and then I’ll deal with the binge eating.”


That doesn’t work.


When you lose weight without dealing with binge eating first, what happens is your binge eating brings it all back. Every time you yo-yo—lose weight, and put it back on—you build negative momentum.


You make it harder to lose weight and keep it off because the mind craves and gravitates toward what is familiar.


And it fucks your metabolism over. Every time.


It becomes a vicious cycle of gaining and losing the same weight for years.


THAT is what I am going to show you how to fix.


Now, when you are in this stage of fixing your binge eating, you are not allowed to focus on weight loss and you need to give yourself permission to gain weight.


I know, some of you guys are like, “what the fuck?”


I am not saying that you will gain weight.


But let’s be honest—if you are struggling with binge eating, you aren't making progress in your weight loss long-term.


You’ve been bouncing back and forth and overall gaining weight. It logically makes sense to stop focusing on weight loss, fix the binge eating, and then get back to losing weight.


Think about it this way: would you ever move into a home that has no foundation?


It’s a dumb fucking question, but think about it.


No, you wouldn’t, because you know it would only be a matter of time before the house caves in on itself.


It’s the same with binge eating and your weight loss transformation. You have to make progress with binge eating, emotional eating, and self-sabotage BEFORE you focus on fat loss.


The 4 Reasons You Binge Eat:

I am going to give you guys the four reasons first and then dive into each of them. You may struggle with one of these, all four, or some combination.


The four reasons are:


  1. Binge eating based in hunger

  2. Binge eating based in restriction

  3. Binge eating based in emotion

  4. Binge eating based in identity


The first two are very biological. When we deal with this in clients, they can usually be fixed faster.


The second two take longer because they’re deeper and typically have inner child issues attached to them.



1. Binge Eating Based in Hunger

This is quite literally when you just let your hunger get too high.


For those of you who are eating 1200 calories and then raiding your pantry in the middle of the night and you wondering why…


It’s because your hunger is too high. You are just hungry.


An example of this would be:


You’re going on date night tonight, so you starve yourself all day to conserve calories—but then you go crazy at the restaurant.


Another example is:


You go to work but forget to bring your lunch, or just work through lunch, and then you get home and do something like eat an entire bag of pretzels or a box of saltines and wonder, “why am I eating this??”


We see this a lot with people who don’t eat enough in general. This would be like if you just eat a handful of almonds as a meal or just have a small salad everywhere you go.


If this is you, the reason you are binge eating doesn’t have anything to do with restriction. It doesn’t have anything to do with identity or emotion—you’re just hungry.


The answer is: don’t let yourself get that hungry.


Think about when this normally happens. Is it because you’re forgetting your lunch? Are you trying to conserve calories all day because you have an event?


If you put your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is stealing pizza from children, and 1 is completely satisfied, when you get to a 3 or 4, and think “I’m a little hungry,” go ahead and eat.


Whatever that looks like for you, put a plan in place.


It doesn’t matter if it’s a food schedule, protein bars in your purse, sandwiches, whatever—put a plan in place where your hunger can not get out of control.


2. Binge Eating Based in Restriction

When it comes to binge eating based on restriction, when we stop the restriction, we stop the binge eating.


How do you know if your binge eating is based on restriction?


When your binge eating is based on hunger, you’ll binge on just about anything. When your binge eating is based on restriction, what you’re eating changes.


If you notice you are only binging on the foods you’re “not supposed to have,” that is how you know this is your problem—if you notice you aren’t binging on something like a turkey sandwich but you ARE binging on cake, cookies, and potato chips.


If you’re binging on food that you happen to be restricting… this one is screaming at you.


We see this happen when someone has a craving, and they say “Oh, I don’t need that.”


You need to stop saying that.


You don’t need heat and A/C in your house, but you have it because it makes you happy.


If you tell yourself you don’t need the cookie—and you do that for a week—it’s no wonder you eventually slam the entire pack of Oreos.


This is where people view foods as good and bad—they have “diet foods” and “cheat day” foods.


The issue is not that we need to white-knuckle through the urge to binge, the issue is we need to let up on the restriction.


Willpower and white-knuckling through the urge to binge is not the answer. We want to address the reasons why you are binging so the urge to binge goes away completely.


So, if we stop the restriction, we stop the binge.


How we fix this with clients is we have them eat those foods every day.


Some of you will hear me say “stop the restriction,” and you’re good, but I know a lot of you are thinking, “but Jared, I can’t eat just a few chips, or cookies, or whatever. I have to smash the whole pack.”


The specific problem there is that you have a neural pathway issue in your brain.


The reason this happens is because your brain is just a record of the past and it views the past as tried and true law. So every time you have eaten the whole box of doughnuts—or an entire pizza—your brain thinks, “this is what we do.”


Your brain craves familiarity. You don’t have a record of self-control around those foods—so we need to create one.


A lot of people take a good first step, but then fuck it up.


People think, “Oh, I’ll get all of the trigger foods out of the house,” but you labeling those foods as trigger foods is not going to help your relationship with them.


The label is fucking you up.


For foods you currently struggle with, step one is to clear the house of them. We need a clean slate.


Then—every single day—go to the gas station or the grocery store and get a single-serving size of one of those foods.


Let’s take chips, for example: you go to the store, buy one of the single-serving-sized bags, eat it, and enjoy it.


What will happen is your brain is going to have a mini panic attack. It’s going to think, “Oh, here we go. We are going to binge again,” but what happens is you don’t binge—because you can’t binge on what isn’t there.


Your brain is going to wonder why you didn’t binge.


Even if you have the worst self-control ever, you can go buy one serving of something, bring it home, and then eat it there.


You have to be okay with spending a little more money on it now because you can’t buy in bulk since you don’t have the self-control.


You do it again the next day and every day for 30 days. After 30 days, you will have evidence that you have self-control with a food that you used to struggle with.


You will also find that you have either lost weight or at least not gained any weight. Most people will find that their clothes are fitting a little better.


You will now have irrefutable proof that those foods are not “bad.”



3. Binge Eating Based in Emotion

I’m going to give you the short version of this because I could do an entire episode around emotional eating.


If binge eating based on emotion is your problem, you are binge eating because you are hiding your emotions or distracting yourself from your negative emotions with food.


It’s like your boyfriend broke up with you and you want to go eat or you had a bad day and you want to go eat—it’s because you are getting a little bit of a break from those emotions with food.


Not only will you never lose weight this way, but emotional suppression has never made anything better.


At scale, if you emotionally suppress for the next decade, you’ll suppress the negative emotions, but you’ll suppress the positive emotions too. And even though you aren’t feeling the negative emotions, you aren’t feeling the positive emotions either.


When someone you care about is anxious, worried, or depressed, you support them emotionally.


If you had a kid and their dog got hit by a car, you don’t tell them, “here’s some cereal, now get out of my face.”


You would probably feel those emotions with them, tell them it’s all right, and that you’ll miss the dog too.


But when it’s you that’s upset… all of a sudden you aren’t allowed to feel that way.


Here’s how we fix this: you need to hold space for your emotions.


You’re an emotional being—you’re going to have good and bad days—so you need to have a plan in place to hold space for your emotions.


The way we have clients do this is through meditation and journaling.


To meditate, you sit in silence. If you’re upset you go and sit with it. You need to let yourself sit with it.


If you’re triggered and super emotional, it’s a part of you that needs to be seen and heard.


You sit and tell yourself it’s okay to feel this way.


I have personally done this with anxiety.


I used to try to suppress my anxiety, but now I sit with it and say “it’s okay to be anxious,” and what happens is it dissipates.


A lot of you are going to find sitting in silence with your emotions hard because it’s overwhelming—which means you need to do it more.


The other thing you can do is journal about it.


Write it out, don’t judge it.


What’s in needs to come out.


It’s like venting.


You are writing privately—these journal entries aren’t being sent to a coach or anything like that.


You’ll fill up a notebook and then throw the notebook in the trash.


A good way to think about it is like going to the bathroom:


Because we eat every day, we have to go to the bathroom. If you didn’t eliminate, things would get really bad, really quickly.


Most of you are emotionally constipated and you need to get emotionally regular, so make journaling—or sitting with yourself in silence—part of your daily routine.


Making space for your emotions through journaling or meditation is your new way of coping with your feelings.



4. Binge Eating Based in Identity

If your identity is made up of things that you don’t like—but who you think you are—you’ll never get on the other side of it.


Your brain is all about self-preservation.


If you think, “I’m a binger,” or “I’m an emotional eater,” and you start to work through it, your brain will feel threatened.


Your brain will want to make you go binge again.


This is why the stories you tell yourself and your identity is so important.


Identity work is some of the first things we do inside coaching because if you don’t fix your identity, you will always sabotage it.


If you think you are a binger, and you identify as one, you will always go back to it because your actions are unconscious 90% of every day.


That’s why the thing we think we are is what always comes true.


We have to change that.


Just because you struggle with something doesn’t mean that’s who you are.


When we see other people struggling, and they want to change, we’re always like, “yeah, let’s go!”


But when it comes to ourselves, it becomes, “no, this is who I am.”


You need to stop that. Treat yourself the way you treat others.


Our actions always act in congruence with who we think we are.


To change your identity, number one, change your terminology.


Stop saying “I am” and the thing you don’t like about yourself.


Binge eating is a verb, and “binger” is a noun.


Binge ate is something you did.


Binger is a person, place, or thing—it’s who you are.


You have to be careful with the terminology you use.


There’s a saying, “if you lie to yourself long enough you’ll start to believe it.”


You need to decide who you want to be on purpose—on your terms.


We do an exercise with clients called the “Coma Letter.”


In short, you pretend you are going into brain surgery and your doctor tells you that there is a 50/50 chance he hits a reset button and you will have no recollection of who you are when you wake up, and that you should write a letter yourself to tell you about your life and who you are.


If it were me, I’m writing that letter and I’m writing the most superhero letter of my life.


If you wrote that letter, you’re not going to write, “I'm a binger, I struggle with my weight, I hate myself.”


You’re going to write a superhero letter about your life.


And here’s the thing: that is who you really are.


That is the person you are supposed to be.


You don’t need a brain tumor to write that letter.


You can do it now—and that’s your new identity.


Now, I want you to hold your actions to that identity.


Closing Thoughts:

This is not a matter of getting the trigger foods out of the house and starting walking more—that’s entry-level.


What I want to show you is how to be a professional at changing your life. This is the kind of stuff you need to do if you want to diet from the inside out and make lasting changes to your life.



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