Breaking the binge habit
Over-indulging can be bad for your health, whether it’s munching through a family bag of chips on your own, watching endless hours of TV or worse, both at the same time! Here are some tips to help you break the habit.
The first step in overcoming mindless snacking
How to stop eating out of habit
- Have a designated eating spot. “Set a goal for everyone in the family to only eat when you’re sitting at the dinner table,” Cosgriff suggests. “This makes you sit down and focus on the fact that you’re eating, what you’re eating, enjoy the flavours and textures and think positively about eating.” Turn off the television in the background and make your meal times social.
- Set a positive goal. It’s time to make some promises in a positive way. “Think about a realistic goal, such as ‘I’m going to watch TV without snacking three times this week’ and tick the days you achieve this goal. Don’t use crosses if you don’t achieve it, just focus on the ticks,” says Cosgriff.
- Make little reminders. Having some plans in place for those moments when you are tempted to binge eat can set you up for success. “Put little notes on the fridge and the cupboard that say, ‘Am I hungry?’” says Cosgriff. “When you take a moment to observe your thoughts and how you’re actually feeling you can start to make a change in your habit.”
- Replace your snacks. “Stopping a habit can be really hard, but if you substitute it [with another activity] then you’re still busy with your hands,” explains Cosgriff. She suggests replacing your usual snacks with a hot drink such as herbal tea, or a cold drink such as sparkling water with lime or a jug of water with fresh fruit in it for flavour, or eating healthy snacks such as a piece of fruit or some unsalted nuts.