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An ambitious woman’s guide to stop binge eating at night

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As an ambitious woman, you want to achieve success in all aspects of your life, including your health. This may means losing a few pounds or feeling more confident in a skinny dress. But somehow irrespective of how many ever diets you’ve tried, how regularly you go to the gym or how perfect you make your diet, those stubborn few pounds always seem to come back, don’t they?

It gets especially frustrating when when you get back home and can’t stop yourself from snacking on cookies, chocolate or chips no matter how hard you try. You wonder why you don’t have the self-control and ask yourself, “If I can’t even stop myself from having a cookie, how am I going to do all the others I want to in life?”

I get it – I’ve been there.

The reason that quitting emotional eating is hard for us ambitious women is that we try too hard when it comes to our health. We forget the principle of “work smart, not hard” that we use so well in our career and end up acting in a way that feels like self-sabotage.

By understanding the nature of cravings and what working smart looks like in the world of food and nutrition, you can stop binging and feel effortlessly in control around food.

Try this step-by-step system to get started:

1. Just snack!

A really common problem among ambitious women is that we refuse to accept that we are tired even after a long day at work – we expect ourselves to return home and get on with the chores for the day. Even if we realize that we are tired, we think we can tide ourselves over until dinner without eating anything using willpower. This is exactly the moment that self-sabotage happens.

I used to think this way too – sometimes, I started snacking before dinner seemingly unable to control my actions. At other times, I had a healthy meal and started snacking afterwards because I just didn’t seem satisfied.

This happens because when our minds are tired at the end of a long work day, we are sending our body into deprivation mode by avoiding food at all costs. When we forbid food in this way, our minds can’t help but think more about food which manifests itself as cravings. So, the next time you are around food, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up eating too much too quickly.

A smarter way is to have a small snack and feel better now so you can avoid the binge cycle later.

2. Take a break

At this point, you maybe wondering if you can just stop at one cookie because your usual experience tells a different story.

Once you snack a little and find your strength and focus returning, take a pause and ask yourself, “What do I really want?”. Sometimes the answer is food, and that’s okay – just continue to eat mindfully. At other times, you’ll find that the answer is quite different – maybe you just want to relax for a while, maybe you want some “me” time or just to take a five-minute break before you get back into the grind of things.

Honor your body and give yourself this downtime. Just like we feel more alert at work after a good night’s sleep, this little pause in your day is just what you need to stay on track to accomplish all the other goals you have for the day. It doesn’t mean that you are being lazy – it means that you are being smart.

3. Don’t distract yourself with food

In some ways while we are at work, it’s easy to stay on track with our eating habits. When we come home, reality starts to set in. Maybe you start to feel lonely, maybe you are frustrated that you had to bring some work home with you or maybe you are unhappy in your jobs or relationships – whatever it maybe, we turn to food to forget about them and help us feel better. This is when we are most susceptible to overeating and stuffing ourselves until we feel too sick and guilty.

A smarter way is to recognize that trying to escape our emotions using food is only temporary and in fact, the cycle repeats itself over and over again until we become emotional or binge eaters. Instead, by facing our emotions, accepting it and taking action to feel better, we can stop ourselves from turning to food for comfort.

For example, if you feel lonely at night, firstly accept that you are lonely. It’s okay and it’s not a reflection of who you are as a person. In fact, it’s really normal at this stage in your career. Once you accept the feeling, try to do something that makes you feel more connected to people – like calling your mom, watching your favorite TV show or simply taking a warm bath to make yourself comfortable.

4. Eat mindfully

Staying connected to your food and what you are eating is a helpful way to stop distracting yourself from food.

Don’t worry – eating mindfully doesn’t have to be boring or like meditation.

In fact, the food you eat for dinner can and should be extremely enjoyable – cook with ingredients you like, use spices that remind you of home or your travels and eat slowly savouring the taste, texture and smell of your food. Eat happily without feeling guilty because it’s this food that’s going to nourish and sustain you so you can achieve all your other goals in life.

Eating without guilt is also much smarter because it helps us feel satisfied with the food we eat. Otherwise, we are left feeling deprived and wanting more food to fill the void.

Summing it up

As you can see, eating smartly looks very different from the way we eat today. Eating smart requires us to nourish ourselves without feeling deprived and to take care of our well-being so we don’t end up going into a diet-binge cycle.

If you struggle with overeating and feeling sick and guilty about your habits regularly, learn how you can stop feeling out of control around food, more comfortable in your body and stop emotional eating.

About Sai Aparajitha Khanna

Sai Aparajitha Khanna helps ambitious women quit emotional eating so they can focus on their career and families instead of fighting food all the time. Get her free guide for Business Women Media readers to stop food obsessions and feel healthier and happier.

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