Top 3 Stress Relief Mistakes Part 1 - Binge Eating (Stop doing this!)

A man binge eating a cookie to relieve stress

Hi guys, today I want to write to you about one of the top 3 stress relief mistakes that I see people make. I call these 3 disastrous mistakes the 3B's and they are:

This is going to be another 3 part blog post series so stay tuned for the other 2 posts about "booze" and "blowing up on people" that I'm going to be publishing soon!

You want to make absolutely sure that you're not doing any one of these. Each and every B is a serious health risk that will also harm your relationships over time. Whether you soothe yourself with binging on unhealthy foods, using alcohol to relieve stress or blowing up on people because you lose control over your emotions, it's going to come back to bite you.

On the other hand if you banish the 3B's from your life, if you learn other stress-relief techniques, it will immediately improve your quality of life. You'll have more energy and you'll be more productive both in your personal life and at work. You'll have more attention to focus on your loved ones and you'll find that optimism comes a lot more naturally than before. 

Soothing Yourself by Binge Eating

This is probably the most common one of the three and it's the sneakiest one. You see, you can get away with overeating for some time before it starts to show. Even if you eat a couple of cupcakes or a bowl of ice cream this evening, it takes weeks for it to change what you see in the mirror. 

Instant Gratification

So the big question is why do we do it in the first place? Well, one of the most obvious reasons is that eating makes us happy. And I mean literally, when we take a bite of chocolate, it releases happiness hormones (endorphins) in our body. 

So it's very easy to get addicted to binge eating because it's a simple and accessible way to get a quick surge of feel-good hormones in a few minutes. It's the perfect quick fix solution in a stressful situation. 

Long Term Risks

Unfortunately, there is a price you have to pay down the road if you can't control your eating habits. After several weeks or months of binge eating, you'll become a totally different person. When you look in the mirror, you won't recognize yourself. When people see you again, they'll just stare at you in prolonged silence before discretely asking you "What happened?" 

Binge eating will mess up your self-image and bring in feelings of shame, guilt and regret into your life. Not to mention that if you stop taking care of how you look, your significant other might not feel attracted to you anymore. Being overweight could eventually ruin your relationship or your marriage. 

But that's not the only reason why you should do everything you can to stop binge eating. Obesity puts enormous pressure on your body. The more you weigh, the more weight your joints have to carry and after a while your body will just not be able to keep up. Moving around will be a struggle and simple things like going to the grocery store will pose a challenge. 

Being overweight has a ton of other health risks associated with it such as chronic heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke, just to name a few. 

I call binge eating the silent killer because its long term negative effects take time to manifest and by the time they do, it takes a lot of sacrifice and effort to turn your life around. 

How to Stop Binge Eating

The Right Mindset

First of all, realize that it's bad. I want you to be aware that binge eating is a trap. It offers satisfaction in the moment at the cost of serious long-term health risks. Develop the mindset that binge eating is a bad habit that you want to let go of. 

Once your mindset is in place, it's much easier to stop a binge before it happens. But before you do anything else, realize that what you're about to do is not easy. So it's okay to mess up every once in a while. You don't want pressure yourself into and impossible commitment that you know you won't be able to keep up. That will only create more stress in your life.

What I want you to do instead is take some of the advice below and pick the ones you think might work for you. You want to first drive a wedge into your binge eating habit and you're going to work from there one step at a time. You don't want to change your lifestyle right away because it's not going to happen. It requires superhuman willpower - and even if you're one of those lucky people that can just will their way through any commitment they make, how are long are you going to be able to sustain that in your lifestyle? My guess is, not for long.

I learned it from Tony Schwartz, the brilliant co-author of book The Power of Full Engagement that anything that requires willpower to do for a long time, you're not going to be doing for a long time. 

So instead, start driving a wedge into your binge eating habit one wedge at a time. And remember: it's okay to fail. Treat yourself like you would your best friend; be gentle, compassionate and forgiving. Shrug it off and start over. And don't give up.

The Action Steps

  1. Cut the temptation. If you want to stop binge eating, you have to start at the grocery store. You need to stop buying things that you know you like to binge on. 
  2. Make sure you're full before you go into the grocery store. This one is huge. Do not buy food on an empty stomach. If you try to shop with an empty stomach, you're going to end up buying all sorts of unhealthy sugary stuff. 
  3. Start binge drinking. Drink a lot of water even if you're not thirsty. Water can fill your stomach just as well as food can and it's super healthy. 60% of out body weight is water but according to a recent study about half of Americans don't drink enough water. Binge drinking is a great way to live more healthy and kick binge eating in the balls at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Binge eating is one of the sneakiest stress relief mistakes that I know of. I always say that the only kind of binge that's welcome in my life is binge drinking (water). If you can stop eating excessive amounts of unhealthy foods, you'll be able to reduce your stress levels by at least 20%.

The funny thing is that getting rid of the shame, the guilt and the inner conflict of constantly craving sugary snacks while knowing that it's actually bad for you releases a lot more stress from your life than binge eating ever will. 

Daily Quote

Instant gratification is short lived and full of regret.

- Brenda Buster

That's it for today guys. If you need more help, shoot me an email and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

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