Since when binging became a norm? In around-the-gym society, mild forms of all sorts of disordered eating behaviours are becoming normal. “Everybody is like that”. No! The amount of pressure and resistance this brings to your life simply spoils all the enjoyment of life and decreases the quality of life, whether it is feeling guilty after the Ben and Jerry’s midnight binge or feeling power when resisting a cake on your own birthday
Here are 5 biggest behavioural mistakes that drive such abnormal behaviours and lead to overeating.
Avoiding certain foods or food groups.
This leads to craving these foods even more and as a result, overeating this stuff. Instead, know how many calories you should eat to maintain or lose weight (ask me, if you need help), then break down your calories into roughly 80/20 ratio. Eat 80% of healthy stuff: lots of vegetables and protein. Eat 20% of shit: chocolate and bread with butter. Or maybe you’d better allocate 20% to alcohol? So if you try to eat 2000 kcal daily and you want a drink on Friday, go for 1600 kcal of healthy food. 400 kcal will be red wine carafe or 1 espresso martini. It is up to you. Look at weekly averages, rather than religiously hit daily numbers
Staying within your calorie goal every day.
You don’t have to. Your weekly and even monthly and even early average matters. Say, you calculated that to lose weight you need to eat 2000 kcal. And you are going for a weekend in Florence soon. It means that for 5 days from Monday to Friday you may choose to eat 1500 kcals. It saves you extra 2500 for a weekend, so on Saturday, you can eat 3000 kcal worth of gelato. And on Sunday, 3500 kcal worth of pizza. (I am for a more moderate approach with food, but you got the idea)
Blaming lack of time.
Yes, it is good to have time to exercise and cook healthy stuff. However, you can lose weight by NOT doing something. It means not overeating. Not eating shit all the time. Not choosing pasta over grilled fish in a restaurant. Not going for a dessert. Not drinking beer every evening. It requires zero minutes. You do not have to wake up earlier to do this. You do not have to submit your kids to an orphanage. It is totally possible to lose fat without exercise. You can catch up with muscles later when you have more free time.
Measuring results by comparing weight on the scale on 2 separate dates.
While scales are demonised nowadays, your weight movement is still a good indicator of your progress. However, your weight fluctuates on daily basis depending on what you ate yesterday (Salt? Sugar? Alcohol?), your intestines content, your hydration levels, your stress levels and the phase of the cycle in females. For example, Matilda is in the last phase of her cycle, she ate sausage pie for dinner with rice and she did not have much sleep tonight. Her weight was 100 pounds yesterday. Today it is 105 pounds. Did she gain 5 pounds of fat overnight? No. It is glycogen from pie and rice, stored water from high sodium in the pie, coming periods, undersleep and glycogen. If she does not know that, she will be very upset and probably will binge on chocolate because she feels miserable. She thinks that once she goes off salad diet, she gets fat once she starts eating ‘normal food’.
Reading stuff from unreliable sources will create lots of myths in your head that will not help with diet compliance. It is important to understand how each food influences your body: sugar, ‘carbs’, saturated fat are not enemies on their own and fermented foods are not cure-it-all. The real problem is our inability to see the full picture
For example, this article by Emily Skye delusions people: https://emilyskyefit.com/article/show/3901/4-foods-that-will-ruin-your-abs You will not ruin your abs by eating any of these foods in separation.
Fat loss expert, elite group fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Sheffield.