If you’re prone to bingeing, don’t worry. You can stop it and take control of your eating habits. But first you must understand why it happens. What sorts of things cause you to overeat? For some people, the cause is stress, loneliness, anger, or sadness. For others, it’s dining out with friends or having a good time at a party.

Reading your food diary can help you recognize and anticipate the emotions or situations that lead to your binges. As you become more aware of what’s setting you off, you can avoid those situations and find other, nonfood sources of comfort. ©

If you feel that you are heading for a binge or if you catch your- ^ self in the middle of one, you can still stop it. Simply walk away— <s-leave everything where it is and get out of the house. A brisk walk «* around the block can give you time to think about what’s making <5 you want to eat. Once you get back home, you’ll have a new perspective on the situation, and you may realize that you’re not interested in eating after all.

There may be times when you’re nursing a craving—say, for chocolate mocha almond ice cream—that you have no choice but to go ahead and help yourself. Not to a huge bowl, mind you. And definitely not to the whole carton. Scoop out a single serving and put the rest back in the freezer. Then really that ice cream. Let each spoonful melt in your mouth and wash over all of your tastebuds.

When worse comes to worst and you indulge in an all-night bingefest, don’t berate yourself afterward. You have to accept what happened and move on. There’s no point in kicking yourself because you messed up. Just be sure to add a half-hour to your next workout, and be extra careful about what you eat for the next few days.


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