Overcoming Binge Eating: 5 Tips to Regain Control

Author: Kevin Driscoll
November 10, 2023

Are you figuring out how to overcome binge eating?


Cool! This is going to be the blog for you.


Let me know if this sounds familiar.


You spend all week dialed in with your nutrition and being absolutely perfect. Then the weekend comes, and shit hits the fan, and your snack on cookies like you’re the Cookie Monster.



Or you are doing great with your diet all day, and suddenly, on your ride home from work, you pass a McDonald’s. BOOM, you find yourself ordering one of everything and hammering it down on the way home.


It’s all good! I got you here.


As this topic can be complicated, this blog is to teach you how to overcome binge eating and help create awareness of your situation.


I’ll go over 5 possible reasons why this is happening and provide tips on how to overcome them! 


Let’s get into it!


A couple of things before we get going…

1. You are not alone


Binge eating and emotional eating are common challenges many individuals face.


I don’t want you to think you are broken or that anything is wrong with you because this is a common struggle many people face.


So understand you are not alone on this journey to overcome it.


2. Seek professional help


I must share that, as I said above, the topic of Binge Eating and Emotional Eating is complicated, and some individual situations go beyond my skill set. 


I am no therapist.


I am a nutrition coach and personal trainer.


As I have worked with and been able to help individuals who have struggled with this overcome their challenges, I know some situations go beyond the tips provided below.


So, if you have really been struggling with this, there are professionals out there who specialize in this area.


I highly encourage you to seek the help you need that can help you overcome this and truly make an incredible change in your life.


Okay, let’s get into the 5 common situations  and tips that can help overcome binge eating.


1. “Good” and “Bad” Foods.

Here is the thing.


No foods are off-limits when it comes to fat loss!


It’s not an issue with food, where there are right and wrong foods you are or aren’t eating.


It’s a mindset of labeling foods as “good” or “bad” foods, which are the reasons you binge eat.


In my opinion, this is the most common scenario I see with my 1:1 coaching clients.


This is why I don’t believe in good or bad foods.


Food is just food.


Consistently overindulging in any food is not a healthy behavior, but the food you eat itself isn’t necessarily bad.


No one food will be the reason you lose or gain weight.


What matters is being in a calorie deficit, eating fewer calories than you burn.


Eating one salad doesn’t make me lose fat.


And eating one donut doesn’t make me gain fat.


Now, this isn’t to say go eat donuts at every meal, and as long as you are in a calorie deficit, you are going to be fine.



What this does say is if you eat them once in a while and have them in moderation, AND you can stay in a calorie deficit, you will still lose weight and fat.


When you label food as bad and try to restrict yourself from it, what happens?


  1. You can’t get that food out of your head and end up constantly thinking about it.

Just like, if you were to go on a car ride right now and I told you not to look at any red cars.


All you would end up seeing is red cars.


Or if I told you not to think about a naked hairy guy riding a unicycle, all you are thinking right now is a naked hairy guy riding a unicycle.


  1. When you do eventually eat that “bad” food, you indulge in it and then some.

Once the bite has been taken, you get this sense that you did something “bad” since you ate a “bad” food, so guilt comes into play. At that point, you say to yourself, “f*ck it. I already f*cked up, so I might as well have more.”


A couple of Oreos into a couple of sleeves of Oreos.


A scoop of ice cream into a carton of ice cream.


A handful of chips into the entire bag of chips.


This mindset leads to zero moderation and causes you to binge on those things.


The key to overcoming this is to not over-restrict yourself and think of foods as black or white, all-or-nothing.


You can eat a donut and still have an overall healthy lifestyle. I promise you will still be able to lose weight and fat while enjoying your favorite foods.


2. Stop Over-Restricting.

Stop trying to eat 500, 800, or 1,000 calories a day.


This is a huge reason why you could be binging. When you severely restrict your calories, there is a reason you end up acting like a bear who just came out of hibernation, and you clear out the entire fridge in one night.


When it comes to overcoming binge eating, start making long-term and sustainable fat loss progress, do not try to starve yourself, and stop trying to make progress as fast as possible.


Here is how you change that: You eat as many calories as possible while still being able to make progress and be as sustainable as possible.


3. Eat Breakfast.

3 Scenarios I see with skipping breakfast are:


  1. You are running around all morning and don’t have time,
  2. You aren’t hungry
  3. You know you are going to eat thousands of calories come dinner time, so you are scared to eat breakfast.

Hear me out.


Your skipping breakfast is the reason for such intense and ravenous feelings of hunger later in the day.


You go for a long period of time without giving your body any fuel.

When you do eat, you finally get something around noon, which is the first fuel you are getting for the day and maybe even the only food you get all the way until 5 or 6 p.m. (dinner time).


And for some of you, all you really ate for lunch was a grape, 2 almonds, and half a cheese stick.


So, no wonder you are starving and binging at night.


Your body needs fuel to stay alive.


So your body is signaling and begging you for some food.


You end up making up for all the lack of calories early on in the day, getting them all in, and then some at night.


Here is how to overcome this: Eat breakfast.



Get some fuel in your body early on in the day.


Have a protein shake, hard-boiled eggs, cottage cheese, or even Greek yogurt with some fruit.


I recommend getting some high in protein since it is the most satiating nutrient you can eat, but it also helps your blood sugar levels more stable, which will help manage hunger and cravings,


All in all, eat breakfast. Get something in your system to start the day, and don’t wait so long before it is too late!


4. Remove the Temptation

I want you to think of your discipline and willpower like a battery.


We use that battery so much throughout the day with our choices, not only from food but also from work and family.


One thing that will make a significant impact on your discipline and willpower is your environment.


Your environment can impact the decisions you make and control.


So, if you have a jar of cookies, bags of chips, or cartons of ice cream in your home environment, you are setting yourself up to binge on those things once the battery dies down.


Now, this isn’t to say you aren’t allowed to eat these foods, but this is to say that one of the best ways to get rid of those constant temptations is to get rid of the temptation itself. 


Altogether, remove temptations from your environment for now. 


Take a look in your kitchen, or anywhere you spend the majority of your day, and don’t make it an option for yourself to battle with having it or not. 


Removing these foods that trigger you will help reduce the likelihood of binging on them.


And here is the thing!


If you want it, have it, but there is a further step that you will have to take to have it (I talk a little more about interruptions later).


But remove it from your home so that you go the extra mile to go to the store to get it. 


That means you have to grab your keys, walk to your car, drive to the store, go in the store, buy it, get back in your car, drive back home, and walk back to your place. By that point, if you’re willing to put in that much effort, it’s okay to have it!


5. Interrupt Your Reaction

When you feel a binge or emotional eating episode coming on, what you are doing is setting a rule for yourself.


Set a rule that will interrupt that reaction of going right to the fridge or food pantry when you feel the urge to binge.


This gives you the opportunity to feel back in control of yourself and your emotions.


It will give you a short period of time to gather yourself before reacting and making the decision to binge.


Is it a magic pill? No.


Does it work well? Yes!


When you feel the urge come on or before it comes on, but just planning ahead, set a rule for yourself of something you can do beforehand.


A rule I recommend that works really well with my clients who have worked with me is The 20 Minute Rule.


This is how it works:


  1. Give yourself permission 

Give yourself permission to eat whatever food you want.


As I said above, if you think you aren’t allowed, it is “bad,” or you “can’t” have this food, it is only going to be on your mind more (again, think naked hairy guy riding a unicycle).


But when you give yourself permission to have this food, it takes a lot of the anxiety away. It takes a lot of the pressure off yourself because you aren’t fighting the battle to restrict anymore.


  1. Wait 20 Minutes

All you are going to do is set a timer for 20 minutes, and before you eat that food you want, just wait.


That is it.


Now, I recommend that in 20 minutes, you do something. Go on a walk, drink some water, journal, take a shower, or even send me a message to chat! (KPD@kpd.fit - there you go!)


Wait for that 20 minutes to go by, and check in with yourself afterward to see how your emotions are.


More often than not, the urge passes by, and you feel back in control of yourself.


So setting this rule, or interruption, whether it be this 20-minute or something else, can be helpful when it comes to managing your binge eating.



There it is. 5 tips on how to overcome binge eating.


As I said in the beginning, if you are struggling with this obstacle, please do not hesitate to reach out to a professional specializing in this area.


I hope the tips above were helpful, and if you have any thoughts or questions, leave me a comment below.


My final thought here is this.


You can’t f*ck this up.


I believe in you. I know you can do this.


I have witnessed individuals who also struggled with binging overcome it, and I know you can, too.


No matter the mistakes and setbacks that happen, as long as you don’t quit, keep at it, you will too!


If you want to see if I can help you by working together in my 1:1 coaching program, click this link HERE, and let’s chat and see if we are a good fit!


- Kevin

As I Am

About Author
Kevin Driscoll

Hey there! I'm an online personal trainer and nutrition coach, and I've helped hundreds of people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals without restricting them from their favorite foods or spending overtime in the gym. Let's work together!



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