Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dr. Abby Prescribes: Ideal Binge Food

How would you describe compulsive eating? Shoveling in mouthfuls of whatever you can find, without regard to hunger, satiation, nutrition, or even taste, after the first few minutes? Does the act of eating become the event, rather than what you are eating? Does this happen during times of stress, boredom, or depression?

Abusive eating - eating just for the sake of eating, rather than for nutritional fuel - can feel comforting for the moment, 'til you torture yourself later.

Serotonin is a brain chemical which influences calmness and reduces depression. Carbohydrates are broken down into serotonin, which is probably why nobody ever binges on pork chops or cucumbers! Furthermore, research confirms that sugar and fat turn off chronic stress biologically.

For abusive eating, try sticking to one satisfying food; a sweet or salty low calorie carbohydrate. Make sure it’s crunchy too, which helps take out aggressions. All natural caramel covered popcorn cakes work well, as do other flavors.

Pirate’s Booty, an all natural popcorn-like food, has some protein and fat from cheese, that kills the appetite and keeps it away. None of these choices are highly caloric, so even if you polish off a whole bag, you’ve only consumed a few hundred calories, instead of a few thousand. This could be the difference between gaining 5 pounds or gaining 50 over time.

Eating one specific food when you're feeling crazed, will allow you to become a healthy eater with all other foods. If you find that you're eating something else too quickly and without regard, stop and switch to the binge food. After the neurotic eating is out of your system, return to the other food, and eat it slowly and respectfully.

This will also allow you to take care of compulsive needs, without hating yourself afterwards, since you have not inhaled a ridiculous amount of calories. Sometimes calling a friend, writing in a journal, watching TV, or exercising simply won’t do. Here’s a way to lose the battle, but win the war!

As originally posted on

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