Build Better Habits to Recover from Binge Eating Disorder

January 26, 2022 Emma Parten


I recently had a conversation with someone about strategies to break bad habits, and I was reminded of my binge eating disorder (BED) recovery. By nature, whenever I set a new goal to break or create a habit, I want change to happen immediately. I try to go cold turkey and quit the bad habit overnight. Or, I change many habits all at once instead of making small changes over time. Those of us who have experience with binge eating disorders know that using willpower alone doesn't work when we are trying to stop binge eating. Most of the time, trying to restrain yourself and not binge eat makes the urge to binge more powerful. If using the cold turkey method doesn't work to recover from binge eating disorders, then what will help? 

Good Habits Help Stop Binge Eating 

I believe recovery from BED takes time and persistent effort. However, when you are struggling with BED week to week, this is not what you want to hear. At this point in my recovery, I'm able to pinpoint what exact habits and routines helped me stop binge eating. There is a way to interrupt your binge eating cycle, starting today. 

Good routines can help you start feeling better about yourself immediately. Here are some crucial tips that have helped me stop binge eating.

  • Eat regular, substantial meals earlier in the day -- This is the essential habit I have in my toolbox that prevents me from binge eating. If I feel tempted to overeat or binge in the evening, that tells me that I did not eat enough that day. I try to eat full, satiating meals in the morning and afternoon. I try to eat without rules. This helps me from being ravenous late in the evening. If you are used to eating lightly during the day, this can take time to get used to.
  • Plan, make a list, and go grocery shopping. -- Grocery stores are stressful when you are in a cycle of binge eating and recovering from a binge. Make a habit of collecting a few simple online recipes. These can help you make a concrete list, which will help you get in and out of the grocery store. It's crucial to eat well during the day when you are recovering from BED. Having food available to make meals with during the day can save you from binge eating later.
  • Have a seat. -- At one point, I realized I usually binged while standing in my kitchen, watching a video. I still have to remind myself to sit down before I start eating. The habit of sitting for a meal helps give a starting point and endpoint to the meal, instead of being able to keep grazing without an end. 

There are an overwhelming number of things to do in a day. It's not easy to keep on top of grocery shopping, cooking, and eating well all the time. Instead of trying to do everything at once, I hope you try to make small efforts to support yourself tomorrow. Maybe that means cooking a warm breakfast or packing yourself a lunch. This might mean packing yourself snacks in your purse before you leave home. These small loving habits make changes happen over time. 

APA Reference
Parten, E. (2022, January 26). Build Better Habits to Recover from Binge Eating Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 17 from

Author: Emma Parten

Connect with Emma on her personal blog.

Lizanne Corbit
January, 26 2022 at 12:10 pm

It really is amazing how powerful and empowering looking at our habits and changing them can be. When we are in recovery it can be easy to get overwhelmed and frozen, but when we look at the small actions we do every day, we can begin to break it down and make our change manageable.

January, 26 2022 at 4:45 pm

I agree, Lizanne. It's so true that recovery can become overwhelming. It's such a powerful tool to know what habits help bring us back into a positive cycle if we fall off track along the way. Thank you for your insight, take good care.

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