Compulsive eating can lead to a number of different issues in the lives of those that struggle with it. Compulsive eating is an eating disorder that can lead to obesity, a loss of self control, and lowered self esteem among a host of other problems.
The dictionary defines a compulsion as, "an irresistible persistent impulse to perform an act (as excessive hand washing); also : the act itself".
Compulsive eating then is an irresistible impulse to eat. There may be many reasons why a person feels drawn to compulsive eating, but it is an eating disorder that you can overcome with some hard work and discipline.
How Can I Overcome Compulsive Eating?
Below are a few tips to overcome compulsive eating.
1. Define the "Why" - Define for yourself why you feel the need to eat compulsively. This can be difficult and it will require some very honest self assessment. Ask yourself questions like, "why do I do this?" or "How am I feeling when compulsive eating is taking place?" Defining why you are a compulsive eater is the first and largest step, in overcoming the disorder. Maybe compulsive eating brings comfort to you. Maybe it is something that you do when you are very bored. Whatever the reason, defining the "why" behind compulsive eating will help you to overcome and be rid of the bad habit.
2. Set a Goal - Setting a goal for yourself to achieve in your fight against compulsive eating. If we set goals for ourselves, this can help us by allowing the goal we set for ourselves to be greater than the desire for compulsive eating. Maybe the goal is to lose weight for example. If you tell yourself, "I am going to lose 25 pounds in 6 months" this is a measurable and realistic goal that can be achieved and your motivation can stay strong and compulsive eating may move to the backburner.
3. Get Accountability - Having accountability for your actions is helpful in anything big that we set out to accomplish. Overcoming compulsive eating is no different. Tell a close friend or relative and give them permission to let you know when you are slipping and starting to head back to your habit of compulsive eating. There are also many groups, like weight watchers, that may have programs that can aid you in overcoming compulsive eating.
4. Try New Things - Sometimes, compulsive eating is based in boredom. Try getting out there and living life a bit more. Try a hobby that you have always wanted to try. Take a class or two at a local college. Sometimes all we need is a little distraction to help us overcome a big problem like compulsive eating. If your mind and body are busy doing other things, then they are far less tempted to give in to compulsive eating. This is an activity that will be even more advantageous if you bring a friend with you. Not only is this one more step in accountability, this also is one more distraction to help you keep your mind occupied.
All of these are simply suggestions and tips in the fight against compulsive eating. There is one aspect that must be clearly defined before you even attempt to overcome compulsive eating. You must first have the desire and the discipline. Overcoming any habit requires time and reflection. If you find that you slip every once in a while and give in to your compulsive eating habit, do not become discouraged. Get up, brush yourself off, and remember what it is that you are trying to achieve. If you can overcome compulsive eating, then you will have gained a new strength of character and willpower that you may have never thought possible.