binge eating cookies

Do you love to bake cookies, but are afraid that you will begin binge eating?

There’s is an underlying fear that once you start eating, you won’t be able to stop.

Binge eating is very common with sugary foods. We label them as ‘bad’ (but eat them anyways).

Sugar is also addictive in nature, and connects us to memories from our childhood. For me, it’s homemade chocolate chip cookies. I remember in high school eating two cookies for breakfast and two more after lunch. At the time I didn’t consider this a binge because I never felt guilty or hated myself for it. It wasn’t until college when I would come home over break and have the urge to eat every cookie in site. I knew I would feel terrible after doing so, but I didn’t care. This was my way of managing my tough emotions and finding comfort. 

It used to be such a debate (in my head) as to whether I should bake cookies or not. I love baking, but when it started to cost me my happiness and sanity because of binge eating I stopped baking all together. I took this ‘break from baking’ to figure out the underlying issues about why I was binge eating.

So here is how you can bake cookies without the freakout of binge eating.

  1. Allow yourself, fully, to have the cookie – You have to allow yourself to have the cookie. If you have binged after baking before, ask yourself if you were really allowing yourself to eat. Or if you were eating and subconsciously telling yourself that you shouldn’t be eating. Get excited that you are about to eat one of the most pleasurable foods ever!

When you don’t allow yourself to eat what you want the “outer child” rebels. She throws a tantrum – which means you end up eating more than you would have. 

This seems most challenging with strict food rules. You try to follow a specific diet or program, and are on a mission to lose weight (or shape shift). Everyone is entitled to experiment with their way of eating in attempt to enhance their worldly experience. But emotional eating, binge eating, and compulsive eating require you to let go of all the rules, ride the wave, and feel into your emotions. The more strict you are around what foods you eat or how much to eat the more your binge eating will persist.

So for now, let go of being paleo, vegan, Whole 30, or whatever program it is that you’re trying to mold yourself into. There will be a time again that you can come back to this diet to experiment and see what happens. But right now your way of eating is causing you to binge eat, and leaving you emotionally drained and unhappy. Try tuning in, and fully allowing yourself to have the cookie.

Binge Eating cookies

        2. Bring all your senses – Did you know that binge eating is literally impossible when you are in a slow and relaxed state? Think back on all the times that you have binged… it was fast, furious, and out of control. Most of us have five senses (taste, smell, sight, touch, and hearing), but we don’t always use these to our highest ability when we sit down to eat.

I have clients say, ‘I don’t even know how my food tastes because I eat so fast.’

So savor the eating experience. Bring gratitude back into your routine and bless the food with your time and presence. Take some deep breaths for the aroma to wash over you. The smell will switch the Enteric Nervous System, or your ‘brain belly’ ON. You will begin to feel physically hungry (stomach growling, mouth watering). Chew slowly, mindfully. Feel the food work down the throat and into the belly. Hear your inner voice speak to you. I am full now. I feel good now. I am okay and nourished and ready to move on with my day now.

Leave the table with the intention to feel good.

3. Positive Cookie Psychology – Yes, I’m aware this is a very technical term.  But really, imagine that eating a cookie is a life enhancing moment. A place in time where you are doing exactly what you want to be doing. The chocolate chips, the crisp, the soft, the ooey gooey, the pleasure of eating with no guilt or shame. Positive Cookie Psychology states, “I am not a bad person for eating this.”

binge eating

And all in the same breath, if you really don’t want to eat the cookie, don’t. We could get into a whole new topic about friends pressuring friends to eat what they do so they don’t feel bad about what they are choosing. But hey, in the end, it’s always your choice. It’s beautiful that we get to decide what we want to eat on an everyday basis. It’s not like that everywhere. Be grateful.

So what if you were able to bake cookies at home and not binge eat on them? You were relaxed, and turned on by the entire experience of eating a delicious blob of awesomeness. And your Positive Cookie Psychology says, ‘I’m a badass and can eat whatever I choose at any given moment.’

For me, that feels like freedom.

Light & Love,