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On an evening, once my daughter's gone to bed I find myself snacking on chocolates and crisps. I'm not hungry and I feel terrible afterwards. I'm putting on weight and I'm unhappy. How can I stop bingeing on food I know isn't good for me?
Answer from a Better Than OK CBT Therapist:
I'm sure you're not the only one who eats more than they would like to so try not to beat yourself up about it. What's fantastic to hear is that you are already noticing that this is a problem. The first step is to start noticing every time you start reaching for the biscuit tin. I'd suggest that you write this down either on your mobile or on paper so you can start to see the pattern. Once you have a record of your snacking start to ask yourself "What happened just before I reached for the snacks?". You might have just heard a song on TV that triggered a memory, you might have just got off the phone with someone. Have you just been filling in paperwork for something important and stressful? Were you daydreaming about how awful work was going to be tomorrow?
I'd also like you to think about what feelings you had in your body just before and during your snacking. Did you have a headache? Tension in your neck or shoulders? Did you feel nauseous or need the toilet? Were you feeling drained and tired? Did you notice any shakiness or trembling? The reason I want you to ask yourself these questions is to figure out if you were feeling anxious or worried about something. Maybe you were feeling powerless or helpless.
Once you've got this far, try and think about what went through your mind as you ate. What scenarios flew through your head? Usually there's something bubbling away under the radar. If we can get to the bottom of what this is for you then we can deal directly with the problem rather than avoid thinking about it by chomping through a whole multipack of crisps and making yourself feel bloated.
If you're having trouble answering these questions, don't worry. It is difficult to think about things that make you feel uncomfortable. If you need help in accessing your thoughts and feelings when you overeat, contact us to arrange an initial consultation on 07766 233 657.
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