When is a binge a binge?

Last night I got home from working absolutely hanging for a big, delicious green smoothie. So I made a big batch and it was delish. It was also quite filling. Although I had my dinner planned I found that the smoothie filled me up so much, I wasn’t hungry for my dinner. So, trying to listen to my hunger signals better, I didn’t have what I planned for dinner, I just ate something lighter a bit later in the evening.

After that, I was still a bit peckish so I started munching on some dates. I had a small bag with maybe about a dozen in there. I had planned to only have a few of them. But I polished off the whole bag.

The first thing I thought was ‘oh man, I’ve just binged on those dates’.

I’ve done that recently too where I had more of a snack than I planned, or went back for some seconds after dinner.

I always think ‘I’ve binged again’. And with that comes the usual guilt, shame, negativity, etc.

But, wait a second. I think I’m turning into my own worst enemy.

If this was three months ago an actual binge would be a huge bag of potato chips (crisps) and chocolate, biscuits or some junk like that. It would be a real binge, all eaten in the one sitting.

I remember reading somewhere that a binge is defined as “uncontrolled, impulsive, continuous eating, well past the period of feeling full, eating quickly and losing control”.

So, was me eating 12 dates a binge? I think not.

Does anyone else do this? Blur the line between slightly over eating or snacking and bingeing?

Maybe in some ways it’s a good thing that I define this as a binge because I’ll be more aware of it in the future and maybe put a handful of dates in a separate bowl rather than eat out of the bag.

If too many snacks or dinner seconds become “acceptable” (using the term loosely here) then am I at risk of doing more compulsive snacking or overeating and in my mind justifying that it’s okay because I’m not bingeing?

I don’t think there is a right answer. Or if there is I don’t know what it is.

Although the last couple of weeks have not been perfect, they’ve been a lot better than the weeks or months before them. What has made a difference is that I have said to myself that I will not count calories, I will not diet or restrict, I will eat healthy food, I will not binge, if I want chocolate and I really actually want it not just crave the sweetness then I will buy a small amount. I will eat for health and wellness.



2 thoughts on “When is a binge a binge?

  1. I do that too. I think the problem is the line is sort of always changing. As we hone our abstinence skill, we’re redefining what it means to binge and what qualifies as a binge. For me, just making sure I’m accountable and upfront with my decision helps. You make a great point about using a smaller portion in a separate bowl.

    I don’t think there’s an answer here. Sometimes (most of the time) I feel like I’m just winging it. On good days, where I’m able to keep it simple, it’s just about finding a consistent, comfortable middle ground.

    • I agree, a good middle ground is the best. If I say too many ‘no’s’ in my mind it feels too restrictive. But when I consciously say ‘i’m going to eat this chocolate, i want it and i’m happy with the quantity’ it’s okay. How boring would life be without chocolate 🙂

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