I spend a lot of time discussing bad eating with clients as it is central to most goals. In general I find people are too harsh on themselves around the errors they make. Some of this comes back to the mistaken belief they can control their metabolism as discussed previously while much of it is how they view their relationship with food. 
I have found it is helpful to specifically identify what someone means when judging their own eating. The following classifications may be of help in that process:

Problematic Binge Eating – This refers to binges where you eat large amounts of food in either one sitting e.g. 3000 calories late at night, or too much food over a period of time, e.g. 10 000 calories over a weekend. It is usually accompanied by food obsession, negative emotions from doing the behaviours (guilt/shame) and often linked into purging reactive behaviours such as exercise or food restriction.

Healthy Eating Adherence – This is linked to how well you can stick to your healthy eating plan. It is about the level of adherence you show over weeks and months to your plan of action.  Many factors influence this which include what you define as healthy eating, how adequate your plan is to matching what the body needs and other factors such as accounting for taste, freedom and the social influence of food etc. While debate exists of what defines healthy eating this area is often about how well you are sticking to your own rules (regardless of what those rules may be). 

Acceptable Overeating – Many overeating periods are not deemed bad but rather normal social endeavours. Perhaps the most acceptable is over eating on Christmas day. Others include your birthday, going to buffet restaurants or getting drunk with your friends. This is fairly normal in society terms. The main factor to consider is when do these normal behaviours violate your own personal rules and boundaries? At that point, the behaviour has moved into problematic binge eating or a lack of adherence to your healthy eating rules. However, if it has not crossed that threshold you should be comfortable with acting this way. 

Specific Food Addiction This refers to being able to stop consuming one food item or group (e.g. alcohol, chocolate etc). This food may or may not be consumed in excess during one sitting like in binge eating. However, it may also be eaten as part of an effective fat loss plan or intuitive eating plan. The way to improve this is through identifying your healthy eating awareness plan.

Intuitive Eating – This refers to eating naturally without expending much mental energy to the subject. When done well you will be consuming only what you need (food quantity / calories) as well as getting the necessary vitamins & Minerals from your meals. It is perhaps more commonly referenced to losing your obsessions, fears and pressures around food. The important factor when eating intuitively is that you have trained your mind and body to attune to natural eating patterns so that you do easily drop into energy balance.

Sticking To A Fat Loss Plan – This refers to your ability to stick to a plan and lose body fat. Very often you would be more forgiving to nutrition errors made if done against a backdrop of fat loss. One problems of this process is that they engage your natural defences against famine and thus fast / challenging fat loss plans greatly increase both periods of bad eating (as detailed above) and the likelihood you will not be able to stick to it.  

What Does This Mean For Me?
Take some time to think about the different elements that apply to you. There are different solutions to each of the different problem aspects above. If you have trouble with a specific food/drink then steps to resolve this include calculating how much alternative foods you can consume, identifying equivalent tastes and training yourself to be comfortable without the food in different environments. Binge eating issues have a methodology that includes defining accurately and specifically what you identify as a binge, changing underlying behaviours that set off binges (e.g. restriction) and retraining your neurological connections to prevent this.  If you suffer from more than one issue identified then it often is wise to tackle them one by one. I will discuss more in future weeks about how I do this with my clients.
Photo – This Saturday it was my Birthday which is a common time for acceptable overeating. Here are a couple of my cakes I had.


Need Support Getting In Shape?

For support, coaching, nutrition and exercise plans wherever you are in the world read more here>>>>

If looking for Personal Training Battersea please contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or Personal Training Battersea Park. To see my locations please visit my Battersea Personal Trainer page>>

Battersea park was created in 1858. For me and many others Battersea Park is considered one of London’s most interesting Parks housing Battersea ZooBattersea Evolution Exhibition Centre and right next to Battersea Park Dogs & Cats Home and the iconic Battersea Power Station

Oval & Kennington – For Personal Training in Oval & Kennington please  contact me. I am available for sessions in homes, private gyms or parks for Oval & Kennginton Personal Training