BlubberBusters Tips from Lucy

Are You Compulsively Overeating?

Compulsive overeating looks like this:

You see a pizza commercial on TV. You start to think about eating the pizza. You are not hungry. You REALLY want the pizza though. You keep thinking about the pizza. And keep thinking about it. Soon, your heart seems to beat faster. You REALLY need to eat the pizza. You start to feel really antsy and uncomfortable. The only way you know how to feel better is to eat. Once you eat a lot of food the antsy feeling goes away. The feeling comes back though the next time you see a TV commercial for food.

Compulsive overeating is when a person is obsessed thinking about eating. A person begins to think about food when something triggers the thought. A trigger can be seeing a TV commercial, talking about food, talking about dieting, smelling food, or seeing food. Some people are triggered by one or all of these. People find that eating helps these uncomfortable thoughts go away. Eating like this all the time can make a person get too large. Instead of dieting, consider trying this out to help stop the cycle.

Make a list of things you enjoy. Make sure these things can help your brain think about something else. Some examples are reading, journaling, painting, drawing, crossword puzzles, walking, jigsaw puzzles, making paper airplanes, knitting, and many more!

Write down what triggers you to thing about food when you are not stomach hungry. This could be from a commercial on TV, talking about food, seeing or smelling food, and many more. Write down more as you experience them.

You are triggered by something that makes you obsess about eating. You are not stomach hungry. You find yourself feeling antsy and cannot stop thinking about the food.

Say hello to the thoughts about food. Know they are there because of the trigger. Think to yourself,
"My brain is lying to me. I do NOT need to eat now. My stomach is NOT hungry."

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Pull out the list of things you can do to distract your brain. Tell yourself you will do it for 15 minutes. After you do the activity for 15 minutes, are you still thinking about the food? Try to go through another 15 minutes. Keep practicing!

Compulsive overeating can be tough to work through. It is an eating disorder. Many kids and teens may need to get help from a counselor to stop the thoughts and drive to eat. If this tip is not enough to help, consider finding a counselor to help you.

Make this a healthy week!

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Please ask your healthcare provider if these tips are right for you and please read our disclaimer.

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