Many people, vegans included, struggle with eating large amounts of food to the point of feeling ill and suffering poor digestion and weight gain. This article provides some simple tips to stop binge eating for good and form a healthy relationship with food.
Reduce Refined Foods
Refined foods such as sugar, flour products, and oil can spike blood sugar and disrupt hormones that would usually tell your body it’s full.
This makes it more likely that you will overeat on these foods and experience weight gain, acne, and poor digestion.
Foods that don’t trigger the “I’m full, stop eating” response and that you should try to limit include:
-Refined flour products (bread, pastries, crackers, cookies, pasta, vegan desserts)
-Sweetened caffeinated beverages
Choose Nutrient-Rich Foods
Hunger is a sensation that compels you to seek out food for nutrition and energy to keep your body alive and well.
The cause of your binge eating may be a nutritional deficiency which can be resolved by choosing foods rich in nutrition.
Try to choose plenty of foods from these food groups:
-Green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, romaine, iceburg)
-Legumes (beans, lentils)
-Roots (eg. potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets)
-Grains (eg. quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, millet)
-Seeds (eg. chia, flax, sunflower, sesame, hemp)
-Fruits (eg. mangoes, bananas, apples, grapes)
-Colourful vegetables (eg. peppers, celery, tomatoes)
Super Nutritious Foods Within These Groups:
For ideas on how to use these foods in recipes, check out my eBook, The MicroVore Diet, with over 50 nutrient-rich recipes and a 14 day meal plan for vegan health and weight loss!
Increase Your Protein Intake
Protein is a strong promoter of a hormone called leptin which is responsible for satiety, the feeling that says “I’m full, stop eating” that can help prevent binge eating.
While vegans may be tired of answering the question “where do you get your protein?” from friends and family, it actually may be a good idea to start including higher protein vegan foods if you struggle with frequent hunger and cravings.
Some high protein vegan foods include:
-Vegan protein powders (see our article Best Vegan Protein Powders for recommendations)
Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, so if you are experiencing a feeling of dissatisfaction after eating, your body may be asking for water.
If you mistake this signal and continue eating more food in an already dehydrated state, this will only drain you of more water your body needs to maintain proper functioning and produce energy.
To stay hydrated be sure to include water-rich raw fruits and vegetables, and drink plenty of plain or infused water between meals. A good way to start a habit of drinking more water is to drink one typical-sized water bottle (500-700ml) between the time you wake up in the morning and lunch, one between lunch and dinner, and another between dinner and bedtime.
Take Your Vegan Supplements
Vitamins B12 and D are nutrients that are not found in plant-based foods and therefore need to be supplemented.
As mentioned before, nutrient deficiencies can cause binge eating because the body is trying to get what it needs and does this by giving strong hunger signals.
You can read through our articles Best Vegan Vitamin B12 Supplements and Best Vegan Vitamin D Supplements for affordable options, and we also recommend Best Vegan Omega 3 Supplements because plant based Omega 3 fats may not be efficiently converted to the active EPA and DHA forms.
Relax and Focus On Something Else
If binge eating has been a long-term struggle for you, it may take time to break patterns of stress or entertainment-based eating even if you are feeling physically full.
Changing your mental and emotional circuitry around food will require effort, but it can definitely be done!
Bring new hobbies into your life, meet up with friends more often, help out family members, relax and take in each moment, be creative. Let your food nourish and fuel the things that bring happiness and growth to your life!
When you nourish and hydrate your body on a daily basis, you will feel ready to reach out and find satisfaction and pleasure in life that food alone cannot bring.
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Want help improving your health and losing weight on a plant-based diet? Explore our eBooks!
Fruit. Fat. Forage. is a 5 day raw food cleanse designed for detoxification and rapid weight loss! Read testimonies here.
The MicroVore Diet is a 14 day (and beyond) plan that contains micronutrient-rich and macro-balanced recipes for health and steady weight loss! Read testimonies here.
Thanks for living vegan and have a healthy day!