“I Stopped Dieting, But I’m Still Binge-Eating!”


In Video 1 of my free training series , “How to Stop Binge-Eating,” I teach that dieting causes binge-eating. And I teach that in order to stop binge-eating, you’ve got to stop dieting. Makes sense.

“I stopped dieting, but I’m still binge-eating!”

But sometimes it happens that women stop dieting, but continue to binge-eat. How can that be? Let’s go a little deeper.


What binge-eating is.

First things first, let’s define binge-eating. What is binge-eating, anyway?

Binge-eating is eating in response to deprivation.

Binge-eating is any eating that happens because you’re deprived. That’s what binge-eating is.

What binge-eating is not.

Here’s what binge-eating is not — these are inaccurate defintions: Binge-eating is not “eating too much.” Binge-eating is not eating more than you “normally” do. Binge-eating is not eating more than other people, or more than you think or someone else says is an “okay” amount.

It’s eating in response to deprivation.

Deprivation takes two forms: physical and emotional.

Physical deprivation is limiting what you eat. You might be dieting, you might be “eating clean,” you might be cutting carbs, you might be not eating or not eating enough in some other way. But anything that limits your food is physical deprivation.

Emotional deprivation is feeling deprived, repressed, ashamed, or guilty about how you eat. That’s right: shame, guilt, judgment, and criticism of any kind qualify as emotional deprivation.

Realizing that emotional deprivation causes binge-eating just as much as physical deprivation does is important because it allays the concern — “I stopped dieting, but I’m still binge-eating!” Even if you’re eating “enough,” It’s possible that you might not be physically deprived, but you could still be emotionally deprived.

Binge-eating is a reaction to deprivation. So how do you stop binge-eating? Stop depriving yourself — both physically and emotionally.

To stop depriving yourself physically, give yourself full freedom around food. Liberate yourself from diets and eating rules. Give yourself permission to eat what you want, when you want, how you want. This is the exact advice I give in Video 1 of my training series, and I teach how to do that in Video 2 .

To stop depriving yourself emotionally, stop judging your food, your body, and yourself, and cultivate neutrality — a sense of clear seeing and equanimity — around food. I teach how to do this in Video 3 of my training series.

So if you’ve stopped dieting but still find yourself binge-eating, make sure you’re not deprived — in any way.


About Holland Hettinger

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Hi, I’m Holland Hettinger, and I help women stop binge-eating. I believe your life doesn’t have to revolve around food. Your mind can think about something other than what you eat. You don’t have to shrink yourself and hide your body. There is an alternative to food guilt and body shame. And none of it includes dieting, meal prepping, weighing yourself, or forcing yourself not to binge-eat for just one—more—day. (Insert sigh of relief here.) Through training videos, coaching emails, and one-on-one work, I teach women to stop binge-eating for good.

Holland Hettinger