To Stop Binge-Eating, Honor Your Hunger


If you want to stop binge-eating, honor your hunger. Let’s get into it.

What is hunger? Easy enough: hunger is the feelings and sensations our bodies use to communicate when it needs food. Cool. 

And how does one honor hunger? Another easy answer: to honor your hunger, listen to your body’s hunger signals and eat in response. Alright.

Easier said than done, especially for women who binge-eat. Because women who binge-eat are frequently completely out of touch with their hunger.

Check in

Are you in touch with your body's hunger? Do you know what your body feels like when it’s just starting to get hungry? Do you know what it feels like when you’re moderately hungry? Or do you only know what it feels like when you’re starving?

If you binge-eat, you’re probably quite out of touch with gentle hunger. But recognizing and honoring gentle hunger is really important for women who want to stop binge-eating because honoring your hunger stops binge-eating on physical, mental, and emotional levels, and even has spiritual benefits:

A starving body binge-eats. A gently hungry body doesn’t. An extremely food-deprived body binge-eats. Thank you, evolutionary starvation response! But a gently hungry body eats normally. Eat when your body’s need for fuel is less intense, and you’ll just eat normally, not like a lady who hasn’t allowed herself to eat Nutella for three months and is now halfway through the jar.

Guilt and shame cause binge-eating. Honoring your hunger doesn’t. When you honor your hunger, you’re meeting your body’s needs. This feels good. It makes eating pleasurable. You gain a sense of well-being and responsibility toward your body.  Since all this is pleasurable and enjoyable, not shame-ridden and anxiety-provoking, honoring your hunger helps you bypasses the sense of guilt and shame associated with not eating according to your diet/meal plan/cleanse/food rules. Honor your hunger and say goodbye to the food shame and eating regret which, in addition to your body’s starvation response, also cause binge-eating!

Self-criticism causes binge-eating. Self-respect doesn’t. Honoring your hunger is honoring your body. Your attitude shifts from self-loathing to self-respect, self-care, self-trust, and self-love. In honoring your hunger, you’re saying to your body: I hear you, I love you, and you deserve care. This mental dialogue replaces the pervasive body-shaming, body-hating self-talk that currently fill your head, which, in addition to physical restriction and deprivation and emotional guilt and shame, also cause binge-eating.

A respectful relationship with your body will serve you well beyond the realm of the physical, mental, and emotional. Honor your hunger, and you’ll start to honor your fullness, too; you’ll find it easier to understand and meet all of your other physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs; and you’ll trust your intuition so that your can become your best self without having to worry about binge-eating. 

Sounds pretty great, right? Who knew honoring your hunger could do so much?

Holland Hettinger