Many eating behaviors are reactive responses which you are completely unaware of – a form of mindless eating. Sometimes reactive eating is a response to an uncomfortable feeling such as guilt or stress, or a distorted perception of a situation. And sometimes it’s simply a habit, such as making a bee line to your favorite bag of chips the minute you walk through the door after work.
The following technique is a form of brain training that requires a lot of patience! If you find yourself in the position of a craving, habit, or desire to binge, commit to delaying the eating for 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind the purpose of this activity isn’t to stop you from eating; rather, it’s a practice for not reacting, impulsively, to a craving or habit. It is helpful to keep a food and mood log to write down your thoughts for those excruciating 15 minutes, and then go back and reassess them for triggers. Eventually it will reduce compulsive eating behaviors.