How to get rid of your guilt and shame after binge eating

Have you experienced feelings of guilt after a food binge? You are not alone. You are doing your best to stop binge eating. You've tried everything so when you do binge have a binge episode it is a big disappointment. You get angry and frustrated, but the biggest overwhelming feelings are guilt and feelings of shame. How can you stop them? 


Understanding binge-eating guilt

Why do we feel guilty after a binge? Guilt and shame come from our expectations and the rules that we put on ourselves. 

Sometimes those rules come from parents, society, and peers. Sometimes they come from us and are there to help us achieve, fit in with society, and get what we want in life. 

We tend to have many rules around disordered eating, that we may not be aware of until we start exploring them. These rules affect our relationship with food and take us away from intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is a way of eating where we are in tune with what our bodies want. It's using instinct, emotion, and rational thought. 

Guilt and shame stem from the intense feelings that we have done something wrong. We have done something that we know we shouldn't have been doing.  Shame stems from knowing that something is not right with our eating, but we cannot stop it alone.

How guilt and shame can hold you back in eating disorder recovery

The negative emotions of guilt and shame can keep us stuck in this cycle of binge eating. We unconsciously feel this guilt and shame in a bid to right our perceived wrongs. 

The perceived wrongs can be based on weight-related shame and poor body image. We are working on healthy eating. We are doing all the right things for positive weight loss. Then we have a moment of vulnerability and we end up binge eating. 

The feelings of disgust keep us stuck feeling low. We are now concerned with weight gain. Waves of guilt come in because we have undone all the good work we have been doing. 

The negative self-talk that follows pushes us into a restrictive diet. This diet limits our food choices, limits our food intake and leaves us feeling deprived and that we are missing out. 

What should I do the day after binge eating?

Immediately after binging, is the period of time when most people feel immense guilt. The day after is when some time has passed and we can start to be more objective and observant about our feelings. 

1. Stop the food restriction

This only makes us feel deprived and quite frankly, being on a diet is miserable. Stick to your regular meals. Start listening to your body and what it feels it needs.

2. Journal

Take some time out to review your binge episode. Write about what triggered it, was there a stressful event happening externally or internally? Reviewing what happened allows you to start noticing your responses to incidents, your actions around food and if bingeing is a habitual pattern. If so, notice how often you binge.

3. Stop the blame

It is not your fault, your brain has learned to do this to get your emotional needs met. Look at your binge food and start exploring how it feels in the middle of a binge. Chances are it might be providing you with pleasure, relief or a way to cope.

4. Food rules

Explore what food beliefs and rules you have around food. What are 'off-limits' food? That is the food we might crave. Where do you feel a lack of control? 

How to stop feeling guilty about eating using hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy can help you to relax your body and mind. When we are wrapped up in guilt and shame, it impairs a healthy relationship with food and puts a dark cloud over how we feel about ourselves. By using Hypnotherapy we can learn to observe ourselves, feel more positive about ourselves, and start to gain peace with food. 

When we learn that by binge eating we are not doing anything wrong. We can start understanding our patterns better, and can start to let go of the guilt and shame. 

1. Deep breaths

Start a practice of taking a few deep breaths every day so you can start to self-hypnotise. You can listen to relaxing music whilst you relax your body and let go of your thoughts.

2. Forgive yourself

Listen to hypnotherapy recordings where you can forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is realising you have not done anything wrong. You are doing your best in any given moment.

3. Fill up

Find spaces in your life where you can fill your cup up. What gives you pleasure? What helps you to relax? Meditative walking in nature is a wonderful way to relieve stress, as is painting and drawing and any other arts and crafts.

4. Confidence

Listen to hypnotherapy recordings on building your confidence. When we feel good about ourselves and we feel supported, it gives us the courage and strength to let go of whatever was not serving us.

5. Get support

Think about getting professional help to help you stop binge eating and to help get rid of the guilt and shame. It can be hard doing it ourselves because we cannot see into the unconscious. Whereas a hypnotherapist will help you to explore what is keeping you in your current patterns and will help you to let them go. 

Breaking the cycle of food guilt

Like any cycle, it is absolutely possible to break the feelings of guilt and shame. Observation is always the first step. Being kind and understanding of yourself will help you to move past it. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16
Written by Vanessa McLennan, Weight loss,Eating problems,Binge Eating Hypno-psychotherapy
Sunbury-On-Thames, Surrey, TW16

Vanessa specialises in eating problems, such as Binge Eating, ARFID, Emotional Eating, food addiction and weight loss. She uses psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, EFT, EMDR, CBT, and naturopathy. She has an avid interest in health and wellbeing. She loves helping people heal their past on a deeper level so they become more in control of their eating.

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