How to stop binge eating by helping your mind

Weight Management
happy woman weighing self

Do you want to lose weight? The answer is probably yes, because so many people do. But wanting and wishing don’t make it happen. It’s clearly a very difficult thing for many people to do in spite of all the diet plans they’ve tried. Binge eating can make life so difficult and interfere with all your best laid plans.

There’s more and more evidence that rather than focussing on food it’s important to focus on what’s happening in your mind. If you can’t get your mind on board, you’re likely to be doomed to failure.

As well as knowing the calories in all the food you eat, you may know this too. But how to recruit your mind to help rather than hinder?

You can give yourself a stiff talking to. That may work for a while, but really what you need is something that will work long term. You may be hyper-critical of yourself, but that won’t work either.

Here’s a simple, safe way to reduce binge eating. Not some mad ideas or some expensive supplement, but a safe way shown to be effective by University research.

I want to tell you about an effective approach using Bach Flower Remedies (BFR). These simple remedies can help to control emotional binge eating.

I know some people dismiss the idea of flower remedies being helpful as unscientific and ridiculous. I know from personal experience how helpful they can be. So, I was delighted to read about some recent research in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: “Efficacy of Flower Therapy for Anxiety in Overweight or Obese Adults: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”.

Before I get into the study, a bit about Bach Flower Remedies.

The remedies were developed by Dr Edward Bach -pronounced ‘Batch’ – who lived in England from 1886-1936. He was trained as a doctor and worked as a pathologist and bacteriologist, but he felt that medicine was not getting to the root of the problem. He learnt about homeopathy, and developed various important homeopathic remedies, but he was still not satisfied. Eventually he developed the Bach flower remedies. There are 38 single flower remedies and one combination.

The remedies are based on flowering plants and trees. They are designed to correct inappropriate psychological states.

Bach found the remedies through intuition: sometimes he would hold a flower in his hand and experience in his body and mind what the remedy was capable of. Sometimes he experienced deep negative emotions and would go out into the countryside searching until he found the flower that would turn off these feelings.

Bach found that if he floated the flowers in a glass bowl containing spring water in the sunshine, this healing property of the flower passed into the water. For some plants that flowered early in the year, such as holly, Bach boiled the flowers and stems to overcome the problem of the lack of sunshine.

See what I mean about some people thinking it’s mumbo jumbo?

But cast aside your scepticism for a while. This study was conducted at the Clinical Research Unit of the Medical School of São Paulo State University, Brazil.

The participants were divided into two random groups: one group was treated with Bach flower remedies (water/brandy solution with two drops each of Impatiens, White Chestnut, Cherry Plum, Chicory, Crab Apple, and Pine), and the other group was given a placebo (same solution without BFR). The patients were instructed to orally ingest the solution by placing four drops directly in the mouth four times a day for 4 weeks.

The authors concluded:

“This study demonstrated an improvement in indices related to anxiety, sleep patterns, and binge eating in overweight or obese individuals treated with BFR. These findings suggest that the integration of BFR with other treatments in the therapeutic plan for overweight or obese patients may be beneficial. The authors believe that BFR therapy is of great relevance in the current scenario and may shed an innovative and positive perspective on the treatment of these patients.”

The study was only four weeks long, but of course you can go on taking the remedies for as long as you find them helpful. The study was also on overweight and obese people, but there is no reason to believe that these remedies wouldn’t work for you if you only had a few pounds to use.

The authors also explained why they chose the remedies they did:

  • Impatiens for tension and anxiety – this can help you control binge eating when you are stressed or anxious
  • Crab Apple for self-loathing and inaccurate perceptions of body image
  • White Chestnut to counteract repetitive thoughts
  • Cherry Plum for impulsiveness and compulsiveness helping you to stop compulsive eating
  • Chicory for lack of control and possessiveness
  • Pine for feelings of guilt and regret.

These remedies may help you control binge eating without therapy. They may help you to stop binge eating quickly and permanently.

You can view an abstract here. The full article is behind a paywall.