IF or BF? || How to cure binge eating #4

Binge eating can be a pain in the butt for those who suffer from it. Luckily there are a number of ways to fight it and a number of tools to use in the battle royale. In the fourth installment of the How to cure binge eating article series here on WIP, we're discussing two different and competing ways of arranging your eating, intermittent fasting versus breakfast.

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a way of eating where you constrict your food consumption so that you have all your meals of the day inside an 8-hour period. For example, if you eat breakfast at 8 am, that's when your meal window opens, and it closes 8 hours later - you can have your last meal of the day at 4 pm, and no food after that. During that 8-hour period you should consume all the day's meals and all the energy you should take in. Then you fast, aka refrain from eating, for the next 16 hours. Because very few people can handle not eating anything after 4 pm, intermittent fasters usually push their breakfast until the afternoon, for example 2 pm - meaning, in effect, that they skip breakfast, have just coffee instead, and make lunch their first meal of the day. This allows them to eat until 10 pm and go to bed with a full stomach.

Breakfast, on the other hand, is often called the most important meal of the day, and for a lot of people it's necessary to function properly. Studies also show that people who eat a good breakfast tend to be leaner and not to binge eat, as opposed to people who skip breakfast and therefore, in a way, starve themselves and so make themselves more vulnernable to overeating.

So which one works better in the binge battle?

The easy answer is: it depends on the individual. If you skip breakfast, will you still be able to eat the meal you planned for yourself for lunch, or will you dive into something unhealthy? And if you eat breakfast, will you be able to control your eating so that you have small meals at regular intervals? Do you need energy in the morning to get up and going, or is caffeine enough? Do you think the binge eating habit itself is a problem, or only the side effects?

In the end, it all comes down to this: if you want to get rid of the desire to eat large quantities at once altogether, I suggest you eat breakfast and then small meals and snacks regularly throughout the day; see Tuesday's article. If you dislike binge eating only because it makes you gain weight (or some other side effect), but enjoy eating large quantities otherwise and see nothing wrong with that, I suggest you try intermittent fasting. Both work, especially when combined with the other tips given in this article series.

Tomorrow we'll finally talk about water.