This week here on WIP, we're talking about binge eating, and more specifically how to get rid of it. I've personally struggled with binge eating during several periods in my life, and I'm sure I'm not alone with this problem. The habit raised its head recently, and I decided to turn the potentially negative event to make something positive: test out different methods to cure binge eating, and cure my binge eating habit in the process.
The first thing that immediately popped in my head when I got the idea for this article series was drinking more tea and coffee. Both tea and coffee consist mainly of water (without tasting as dull as water), and thus they fill your stomach while satisfying your caffeine tooth. Also a hot beverage is kind of a treat in itself, without containing energy or macronutrients.
Naturally the question of having too much caffeine rises. How many cups of coffee would keep you from binge eating? Three? Five? Seven? Seven sounds like a lot. And how large is one cup of coffee? And what happens to your sleep if you drink coffee in the evening?
The answers to all these questions vary from individual to individual. Some people can handle five large cups, some can only stomach three small. Some can drink a cup after supper without any effect on their sleep. You should find out, through experimenting, what works specifically for you.
One criterium I hold for my own coffee and tea consumption is that I don't want to suffer from side effects if I miss an entire day's supply. As a teenager, I used to drink a lot of coffee. I still remember one morning, waking up at a babysitting gig where I couldn't figure out how to use their coffee maker, with what could be rightfully called the worst headache of my life. (Worse than any hangover headache I'd have to look forward to, for sure.) Never wanting to experience it again, I now make sure to have no more than three (medium sized) cups of coffee per day, accompanied with a maximum of two cups of low-caffeine tea.
Whatever your quota for caffeine is, distribute the cups throughout the day as "snacks" between your meals. And if the caffeine effects your sleep, stop adequately early before going to bed. (If you feel like binge eating after your last cup and after dinner, brush your teeth, or chew gum, or go to bed instead.)