Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.

More About Overeating-Normal Means No One Right Way

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Aug 9, 2013 7:44 PM

There's no one right way to eat right. Regular eaters, who supposedly don't have a weight problem, usually keep an eye on their weight range or clothing fit, too. They usually eat too much sometimes and compensate by eating less later. They may concentrate on too much of one type of food sometimes and another type of food another time. Watch thin college girls eat. They have a milkshake, fries and a burger, then nothing for seven hours. They have pizza at night and then just salad the next day. It's not consistent, always healthy or sensible. But it works for not getting obsessive about dieting or overeating. Thin girls usually exercise one way or another, too.

Watch fat college girls. They don't overeat when everyone is watching. They sneak donuts, candy bars or bologna later, often at night. They don't skip meals due to busy studying, working or social life but combine all that with eating all the while on and off, too. Of course, I'm generalizing too mcuh, but you get the gist.

The idea is not to become so rigid about eating "normally." dieting, or never messing up that you can't flexibly stray a little and bounce back, tease your metabolism with variety instead of same old-same old, and eat any type of food without it making you crazy (at least with supervision, at first).

Here are some "rules" to ponder, if you're struggling with binge eating or overweight.

1. Every day is different. What works one day doesn't necessarily fit the next day. (Today, I had the opportunity to eat salmon and sweet potatoes plus several Peppermint Patties for dinner. That's OK. There's no one right way all the time. Yesterday, fruit and salads plus ice cream and bread worked better.)

2. There's no one "right" way to eat. It's nice to get some nutrition, but if you're overcoming bad eating habits, don't worry too much about all the food groups. Just take your vitamin and get some Calcium. One day, you might have mostly desserts, another mostly protein, another mostly carbs. It's not ideal but it's not the end of the world, either. Do the best you can to eat what you like without bingeing. That's good enough for now.

3. Don't feel obligated to finish the serving and definitely don't feel that you mush clean the plate. If you like bread crust and not dough, just eat the crust. If you like pie filling and can live without the crust, save the calories and leave the crust or give it to your skinny friend. It's OK to eat the" road "out of the cup of Rocky Road and leave the creamy part or vice versa. Being weird doesn't matter. Eating well without eating too much is the goal.

4. Learn from your mistakes. Compensate for eating too much one meal or snack by eating less fattening stuff later. Just say, "I ate part of my dinner early." Then, eat 1/2 your regular dinner with lots of no-calorie drink, for example.

5. Experiment with new ways of feeling entertained and happy (non-harmful). Feel and think.

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