Binge eating happens to all of us, whether due to addiction or emotional trauma. I’m joined by Dr. Glenn Livingston to talk about how he cured himself of binge eating by following four simple rules.
About Dr. Glenn Livingston
Glenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long-time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm that has serviced several Fortune 500 clients in the food industry.
You may have seen his (or his company's) previous work, theories, and research in major periodicals like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Indiana Star-Ledger, The NY Daily News, American Demographics, or many other major media outlets. You may also have heard him on ABC, WGN, and/or CBS radio, or UPN TV.
Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants.
Most important, however, was his own personal journey out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food. Glenn is a regular blogger on Psychology Today.
Designed to be Addictive
As much as there is to say about trauma, stress, and emotional responses to blame binge eating on, Dr. Glenn Livingston opens this episode with an alternative reason: marketing and food production.
Some foods are just designed and created to hit all our bliss points: salty, greasy, sweet, comforting, and, often, with something else added to increase our addiction. Glenn reveals that a former executive of a big brand confectionary company told him they took all the vitamins out of their product and spent that money on packaging.
So if you’re ever feeling like you can’t control your binges, let’s just say you’re not alone. Big business wants you to binge.
There are some people who find so much solace and comfort in binge eating. Along with these marketing ploys, binge eating can absolutely do its part to fill a void in your body you don’t know how otherwise to fill. Glenn also talks about some early research into how what you binge on might be an indication of where you have stress in your life.
Adopting Healthy Habits to Curb Binge Eating
But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn to get your binges under control. Glenn introduces us to his four rules of binge eating. He urges his clients to use these rules to start mastering their binge eating.
Glenn also encourages you to stop beating yourself up after binge eating. Getting angry and yelling at yourself is so counterproductive; you need to change your thought pattern. Instead, Glenn says you should start a success collection. This builds up your own self-identity as a success.
With some incredibly helpful words, Glenn reminds you that successful people have more failures behind them than anything else. It’s like Paolo Coehlo says, ‘fall seven times, get up eight.’ It’s not about how much you fail or fall back into a binge, it’s about how many times you pick yourself back up and try again.
Finally, Glenn wants you to stop using the excuse of a binge to start tomorrow. You don’t get a scratch on your car and then decide to crash it, right? Use the present moment, even if that’s directly after a binge, to make your next healthy move.
Do you find you binge eat? You’re not alone. I’d love to know what your favorite food to binge is. Mine’s french fries! As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In This Episode
How food hits our bliss points [9:00]
How food marketing increases your desire to purchase them [10:00]
Why some people use food as a comforting activity [17:00]
How what we binge eat on might indicate where we’re feeling stressed [24:00]
How you can master control of your binge eating urges [29:30]
Why you should collect evidence of successes to build your success identity [37:30]
Why you need to let go of any pain or anxiety that follows a binge in order to stop binging in the future [39:11]
- What happens when you have failure behind you [41:00]
- How you can use the present moment to be healthy [45:45]
“Just pick one rule. What is the smallest thing that you could and would do, that wouldn’t feel like too much of a burden but would turn the ship around.” [32:06]
“The mantra to think of post-binge is to commit with perfect but forgive yourself with dignity.” [39:20]
“The name of the game is staying in the game until you win the game.” [42:52]
“It’s difficult to keep binging if you refuse to keep yelling at yourself.” [44:10]
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