When you feel like bingeing: HALT! What is really going on?

HUNGRY: Your stomach is empty and blood sugars are low, so your body sends urgent signals to hurry up and find food! Portion out a balanced meal, eat slowly, spend 20 minutes drinking herbal tea and relaxing, then reassess your hunger and response appropriately.

ANGRY: Anger, stress and frustration trigger your instincts for aggression. With no foe to fight, your brain seeks to conquer (large quantities of) food and get a chemical release. The solution? Gear up and get out! A quick run or workout is much better outlet for aggression than overeating Other alternatives: dancing, listening to angry music, yelling, singing, ranting to a friend, or taking a shower.

LONELY: Loneliness and disappointment are real, but even comfort food isn’t a good substitute for companionship, and bingeing will make you feel even more isolated. Call or text a friend and remind yourself of the people who care. If you really want to be alone, curl up with a distracting movie, TV show or book.

TIRED: When you’re sleep-deprived, the chemicals that regulate appetite get messed up, and your body may try to compensate for a lack of energy by asking for lots of quick sugars. It sound obvious, but the best way to address this feeling is to go to sleep! There’s really no hour that’s too early to go to bed if your body needs rest. You can plan to get up early and finish your obligations when you’re rested and focused.

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