One of my reader, Shern's mom, a pretty and charming mom, asked me this question through comment in my entry about Paris Hilton goes to jail.

Shern's mom question was "what keeps you goin? ever felt like givin up and binge a double cheese burger with a large fries? pls enlighten me"

This question is perhaps one of the most frequently asked question to me. Binge eating is indeed a threatening problem for the dieters. Lucky me, the only thing that I usually crave is just sushi. But many of us binge fast food and those double whooper cheese burger frequently. I can only think of this solution.


What is SOW ???

SOW is my own abbreviation for substitution, offset and why. These are the three things that kept me going from time to time. The first element is SUBSTITUTION. If you have a tendency to binge on fast food or sugary snacks which is bad for your waist, you should substitute it to something better.

I consider myself extremely lucky to crave sushi rather than fast food. Eating fast food which commonly contain a lot of trans fat are a big threat to your waist. There was a research done by feeding a group monkeys on fast food and another group on food with unsaturated fat, the monkeys fed on fast food showed a higher increase in their size of bellies compared to the other group.

So a proper substitution would be to choose grilled meat over fried meat. While cheeseburger may contain grilled meat, be wary that the cheese contained can also become a threat. Especially if the cheeseburger uses excessive cheddar.

According to my entry about fast food eating guide, a good substitution which I recommended were kebab and pita bread for burger. Most kebab that I know use grilled meat and yet still include some sauce and cheese inside to make it delicious. Kebab also use thin dough bread as their bread which is lower in calories compared to hamburger bun. Make sure you oversee yourself the making process to ensure the amount of meat inserted in your kebab. Some sellers tried to please me by giving me more meat than I would like to.

If kebab is not your taste then your best choices are Subway sandwiches.
Taken from this,

McDonald's Big Mac
Fat: 12g
Salt: 0.9g Sugar: 3.7g Protein: 9.3g Fibre: 3.2g

Subway Veggie Delight sandwich
Fat: 3g
Salt: 0.5 g Protein: 7g Sugar: 3.5g Fibre: 3g

Subway Chicken Savory Sandwich
Fat: 3g
Salt: 0.6 g Protein: 8g Sugar: 6g Fibre: 4g

For soft drink craving, you need to substitute it to sweet juice. Yes both contain sugar, but at least juice is healthier. And for last resort, we know that diet coke is always there for us. And of course if you like green tea, this Japanese bean ice cream is better than the baked alaska.

The second element is OFFSET. As I wrote in this diet myths list, just because you go on eating binge and eat a big mac or a scoop of chocolate chip haagen daz won't instantly makes you fat.

It's okay to eat fatty and sugary foods once in a while. As long as you are offsetting the calories intake with proper exercises then you will be okay. In fact it's better to reward yourself with your favorite food once in a month.

That way you won't feel so "apart" from your favorite food. Remember to do proper offsetting, join the aerobic class twice in a week. You can also read what I do to offset in "how to get rid of beer gut". You can also do offsetting through portion control and speed of eating. As explained in the Japanese guide to eating, you should eat with slower pace just like the Japanese eat with their chopsticks.

The third element is WHY. Do you want to get thinner so that you can look good in that piece of bikini? Carve that WHY into your head so that you can remember it.

If your WHY is a piece of bikini then hang it in front of your cabinet so that you will be reminded. If your WHY is someone special then print the photo and hang it somewhere where you will see it everyday (it's easier when that someone is a husband or your wife :D).

To summarize, substitution means that we should find better substitute for your cravings, offset means that we should do something to offset the calories intake by exercising and regulating our meals, while why means that we need to be constantly reminded on our motivation. SOW, geez the word SOW sounds nice =D.


  1. Sherry said...

    This is a hella long post. A great and insightful tips to cope with food binge eating.

  2. Janet said...

    Hi Cherry - this post struck a chord with me. I think I might actually have a bit of a binge eating problem. 90% of the time I do great, I eat healthy, limit my portion sizes, eat a good mix of protein, fats, and unrefined carbs... BUT then (and usually when I'm alone) I'll start to eat, bad things - lots, and I will literally eat until I'm in pain!! Sometimes this snowballs, I justify it by saying - well I already screwed up this day, so I might as well make today my chance to eat ALL those things I've been denying myself for months, and then start fresh tomorrow.... I know, it's bad!

  3. shern's mom said...

    hi cherry,
    thats a great article. thanks for your SOW tips.
    maybe my problem is that i hardly exercise. must practise that. else everythin i eat just ended up on my waist. sigh..
    gambate. exercise. maybe i should start with rollerbladin..

  4. Cherry said...

    Janet with such good cooking ability that you have, it's hard indeed not to bite every delicious stuffs that you cook :D
    Actually it's more to the fact that there are a lot of bad things to eat in your vicinity. Try to gather your family into healthier eating, hopefully you can reduce the amount of 'bad things' in your refrigerator :). This way even though you are alone, you will still be safe.

    Shern's just join weekly aerobic class for starter. I get more motivation after seeing myself in tight aerobic suit :(.

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