Binge and Breath


Binging or mindlessly eating leads us to self loathing and not tasting our food in the moment. The more mindless we are, the more shallowly we breathe.

At Green Mountain , women’s weight loss program, we practice remembering to breathe by taking 3 deep breaths every time we go to the bathroom. In this way we can add breathing deeply in a predictable way.

A simple concentration meditation can also help us to connect with ourselves, including our hungers, hurts and frustrations. 

Rick Hanson, Phd.  author of  teaches Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time teaches this meditation using breath.

“Basic instructions for doing a concentration meditation:
• Eyes open or closed
• Focus on a specific body sensation – typically the sensations of the breath around the upper lip and nostrils – and keep returning to that no matter what else arises in awareness.• Try to apply attention to the beginning of each inhalation and exhalation and then sustain attention all the way to the end of the breath.
• Try to be even aware of the brief pause after inhaling and before exhaling, and the pause after exhalation before inhaling.
• It can help to count the breaths; a complete breath is 1. If you lose track, just start over. You can either count up – 1-2-3 . .  or down: 10-9-8-7  .”

Breathing is something you have with you all the time.  Even remembering to connect with your breath in the midst of binging or emotional eating can offer you a moment of respite.

When was the last time you breathed deeply?

One response to “Binge and Breath”

  1. We all need to breathe more deeply and more often. I think that would do wonders for our stress. But I like your idea of deep breathing every time you go to the bathroom because that provides a structure and pattern that you can habituate. Great idea; simple, but great.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha has been a guiding force at Green Mountain at Fox Run since 1986. In addition to overseeing a professional program that helps women establish sustainable approaches to healthy living, she is a respected thought leader when it comes to managing eating, emotions and weight. She has been a voice of reason for the last three decades in helping people move away from diets, an area in which she is personally as well as professionally versed. An accomplished writer and speaker, Marsha is the author of six books, including the online course Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals (co-authored by Karin Kratina, PhD, RD, Human Kinetics), What You Need to Know about Carbohydrates (Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics [The Academy]), What You Need to Know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplements (The Academy), and The Pregnancy Cookbook (co-authored by Donna Shields, RD, Berkeley Publishing). She has worked extensively on a national basis to educate the public about nutrition and the impact of dieting on eating behaviors, including binge eating and emotional eating. Active in many organizations helping to further the cause of health and wellness, Marsha currently serves as vice chair of the Binge Eating Disorder Association and vice president of The Center for Mindful Eating and has been active in the Association for Size Diversity and Health in support of Health at Every Size(R) principles.

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