Dear Cassey: How do I stop bingeing on sweets?

Dear Cassey,

I started working out with you last spring during the quarantine. Since then, I have been on a Glow Up Journey, by working out, letting go of toxic mindsets and learning to enjoy movement. When I did the Beginner’s Calendar, I learned that when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, working out is actually THE SUPER DUPER FUN part (growing up chubby and clumsy in the P.E class made me biased towards all kind of sports).

Since starting my journey, I learned that my biggest problem is binge eating. The sweet tooth I’ve been blessed with proved itself to be my kryptonite. I usually do a pretty good job at eating good, nutritious food (meals with fresh veggies, fruit and lean protein), but the moment I get near chocolate or candy bars, etc., I forget everything and binge on them until it’s all gone and forgotten. I am fully aware of the fact that this is one of the absolute least healthy habits one could possibly have so my question is, how can I enjoy my occasional sweet treat without going on a sugar splurge? Right now, I can see how I can blow off literal weeks of hard work and sweat in just a few days of non-stop bingeing. I just wish I knew how to have a healthy relationship with processed sugar.


Wants To Stop Bingeing

stack of chocolate bars with raspberry filling

Hey Wants To Stop,

Congratulations on your journey! Nothing makes me happier than someone saying that I somehow helped them find the joy in fitness. It’s why I do what I do! And are we just going to breeze by all of the amazing changes you’ve already made?! The workouts, eating lots of healthy foods, letting go of toxic mindsets, and reaching out for support in the areas where you still struggle. You’re seriously crushing it!

Okay, let’s talk about sweets!

Everybody has that food that is their “kryptonite.” And we all go through a phase where we try to avoid that food altogether, trying to be healthy. And you know what? Cutting out the foods we crave almost never works. We end up doing exactly what you described: bingeing.

So the key here is finding a way to include all of our favorite foods in our diet in moderation! It sounds like you know this is what NEEDS to happen, you’re just not sure HOW to actually do that. Here are some things that work for me!

Shift your mindset about sweets – Yes, bingeing on sweets can derail your goals. But thinking of sweets as “bad” won’t fix your relationship with them either. It’s better to accept that you love sweets and ditch any guilt when you indulge.

Pay attention to when you’re most likely to binge – Does it happen when you’re bored? Stressed? Tired? On your period? All of the above?! Pinpoint the times when cravings are most likely to strike, and then you can find ways to address what your body might actually need. For example, I know I get extra snacky when I’m not sleeping enough!

Make sure you’re satisfied – It’s great that you’re trying to eat super healthy, but are you actually satisfied? It’s really important to make sure you’re eating enough, especially if you’re more active than you used to be. Sometimes cravings (especially ones that lead to bingeing) are a sign that you’re not eating enough at meals! Adding a source of fat to your meals like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds can help.

Be mindful when you eat – If you want a sweet treat, eat one! But do it mindfully so you don’t end up uncomfortably full later. Get a couple pieces of chocolate, a small bowl of ice cream, a cookie, or whatever it is you’re craving. And walk away. Leave the rest in the kitchen. Do your best to eat it slowly and without distractions like your phone or TV. ENJOY IT! If you still want more when you’re done, try to wait a bit to let your brain catch up with your stomach.

Get extra support if you need it – If you suspect the problem is deeper or that bingeing is becoming a serious habit, there’s no shame in asking for extra support from your doctor, dietitian, or therapist. Like I said before, it’s all about figuring out what your body needs! And sometimes that task is just too much to take on alone.

I know it’s super frustrating to feel like you’re “addicted” to certain foods. But really, it just takes time. Hopefully, some of these things help you change your relationship with sweets so you can include them in your diet in a healthy way!

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, leave your questions below! I may answer it in an upcoming Dear Cassey post!

26 thoughts on “Dear Cassey: How do I stop bingeing on sweets?”

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  1. Crystal O'Morrow says:

    I suffer from binge eating disorder, but I have a unique circumstance that I can’t find any specific help in addressing other than surgery. I got a LapBand almost 9 years ago and have struggled with it ever since. I basically had all the fluid removed from the band because it’s harder to get foods to pass down when it’s tight with fluid. That didn’t help at all and I mostly end up throwing up whatever is stuck. I struggle with leafy greens, meat, chicken, breads, pastas, and basically anything that ISN’T processed, which SUX! If I really really try hard to chew extremely well, I can sometimes get these things to go down, but it takes me a VERY LONG TIME, like over an hour for a healthy chicken salad for example. I know I need to have my LapBand removed because it’s really unhealthy, but it costs a lot of money even with insurance.

    So here I am, starving, but really trying to eat as healthy as I can, but by the end of the day, I’m starving, angry, and tired from lack of healthy nutrients, feeling satisfied/full, and I end up caving and getting candy or a brownie at the end of the night. I’m sure this might be way more than what you’re available to help with, but I’m sorta at my wits end and don’t really know where to start or what to do.

  2. Sara Anaya says:

    hi i really struggle with this problem too, i love to bake and do so a few times a week especially during holidays but once i do that day of good eating goes to waste as i can’t stop eating my bakes and it just ruins it, i really like baking mostly as a way to kill boredom but i don’t want to give it up and still retain my fitness

  3. In A Rut says:

    Dear Cassey,
    I’ve been struggling on my fitness journey recently. I lack motivation because other things get in the way. I tell myself I don’t have time to workout, or I make up some other excuse–be it due to stress, work, studying, tiredness, etc. How do I get out of this rut that I’m in? Every time I do a workout I feel amazing, but then the next day it’s back to nothing. How do I stay consistent and motivated to workout, while loving it and balancing life at the same time?

    Much love, In A Rut

  4. Struggling to Recover says:

    Dear Cassey,
    For about more than a year, I struggled with bulimia. My family used to call me fat, stubby, stumpy, jiggly, a cow, etc literally every single day. They would call out even the littlest things when I walked around the house such as the fat on my back. I decided to lose weight so it would stop. I worked out but they still did it every day, so I became bulimic out of desperation. I realized that I was miserable and diagnosed with depression, so I stopped. However, throughout my journey of losing weight, I constantly used the scale to mark my progress. I have off days where I feel more bloated and sometimes the scale goes up, even by two pounds, but I still feel horrible. On those off days, I workout until I am drenched, sometimes three times a day. I am miserable in my body, even though my family thinks I look gorgeous now, and even if the scale goes up by a pound, I have an urge to go back to my bulimic ways. I am so scared that I am going to revert back to an eating disorder, especially since I already have a horrible relationship with food. Please help me.

    Struggling to Recover

    1. :) says:

      I feel so bad for you Im so sorry try and think about the positive stuff and if your family calls you that there just rude don’t listen to them and do your own thing. LOVE YOUR BODY!!!

  5. Stardust***Dragon says:

    This article came at the right time for me. Addicted to easter chocolates. ;P

  6. Caroline says:

    Good timing right after Easter! I just bought a bunch of mini-eggs for cheap and definitely ate too many today.

  7. Prachi says:

    Hey Cassey! Great post~ I was wondering if i can anonymously submit a “dear Cassey” question?

    1. blogilates says:

      You can post a question here and create an alias name!

  8. Stephanie says:

    Most of us are addicted to sugar. Dr.Lustig from UCSF has several science based books. There is more to it than you realize.

    1. Stardust***Dragon says:

      Wow, great to now Stephanie!

  9. Martina says:

    Thanks a lot for this post. I really needed this

  10. Vania says:

    I feel so relatable… Its so annoying and frustating 🙁

  11. Sarah says:

    Dear Cassey
    Growing up I was always more on the slender side, then I hit puppetry and blossomed quite fast! Now I have stretch marks on my inner and outer thighs and chest. I really try to love every part of myself but still get really insecure and even a little embarrassed about my stretch marks. How can I learn to love them and feel comfortable?
    Wants to feel more comfortable in my skin

    1. Jenna says:

      I can relate Sarah, I am in the same predicament. You’re not the only one. I hope you can find the happiness you seek. Just think of it as being the special stripy cat instead of the plain cat.

  12. Laura Witty says:

    Will I grow stronger doing Pilates if I don’t make protein shakes every day? I’m not interested in making some crazy gains, but the excercise culture tells me I need to be making a lot of protein shakes. What amount of daily protein is appropriate to effectively do Pilates?

    1. Fiona says:

      Hey Laura,
      I personally would say you don’t need a single protein shake to do Pilates effectively. I have started working out with Cassey approximately 2,5 years ago and during the last 12 months I have incorporated more and more strength training even with heavier weights and still haven’t drunk one protein shake.
      In my opinion you can get all the protein you need from incorporating “natural” protein rich foods in your meals (f.ex. eggs, chicken, salmon, greek yoghurt, chickapeas, brokkoli, oats … just google it, there are tons of protein sources).
      Obviously, all our bodies are different and react individually to exercice and nutrition. I would just recommend to start and see how you feel. If you feel like you’re not lacking something, don’t let “the exercise culture” you mentioned dictate you anything. You’ll probably come a long way just by eating in a balanced and varied way with protein sources you like in your meals.
      Of course I can just speak from my personal experience, but I hope, this is helpful.

  13. Margo Torzsa says:

    I’m glad you answered this question. I have the same issue. The mindfulness answer really is where I am lacking. The chocolate just seems to disapear.

  14. Mikaela says:

    How can I start to love working out again? I used to love it wake up and be excited but know I have to put it on my to do list for it to get done! How can I start to love working out again?

  15. Emily says:

    Dear Cassey,
    In 2020 I’ve been struggling with an eating disorder. I used to count my calories, I was alway talking the low-cal options in restaurants, and of course – I lost a lot of weight (I was 15 at this time). In October, I went to dietitian, I wanted to gain weight, I just wanted to feel stronger and better (because I love working out and when I ate super small amount of foods I felt so weak while working out) . So I started eating more… I ate normal amounts of foods and I felt better. Of course – I gained weight and some of my clothes that I bought last year has gotten a bit tighter, but I wasn’t worring about it that much. Until now. Today we visited my grandmother (cause it’s Easter time) and after almost a year not seeing me, she didn’t ask how do I feel or anything like that, she just said that I gained weight. Did she say that in a „good way” or „bad way”? I don’t know. But it hurt me. Especially that she immidiately added „But you (pointing at my sister) have lost some weight”. And now, before Easter, I am sitting in my room, absolutely disgusted by all foods I’ve prepared, just thinking how fat I am, how awful I am. She compared me to my sister, and I have enough of it. I am always considered as this the worst and the most stupid person. I guess that being super skinny has become something that I am the best at? Something that only I have in my family?
    I don’t really know how to explain it but… Why some people can look skinny and eat amazing foods, while I have to be extra fat to be „healthy”?
    Maybe it’s just because how am I feeling right now, but something in my mind is telling me to get back to all of these old, unhealthy habbits…


  16. Dominyka says:

    I love chocolate. And not the healthy dark chocolate, I love that sweet milk chocolate… But I have one tip too, one that worked for me! Just make chocolate a meal! I know, it sounds like it wouldn’t be a very good nutritious meal, but you can have a so called junk meal once in a while! What I do is I just take about 300-400 cal worth of sweets and make myself some good tea. A whole pot of tea. And have it replace one of my mealtimes! Tea helps me feel full from chocolate, and the whole experience is like a ritual to me, one that I look forward to very much! I call it my treat time and I have it 2-3 times per week usually replacing supper. Now I am at a point where I have alot of cookies and chocolate in my home but I don’t even bat an eye on them and don’t feel like eating as a snack as it would be a waste not to save them up for later. Actually, I don’t even sncak anymore period.

  17. Grace says:

    Hey Cassey!
    I recently did your 21 day toke challenge in February and I loved it. Doing that challenge made me push myself and after I completed it I wanted to keep going. I’ve tried so many different things in the past because even though I love my body, sometimes my insecurities get the best of me:( I’m 16 and pretty active as a competitive dancer already yet as much as I love being active, I feel like the more I spend in the gym the more I pay attention to my body image and the more I feel insecure and create bad eating habits. It’s like my brain is stuck in this mindset and repeating cycle. Starve. Binge. Guilt. Repeat. I find myself in a mental war trying to decide if I should eat or not and I hate my brain for being that way. Anyways what I really wanted to ask is if you had any tips for that? I’m not seeing very much of difference in my body and my insecurities and bad relationship with food keeps building. AHH!

    confused person who loves being active but has a bad relationship w food lol!!

  18. Needs motivation says:

    Hi Cassey,
    I first wanna thank for for inspiring me to wanna be the best version of me. I used to be really shy and anxious when talking to people, or standing in a group. But after watching your videos, and taking your advice, I’ve become so much happier and more confident in myself and what I can achieve. I just have one issue, I really struggle to complete workouts, (I’ve tried many different channels and videos). My limit used to be 5 mins, and I’ve slowly been able to get up to 10, but it hasn’t really been getting better. I’m not sure if Im just not motivated, or if I physically don’t have the strength to do it. I’m 13 and so I’ve been trying to tell myself not to expect to be a pro just yet. Do you have any advice on how I can motivate myself to get up and keep working out, or even to eat healthier?

  19. Candice says:

    I recently met with a registered dietician (for an unrelated issue) who helped me recognize I reach for sweets when I’m tired in the early evening. The sugar was a source of quick energy. She recommended I add more healthy fats and a healthy starch to my lunch along with a healthy mid-afternoon snack. Taking these steps has helped with my energy.

  20. Daria says:

    Hey Cassie! I am on my way to complete 4 months of working with you om youtube and in May i will do the calendar too. I am happier that i feel a bit stronger than I used to be but I also added Apetit Block on my ‘daily routine’ that helped me to keep myself away from sweets. Buuut I still have a pb when it comes to pizza or fries. I love them but I kinda feel bloated after eating them. So how can I get rid of the bloat? Thank youu for an awesome blog and amazing and fun videos. Hugs !

  21. purv says:

    hey cassey,
    i have tried almost every way i know of to lose my thigh and lower body fat, but nothing seems to work.
    while my upper body is fairly “thin” , my lower body seems to be storing it all.
    i have just begun with your leg workouts,but in addition i would like to know if there is something more i could add to accelerate the process.
    love you. <3