Binge Eating Holidays? Why We Don’t Binge While on Vacation

Binge eating holidays

For those who struggle with binge eating, going on vacation can be a daunting prospect.

The fear of losing control around food and overeating can overshadow the excitement of the trip. However, many people report that they don’t experience those same urges when they’re on holiday. It’s as if their body and mind are on vacation mode too, and the desire to binge disappears.

But why is that? In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why we don’t binge eat while on vacation, and how we can enjoy our holidays without the guilt and shame that often accompany binge eating.

Reduction of Physical and Mental Restriction

binge eating holiday

One of the main reasons why we don’t binge on holiday is the reduction of physical and mental restriction. When we deprive ourselves of certain foods or nutrients, our bodies react by craving them even more. This is a common trigger for binge eating. However, on holiday, we often loosen our self-imposed rules and allow ourselves to eat whatever we want. This removes the physical deprivation and reduces the intensity of our cravings.

Similarly, when we label foods as “good” or “bad”, we create a moral judgment around eating that can lead to guilt, shame, and bingeing. On holiday, we tend to adopt a more relaxed attitude towards food and let go of the rigid rules that govern our everyday lives. This allows us to enjoy the full spectrum of foods without feeling guilty or ashamed.

Flexible Mindset

Binge eating holidays

Another trigger for binge eating is the ‘all or nothing mindset’. When we feel like we’ve already “blown it” by eating something that’s not part of our plan, we might as well keep going and eat everything in sight. On holiday, however, we often adopt a more flexible mindset and recognise that one meal or snack doesn’t define our entire vacation. This takes the pressure off and reduces the likelihood of bingeing.

Self-Care and Balance

Binge eating holidays

While it’s important to enjoy ourselves on holiday, it’s also important to practice self-care and balance. Bingeing can be a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or other emotional issues. Ignoring these underlying problems can lead to more harm than good. Instead, we should strive for a middle ground where we enjoy ourselves without losing sight of our well-being.

This might involve practicing mindfulness around food, seeking support from loved ones, or engaging in activities that reduce stress and promote relaxation. For example, taking a walk on the beach, practicing yoga, or simply taking a nap can help reduce stress and promote a sense of calm. By prioritising our well-being, we can make the most of our vacation without sacrificing our health.

Final Thoughts

Binge eating holidays

In conclusion, the reason why we don’t binge eat on holiday is multifaceted. We experience less physical and mental restriction, adopt a more flexible mindset, and allow ourselves to indulge without guilt or shame. While going on vacation can be a triggering experience for those who struggle with binge eating, it’s possible to enjoy ourselves without losing control around food.

By practicing self-care and mindfulness, we can make the most of our holidays and come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Instead of focusing on what we eat or how much we eat, we can focus on the experiences and memories we create while on vacation. By doing so, we can create a healthy relationship with food and enjoy all the benefits that come with a well-deserved break.

❤️ Join my newsletter list for weekly motivation and inspiration and you’ll also receive a FREE copy of my eBook “Hunger Regulation Framework”

❤️ Access my Self-paced Binge Eating Freedom Course and learn everything you need to know about what are the binge triggers, how to eat to stop binge eating AND still keep the foods you love, and prevent urges from ever coming again

❤️ Signature 1:1 Recovery Coaching from a qualified health professionals you trust! I’m here to you ditch disordered eating, recover from binge eating, find food freedom and regain the life you deserve.

Are You Ready To Improve Your Relationship with Food and Get Your Hunger Cues Back?

Watch the  FREE Hunger Regulation Webinar Series and get learn how to help restore your hunger cues WITHOUT the overwhelm or worry about eating and then ending up in binges

Each webinar is split into one episode sent straight to your email inbox every day, given over 3 days, and you’ll learn absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know about how to restore your hunger cues and end binge eating urges whilst still keep the foods you enjoy once and for all.

Tips to Reduce Binge Eating Episodes (From a Registered Dietitian)

how to end binge eating

As someone who struggled with binge eating for years, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to break free from the cycle of overeating and guilt. But through trial and error, and with the help of a therapist, I was able to identify and overcome my binge eating triggers. In this blog post, I’ll share some of the insights and techniques that helped me along the way. (includes anecdotal information)

What is Binge Eating?

First, let’s define what binge eating is. Binge eating is characterized by consuming an excessive amount of food in a short period of time and feeling a loss of control over the eating. It’s important to note that binge eating is not the same as occasional overeating, which is a normal part of life. Binge eating is a disorder that can have serious physical and mental health consequences, including weight gain, digestive problems, and depression.

The 1st Binge Eating Trigger: Physical Restriction

One of the first binge eating triggers that I identified was emotional eating. I noticed that I tended to turn to food when I was feeling stressed, anxious, or bored. This type of eating is often triggered by negative emotions or stress, and can be a coping mechanism for dealing with difficult feelings.

The 2nd Binge Eating Trigger: Mental Restriction

Another binge eating trigger that I struggled with was the “forbidden fruit” effect. This occurs when you restrict certain foods or food groups, leading to intense cravings and ultimately overeating. I found that when I tried to cut out carbs or sugar, for example, I would end up binging on those foods later.

Food Habituation

The “forbidden fruit” effect is also related to a phenomenon called food habituation. This occurs when we become accustomed to a certain type of food and require more of it to feel satisfied. For example, if you eat a lot of sugar, your taste buds become desensitized to it, and you may need more and more sugar to feel satisfied.

The 3rd Binge Eating Trigger: The All-or-nothing Mindset

The third binge eating trigger that I identified was the “last supper” mindset. This occurs when you feel like you need to eat as much as possible before starting a new diet or exercise plan. This can lead to overeating and feelings of guilt or shame.

How to Turn Good/Bad Foods to Neutral Foods

One technique that helped me overcome these binge eating triggers was to stop labeling foods as “good” or “bad.” Instead, I learned to view all foods as neutral and to practice mindful eating. This means paying attention to my hunger and fullness cues and eating for nourishment and pleasure, rather than using food to cope with emotions or restrict myself.

‘What if I Gain Weight?’/Binge Restrict Cycle

One of the biggest fears that I had about overcoming binge eating was the possibility of gaining weight. This fear can lead to a cycle of bingeing and restricting, which can be difficult to break. But through therapy and support, I learned that my worth as a person is not determined by my weight or eating habits. It’s important to focus on overall health and well-being, rather than a number on the scale.


In summary, overcoming binge eating is a complex process that requires self-reflection, support, and a multifaceted approach. By identifying and addressing binge eating triggers, practicing mindful eating, and focusing on overall health and well-being, it is possible to break free from the cycle of binge eating and live a more fulfilling and joyful life.