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How to Increase Your Odds of Binge Eating and Gaining Weight

May 14, 2024

Self-Paced Course: Non-Diet Academy


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A Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian (CEDRD) with a master's degree in dietetics & nutrition. My passion is helping you find peace with food - and within yourself.

Meet Katy

Hey there, Katy here, and welcome back to Rebuilding Trust With Your Body, the anti-diet culture and pro-intuitive eating podcast. You might be looking at the title for this episode and scratching your head like, “Why on earth would I WANT to increase my odds of binge eating and gaining weight?” – EXACTLY! Those are 2 of the biggest fears that I hear over and over again from my clients, and today we’re going to look at some of the things you might be doing that are actually increasing the chances of this happening to you.

I share a lot of strategies on this podcast about things you can DO to help yourself find peace with food and your body – but this episode is going to be more about things NOT TO DO and things you can stop doing. Who doesn’t love removing things from their to-do list, right? If something’s not helpful, let’s stop doing it, and make our lives easier. I am all for ease and efficiency, for focusing our energy on the things that actually matter and that are actually effective. 

Before we dive into our main topic for today, you know what time it is…We’ve got some Wellness Woo to talk about. 

Wellness Woo is the stuff that diet and wellness culture tells us we should do in the name of health, but it’s really based on pseudoscience, exaggerated claims, or just nonsense. 

Today’s Wellness Woo is: Dudes posting videos of themselves in the grocery store yelling about how toxic the food is.

Now, yes, I’ve seen videos of women doing this too, but the ones from the bros in the grocery store are especially gross to me (I’m lookin at you, BOBBY, who calls himself the grocery store guy and has 1.4M followers on TikTok). It might come as no surprise to you that if you click on the link in his bio it takes you to an online store where you can buy “functional beverages and supplements” which gives me all sorts of Wellness Woo red flags right away. You guys know how I feel about supplements. But I just want to emphasize the big picture here that this guy has amassed a huge following on social media, by making these videos yelling at you about how you shouldn’t eat all these regular (and affordable) foods in the grocery store – and his end game is that you go to his website and buy his expensive foods and supplements. He does not have your best interest at heart. He wants your money. For example, you could buy a 20-serving supply of a protein smoothie on his website for $60, and you could buy some electrolyte powder for $45. I would like to point out that for all the yelling he does about processed food, it’s interesting that he’s selling you processed food at a premium. 

A few other problems I have with Bobby and these other dudes posting these grocery store videos:

  • They have complete lack of credibility or credentials. They’re manifesting fake credibility using shock tactics and scare tactics, and by being dramatic they are garnering attention. Attention is not the same thing as credibility. And in today’s social media age, attention tends to be what wins. The most credible people online are usually not what’s being pushed out by the algorithm because it’s often not the shocking and engaging content that people like Bobby are making. Just because he has a million followers doesn’t mean he’s a credible source of information.
  • They’re rude. I don’t like that they are yelling at us as if we’re morons, or the fact that they’re going into these public places and are disrupting the other shoppers and making a scene. If I were a grocery store owner and someone was doing that in my store, I’d kick them out. 
  • The aggressive approach is giving toxic masculinity. We don’t need privileged white dudes mansplaining their personal opinions to us in a loud and aggressive manner. Especially when their opinions about food and nutrition aren’t backed by science. It’s gross.
  • They’re overlooking and disregarding the multitude of variables that impact health. A lot of the foods he’s yelling about are things that are AFFORDABLE ways for people to feed themselves and their families. Most people can’t afford to spend $60 on less than a 3 week supply of protein shakes for 1 person, in addition to the other food they need to purchase to feed themselves and the rest of their family. It’s absurd. These guys are also acting like every health problem we encounter is because of our individual choices about every morsel of food we put in our mouths. Our HEALTH is much more complex than that, and to ignore the social determinants of health, the fact that our healthcare system is pretty messed up, and the way that grocery prices are through the roof right now shows that these guys don’t know what they’re talking about. 
  • The last thing I’ll say here is that shame is not an effective motivator for behavior change. So even if what these dudes were saying is correct (which it’s not), their tactics aren’t an effective way of helping people. All their tactics are effective for is scaring and shaming people into buying their products, which aren’t going to have a sustained impact on health, and it’s simply putting more money in their pockets. That’s what this is about. Shame does not motivate us to take better care of ourselves. It’s not a winning strategy for improving health. Both the content of their message and the delivery of it are unhelpful.  

So there you have it – dudes posting videos of themselves in the grocery store yelling about how unhealthy the food is = Wellness Woo.  

If you have an example of Wellness Woo that you want to share, send it to me at 

Ok, that’s enough of that. Moving on to today’s main topic…How to increase your odds of binge eating and gaining weight. 

Here’s the vicious irony in all of this: The things that we do to try and prevent ourselves from binging and gaining weight, are the very things that are often causing us to binge and gain weight. 

In fact, the #1 predictor of binge eating, and the #1 predictor of weight gain is…drumroll please…DIETING. 

Most of us go on a diet to try and control our food, to keep ourselves from overeating and binging, and to lose weight. 

The tricky and deceiving part of this is that it usually looks like it’s working at first. At first you have that sense of empowerment and excitement from feeling like you’re doing something to help yourself. You feel good about how you’re staying away from the foods like pasta, and pizza, and ice cream. And maybe the number on the scale is starting to go down, so you have that sense of relief and excitement that what you’re doing is working, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll reach your goal weight and you’ll be able to wear those smaller jeans, and feel more confident when you’re out running errands, or attending an event at your kid’s school, or when you’re in an important meeting at work. You hold your head a little higher, and you feel proud of what you’re doing. 

You have gotten on the dieting rollercoaster. You buckled your seatbelt, clicked into the harness, and your heart is pounding as the ride operator makes sure everyone is strapped in securely. The rollercoaster starts to go, and that first part is really thrilling and exciting, especially as you climb the first hill and – WOOSH! – you’re going down. This is just like what happens with dieting where the build up and the initial implementation is like the excitement of climbing the big hill, and then the thrill that happens when your weight first starts going down.

But oh no, then things start to go a little off the rails. There’s loops and twists and turns, and before you know it, your weight is climbing again. And now you’re starting to get a little motion sick. The thrill is wearing off. You’re starting to eat the things you aren’t supposed to have, and you are sneaking bites of the brownies on the counter, one little sliver at a time when nobody is looking, and your weight is no longer going down. In fact, it starts climbing. You might be able to pull it together for a bit, and your weight goes down again, but then you’re having more and more of those moments where you’re eating the things that aren’t on your diet, and your weight goes back up. 


It was thrilling at first, and now it’s giving you a headache and a stomach ache. You’re getting whiplash from all the twists and turns. 

Here’s the deal: Being on the dieting rollercoaster is scientifically shown to be the #1 reason that people gain weight. A way to almost guarantee that you’re going to binge eat and gain weight is to go on a diet.

And I know it’s deceiving. Because at first when you’re on the dieting rollercoaster it looks like you’re losing weight, and you’re not binging because you’re in control of your food. It’s an illusion though, and the controlled eating and weight loss are almost always temporary. If there was a diet out there that was going to make you permanently as skinny as you want to be, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. This podcast wouldn’t exist. So even though the diets look like they’re working at first, it’s temporary, and after that first down hill on the rollercoaster, there’s a big ol’ hill going right back up with your eating and your weight after it. 

Again, this is your permission and encouragement to get off the stinkin’ rollercoaster.

In fact, I’m going to help you with this. Because I know that the idea of getting off the rollercoaster is just as scary as staying on it. You’re afraid that if you aren’t dieting and aren’t trying to be healthy and control your food that you’re going to be out of control. The irony is that the dieting rollercoaster is what’s making you out of control. By getting off the rollercoaster you are taking back your power. 

I’ve created a brand new offer where I am going to hold your hand as you get off the dieting rollercoaster, and we’re going to walk over to the land of intuitive eating together. I’m going to show you how to make that transition, so that you don’t get lost in “no man’s land” in between. I’m going to show you what it looks like to listen to your body and to let your body guide you on what to eat, without it becoming a free-for-all with food. Most people are scared that if they allow themselves to eat what they want they’ll eat themselves into oblivion, and when you have strategies, tools, guidance and support – that’s not what’s going to happen. 

This offer that I’m talking about is my brand new mini-course called Stepping Off the Dieting Rollercoaster, and it’s all about how to break free from the ups and downs of dieting, so you can achieve peace and neutrality around food. 

So if you want me to be right there with you to show you how to let go of dieting, and how to embrace intuitive eating and apply the intuitive eating framework in the way it’s intended, this mini-course is literally made for YOU! It’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg; it’s less than $100 and it is jam-packed with what you need to step off the dieting rollercoaster without falling flat on your face. If you’re interested just head on over to, or shoot me a DM on FB or IG with the word ROLLERCOASTER and I’ll pass on the rest of the details!

Ok, moving on to look at more of the things that increase your odds of binge eating and weight gain. We just talked about how dieting itself is the #1 cause of this. So if you’re on a diet, I highly encourage you to start there. 

Now, a lot of you listening to this have already decided to quit dieting. If you’ve been hanging out in my world for a while you’re like, “Totally with you on this, Katy, I’m not doing the dieting thing anymore.” (Even though I know you might still be tempted sometimes, and you might be having those moments where you’re thinking about how nice it would be to go back on a diet to feel more in control of your eating and your weight, just one more time, but then you remind yourself that dieting doesn’t work for you, so you have to sit with that discomfort of wanting to diet, knowing it doesn’t work, and knowing that you’re on the right path, but it’s HARD. You’re sitting in the suck, and that’s part of the work.)

Even if you’re technically not dieting anymore, there is a good chance that there are still some things you’re doing with food that are increasing the odds that you’re going to overeat or binge:

  • Not keeping certain foods in the house
  • Making “healthified” versions of food
  • Restricting calories
  • Thinking of food as good and bad
  • Eating certain things in secret but not in front of others
  • These are the EXACT things that we’re going to work on in SOTDR to get you out of the cycle of trying to be good with food, only to end up binging. 

One last thing, and then we’ll wrap up. It’s also really important in the midst of this discussion to acknowledge that our desire to diet, to control our food, and to lose weight is rooted in a deep sense of shame within ourselves. We feel as if we are unworthy of love, acceptance and belonging if we’re not thin enough. If we’re not thin enough, we’re not good enough. So our fear of letting go of dieting, and our fear of gaining weight is about a fear of being unworthy and disconnected and miserable for the rest of our lives. Of course we don’t want that. 

We’ve been taught over and over again that thinness is good, and fatness is bad. We’ve been taught that losing weight is good, and gaining weight is bad. We’ve been told that if we gain weight, and if we’re in the BMI categories of “overweight or obese” that we’re unhealthy and we’re going to die. (You guys know how I feel about the BMI – it’s based on junk science and we shouldn’t be using it to measure our health or our worth.) 

Your HEALTH is about so much more than a number on the scale (and it certainly can’t be measured by putting your height and weight into a nonsense math equation, which is all the BMI is). Think about all of the wild things we’ll do in order to eat less and lose weight…and if we step back and ask ourselves if starving ourselves, skipping meals, eating vegetables dipped in mustard because it’s low in calories, making ourselves eat salads with hardly any dressing, pulling the inside out of your bagel, pretending we’re not hungry for dessert or that we don’t like cheesecake – none of this is healthy. But our society convinces us it is. Our society convinces us that eating as little as possible, and losing weight at all costs is somehow a “health promoting” thing to do, and it’s not. 

The fear of weight gain and our fear of fatness is built on false promises, lies about health and wellness, lies about our worthiness, and systemic anti-fat bias and weight stigma. It’s pretty messed up when we step back to look at it this way. 

It’s such a vicious irony that the things we’re doing to try and be healthy, and to be in control with food, and to lose weight – these are the exact things that are causing us to be out of control with food, to damage our health, and to GAIN weight. It’s a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and chances are your weight keeps climbing higher and higher over time. This is your invitation to choose to get off that rollercoaster and to stop buying a ticket to ride again. Instead, I’d like to offer you a ticket to the Stepping Off the Dieting Rollercoaster mini-course. Here is your ticket to Admit One, and I’ll be your ringleader inside. We’re going to explore the rest of the amusement park together, and not only is it going to be a ton of fun, but it’s going to help you achieve the peace, neutrality and freedom with food that you so deeply yearn for. 

So if you’re ready to stop doing these things that are increasing your odds of binge eating and gaining weight, I’ve got the perfect alternative for you where I’m going to show you what to do instead inside the Stepping Off the Dieting Rollercoaster mini-course. Head on over to for all the details and to sign up. 

Let’s recap some of those things that you can put on your “not to-do” list, that you can STOP doing because they’re making you more likely to binge and gain weight:

  • Dieting
  • Not keeping certain foods in the house
  • Making “healthified” versions of food
  • Restricting calories
  • Thinking of food as good and bad
  • Eating certain things in secret but not in front of others
  • Weighing yourself, and using the scale as a measure of your self-worth
  • Equating weight with health, when health is so much more complex than that

When you can shift away from doing these things, and learn to approach your eating, your weight and your health differently, it opens the door to you having so much more peace and freedom with food – and within yourself – than you ever imagined. It’s a beautiful thing.

That’s all for today. Thank you so much for listening. If you have any questions or if you had any ah-ha moments while listening to this, I would love to hear them. Just slide on into my DM’s and we can chat. I love connecting with you. Until next time, be kind and gentle with yourself. We’ll talk again soon!

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