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“Drop and Give Me Ten”: A Technique for Interrupting a Quarantine-Induced Binge


Dr. Sheila Forman


health, fitness, and beauty

Dr. Sheila Forman, a former practicing attorney, has PhD in psychology, and is a one of the first qualified Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness Training (MB EAT) Instructors in the world. Often characterized as having the mind of a lawyer and the heart of a therapist, Dr. Sheila has devoted over twenty years to helping people address weight and food issues by focusing on the emotional aspects of overeating.

When the COVID crisis began and we were instructed to stay at home, many of us joked that we would gain the quarantine fifteen. It was funny at first, but then when it happened, and the quarantine fifteen became eighteen, twenty, thirty, it became not so funny anymore.   Eating in response to boredom, fear and loneliness is a common phenomenon, and as a clinical psychologist who helps people with eating and weight issues, I saw this behavior increase – a lot. We’ve all done it. Put your hand in the cookie jar and before you know it all the cookies are gone! Or, your fingertips scrape the bottom of a potato chip bag before you realized you had eaten so much! Or, the ice cream didn’t even have a chance to melt before your spoon came up empty! This type of eating is called emotional eating, and is sometimes referred to as binging when you feel out of control.  Fortunately, there is a simple technique to gain control of this kind of out-of-control eating. All you have to do is “Drop and Give Me Ten.”  


When you find yourself eating and can’t seem to stop follow these simple steps and interrupt your binge for good:

  • Wherever you are - SIT!
  • Put your hands by your side.
  • Swallow whatever you may still be chewing
  • Take a deep breath
  • Exhale to the count of ten
  • Take another deep breath
  • Stand up
  • You can continue eating if you choose or you can choose to move on… back in control!

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