Conquer Food Binges

Everybody has days where they overeat, such as taking an extra helping of cake or having a few more cookies after having consumed a full and satisfying meal. However, for someone that engages in binge eating , overeating is a normal, uncontrollable and regular occurrence. These individuals use food as a mechanism for coping with stress or other negative emotions, even though after an episode of overeating they are likely to feel worse.

Binge Eating: What is it?

Binge eating is classified by compulsively overeating and it involves a person consuming large amounts of food while feeling uncontrollable and incapable of refraining from it. The signs of a binge eating disorder usually start during the later teen years or during early adulthood, most often after someone begins a strict diet. These binges usually last for a couple of hours, but some individuals will engage in the practice off and on throughout the day. People who binge eat are often not hungry and will keep on eating even though they feel physically full. Others may also gorge as fast as they can while barely tasting or registering what they are tasting or eating.

Causes of Binge Eating

Normally, it takes a combination of different things for someone to develop a binge eating disorder. Biological abnormalities can cause a binge eating disorder and low levels of serotonin may play a role in compulsive eating. Social pressures to be thin, verbal and sexual abuse could also result in setting the stage for binge eating. Finally, depression and having an unhealthy relationship with food, could also have a strong link in the development of a person’s eating disorder.

How to Stop

It can be very hard to stop binge eating. Unlike other types of addiction, a person’s “drug” i.e. food, is necessary for survival, so there is no way to avoid eating. Instead, a person must develop a better and healthier relationship with food. A person must have a relationship with food based on eating when hungry and not out of emotional need or as a reaction to something stressful.

One way of controlling binge eating episodes is to learn to manage stress effectively and to avoid using food as a means of coping. A person should also consume three healthy meals per day plus snacks and it’s important to never skip a meal. Avoiding temptation means a person will not be tempted to overeat and removing the temptation of sugary snacks and junk foods helps ensure an individual will eat healthy.

If a person wishes to talk about the reasons and motivations that drive them to binge eat, it can be beneficial to speak with a therapist skilled in eating disorders. By talking about the triggers that lead to overeating, a person can begin to understand why they are doing it and learn healthier ways of living.

Prognosis

If a person has an eating disorder, it’s important to find out the root causes and to deal with these factors in a healthy manner. Whether it is through therapy or joining a support group, dealing with any type of eating disorder is extremely important because it can wreak havoc on a person’s physical and emotional health if it goes untreated.

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

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