- Binge eating is considered the most common feeding disorder globally. While most assume it’s all about food, studies show it is a psychological issue induced by negative body image and stress.
- Individuals diagnosed with the disorder experience episodes of uncontrollable eating, although they are not hungry. After an episode, most feel a strong sense of shame.
- Trying to stop stress eating, drinking water, practicing mindfulness, and working out regularly are some of the ways to manage binge eating.
Do you have a fraught relationship with certain foods? Do you often find yourself creeping into the kitchen looking for snacks in the middle of the night? Do not worry. You are not alone.
Research shows that one in three people struggle with binge eating. And while it might just be an obsessive love for chicken or cake, studies suggest that it is a result of genetic disorders and psychological issues. But all hope is not lost.
Binge Eating Explained
Simply put, binge eating is when an individual consumes an excessive amount of food, often when they are not hungry. Some of the common characteristics of binge eating include:
- Consuming food at a faster rate than normal
- Overindulging in the forbidden foods – mostly high calories
- Feeling a sense of pleasure when binge eating and an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame afterward
- Creeping to consume food – tiptoeing to the kitchen at night
Causes Of Binge Eating
Binge eating can be a result of:
Genetic Issues – According to studies, a complex set of hormones can influence and determine hunger and satiety cues as well as how people feel and behave around food.
A case study also showed that 95% of patients with binge eating disorder had a parent struggling with the condition or substance abuse.
Psychological Concerns – Individuals struggling with binge eating tend to have the following psychological characteristics:
- Feelings of inadequacy and loneliness
- Low self-esteem
- Negative body image
Additionally, people struggling with the disorder have mood and anxiety disorders or are trying to navigate certain developmental changes.
Societal Issues – The larger cultural narrative around binge eating and dieting can trigger an individual to overindulge in food consumption. Individuals with weight issues are shamed, which results in low self-esteem, and, eventually, binge eating.
How To Overcome Binge Eating And Lose Weight: 5 Ways
1] Cancel Restrictive Diets
You start on Sunday and promise yourself you are going to do it this time. The next day, your BFF shows up with a burger from your favorite place, and you think, well, a small bite cannot be that bad. Six hours later, you are down two burgers, a bag of fries, and soda. Then you say ‘Oh well. I have been here before, so I might as well carry on and start again tomorrow.’ Sounds familiar?
The problem is, tomorrow never comes, and diets do not work. If they did, people would not keep going back to ‘bad eating habits.’ It’s a multi-billion industry built on feeding innocents a fairytale.
Instead of restricting your diet, focus on cutting out certain food groups or at least slashing your calorie to lose weight quickly. Also, ensure to consume at least three meals and three snacks every day and not more than three to four hours apart.
Is there anything water cannot help solve? The answer is no.
Keeping up with the recommended eight glasses of water a day can help curb unwanted cravings, manage over-eating, and help you get that much-deserved glow while you are at it.
In one case study, 24 patients who took 20 ounces of water before eating consumed fewer calories than those who didn’t. Water also helps boost metabolic rate and might contribute to weight loss.
3] Consume Fiber-Rich Meals
Indulging in unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables can help improve satiety and possibly moderate your compulsive eating disorder. Fiber takes time to digest, which allows you to feel fuller for longer and help cut down on food cravings. Some examples of fiber-packed foods include apples, bananas, beans, berries, Brussel sprouts, carrots, and chickpeas.
Foods rich in fiber also help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.
4] When in Doubt, Seek Help
When the struggle gets overwhelming, ensure to talk to a friend or peer. One case study showed that in the 100 teens struggling with binge eating, 50 of them reduce their overindulgence in food consumption thanks to social support from family and friends.
An excellent support system helps reduce the impact of stress, which might help lower the risk of indulging in coping habits like emotional eating. They can recommend a treatment plan to help overcome binging.
Treatment for binge eating mostly involves medication or various forms of therapy. One of the best effective forms of therapy for the disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy, which explores the connections between your feeling, thoughts, and eating patterns and then creates strategies to help improve your behavior.
Other forms of therapy include behavioral weight loss therapy and interpersonal therapy. Antidepressants and certain stimulants are also used to help manage binge eating, although more research is required to assess their long-term effects.
5] Exercise and Breathe
As mentioned above, stress triggers binge eating. The solution? Exercise.
Various studies suggest that aerobic activity helps reduce stress eating habits in the long term. So, try taking up dancing classes, 30-minute walks daily, or swimming.
Be sure to get at least eight or at least six hours of sleep at night to reduce the risk of snacking. Doing bedtime exercises can help relax your mind and body for a good night’s sleep.
You can also try investing in some weight loss supplements. They not only help lower stress but also bolster your energy levels, allowing you to have a great workout session. Check out K3 Spark Mineral reviews and see if it is what you need to finally kick binge eating to the curb.
The Bottom Line
Binge eating is a recognized psychological concern that affects millions globally. And while there is a feeling of shame surrounding it, practicing mindfulness, investing in the best weight loss supplements, exercising regularly, and consuming fiber-rich foods can help minimize the urge to consume an excessive amount of food.
Remember to be gentle with yourself – the above steps need patience and persistence. In any case, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.