Overeating on occasion is not going to hurt you but binge eating can have negative effects on your health. I find that I binge eat whenever I try a restrictive diet or I am stressed which can be far too often.
This is why I am an advocate for simply eating healthy instead of trying restrictive diets. This post will help you to overcome binge eating whether you find yourself doing it occasionally or far too often.
What Is Binge Eating And Its Effects On Your Health
If you find yourself eating out of control, you may be a victim of binge eating disorder. This is certainly not good for your health.
Those with binge eating disorder often have feelings of depression, guilt, and disgust with themselves. Binge eating has adverse effects on your health and it doesn’t have to be this way if you can get a handle on your eating behaviours.
Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder is sadly extremely common. There are three main features to the disease.
• You won’t starve yourself or vomit after binge eating as is often seen in other eating disorders.
• You may feel extremely upset or distressed after binging.
• You have episodes of uncontrollable eating behaviours.
Binge eating usually starts in your teens or in your early adulthood. It often follows a period of dieting. During a binge-eating episode, you might even eat when you are not even hungry and may even eat after you are completely full.
It might feel comforting for a short period of time, but then it turns into nothing more than self-loathing and remorse.
Signs Of A Binge Eating Disorder
If you have binge eating disorder, you may be ashamed of yourself and embarrassed by your eating
This can make it difficult for loved ones to recognize you are sick. Binge eaters look like everyone else. Most binge eaters have a normal body mass index; however, some are obese or overweight.
Things your family might look for in terms of behavioural symptoms in order to tell if you have binge eating disorder include the following:
• Eating constantly throughout the day and not just at mealtimes
• Eating normally when others are around but devouring food when you are alone
• Stockpiling or hiding food in order to later eat secretively
• Eating when you are already full
• Eating large amounts of food over a short period of time
• Having an inability to control what you’re putting into your mouth.
Emotional signs of compulsive overeating or binge eating include the following:
• Feeling desperate to control your eating habits and weight
• Feeling depressed, disgusted, or guilty after eating too much
• Never feeling satisfied no matter how full you are
• Feeling emotional numbness while binge eating
• Being embarrassed over your eating habits
• Feeling stress of tension that is only relieved by eating more food
Binge eating requires a number of items in order to come down with the disease. It’s all about your past experiences with eating, your emotions, and your genetic makeup.
Some causes of binge eating disorder include the following:
Biological risk factors. These are the biological effects that can contribute to eating too much. The hypothalamus (which controls appetite) may not send you the right messages about fullness and hunger. There appears to be a genetic mutation that may be behind some people’s binge eating disorder that results in their compulsive overeating behaviours.
Psychological risk factors. There is a strong link between binge eating and depression. Many binge eaters are either depressed or have been depressed in the past. Other binge eaters may have difficulty controlling their impulses and cannot adequately express their feelings. Not being satisfied with your body and the way it looks, feelings of loneliness and social isolation and low self-esteem are all issues that can result in binge eating.
Cultural and social risk factors. There may be social pressure to be skinny that can add to the shame that a binge eater feels that adds to their emotional overeating. Sometimes, parents contribute to binge eating by using food to reward, dismiss, or comfort their children. Kids who are constantly criticized about their weight and their bodies are prone to binge eating.
The bottom line is that binge eating disorder leads to an array of social, physical, and emotional issues. Those with binge eating problems often have more health problems, such as suicidality, difficulty sleeping, stress, and issues around their physical health.
Help is available, and it is critical for both your physical and psychological health to get professional help as soon as possible by talking to a qualified professional today. Here are some healthy habits to try and incorporate into your life to normalise your eating.
This book is a great FREE read if you really need help to stop binge eating.
Overcome Binge Eating with these 6 Healthy Habits
As with most lifestyle issues binge eating can be difficult to turn around. Many people try to change their lifestyle all at once, which is extremely difficult to accomplish.
As a result, they often give up all of their healthy habits and resort to the usual negative health habits that they had been doing before they attempted a healthy lifestyle.
Sometimes it just takes a few days or a few weeks of trying to live healthy before you become overwhelmed and stop living healthy.
This is why it is better to change your health habits one habit at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether.
The trick to healthy living is to begin gradually. Don’t try any trendy diet or fitness fad. If you try these things with gusto, you are likely to respond negatively and you won’t stick with the programs.
There are a few simple things you can do to live a happier and healthier life. Start with just these 5 changes in health habits:
1. Try eating one healthy meal a day.
Even if you eat processed foods most of the time, if you try to eat just one healthy food each day, you will feed your body with good nutrition and healthy proteins. Healthy meals consist of mainly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grain products, and lean meats.
This way, it doesn’t matter how much you eat because, if the food is healthy for you, it won’t usually contain a lot of calories and won’t cause weight gain and feel as horrible as can be seen when you eat junk foods or highly processed foods. Even so, you should try to watch your portion sizes.
2. Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Water is perhaps the best liquid you can drink. When you decide to drink a glass of water before meals, (an 8-ounce glass is enough), you will feel fuller before eating, and you won’t eat as much at the meal that follows a drink of water.
3. Be active during lunch.
Even if you are given a half-hour to eat, it usually doesn’t take that long to eat your meals. Try eating your meals and then take some time to exercise.
You don’t have to work out excessively but you should be able to take a brisk walk. Not only will this energize you but also it will help burn off the calories you just ate, release endorphins to boost your mood and will aid in the digestive process.
It really doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do as long as you choose something reasonable that will help you feel better after eating your lunch. Exercising during lunch also helps decrease the stress of your job and will make the rest of your day go easier.
4. Try a Fruit or Meal Replacement Bar.
This involves eating a fruit or healthy protein bar as a snack instead of junk foods. Fruits and most meal replacement bars contain a lot of good nutrition and fiber. They are also not as calorie-rich as the snacks you may often reach for in a binge.
Keep a stash of your favourite fruit or protein bars in your desk at work or in your purse so you can grab one whenever you feel a binge coming on. It will keep you from going to the vending machines and eating poor food choices. Try eating a meal replacement bar that is high in fiber and that has at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.
5. Exercise regularly.
If you have a gym membership, try going there at least 3-4 times per week. Choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it for at least a half hour per session. This will help energize you, may build muscle mass, and will help you lose weight by burning off excess calories. It will also give you something else to do when you feel stressed or depressed and will actually help to lift your mood.
6. Make Meal Prepping a Habit
When you’re trying to stop binge eating, having healthy foods on hand when hunger strikes is crucial. Meal prep your meals so that when dinner time rolls around you have a healthy meal already waiting for you instead of rolling through the drive-through line. Here’s a Jamaican meal plan to help spice up the flavours in your meal prep.
I hope these tips will encourage you to curb your habit of binge eating and if not then I encourage you to seek professional help you overcome binge eating disorder. Please leave a comment below if you found this helpful and please share this with a friend.