How to stop binge eating?

What is binge eating? What are symptoms of binge eating disorder? What are the reasons of compulsive binge eating? How to stop binge eating? Can people be “addicted” to food? What is the binge eating disorder treatment? Answers for this and other questions you can read below.

girl with donut

Almost everyone overeat,  from time to time we are eating an additional portion of holiday dinner, or eating a dozen cookies during night training. But if overeating is regular and uncontrollable habit, you may suffer from compulsive binge eating or binge eating disorder (BED).

People use food to cope with stress and other negative emotions. Binge eating is more common than bulimia and anorexia and covers a significant number of men and women.

What is binge eating?

Binge eating or compulsive overeating is characterized by the consumption of huge amounts of food and the sense that you can not stop your appetite. Symptoms of compulsive overeating usually appear in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after dieting. Binge eating usually lasts about two hours, but some people overeat throughout the day. Avid eaters often eat even when they are not hungry and do not stop to eat after a meal. People use food to cope with stress and other negative emotions. Binge eating is more common than bulimia and anorexia and covers a significant number of men and women.

People with BED compulsively eat large amounts of food in a short amount of time and feel guilt or shame afterward. And they do so often: at least once a week over a period of at least 3 months.

Not everyone who overeats is a binger. You might eat a lot of food throughout the day, rather than all in one sitting. And you might not do it regularly, but only when you’re feeling stressed, lonely, or upset.

binge eating

Symptoms of binge eating disorder:

  • Frequent episodes of uncontrolled overeating.
  • The feeling that you are very disappointed and upset after eating.
  • Unlike bulimia, there are not regular attempts to compensate for binge by induce vomiting, laxative intake, starvation or exercise.
  • People with compulsive overeating are struggling with guilt, disgust and depression. They worry that overeating will make with their body, and castigate themselves for the lack of self-control. They desperately want to stop overeating, but feel that they can't stop binge eating.

The reasons of compulsive binge eating

Generally, eating disorders develop for several reasons, including human genes, education, emotions, experiences, beliefs and other.

Biological causes of binge eating disorder

Biological abnormalities may contribute to overeating. For example, the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls appetite) may not send the right messages about hunger and satiety. The researchers also found a genetic mutation that cause food addiction. There is evidence that low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical plays an important role for overeating. 

food in your mind

Social and cultural causes of binge eating

Social pressure that it is necessary to be fit, can add shame avid consumers, causing them to feel depressed and they begin to stifle negative emotions.  Some parents unwittingly set the stage for overeating associating food with comfort or reward for their children. Children who are exposed to frequent criticism and comments about themselves and their body are also vulnerable, as are those who have been sexually abused in childhood.

Psychological causes of binge eating

Depression and obesity are closely linked. Many avid eaters, or suffer or have suffered from depression before, while others may have problems with impulse control and management of their feelings. Low self-esteem, loneliness and frustration may also contribute to overeating.

Binge overeating and stress

One of the most common causes of overeating is to trying to manage unpleasant emotions such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it may seem that food is your only friend. Binge eating may temporarily make feelings such as stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, boredom evaporated in air. But the effect is very fleeting.


Binge eating help and how to stop binge eating

1.The most important thing is eating! Yes!
Do not skip breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also do not forget to have a bite, because frequent, but light snacks will help us not to lash out at night to eat and overeat.

2. Avoid high-calorie snacks
For example if you want to snack on sweets, eat a handful of dried fruit and a teaspoon of honey. Instead of cakes and sweets, eat jelly and marshmallows. The usual sandwich with cheese and sausage replace to the sandwich with cheese and lettuce. If a cup of sweet cappuccino for you is a snack too, prefer coffee with skim milk. The list of healthy snacks: crackers 100 g, 1 banana, bread, fruit salad, dried apricots, yogurt.

3. Buy scented candles
When you feel a very strong urge to eat - light the scented candles with the scent of vanilla. Vanilla reduces the feeling of hunger.

4. Drink instead of eating
Try herbal tea with honey. In general, with a strong desire to eat, especially at night, drink a glass of milk or juice.

5. Go to the home food
 Make the right food your hobby. Cook at home and you will see - you yourself will want to eat at a certain time, you will eat more selective and balanced.

READ ALSO: Does homeopathic weight loss work?

6. Do not eat in front of TV
TV is a provocateur of snacking and overeating. Famous provocateurs of eating are fresh air, interesting books, movies in the cinema, friendly gatherings.

eat in front of TV

7. Do not forget to brush your teeth
People who regularly brush their teeth three times a day, less likely to suffer from overweight. This conclusion was made by Japanese scientists.

8. Ask yourself
Before you put will in your mouth food, ask yourself: "Do I need it? I really want to eat?" Take it for 1 minute, and it is possible instead of high-calorie piece of biscuit you will have a desire to eat an apple.

9. Do not eat when you feel bad
To stop emotional eating, you have to understand the connection between the events in your life and what and how you eat. It's just a destructive habit formed by unconscious attitude to yourself. Pay attention to what happens when you overeat. Did you have a particularly stressful day? Was your morning  spoiled by quarrel with a loved person? What occupies your mind? Maybe you are depressed due to the weather?

When you will reach for food to brighten up your busy day realize it. Realize why do you want to eat right now - to satisfy hunger or to seize the stress? Now make a conscious effort, and switch to something else that brings you joy. In the moments of stress is useful to remind ourselves of the goals in the diet.

Know that everything is decided by seconds - just until the moment when you decided to go for the donut. When the decision has been made, the mind will find million arguments in support of it and all the way to the candy store will convince you. You do not even notice how it happens. Because it is a familiar scheme of the mind. It works. It does not matter what will happen after it.

As a last resort go to the mirror and try to eat in front of him. You will be surprised by the result.

10. Do not make food as a reward
For example you eat right all week, because you set such goal for yourself. Pleased with yourself, you reward yourself at the weekend, and indulges in all serious, allowing himself harm and excesses food. Common situation?

Overeating as a reward for healthy eating is counterproductive. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy sometimes not very useful food for no reason (excluding of fast food). The key word here - sometimes.

much food

11. Eat slowly
If you eat fast, in a hurry chewing food, the body does not have time to understand when it is enough. You eat and satiety does not come. The stomach needs time to send a signal to the brain about the saturation - an average of 15-20 minutes.

12. Control yourself at parties
Stop eating when you feel full. Most people instinctively eat what is in front of them, no matter how hungry they are. Learn to pay attention to the signals your body and stop eating when you feel satisfied. Do not linger at the table for too long - it is better to move or dance.

13. And the most important thing - do not take food cult. Food is the only way to meet the needs of.

Can people be “addicted” to food?

In recent years, food addiction has become a popular idea among some scientists. Those researchers say that certain foods high in fat, sugar, and salt are addictive, causing changes in the brain similar to those made by drugs. Studies in animals have shown that rats that binge on sugar, for example, can develop signs of dependency.

But the idea of food addiction is controversial. For one thing, the standard treatment for addiction is abstinence, and that’s not possible with food. Also, “dieting is a very strong component of the binge eating cycle,” May says. “From that standpoint, it’s counterproductive to label certain foods as negative.”

There’s no doubt that eating can stimulate the release of feel-good chemicals in the brain, Hudnall says. “But that doesn’t make food an addictive substance. There’s evidence that it’s actually the behavior -- the restrict/binge cycle -- that causes the signs of dependency, not the food itself,” she says. Some researchers have even stated that the term “eating addiction” is a more accurate term than “food addiction.”

bad food

Binge eating disorder treatment

Medicines to treat symptoms of binge eating disorder can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment program that includes psychotherapy, relaxation, and self-help techniques. Medicines for appetite suppression. Research of mechanisms of appetite suppression, show that certain drugs for weight loss can reduce the number of binge eating and promote weight loss. However, side effects can include a significant increase in blood pressure or heart rate, convulsions, bleeding, fatigue, dizziness, burning or tingling, and other rare, but life-threatening problems.

Studies show that antidepressants may help to reduce binge eating to people with bulimia and may help people with binge eating disorder. However, studies also show that the frequency of relapse (return of disease symptoms) is high when the drug is withdrawn.

Eating disorders can be successfully treated by psychotherapy. Psychotherapy will teach you how to fight with the urge to overeat, and bad habits will be replaced by new healthy habits, you can control your habits and mood, as well as will learn effective stress management skills.

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