We all occasionally overeat – we may have an extra helping of our favorite food, or we cannot resist just one more bite of dessert when we are already full. However, some people engage in this behavior every day, often to the point of extreme overeating. You may know you are full, but you just cannot control the urge to eat more food. This is called binge eating.
Binge eating is an eating disorder where a person eats abnormally large amounts of food. The binge eater is very aware of what they are doing, but he or she just cannot control themselves or stop eating. These episodes can occur throughout the day, or over a two or three hour span, leaving the person feeling angry, depressed, or feeling out of control.
Some people mistakenly think that binge eating is simply the result of loving food; however, most binge eaters eat so quickly that they do not even taste the foods they are eating. They do not eat because they are hungry, or because they cannot get enough of their favorite food. Binge eaters eat because they are trying to deal with stress, depression, or other emotions, only to feel even worse about themselves after an episode. The feelings of self-loathing, guilt, and depression lead to more episodes of bingeing in an effort to gain comfort, leading to a seemingly never-ending cycle.
It’s important to learn how to overcome binge eating because binge eating leads to many social and emotional problems. The person feels ashamed that they cannot control their overwhelming urge to gorge themselves. A binge eater is often overweight or obese, and may suffer from depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, and high levels of anxiety as a result. The good news is, you can overcome binge eating.
Binge eating and food addiction go hand in hand, and when you are constantly surrounded by food, it can be very difficult to change your habits. You first need to understand that the food you need to survive is much different from the food you eat to binge. You will always be surrounded by food, so you need to learn how to eat in a way that satisfies your body’s nutritional requirements without giving in to your emotional needs to find comfort in food.
Proper Steps for How to Overcome Binge Eating
The first step in overcoming binge eating is to change your eating habits. You have to learn how to eat healthy foods that provide your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy. This will require you to create an eating plan that includes healthy, balanced meals and stick to it. You need a plan that will provide you with three healthy meals and snacks throughout the day to make sure you do not feel overly hungry. This also means you need to get out of the dieting mindset. When you feel as if you are depriving yourself of your favorite foods, you will crave them even more. Instead, incorporate healthy amounts of these foods into your meal plans, and strive to only make serving size amounts to avoid overeating.You also need to find ways of dealing with the stress in your life.
Stress is a huge contributor to binge eating because you associate eating with feelings of comfort. When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you need to avoid food so you are not tempted to give in to your binge eating habits. Having an alternative method of dealing with stress will go a long way in helping you overcome binge eating, and meditation, exercise, or relaxation techniques are great ways of helping you avoid the urges to overeat. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and depression, and it provides a natural boost in your mood – all of which will help you be more successful in overcoming binge eating.
Temptation is a large part of continuing the binge cycle. You need to get rid of the unhealthy snacks, junk food, and deserts in your home. When you have overcome your binge eating habits, you may be able to incorporate small amounts of these foods into your home, but it is best to get rid of them until you can control your eating habits and know how to overcome binge eating.
Boredom is one of the main reasons for overeating, so you need to find activities that you enjoy. This can be as simple as taking a walk, exercising, or taking up a craft like knitting or crochet. If your hands are busy, you will be much less likely to grab something to munch on when you are just sitting there. You also need to learn how to determine whether you really are hungry, or are just emotionally hungry. If you know you just ate, this is a great indication that you are not truly hungry. If you are unsure, drink a glass of water – thirst and dehydration can often make you feel like you are hungry.
Binge eating is difficult to overcome, and you need a support system to help you change your habits. Many binge eaters have always done so in private, so others may have no idea that you even have a problem. It may be difficult to open up about an issue you have been hiding for so long, but a good friend can be just the thing you need to help you stay on track. If you do not feel there is anyone you can entrust to be your support, seek out a therapist, psychiatrist, or other health professional. Addictions and addictive behaviors are very difficult deal with on your own, and there is no reason to face binge eating alone either.
Binge eating has a huge emotional impact, but it can also be dangerous to your health. Most binge eaters are overweight or obese, which increases the chances of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Making the decision to get help for how to overcome binge eating will help you improve your emotional and physical health, as well as helping you to be greater success in reaching your own weight loss goals.
Good luck in learning how to overcome binge eating. You can do it.