I Can’t Stop Binge Eating

Categories: Food Addiction

I can’t stop binge eating


I can't stop binge eatingAre you puzzled by your inability to sometimes stop eating, even after big meals or snacks and you are no longer hungry?  Are there foods you simply cannot do without and you feel agitated until you have them?  You may have a problem with binge eating and food addiction if you gave affirmative answers to either of these questions.


I Can’t Stop Binge Eating: Signs

If you’ve often thought “I can’t stop binge eating”, especially after trying repeatedly to stop stuffing yourself whenever you do eat, you may have an addiction to food.  It could be just one food, or a category of foods, or it could be all foods in general.


Binge-eating isn’t just occasional overeating.  We’ve all done that on occasion, especially during holiday meals or family reunions, but this is out-of-control gorging that happens frequently, sometimes on a daily basis.  Whereas a friend of yours might be able to have a cookie or two and stop eating them, you can’t stop until the entire bag has been consumed.


While you feel guilty afterwards, you probably have feelings of immense pleasure that the time you are consuming those cookies.  The pleasure response to binging on food has been studied in rats who were fed foods with high-fat and high-sugar contents an hour a day, while another group of rats was fed junk food whenever they wanted to have it, which led to obesity in those rats.


Scientists found that the dopamine receptors in the group of obese rats had been dulled, so they had to eat more and more food in order to feel the same pleasure they once had at eating just a little of the junk food.  This response in the binge-eating rats is the same type of response that drug addicts experience when they crave more and more of the drug their addicted to in order to feel satiated.


While binge-eating has been treated as an eating disorder for years, it is also seen as a  sign of food addiction.  Recognizing your trigger foods can help you overcome binge-eating or food addiction, but it can be difficult to stay away from those foods when television and other media constantly bombard us with images of delicious foods and you probably drive by half a dozen fast food restaurants that tempt you on a daily basis.


The key to any food addiction, especially binge-eating, is to get help from your physician or to seek treatment from a mental health professional.  Ignoring this eating disorder can only make it worse and there are several medical consequences associated with food addiction.


Consuming high-fat, high-sugared foods can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and they have been linked to some cancers.  The medical costs associated with obesity, a common consequence of binge-eating, has troubled public health officials as well as politicians because obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States, and other countries.


I Can’t Stop Binge Eating: Treatment Options

If you’ve told yourself, “I can’t stop binge-eating,” seek out a therapist that specializes either in eating disorders or in addiction treatment.  They may be able to uncover an underlying cause for your binge-eating and help you resolve emotional issues that you’re trying to cover up with food.


Other treatments may involve group therapy sessions, education about food and how to make and follow a food plan, as well as getting help with body and self-esteem issues.  As with drug and alcohol addictions, you have to be committed for the long run as food addiction can be just as difficult to deal with.  In fact, it can often be more difficult.


While drug addicts and alcoholics can eventually give up the substances controlling their lives, food addicts have it more difficult because eating is necessary to sustain life.  Part of their recovery is learning how to eat healthier and cope with temptation when it comes to addicting foods.


Losing weight isn’t an easy task for anyone, but for food addicts it can seem impossible because it is easier for them to “fall off the wagon” because of they feel sometimes uncontrollable cravings for foods.  Learning how to deal with cravings and the anxiety it creates is one reason therapy may be able to help food addicts be more successful when dieting.

Doriet von Fircks

About the author

Doriet von Fircks is a health practitioner and a nutrition expert.
She specializes in food related problems, such as food addiction.
After reading many articles about food addiction, especially lots of scientific journals, she realized that there was hardly any discussion about food addiction from a scientific perspective.
She updates the site frequently, ensuring that the latest scientific findings are always featured on FoodAddictionScience.com. If you have questions about this site or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to contact her.