Binge eating disorder is a disorder characterized by “Compulsive Overeating,” where people consume massive amounts of food while feeling out-of-control and powerless to stop and then feel guilt and depression. This article focuses on the symptoms and solutions of binge eating disorder (BED).
Sarika is thrilled because today is the last day of her board exams. She has lots of plans for the upcoming holiday season, like eating her favorite food, watching movies in a row. She and her friends have also decided to watch numerous seasons of the famous sitcom “Friends” at a Netflix party. She also has collected loads of smoothies and mocktail recipes, which will be prepared in advance, stored in the fridge, and enjoyed during her movie marathon. In short, she is going to binge-watch, binge-eat, binge-sleep, and binge-drink.
Binge or a period of excessive indulgence in an activity is the new mantra for the younger generation. Does Sarika have the right plan for the next few days of holiday? The answer is yes; it has been a stressful time, and it’s time to unwind, de-stress take a break before the new session starts. But the honest answer lies in the frequency? How often should someone binge-watch, eat, or drink? The answer is: “once in a while,” just like Sarika has planned for the end of the academic year.
Though popular among youngsters, binge-eating, in particular, has been entirely written off by a section of society known as Dietitians and Nutritionists. Let’s understand why these D&N’s do not recommend this behavior.
Behavioral Symptoms Of Binge Eating Disorder
- Inability to stop eating (unable to control what you are eating)
- Eating large amounts of food rapidly
- Eating even when you are full
- Hiding/stockpiling food to eat later (in secret)
- Eating normally around people, but gorging when you are alone
- Eating constantly throughout the day, without any planned mealtimes
Simple Ways To Overcome Binge Eating Disorder
- Eat three meals throughout the day, plus healthy snacks. Eating breakfast jump-starts your metabolism in the morning, followed by timely lunch and dinner. Skipping meals frequently lead to binge eating later.
- Avoid temptation. You are much more likely to overeat if you have junk food, desserts, and unhealthy snacks in the house. Remove the temptation by clearing your fridge.
- Keep a food diary. Keeping a food journal may help see patterns that reveal the connection between moods and binge eating.
- Fight boredom. When bored, replace snacking with taking a walk, calling a friend, reading, painting, gardening, etc.
- Listen to your body. Try distinguishing between physical and emotional hunger. If you just ate and didn’t have a rumbling stomach, you’re probably not hungry. Give the craving time to pass.
- Exercise regularly. Besides healthily losing weight, it also lifts depression, improves overall health, and reduces stress. Happy hormones stimulations due to exercise can help reduce emotional eating.
- Stop strict dieting. Strict dieting can trigger food cravings, increasing the urge to overeat. Focus on eating in moderation instead of dieting—practice mindful eating. Eat nutritious foods that you enjoy until you feel content, not uncomfortably stuffed. Avoid banning certain foods vigorously; it will make you crave them even more. Remember, moderation is the key.
- Get enough sleep daily. If you are tired, you may want to keep eating to boost energy. Take a regular nap or go to bed earlier.
- Manage stress effectively. One of the most vital aspects of tackling binge eating disorder is to find alternate ways to handle stress and overwhelming feelings, excluding food. These ways may include exercising, meditating, using sensory relaxation strategies, and practicing simple breathing exercises.
- Get support. You are more likely to succumb to binge eating triggers if you lack a solid support network. Talking helps, even if it is not with a professional. Rely on family and friends, join a support group; if possible, consult a therapist.
Remember, binge eating order is not a response to hunger but a response to depression, stress, or self-esteem problems. Understand the root cause, and half of the problem will be gone automatically.