Are you guilty of binge Eating?
Have you ever mindlessly eaten while not hungry, devoured almost one whole chiffon cake in one sitting, and then feeling horrifyingly guilty after doing so? If yes then you are guilty of binge eating.
Read on and learn what pushes us to binge eat and what you can possibly do to stop it.
Binge eating is the most common type of eating disorder among adults. It’s a serious problem that’s defined as eating large amounts of food in one sitting, on a regular basis. Binge eaters often feel they don’t have control over their food consumption habits.
According to the Weight-Control Information Network, binge eating is more common in women, with about 3.5 percent affected. But binge eating also affects 2 percent of men, and approximately 1.6 percent of American adolescents.
Medline Plus estimates that many patients consume between 5,000 and 15,000 calories at a time while binge eating. The majority of binge eaters are overweight or obese, which increases long-term risks like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This eating disorder can be stopped, but not without a plan of action that may include treatments recommended by your doctor.
Change Your Eating Habits
The first thing to investigate is what you eat and why. In fact, some people don’t even realize they’re binge eating until they recognize a pattern in food consumption. Binge eating is characterized by consuming large amounts of food, but there are other defining factors. For example, many binge eaters:
- eat few, but excessively large meals each day
- eat after fullness
- mindlessly eat when they’re not hungry
- eat quickly
- indulge in starchy foods
- avoid eating in front of others
- experience feelings of guilt and depression after bingeing
Indulging on starchy food
You may find that you experience just a few or all of these characteristics. Once you recognize your habits, you can work to change them. For some, this may require a plan to eat small, balanced meals more often during the day. Others might slow down their eating and take a more mindful approach to meals. Keeping a food diary can help you track any patterns.
Nutrition is an important aspect of binge eating treatment. The right foods help you stay full and prevent binge eating out of hunger, and having a meal plan can help you lose weight gained from poor eating habits. Consider working with a nutritionist to build better lifelong eating habits. Fad diets may help you lose weight at first, but they don’t offer what’s needed to curb binge eating.
Individual or Group Theraphy
While there’s no one single cause of binge eating, there is a strong link between it and anxiety disorders and depression. In some cases, binge eating can be propelled by symptoms of anxiety and depression. Your doctor may recommend therapy to help gain control over these symptoms and to prevent unhealthy eating habits.
The type of therapy you choose depends on the severity of your bingeing, as well as your personal preferences. Shame may keep you from seeking group therapy, but you might reconsider this option to help you realize that you’re not alone in your battle. According to the Mayo Clinic, binge eating therapy can last between a few months and a few years.
Binge eating itself isn’t treated with medications. If your eating habits are attributed to anxiety or depression, your doctor may prescribe medicines to ease the symptoms.
Antidepressants can also help increase exercise levels along with your mood. You may find that you would rather go outside for a walk or participate in social events rather than stay home eating large amounts of food.
Medication isn’t necessary for all binge eaters, so discuss your options with a doctor. Antidepressants may pose the risk of long-term side effects, such as mood swings and weight gain.
It’s easy to say that binge eating is best resolved by simply eating less. The reality isn’t so simple. There is no universal treatment plan for binge eating disorders. Some patients find success in a combination of therapy and diet planning, while others require the use of medication to treat underlying causes of their eating habits. Finding the cause of your binge eating is the first step in learning how to stop it. Work with your doctor to come up with a realistic plan of action.