Most of us know what it means to eat a lot until we feel uncomfortable. It is accepted behavior on certain commemorative dates or even when we go out on special occasions.
But what happens when this behavior is repeated frequently? The consequences can be very serious, causing physical health problems such as obesity, diabetes and increased cholesterol. But not only that: psychological and emotional disorders, such as insecurity, guilt and shame, sadness, insomnia, depression and social isolation, cause an eating compulsion.
Many people have compulsive overeating on a pathological level, which requires medical treatment. Others, however, do not see it as a disease but suffer the consequences of “discounting” their emotions by eating more than they would like.
To help deal with binge eating, check out some tips in this text and, in case of doubt, look for a professional, such as a nutritionist or psychologist, to help with the treatment.
What Is Binge Eating?
Binge eating disorder is characterized by rampant food intake in a given period. This intake is much greater in quantity than most people would ingest in a similar period. During binge eating, there is a lack of control over what is ingested, with the feeling that you cannot stop eating or control what or how much is ingested.
Thus, binge eating refers to excessive, anxious and uncontrolled consumption of a large amount of one or more foods to suppress hunger or reduce anxiety. And among the common symptoms of binge eating are the following:
- Feeling like you lose control of your decisions while eating
- Guilt or sadness after binge eating
- Intake of unhealthy foods, such as fried foods, pre-cooked foods, industrial sweets, sugary drinks, etc.;
- Eating quickly and impulsively;
- Eating more than you should until you feel an unpleasant feeling of being overwhelmed;
- Prefer no one to accompany you while you eat, so you can do it at ease and without feeling like someone is judging.
Tips For Controlling Binge Eating
The first step is to detect that binge eating is a problem for our health and mental stability. Once we detect the problem, we will work to resolve it. Below we have selected some tips to help you make the right decisions when your body asks you to binge eat.
1 – Find Out What Triggers Your Emotional Appetite
Depending on a problem, we use food to feel better. In other words, it’s a type of anxiety that makes us eat even if we don’t have the appetite to manage personal problems. It usually happens when we suffer from stress, sadness or boredom. Therefore, if you eat neatly five times a day, there is no chance of getting hungry. If this is a challenge for you, seek professional help.
2 – Ask Yourself Why You Are Eating
When you go to the market or grab food from the cupboard, ask yourself: am I hungry? It’s easy to get carried away, but if you ask yourself this question, you can at least recognize what motivates you to eat. At best, you can accept that you’re not hungry and not eat anything. Other times, being mindful can help you decide what to eat with more awareness, opting for something healthier.
3 – Spending Time With Near And Dear
People often binge eat because they feel lonely, frustrated, or stressed. Find someone to talk to if you feel the urge to binge eat. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to forget food when talking to someone close to you.
4 – Eat Carefully
Take time to choose what you will eat, enjoy the flavors, and chew slowly. Understand what you are doing at that moment and why. That is, become aware of your activities and try to enjoy them.
5 – Set Aside Time To Cook What You Are Going To Eat
Cooking is very beneficial because it helps you understand and value what you are going to eat. Also, if you cook, you understand the food’s process before reaching your table.
6 – Faced With The Urge To Eat, Look For A Distraction
It sounds difficult, but finding a distraction helps you not to overeat. For example: reading a book, calling a friend or solving a problem.
7 – Set Meal Times
Order is important, especially when you have trouble eating. To do this, set meal times and stick to them. Make at least five meals daily: breakfast, lunch, afternoon coffee, snack and dinner. If you follow them, you will have taken a giant step, as you will reduce the times when you feel hungry.
Therefore, the most important thing will be first to recognize when we are using food to manage our own emotions and then identify what the cause of this desire to eat is and which is difficult to control (whether it is due to stress, boredom, feeling sad…) and what time it takes place.