We all are slaves to food and most of us have succumbed to temptation and given in to overeating whether it is eating a wide variety of desserts at a wedding or gorging on turkey at thanksgiving. Occasional bouts of indulging and overeating are normal. However, if you are prone to excessive eating all the time and this is followed by emotions of guilt and self loathing, there are high chances that you may be suffering from a binge eating disorder.
Binge eating is significantly different from bulimia. You are a compulsive overeater but do not induce yourself with laxatives in order to purge the food. Binge eating is far more common and widely under diagnosed. Most people suffering from this disorder use food as a coping strategy to escape from the stresses of daily life.
Symptoms And Cycle Of Binge Eating Disorder
The disorder normally starts in adolescence or early adulthood. It could occur especially if the person has been on a long diet and is tired of having to exercise self-control. A typical episode lasts for about two hours but some people are seen to be bingeing all day long. They eat ravenously and greedily as if they have not eaten in days.
There is extreme distress after the episode is over but no attempts are made to fast, vomit or purge the food. The classic behavioural symptoms of binge eating disorder are eating large amounts of food, having no control over one’s portions, eating when you are full and hiding food so that you can eat it later. People are eating continuously throughout the day. This is followed by emotional symptoms of guilt, disgust, distress and embarrassment.
Ways Of Dealing With Binge Eating Disorder
While the disorder can completely take over your life, there are some ways of dealing with it. One of the foremost steps is to develop a healthy relationship with food. This includes viewing food as something that fulfils your nutritional needs and not your emotional ones.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Healthy eating is not easy but it is a path that can be followed with extreme ease if you decide to do so. Invite someone to help you plan out balanced meals for yourself that involve nutritious and wholesome food. Get food that has plenty of vitamins and minerals in the diet.
Get yourself treated for underlying stressful and emotional issues by seeking counselling and psychotherapy.
Eat Smaller Meals
To ensure that your stomach always feels full, eat 5-6 small meals in a day. Have healthy snacks like whole grain sandwiches, fruits, veggies and nuts as snack options. Include low fat dairy which leaves you feeling satiated.
Make sure you remove all temptations from your home like junk food and desserts. If you do not have it, you will not consume them in the first place.
Do Not Diet
Don‘t go in for yo-yo dieting. Extreme dieting leads to a pattern of excessive bingeing especially if you have been depriving yourself of food.