Binge eating disorder or emotional eating is surprisingly common problem to a lot of people. If not dealt properly, it can cause health problems in the near future.
The condition is characterized by uncontrollable desire for food but even worse is that people usually binge on snacks, cereals, candies, fast food and similar unhealthy processed foods.
Besides that, a person often eats when he or she is not hungry or until they just can't take another bite, since their stomach is looking like it is going to explode, from enormous amount of food. Binge eating is often used as a way to cope with mental challenges in life.
WHAT CAUSES BINGE EATING DISORDER
Main causes of binge eating are stress, depression and sometimes, even something simple such as boredom. However, food and binge eating can also be a safe shelter or a answer to the rejection, sadness, anger, guilt, fear and solitude. In other words, emotion is what fuels this addictionbecause of which is also known as emotional eating.
It is the same as with alcohol and cigarete addicts but it is not discussed much about, such as these two. As well as alcohol and cigars, some people may become addicted to binge eating since the food can help relieve stress, for a short period of time. However, since the effect is not longlasting, person must bing again, in order to get the same effect. This process tend to repeat over and over thereby endangering your health.
HOW BINGE EATING DISORDER STARTS
I personally started to binge, to relive stress since the food was like a safe haven to me. I used it to get away from real life problems and as a way to forget about them. It was convenient for me since the food was almost always near.
Besides that, the food I used to bing up on was ice-cream, cookies, chocolate and other sweets and snacks which are so tasty, as you know. However, it wasn't the healthiest solution, to say the least, which caused my weight gain although I was going through puberty.
Despite the growth spurt and expected increase in weight, I still gained a lot of fat, especially at the end of my puberty, when I stopped growing and all those calories went to my mid section. Also, as most binge eaters, besides neglecting my diet, exercise was also a stranger to me, at this point in time.
However few years later, while googling for informations about healthy eating habbits, I stumbled upon bindge eating disorder. The more I read about it, the more I recognized myself in it and my lousy eating habits. The point is, some people may binge and be completely unaware of the problem, as I was.
HEALTH RISKS OF BINGE EATING DISORDER
Consuming too much calories and unhealthy foods increases the risk of diabetes, stomach problems, weakens immune system and decreases energy levels. Emotional eating can also lead to heart disease by raising blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as by causing sleep problems which can reflect negatively on your heart and blood vessels.
Although hormones had a huge affect on my heart and weight gain, binge eating was also one of the causes of heart disease, in my case. Some people may actually increase their level of stress and emotional instability because they began to feel bad about their inability to control their urge and desire for snacks and binge eating.
HOW TO OVERCOME BINGE EATING DISORDER
In order to overcome emotional eating, you have to recognize the reason, the emotion that is fueling your addiction. You may be trying to fullfil a hole in your life through binge eating. Whatever the reason, it is crucial to detect the source of the problem.
If the stress is responsible, learn how to relax and handle stress, the right way. I prefer deep breathing technique, besides meditation but exercise can also be a great stress buster.
Next, forget about dieting. If you are trying to stick to a strict diet plan and you are a binge eater, you will never be able to overcome binge eating disorder. Instead, you should establish healthy eating habits which can include one or two smaller cheat meals, per day. Replace your unhealthy snacks with fruits or popcorns.
You can have some ice-cream or a piece of chocolate. However, over time as your eating habits improve, an urge for sweets and the amount of bad foods you eat, should decrease, a lot. Untill you get control over binge eating, you should gradually replace unhealthy snacks with apples, strawberries, kiwis, raisins or nuts.
It would be the best when you would remove all the snacks and sweets from your house, in order to prevent binge eating. Maybe you can't remove all of them but at least, try to limit the amount of bad foods, near your vicinity. Don't skip main meals, especially breakfast since it can cause you to binge later in day.
If you are binging because of boredom, find something to do that interest you. YOu can play computer games, have a game of basketball with your friends, take a walk, exercise, listen to music you like or have a cup of coffee with your friends.
Although all this can help in treating emotional eating, through self-talkand by resolving your internal conflicts and doubts as well as by improving your confidence, you will be able to overcome binge eating disorder.
Recognizing the problem and making a decision to change your bad habits is a first step toward better life. Make a plan, go day by day. If you try to change your eating habits suddenly, you will most likely fail. Instead, go slowly, step by step.
Make a list of things that you usually eat during the day. This will help your get a better insight in your current diet and binge eating. After that, make another list which will be your healthy meal plan that will serve you as a guideline. A meal plan is there just to help you establish healthy eating habits and to get control over emotional eating which also includes portion control.
Eventually, eating healthy will become natural to you. Asking for a support from your family and friends can also help a lot in overcoming binge eating disorder. However, in the end it all comes down to you and your will to succeed.
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