Binge eating is distinct from other eating disorders in that it is a compulsion to regularly overeat. It’s not the same as anorexia, bulimia, or other emotional compulsive eating habits, Although, it is possible for there to be some crossover between two or more of these disorders. Specifically, binge eating can feed into a vicious cycle of rising and falling blood sugar levels which can send your brain mixed messages and cause a sometimes uncontrollable impulse to consume large amounts of food, even when the eater is not hungry. This article looks at some of the signs of binge eating, and what those who identify themselves as binge eaters can do to get help.
As with some other types of eating disorder, binge eaters may find that they put aside any rational thoughts while consuming large amounts of food, and then feel guilty once their eating session is over. Some report a kind of daze while eating, barely remembering what they were thinking or feeling while binging. Then once it’s over, come out of the daze with a profound sense of guilt. Regret and other similar emotions are unhealthy foundations in any aspect of life, and may feed into a cycle that makes the problem worse. It may be helpful for those feeling guilt about their eating to consider what life can be like once they overcome it. A life free of regret, where food is an enjoyable and a healthy part of their life.
As with many types of addicting behavior, a binge eater may find themselves hiding their food habits from friends and family, preferring to consume their food while being alone. Although they may still take part in family or other social eating routines, such as eating out at restaurants and presenting an image of healthy eating, they may later consume large amounts of food in private. It’s important for those who recognize this in themselves to try to reach out to a trusted relative, friend or medical professional who may be able to help identify unhealthy habits and suggest steps for healthier practices moving forward.
Binge eating is inherently an inability to control the amount and frequency that food is consumed. Some sufferers may feel that they don’t want to eat, and that even while they are doing so, there’s no enjoyment or excitement in it. Rather, it’s a compulsion often governed by emotions and physiology. Part of a cycle which can be difficult to break. Recovery and eventual freedom from this disorder depends on focusing on the belief that there are ways to get beyond these feelings, as many others have done over time. Realistic goal setting and honest analysis with a healthcare professional can be the first steps to this freedom, and a move toward a life in which food is a healthy and enjoyable part of a person’s day.
While binge eating remains a complex condition which is often closely linked to other unhealthy feelings of low self-esteem and helplessness, it’s important to identify the possible signs of binge eating in those who may worry about their own or a loved one’s unhealthy habits. Far from a weakness, many sufferers may find that they’re hardly aware of what they’re doing when they overeat, such is the compulsion which drives the disorder. By looking honestly at the signs of the condition and a person’s feelings of guilt and negative attitudes to food, it’s possible to take the first steps to a life beyond the dominance of binge eating.
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