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What is Binge Eating?

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If we’re all being honest with ourselves, we’ve more than likely had a time in our lives, where we’ve found ourselves eating too much in one setting. This could include overeating at a special event, enjoying extra sweets, or sometimes eating so quickly that we find ourselves overly full.

It’s okay if this happens on occasion, but for some people, overeating can become a regular occurrence that could be considered an eating disorder. This would occur when someone’s overeating happens on a regular basis, and they feel as if they’re out of control.

For many, this could also include eating in secret, eating alone, or sneaking extra food because they feel like what they’re doing is wrong. 

Throughout this article, we will discuss what exactly binge eating is and what the warning signs and symptoms of this binge eating disorder include. 

What is binge eating?

Binge eating is when you consume large quantities of food in a short period of time, and feel unable to stop. For many, it feels like it’s controlling them, and it can impact their overall well-being.

Symptoms and signs of binge eating disorder

It’s important to emphasize that while occasionally overheating is OK, this particular eating disorder is something that those diagnosed will live with in their daily lives.  Additional symptoms and signs include:

  • Feeling uncomfortable after eating or for some feeling uncomfortable by continuing to eat.
  • Eating beyond the point of satisfaction or feeling full.
  • Eating a large amount of food soon after another meal, even though you may not feel hungry.
  • Eating too quickly to notice how much you’ve consumed. 
  • Emotional eating can occur when you feel overly stressed or depressed.
  • Overall, mental health issues including low self-esteem, guilt, or shame over binge eating. 
  • Refrain from eating in public to avoid anyone else seeing how much you eat.
    • This can also include eating in secret to hide what you’re consuming
    • Stashing food in what you consider to be a hidden place to eat later on when you’re not around others.
  • Being embarrassed about how much you’re eating to the point that you’re hiding how much you eat.
  • Obsessive thoughts around specific cravings and thinking about food constantly. 
dinner table set with nice plate settings

Examples of binge-eating 

  • Feeling unable to control yourself and unable to stop yourself even after you begin to feel full.
  • Episodes of binge eating happen at least once a week, typically multiple days, and they have been occurring for several weeks or even months.
  • Eating more food than you normally do, or than others do in a relatively short amount of time. This is typically done over one or two hours.

For many, they find themselves depressed, anxious, or distressed after binge eating occurs.

Tips for those with binge eating disorder

Luckily, there are many ways to cope with binge eating disorder. Below are just a few ways to keep in mind:

  • Stop eating before you feel overly full. Try to finish eating when you feel almost full. Think of your body as your phone, and you want to stop charging when you feel around 75%
  • Eat only when you’re hungry. This is just as important as the type above, and this may seem like common sense, but only eating when you’re hungry will help you fuel your body healthily.
  • Take note of what you’re eating each day. This could include a journal or a log; do whatever works best for you to keep track of not only what you’re consuming but also how you’re feeling on any given day.

Help for binge eating disorder is out there, and it is possible to recover and move past this. Reach out to us to learn more about eating disorder or binge eating treatment.

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Green Heart Therapy provides in-person psychotherapy for adults, teens, and children in Los Angeles and online therapy across California.