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What does binge eating feel like? | Balance

Have you ever gone through a cycle of overeating, where one night you just couldn't stop yourself from eating until the point where you felt sick?

Have you ever eaten an entire family pack in secretive shame? Feeling immensely guilty afterwards leading you to turn to more food?

"What is binge eating supposed to feel like?"

It's one of the questions we get frequently both in practice and across our social platforms.

What is binge eating?

Before discussing what it feels like it's important to understand what binge eating is (and what it isn't).

Binge eating is defined by four key clinical criteria;
  1. A sense of loss / lack of control when eating.

  2. Eating a relatively large amount of food in a short period of time (several hours up to a whole twenty four hour period).

  3. Marked psychological distress and feelings of shame, guilt, anger and resentment during and after an episode.

  4. Having these episodes at least 2 days a week for 6 months or at least 1 day a week for 3 months

Binge eating is the most common form of eating disorder / disordered eating pattern.

Binge eating crosses over from normal behaviors to a disorder when it disrupts one's life due to shame about the behavior or feelings of guilt on the behavior itself.

Binge Eating Disorder usually begins around adolescence or young adulthood but can develop anytime from childhood through middle age.

Binge eating is three times more likely to occur in women (however men are much less likely to seek treatment)

Binge Eaters are often overweight or obese, but people of all different weights and sizes may also binge eat. It affects both men and women and may appear in people of all ages, races and backgrounds.

Binge eating has been shown to cause ma