Why Binge Eating Happens | Balance

Most people think of binge eating as simply overeating.


However, it is actually much more complicated than that. Binge eating is a real and serious problem that can have devastating consequences on a person's health and wellbeing.

Binge eating disorder is a serious mental illness that affects millions of people. It is characterized by episodes of uncontrolled overeating, followed by feelings of shame, guilt, and distress.


There are many reasons why people may start to binge eat. For some, it may be a way to cope with difficult emotions or situations. In this article we'll discuss why binge eating happens and the first step you must take to overcome it.





Why Dieting Can Cause Binge Eating

People often turn to dieting in an attempt to lose weight. However, dieting can actually lead to binge eating and other unhealthy behaviors.


When people diet, they are usually being far too restricte with their food intake in some way. Either with how much they are eating or which foods they're allowing themselves to eat. This can lead to feelings of deprivation, which can trigger binge eating.


Extreme deprivation associated with dieting (particularly fad dieting) can trigger the "primal" parts of our brain that perceive us to then be in a time of famine. The urge to eat becomes so overwhelming in the presence of food, thanks to our primitive will to survive, that you will find yourself in the midst of out of control eating. This can lead to a lot of critical self-narrative backlash which is the gateway for falling into a cycle of restriction and bingeing.


You diet too severely, binge eat, beat yourself up about it and become more restrictive until you ultimately binge again.

People who are restrictive eaters are also more likely to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. They may become obsessed with calories and macros, and they may punish themselves for "cheating" on their diets. This can all lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting and disordered eating.


It's important to remember that all foods can fit into a healthy diet. Restricting certain foods places them on a pedastal will only make you crave them more. As well as that it can also create a greater reward response too making it more and more difficult not to eat those foods when you are restricting from them.


Binge Eating As a Means of Coping

Binge eating is a common problem that can have serious consequences for both physical and mental health. While there are many different factors that can contribute to binge eating, one of the most common is using food as a means of coping with stress or other difficult emotions.


For some people, the origin of binge eating may start as early childhood or adolescence. Many cases of binge eating can be attributed to being introduced to dieting and or diet talk / culture in younger years and is extremely common in people whose parents struggled with disordered eating.


Binge eating develops as a way to cope with difficult emotions and or to "escape" from the difficulties of life. Over time, this can become a habit that is difficult to break. Binge eating can be triggered by dieting or other attempts to control weight, as well as by certain life events such as divorce, job loss, or the death of a loved one.


If you find yourself turning to food to cope with stress or other negative emotions, it’s important to seek help. Up to 90% of binge eating episodes can be attributed to a low mood state. Binge eating can lead to serious health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. It can also cause or worsen anxiety and depression.


The First Step To Take To Overcome Binge Eating

If you're struggling with binge eating, developing a routine can be helpful. Having a regular routine can help reduce the urge to binge, as it provides structure and a sense of control.


Here are some tips for establishing a routine:


  • Start by scheduling regular mealtimes and snacks. Committing to regular fueling will help reduce the hunger induced drive to binge. Try to stick to these as much as possible. As our favourite saying goes, fuel good, feel good!

  • Plan ahead what you'll eat for each meal and snack, and have the food ready to go.

  • Make sure to include healthy foods that you enjoy in your meals and snacks. This will help you stick to your routine and avoid feeling deprived.

  • Incorporate physical activity into your routine. Exercise can help reduce stress and tension, which can trigger binge eating.

  • Take some time each day to relax and unwind. This can be through activities like yoga, meditation, or simply reading a book.

By following these tips, you can establish a routine that will help you control your urge to binge eat. Creating a healthy routine is an important step in managing binge eating disorder.

Concluding Remarks

There are many reasons why people may start binge eating. It could be that you're depriving yourself too much with your diet. It could also be due to stress, boredom, or feeling like you have no control over your life. Binge eating can also manifest as a means to cope with trauma or difficult emotions.


Binge eating is often a coping mechanism that people use to deal with difficult emotions or situations. It can be a way to numb out from stress, sadness, or anxiety. Binge eating can also be a way to feel in control when everything else feels out of control.


If you’re struggling with binge eating, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you heal and recover.


Establishing a healthy routine is your first step to Being Binge Free. Embrace regular feeling and learn to love fueling again. Fuel good, feel good is the mantra to go by!


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