Binge eating is also known as compulsive overeating, which is very difficult to define, treat, and understand. It is not a mental disorder as compared to anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, but many professionals consider it as fear and it is very dangerous. People suffering from anorexia nervosa and binge eating have a habit of controlling their emotions with the help of food. However, instead of vomiting or withholding the food, they can eat upto 20,000 calories in a day.
Some people may suffer from occasional binge eating. As it cannot be treated, it is essential that you know how to control binge eating.
Signs and symptoms of binge eating:
- People suffering from this disorder find pleasure in eating, and do not stop even if they know that their tummy is full. They struggle hard to inject food in their stomach, even if they are feeling uncomfortable having it
- Anxiousness and depression, frequent mood swings
- Eating alone, hiding food in wardrobes or places in kitchen, which are unreachable by anyone else
- They eat very fast while they’re upset, and they generally find it difficult to stop or control eating
Many teenagers and adolescents are falling prey to this unnatural practice, which has eventually increased the rate of disorders such as heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, etc at an early age. Here are some important tips that will help you to prevent binge eating.
Secrecy and guilt is always known to accompany overeating, which is further followed by regret. Given below are some steps that can help you control compulsive overeating:
- Binge eating fuels negative feelings and gradually contributes to a disturbed state of mind, which in turn is most likely to trigger your next cycle of compulsive overeating or binge eating. If you give yourself the permission to eat whatever you feel like, you will stop overeating subsequently, by making way for the negative feelings to flow out smoothly
- You will have to develop some positive coping tools, which you can use to manage your emotions. You can try exercising, talk to close friends, do yoga, and play some musical instruments, or simply engaged in a hobby, which will help you manage your emotions, and dig a burrow for all your empty self-responses to be discarded, through a positive approach.
- Always remember that you must process your emotions, and get rid of the state quickly, instead of suffering down with them. The very fact that a considerable amount of energy is consumed by thinking, proves that thoughts have mass, and they’re transmitted through whatever activity we engage in. For instance, when we’re in a disturbed state of mind while eating, we transmit our own negativity back into us, by eating food when we’re depressed. It is hence advised that you think about positive things while eating, and you’ll be surprised to feel the resulting changes in your thought patterns soon.
- Eating disorder is a symptom of deeper temperamental malfunction, and not the primordial issue in itself. You need to heal the pain that is causing this kind of behavior, so that you will never feel the urge for binge eating or compulsive eating.
- Remember that you must focus your thoughts on something else except for food. We usually give power to things that we think about, so even if your mind tends to think about eating then think about healthier foods. In this way, you are still fueling your thoughts with healthier food. Self-pity and sadness is inflicted not by others, but by oneself. It is the result of a twisted interpretation of events, which leads to perpetual disagreement or denial towards one’s own experiences.
- Allow yourself sometime to cool off. Whenever you get the urge to binge, inform yourself that you will be waiting for 15 more minutes. During this 15-minute time out, use the other tools for coping, which you have developed to manage your emotions. Ignore your emotions, for they’re not real, and they’re making you suffer. At the end of 15 minutes, if you still have the urge to binge, then ignore the urge blatantly, and get to doing something else. Don’t answer your cravings. It only fuels your indecisiveness and instability.
- You must keep repeating these steps until you have gained complete control on your binge eating habits.
- Start having herbal tea. Ayurveda recommends brewing together some herbs and having them regularly for dealing with emotional distress, which is the major cause of binge eating. The most effective herbs for stress are Echinacea, Chamomile, Comfrey and St. John’s Wort. Try combining peppermint and chamomile, it’ll get you revitalized.
- Increase the flavor in your food. Spicy foods are very difficult to eat in excess. Therefore, doctors always recommend using spices like cumin, chili, and curry in your food for everyday use. This will avoid overeating and in turn, it will allow your metabolism to work at a higher pace.
- You can try massage and yoga as well. Both these things are very effective in dealing with stress and balancing the inner energy. Breathing exercises and meditation are very helpful as well. These methods will help you get rid of stress, but will keep your mind off food.
Tips to prevent binge eating:
- Always remember that healing from an eating disorder will take a lot of time, so you will have to be patient
- Prepare a list of food items that tempt you and aggravate your hunger, and keep such food out of your reach. Keep limited amount of food in your house. Do not carry food in your bags, wherever you go.
- Stress is illusion. There’s no such thing as saturation, it’s called resistance towards changes, which results in denial. Despite being taught moral values, we tend to find pleasure in expecting, dreaming, possessing, desiring etc, which ultimately reintroduces us to dissatisfaction. It is often seen that people who are unable to handle work pressure, tend to eat more. So, beware of non-real projections of your mind, and get to know your mood swings better, and try to find a way out of it.
- Never judge your progress with a fail or pass standard. Hope never goes unanswered, that is the universal law of nature
- Look for a qualified therapist who has experience in counseling people with issues of increasing eating disorder. Your therapist will help you develop some more tools to stop from regular binge habits.
- People who have suffered a lot from binge eating will always be vulnerable to slip back in the old pattern. Even after you have conquered compulsive overeating, you must always stay mindful of those situations that are likely cause a relapse
- Always remember that you must never go on a diet. Depriving yourself of the food will trigger even more urge to binge. Instead, you must make an effort to manage your weight through eating healthy food and exercising regularly. For some people the minute they stop overeating they go back to their normal weight.
The tips and suggestions given above are very helpful in controlling or preventing binge eating. Do follow, or at least try.