Binge eating is a serious issue that affects many people, but it's often overlooked or misunderstood.
It's not just about eating too much or having a lack of self-control, like the fitness industry would have you believe. It's complex with both psychological and physiological components.
At its core, binge eating is a pattern of frequently consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, often to the point of feeling uncomfortably full.
If you have ever struggled with binge eating, you know all too well the feeling of losing control during these episodes, and the guilt and shame that comes afterwards.
Binge eating can't be cured with another meal plan or diet, because it's triggered by a variety of factors, including stress, emotions, or certain environmental cues.
Binge eating is commonly used as a coping mechanism for underlying issues such as depression, anxiety, or trauma. I myself have seen a rise in clients who struggled with binge eating during the pandemic, as a way to cope with the uncertainty and fear that we all felt.
If left unchecked, binge eating can lead to serious health problems such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
It can also have a negative impact on mental health, leading to low self-esteem and further distress.
So, what can be done about binge eating?
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based treatments can be effective in addressing the root causes of binge eating and helping individuals develop healthy coping mechanisms.
In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to try and prevent binge eating:
Eat regularly and adequately to help regulate hunger and avoid extreme hunger that can lead to binges.
Practice mindful eating – pay attention to your food and your body's hunger and fullness cues.
Plan ahead and have healthy snacks on hand to avoid impulsive eating.
Find healthy ways to cope with stress and emotions, such as through exercise, therapy, or hobbies.
Don't be too hard on yourself – binge eating is much more common than you think, because the majority of sufferers do so in secrecy.
Binge eating is a common and serious issue, but it's also possible to heal with the right support.
If you are struggling, I invite you to check out my Food Freedom Workshop, completely free here.