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Learn How to Stop Binge Eating

binge eater

Woman binge eating.

Binge eating and overeating is not one and the same thing. It isn’t about having the occasional splurge of food at a wedding or dinner party. Binge eaters splurge on food all the time and they are unable to control it. Food is a coping mechanism that protects eaters from stress and other destructive, negative emotions. However, after binge eating, sufferers generally feel a lot worse than before, which then leads to a negative downward spiral. However, help is out there and there are quite a few things you can do yourself if you feel you are suffering from this particular eating disorder.

What Is Binge Eating?
You must first learn exactly what this is and how it is actually a disorder. Binge ating is a compulsion, where people who are eating feel completely out of control and they feel unable to stop even if they wanted to, which they often do. Very often, the illness, because that’s what it is, beings around puberty, or a few years after. Interestingly, it most often happens right after a big diet. A binge eater will eat when they are not hungry and each episode of binging usually lasts around two hours. Most of the time, they don’t taste what they are eating because they are going so fast.

Features of Binge Eating
Binge eaters generally have regular and frequent occurrences of binges. Also, during or after a binge, they tend to feel very emotionally upset. What characterises this eating disorder from others is that there is no “repenting”. With bulimia, for instance, suffers will vomit, over exercise or fast after each binge, which is not the case here. However, one of the things that characterises it as an eating disorder, besides the fact that it feels uncontrollable, is that it goes hand in hand with negative emotions, including guilt, depression and disgust.

How to Stop Binge Eating
The only way to know how to binge eating is to admit that the problem is there. It is a binge eating disorder and not something that you are to blame for, nor is it something that means you are weak. Once you admit that the problem is there, it is about finding ways to manage and change behaviour and stop binge eating.

One common cause of binge eating is stress. Controlling stress or recognising stressful situations and having coping mechanisms in place is an excellent starting point. Sufferers should also eat three meals each day and should only snack on healthy foods. Breakfast kick starts the metabolism. Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day, with dinner being something like a salad or a sandwich.

Next, it is important to recognise temptation and find ways of avoiding it. Don’t buy any junk food in other words. Always remember, as well, that dieting doesn’t work. It is about finding a way to eat healthily, not starve yourself as this will only lead to the dreaded and dangerous yoyo effect. Healthy living includes partaking in regular exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to get a gym membership, simply going for a nice walk is exercise too. Try to avoid boredom, because this can often be a catalyst. Also make sure you have a good night sleep every night. Learn to get to know your body again and only eat when you are hungry, not whenever you feel a negative emotion. Learning to differentiate between the two is probably the hardest lesson of all. Also try to keep a food diary to give you an idea of what you eat and when you eat it.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for support, because support is out there. There are many ways to control binge eating and it is about finding out what works for you. There are also some binge eating remedies, particularly those that help you to feel fuller, but it is about finding that inner control in yourself. After all, you are not eating because you are hungry.

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