Binge eating can come in many forms and stems from many different reasons. Binge eating is termed as a condition where by you have periods of severe or extreme overeating, past the point of being full, but it will not necessarily be followed by induced vomiting or purging.
Before anyone says, 'just don't do it' or 'binge on healthy foods', that just isn't helpful. Just like it's not helpful to tell someone who is anorexic to 'just eat more'.
Whatever the reason for your binge eating patterns, breaking the cycle can be one of the biggest ways to resolve this pattern of behaviour and addressing why the binge eating happens in the first place.
Binge eating disorder is tough. It can come with guilt, shame and major distress. Most people who have binge eating disorder may not even be anymore than average body weight. It has absolutely no relation to will power in any shape or form but more due to chemical imbalances that need to be addressed.
Binge eating is very emotionally driven and ones preoccupation with their body will really affect their ability to control their habits. The need for perfection or a perfectionist mindset can play a huge role, an all or nothing outlook or pattern of behaviour. Does this sound familiar?
Often control is found in food. One element of life we can control, which allows us to feel calmer and more at in control when many other aspects in our life can feel overwhelming.
Binge eating can come in cycles and can be triggered in different ways.
We try to find control in our eating patterns and behaviours > if we eat something we consider 'bad' or break our diet in one way or another > this can often lead to feelings of guilt > which in turn can cause you to over eat > this can lead to weight gain > leading to bad body image which can create low mood > this can create more binge eating.
This cycle is just one example.
There are many other triggers such as hormone fluctuations, natural weight fluctuations, emotional distress, emotional or physical abuse from family or partners, loneliness and stress.
Binge Eating is complex and you need to understand that each case is unique. We always strongly suggest getting some help from a professional if you feel it is out of control and you need some intervention.
To begin with here are some basic but small steps to take that may help you.
Practice imperfect eating habits. Everyone has a idea on what they believe healthy or perfection to be, if you start to break that barrier down, then it will allow yourself much more leeway either side of this perfect line.
Speak more kindly to yourself. We are often much nicer to other people than we are ourselves. Begin to saying nicer things in your head such as, 'you are smart', 'you look great', 'you have a very kind heart', 'you deserve the best'.
When it comes to health and fitness we seek physical perfection, try to put your goals more performance or health focused. Examples would be to lift heavier weights, be able to walk a certain distance in a given time, start a new hobby, get 8 hours sleep, etc.
Altering your mindset around food. Keeping a journal/diary can help you note down emotions you may not necessarily address, talk to someone close that you deeply trust, keep a gratitude diary. These may not seem helpful as they don't relate to food directly but they can help reduce levels of stress.
Avoid putting foods in a good or bad category. This black and white mindset is likely to create a fuck it outlook.
Sometimes your work or personal environment can create a negative cycle. Assess your current world and try to adjust it accordingly. This is a very personal approach and what may work for one person may not work for another.
Seek help if you feel out of control or unable to manage. Allow support from family or partner. Someone who you trust can help you when it can seem overwhelming.
If you genuinely feel this is a problem then please find a professional in your area such as a Dietician or GP.