Binge eating is characterized by excessive eating followed by feelings of guilt. If you struggle with this behavior, it is important to know that you are not alone, and there are many others struggling with a similar condition. However, your case is unique, so it must be handled uniquely. No one case of binge eating is the same. The first step to healing is finding the cause of your binge eating. It will be explained what the likely contributing factors to your binge eating may be.
Why am I a Binge Eater?
Most conditions are caused by both biological and psychological factors, and binge eating is no exception. First, the biological factors will be discussed. Research has found that one of the areas of the brain controlling hunger is misfiring in those with binge eating disorder. It is possible that this area of the brain is not allowing you to feel full. Studies have also shown that serotonin deficiency may play a role in causing excessive eating.
For this reason, your psychiatrist may prescribe you an anti-depressant for your binge eating, as anti-depressants will increase your levels of serotonin. It should be no surprise that those with binge eating disorder often suffer from depression, as one of the causes for depression is a deficiency of serotonin.
Another possible biological cause of your binge eating is due to your genes. If you have a family member who was a binge eater, you are at an increased risk of binge eating. Although the research is recent and not yet conclusive, studies have also shown that mutations in proteins that regulate blood sugar and metabolism are possible causes of binge eating.
The psychological factors that may be contributing to your binge eating disorder will now be discussed. As was stated above, if you suffer from depression, you are at an increased risk of suffering from binge eating disorder partly due to your deficiency of serotonin. There are other contributing factors as well.
If you suffer from binge eating disorder, it is likely that you struggle with low self-esteem, anxiety, and/or loneliness. As a result, you may be binge eating in order to comfort yourself from these overwhelming feelings. Another factor may be the environment you were raised in. Studies have shown that those who were raised in families that tend to overeat are at an increased risk of binge eating. Finally, sexual abuse and other traumas has shown to put one at a significantly increased risk of binge eating.
Dangers of Binge Eating
If you are struggling with binge eating disorder, you are not alone. There are many outlets available that offer you support. Many are ashamed of seeking out help, but it is vital that you fight your binge eating disorder, as it may be detrimental to your psychological and physical health. The consequences of binge eating will be discussed to inform you on the harm that it is causing on your health.
What are the Consequences of My Binge Eating?
There are many possible dangers to your physical and psychological health associated with binge eating disorder. Your binge eating is causing an increased risk of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as your diet is likely to contain high amounts of salt and saturated fat. Binge eating also puts you at serious risk of heart disease due to the high amounts of fat being consumed. As a binge eater, you may also consume an excess of carbs and sugar, which can lead to Type II diabetes.
The most obvious physical effect binge eating will have is weight gain. If you are gaining weight due to your binge eating, this is a definite warning sign of possible illness later on. Gaining large amounts of weight from an unhealthy diet puts you at serious risk of the diseases listed above. It also puts you at risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, sleep apnea, and other illnesses. Weight gain will also put you at risk of arthritis and join pain as your body is carrying more weight than it is meant to handle.
One of the most serious consequences to your binge eating can be developing certain cancers. Cancer cells feed off of sugar, which is often a main part of a binge eater’s diet. It is vital that you cut down on your sugar intake, and visit a doctor for suggestions on dieting as binge eating puts you at an increased risk of cancer. Your doctor will greatly aid you in losing weight, and may refer you to a therapist to help you fight back against binge eating.
There are also many psychological consequences to binge eating. If you struggle with binge eating, it is likely that you suffer from stress, depression, anxiety, and/or drug abuse. Binge eating will add on to the stress and anxiety that you are already feeling, as you are plagued by feelings of shame and guilt after each binge eating episode. Depression is also commonly associated with binge eating, as both illness are partly caused by a deficiency in serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter associated with energy and hunger regulation. This is the reason your therapist may prescribe you an anti-depressant if you are struggling with binge eating even if you do not have depression, as anti-depressants increase your levels of serotonin.
How to prevent getting Binge Eating Disorder.
For some, eating can be of serious concern, especially for binge eaters. Binge eating is the excessive consumption of food in short intervals of time. After binge eating, you will usually experiences feelings of shame and regret. However, there is likely an underlying factor contributing to your binge eating. It will be explained how you can prevent binge eating before it starts.
How Can I Prevent Myself from Binge Eating?
One way to prevent binge eating is to follow an eating schedule. You should not under eat. Under eating will only make you feel hungrier, and is not at all healthy. Scheduling your eating times and eating healthily is a good plan if you wish to end your struggle with binge eating. Do not be overly concerned with your weight, as this will only cause you further stress. Instead, you should focus on eating healthily and staying on schedule with your eating times. After all, worrying will not help you lose weight.
You should also recognize what triggers your binge eating or if you are binge eating due to past trauma. Many with binge eating disorder seek out professional help to identify the underlying causes of their eating disorder. You should not be ashamed of seeking professional help as many are in your same situation and need similar help. You deserve to start living a happy, healthy life. Professional help will allow you to change your thoughts and finally be free of what is causing you to binge eat.
Another strategy to preventing yourself from binge eating is to not be around foods you are likely to binge on. Also, many suggest that you find something other than food to give you happiness. Perhaps you enjoy some other activity that can replace eating, such as exercise or painting. Participating in relaxing activities may also allow you to prevent binge eating. Deep breathing, music, or conversing with friends can be a perfect way to calm you. Once you feel the urge to binge eat, you should begin participating in some relaxing activity so as to prevent binging.
If you find yourself beginning to binge eat, try to control your thoughts. You are not a hopeless cause if you begin to binge eat, and can stop midway through. All you must do is learn to relax and control your thoughts in these stressful situations. For this reason, it is vital to seek professional help to learn how to control these urges.
Controlling Hunger to Prevent Binge Eating
When your blood sugar is low, there are special hormones in your blood and stomach that tell your brain that you need to take in more food. Well, this is how the whole hunger and feeding mechanism is supposed to work. However, there are other factors which increase a person’s appetite, and can cause them to eat more than they should. If you believe that your appetite is too large, you will have to do some introspection to see what could be the problem. You may have to visit the doctor as well. Increased appetite is usually not life-threatening, however, overeating can cause health problems down the line.
If you find that your hunger is not relieved by portions that used to do the job in the past, then you will have to look at what changed in your life since then. If you have started an exercise regimen recently, or you have been more active, then your body will need more energy to meet the increased demands, which increases your appetite. If this is the case, it won’t be much of a problem unless you’ve been putting the wrong foods into your body. Eat more proteins and vegetables and do not go overboard on your carbohydrates, which can make you fat. Your carbohydrates include your starches and your sugars.
There are other factors that cause an increase in appetite. One of these is your mental health, due to common issues such as stress, anxiety and depression. It has been proven that when a person is stressed or depressed, a person will most likely eat more. Not only will they eat more, but they will eat more mood-elevating foods such as simple carbohydrates, also known as your sugars. Healthy foods do elevate your mood, but sugar does a much quicker job. The bad news is that the high you get from intaking sugar doesn’t last long, which causes you to eat even more sugar to compensate. If you believe you are depressed, you should visit your nearest psychologist or psychiatrist, and they will tell you what steps you should take. If you have been stressed out recently, start decreasing the amount of stress you allow in your life. For example, at work, ask for less hours or less projects to work on. You may be paid less, but your health is more important.
Other factors include mismanagement of a diet. Have you gone on one of those diets that asks you to cut out carbs completely? These diets hardly ever work, as people crave even more carbs than normal when they go on these diets. Do you feel light headed at times? Then you may need to visit the doctor. Increased appetite and light headedness are symptoms of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to correct the problem, and also tell you how to manage your diet. You might also look at any medications you are taking. There are some prescribed drugs that can cause an increase in appetite, for instance, antidepressant drugs, ironically.
There are small things you can do to control your hunger. One of these is dividing your meals into more meals, which means you are eating more times throughout the day. You won’t feel hungry all the time, and you will actually lose weight this way. If all else fails, talk to your doctor.
Binge eating, as other disorders, is a result of both biological and psychological factors. Some biological factors have shown to be a deficiency in serotonin, a history of binge eating in your family, and mutations in proteins regulating blood sugar and metabolism. As for psychological factors, there are an abundance of possible causes including depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, loneliness, past environment, and past trauma. These are all common causes of binge eating disorder. You should know that you are not alone in fight against binge eating, and there are many outlets in which you can seek help. It is recommended to seek professional help in order to uncover the underlying causes of your binge eating. Also, you may receive therapy that will allow you to make peace with your past experiences. Life is too short to waste; it is time to be happy. You are worth the fight.