Understanding why you do something that negatively affects your health can help you better understand how to control these behaviors. So, if you’re wondering, ‘why do I binge eat?’, identifying reasons why you display these behaviors can help you to pinpoint ways of how to stop.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that’s characterized by behaviors of binge eating. Binge eating is:
- eating large amounts of food in short periods of time
- avoiding eating in front of others
- hiding evidence of eating
- eating even though not hungry
- feelings of shame, guilt, and depression after eating
Why do I Binge Eat?
So, why do people who develop binge eating disorder binge eat? In most cases, the behavior of binge eating comes after a period of restriction. Commonly, people who develop binge eating disorder will try to control their body image, weight, and size with restrictive behaviors. These behaviors can include dieting, skipping meals, or refraining from eating altogether. But, once the body can no longer restrict itself from nutrition, that’s when the binge eating behaviors come into play. So, binge eating disorder is about the attempt to control one’s health or image but ends up being a struggle with control that ends in binge eating.
Ways to Help Stop Binge Eating Behaviors
Do you think you or a loved one is struggling with binge eating disorder? The effects of this disorder can be debilitating to daily life like impacting relationships with others, leading to negative emotions and thought patterns, affecting work and school performance, and more. Plus, binge eating behaviors can lead to negative physical effects and illness. So, those affected by this eating disorder need to learn how to control the negative behaviors they have associated with disordered eating. Fortunately, there are a few things those affected by this eating disorder can do to stop binge eating.
Don’t Skip Meals or Give in to Dieting Fads
One thing people living with binge eating disorder need to do is get ahead of their restrictive eating behaviors. This includes staying away from meal skipping and getting involved with diets that can lead to malnourishment or eating below your recommended daily caloric intake. When you curb these behaviors, you reduce the risk of cravings that can lead to overeating.
Use Mindfulness to Stay Present
A useful technique in combating disordered eating behaviors is mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to your current needs, emotions, and thoughts to remain present. Being mindful can help you to understand when your body is in need; so, it can help you to recognize when you are hungry and need nourishment. This can help you to gain healthy eating behaviors rather than using restrictive eating and then binging when your body can no longer restrict itself. A good way to practice mindfulness is by meditation and focusing on concentrating your mind on your present needs.
Getting Help Through Treatment
People who are living with disordered eating behaviors like binging can get help professionally. Treatment typically includes therapy, holistic treatments (like meditation), and education in order to provide people living with these disorders the tools necessary to live healthier lifestyles.
Willow Place for Women is a women’s only eating disorder treatment facility in Asheville, North Carolina that offers outpatient therapy and help. If you or someone you love is living with binge eating disorder, we can help.