Binge is like other eating disorders, there are varying degrees of binge eating. One type is extreme calorie intakes that are consumed as well as the depressing effect it has on their life. For others, it is a pesky problem that causes emotional upset but does not severely impact their life.
At any rate, binge eating leaves its sufferers shameful and guilt ridden.
The experience I have had with binges are that they usually started because of from one or more reasons:
1) A mental deprivation-An example of a mental deprivation would be feeling like you are denying yourself foods that you are craving, even though your diet may be 100% healthy.
2) A physical deprivation- depriving your self from food, or anything else that is physically there
3) Stress- stress from school, sports, work, kids, friends, family, or many other reason
4) Habit- once you continue to binge it becomes a habit just a daily part of your routine
5) A combination of the above
In my experience, when I have had what seemed like a perfect & healthy diet, I still can struggled with binges and over eating. My indulgence was some fruit after dinner or something fairly safe, however what I may have wanted was just a chocolate bar! I feel mentally deprived because I wanted something a bit exciting and off the beaten track now and then and my healthy diet, while balanced, did not give me this. So even if you are eating enough calories and the right food groups, sometimes your mind just wants to be a rebel. And for me, when I didn’t give it that once and a while, binges and over eating would happen but other times I binge when I have something that I think tastes so good and don't want it to stop. Only you can be the judge of what is a good balance for yourself, but if you are indeed experiencing binges then something is not working.
An example of a physical deprivation would be that your body is literally lacking certain nutrients in your diet and is making you binge to try and get these nutrients.For example, if someone with an eating disorder is calcium deprived, they may find themselves binging on cartons of ice cream and not know why.
In this case, it is very important to assess whether your diet is giving you the right nutrients that it needs to function properly. There is a great website called livestrong.com and you can assess your diet then. You can also see a Registered Dietitian for an assessment if you think you may be lacking nutrients. I saw one when I was struggling with anorexia and it was a great experience!
Stress binging is fairly obvious. This is the time when you are going through stress like a family member is ill or like a bad grade on a test. When stressed your body starts secreting the hormones of adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that increases your appetite for fatty and sugary foods. If you are depressed, your body will also use the food as a way to temporarily increase the endorphins in your brain.Endorphins are released with food. This comes from evolutionary functions that that humans always have the desire to eat, this is an adaptive function. So now the trick is to figure out other adaptive ways to make ourselves feel good and to increase the endorphins in our brains.
Next we will talk about ways to break the habit