Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Why am I binge eating?”
If you’ve ever had a bout of binge eating where you feel out of control or unable to stop eating, you’ve probably thought about it.
Through my years of training, it has become clear to me that overeating is more common than most people realize.
Binge eating is one of the most common challenges many of our members face within trying the Mindful Nutrition Method™ before joining. Whether they are facing this week or in specific situations, They are confused, confused, and unsure of what exactly is going on, why it is happening, and how to move forward to balance their relationship with food.
When you can better understand what triggers binge eating tendencies, you can begin to take steps to prevent this, heal your relationship with food, and restore the balance you desire.
What is binge eating?
Before we talk about why that is, we need to review what it actually is, and what it isn’t.
First and foremost, there are two levels of overeating. We have binge eating disorder, and then we have binge eating episodes, habits, or tendencies.
binge eating disorder
Binge eating disorder is defined as “recurrent episodes of eating large amounts of food, feeling out of control during the binge, and feeling ashamed, upset, or guilty afterward,” According to the National Eating Disorder (NEDA).
More specifically, it is characterized by eating a very large amount of food more than is generally considered a normal meal in a time period of two hours or less. People will also experience a lack of control during these episodes. They may feel as if they cannot stop themselves or not eat on purpose.
These described episodes occur on average, at least once a week for 3 months to be considered binge eating disorder, according to the NEDA.
Additionally, binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in America. research It is shown that 1.25% of women and .42% of men suffer from binge eating disorder.
bouts of binge eating
Now let’s say you experienced some of those symptoms that we just experienced. You’re consuming larger than average portion sizes, experiencing a loss of control, and possibly feeling irritated or guilty after the fact.
But by contrast, you experience these seizures less often than described above, or perhaps they are less serious.
Even though you may not have binge eating disorder, you can still have binge eating episodes.
Why do I binge?
Why does that happen? There are many different causes for these seizures. You may eat this way as a result of one of these reasons, or a combination of some of them.
Let’s walk through some of the most common reasons for overeating that I see as a health coach and registered dietitian.
5 reasons for binge eating
1. Don’t eat enough
One of the most common reasons people experience binge eating episodes is as a result Don’t eat enough or restrict their eating.
Constraints can look very different in different situations. For example, it may include restricting whole meals, certain food items, or simply restricting portion sizes.
It is often the result of a chronic diet that results in a repeating start and stop cycle. This generally occurs as a result of self-imposed rules and regulations for food.
To give you more context, when the body does not receive enough nourishment on a frequent basis, it eventually reaches a breaking point. It takes willpower to restrict the body from the food it wants and needs. And since willpower is limited, that willpower eventually runs out and the gates open.
Serving sizes flow through the roof and the restraint goes to the side of the road. The body is trying to compensate for the nutritional deficiency it suffers from.
At the end of these episodes, people are often left feeling excessively full, bloated, embarrassed, and frustrated. This leads them to fall back into restriction in a misguided attempt to “make up” or “fix” the latest insatiable episode.
It’s also important to note that some people accidentally don’t eat enough.
One of our members was studying for her law exams when she struggled with overeating at night. After researching her habits, we realized that Stress She was quenching her appetite, which led her to eat nothing but a piece of protein for the whole day. When she finally came home from the library after a full day, she was a predator and her body was making up for what she didn’t get.
From now on, she packs food with her and puts out eating reminders so she can ensure she gets the nourishment she needs throughout the day.
2. Attributing ethics to food and the scarcity mentality
Restricted or not, when morals are in play, overeating often comes hand in hand.
When I say assign morals to food, what I am referring to here is the act of considering food as good or bad, right or wrong, right or wrong.
Those who dedicate food to ethics often refer to nutritious food as good and feel proud when eating it. They, in turn, refer to more fun-based food items that don’t have much nutritional value as bad. Then they feel guilt or shame when they consume these pleasurable foods.
When we assign this kind of morality to food, food items in the “bad” category are exceptionally attractive. When these nutrients are consumed, there can be a sense of scarcity or urgency. A scarcity mindset can lead you to believe that because they “should” not be getting these nutrients, they should be eating more or faster than usual.
The justification for this comes from the idea that this might be your “only chance” to get the nutrient. Or they may tell themselves that this is the ‘last time’ they will consume said items, so they should have a good deal to ‘make the most’ out of the experience.
These mindsets can inadvertently lead to binge eating episodes or binge eating disorder over time.
3. Not eating balanced meals
We talk about balanced, nutritious meals all the time here at Nutrition Stripped! To easily describe and convey these meals, we use our Five Platforms. Could you Download our free guide He guides you through our Fifth Foundation System for preparing balanced meals that you can use to prepare meals or cook them fresh this week!
The five basic meals consist of whole food sources primarily of protein, starchy and sugary carbohydrates, non-starchy carbohydrates, fats and flavoring agents.
Each ingredient nourishes the body in a vibrant and different way. When we miss out on certain food groups (whether on purpose or unintentionally), it can lead to episodes of binge eating.
Basically the body yearns These components because they allow the body to be full and active. They allow the body to function at its best!
When an individual’s meals consist primarily of processed foods or are always lacking in some of these ingredients, they may experience a loss of food control and consume an excessive amount as a result.
Sometimes this can be caused by hunger, but it often continues past the point of hunger and satiety. This puts it in the category of binge eating episodes.
4. Not processing emotions or stress
When healthy and successful coping mechanisms are not developed with increased feelings or stress, individuals can begin to reach for food in response.
Stress and emotional eating are very common, but when left unaddressed for an extended period of time, it can start to build up and snowball into binge eating.
In this scenario, eating is a way to distract oneself from feelings Or the stress they are feeling. They don’t necessarily eat as a result of starvation, and thus ignore the cues of satiety as well. It is almost a method of anesthesia.
When hunger and satiety are completely ignored, large amounts of food can be eaten in a short period of time. In addition, a lack of control can be felt because the connection between the mind and body is essentially off.
If you find that you do not have mechanisms to deal with stress and heightened emotions, this may be the reason why you are taking this method.
5. Low self-esteem or bad body image
It is very common for those who participate in these episodes to have low self-esteem or a poor body image. The association between the two is often the result of self-sabotage, to some extent.
If you find that you are looking for food and saying things to yourself like, “I’m already unhappy with my body, so I might eat more.” , “Everything is really bad, so who cares if I eat too much.”, or “Healthy eating never makes a difference, so I should eat what I want and eat as much as I want.”, Perhaps you eat this way as a means of self-sabotage.
Overcoming binge eating
In order to stop overeating, the first step is to address your relationship with food.
Building a balanced relationship with food allows you to eat nutritious, balanced meals and manage stress and emotions. It allows you to listen for cues of hunger and satiety as well as get out of the diet cycle. You will also develop a strong sense of appreciation and empathy for yourself and your body.
This is exactly what we teach people how to do in our area conscious nutrition method. We guide you through the steps of healing your relationship with food. We teach you how to build a new relationship that allows for growth, stability and support.
You can view files Free workshop Learn how to be more balanced with your food choices so that you are free from food and diet obsession, maintain a balanced weight, and develop a positive relationship with food and your body.