Everyone loves relishing their favorite food, and no one can resist it! And we all love binge eating our favorite snack.
Once we start binge eating, there is no going back. But the question is, how to stop binge eating?
In this article, we will tell you the different ways one can stop binge eating. But before that, let’s know a few things:
What Does Binge Eating Mean?
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), states that eating large amounts of food which other people cannot consume at the same time is binge eating.
This disorder needs special attention, lifestyle modification, dietary counseling, psychotherapy, and medications to get better.
What Causes Binge Eating?
Now, binge eating can be either psychological or non-psychological. The pathophysiology of binge eating is not yet clearly identified. Binge eating is the same as substance abuse disorder.
Increased activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and decreased activity in the prefrontal network results in binge eating.
Inside the orbitofrontal cortex, the insula is present. It is a ribbon-like structure in the brain responsible for the functions like taste, smell, and autonomic control.
An increase in the level of the insula is a well-known factor for binge eating disorders.
There is an impairment in the regulation of reward and the brain’s inhibitory system—excessive food cravings for the products that contain high levels of sugar and fat content in them.
Binge eating can also be caused due to difficulty in regulating emotions.
Also, in recent studies, it has been found that a decrease in serotonin levels can cause compulsive eating.
History of Eating Disorder
The individual must be self-aware of the binge eating episodes experienced. The eating habits which cause the urge to binge eat result in weight gain.
You need to keep a history of your eating disorder, like:
- Age of onset of binge eating
- Recurrence of episodes of binge eating
- Number of episodes experienced
- Quantity of food consumed
- Any use of laxatives to induce vomiting
- Emotional stress
- Emotion associated binge eating
- Body dissatisfaction
- Restrictions on food intake during the childhood
- Urge to achieve perfectionism
Many factors can cause binge eating disorders. A few reasons for eating disorders are listed below:
Low Self Esteem
Self-esteem is the value for one’s own body and mind. Distortion in self-body image causes chronic low self-esteem.
This can be one of the reasons for binge eating and is mostly seen in people affected with anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
Individuals who face body shaming due to excessive weight tend to overcontrol their eating patterns.
The night is when humans are meant to be fasting. Instead, they consume sugary foods, junk food, and processed foods. This results in a reduced metabolic rate and increased fat deposition. This type of binge eating is also known as a “night eating disorder.”
If unhealthy eating habits are present in your family for generations, you are more likely to be suffering from an eating disorder.
Another reason is that seeing your parents, elder siblings, or grandparents binge can create an urge to binge eat.
Any emotional trauma, recent death, car accident, separation in the family, and bullying in childhood for being underweight or overweight can lead to binge eating.
Women are more likely to be affected by binge eating than men.
Poor sleep cycle, frequent awakening after sleeping, and sleep deprivation cause an elevation in ghrelin levels and depression in leptin which leads to hunger production.
Other reasons for binge eating:
People with psychological disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, post-traumatic stress disorder can have unhealthy eating habits.
How to Stop Binge Eating:
Recovery from addiction is challenging and, specifically, can be tough when it is associated with food. Instead, develop a relationship based on your own nutritional needs and not emotional needs.
So are you ready to overcome binge eating and develop a healthier eating relationship with food? Here are a few strategies that can assist in overcoming binge eating disorders.
1. REGULAR EXERCISE
Get moving! Initially, start taking a stroll around your house or in the park. Starting to work out will help you to lose weight. Also, it is stated that regular exercise can help relieve stress, elevate energy levels and brighten up the mood.
A specific time must be selected for exercise as it helps the mind to avoid paying attention to the urge to binge eat.
Exercises performed in the early morning hours are always beneficial to increase leptin levels in the body, reducing weight gain.
Emotional eating can be controlled by physical activity.
Cardio exercises are always cheering as they increase the heart rate resulting in increased blood flow in the body. Here are a few exercises that you can perform anywhere
- Brisk walking
You can burn 10 to 20 calories per minute, and these values may vary according to each body type. You can curb emotional eating by physical activity.
Exercising regularly can decrease stress levels that trigger overeating.
2. AVOID RESTRICTIVE DIET
Instead of following a restrictive diet that might lead you to starve and cause eating unusually large amounts of food, adopt a healthy diet.
Skipping meals can lead to a sudden decrease in energy levels; this promotes compulsive overeating.
A regular eating schedule must be planned—three meals in a day rich in protein and fiber boost metabolism in the body. Eating regularly according to the planned diet can help you to stop overeating.
Meal planning helps you to determine when to have your meal. When three meals are planned, they should be divided with adequate time intervals.
While doing this, calorie counting is another measure you can take for healthier eating habits.
The meals can be divided as follows
- 7 am to 9 am Breakfast
- 12 pm to 2 pm Lunch
- 7 pm to 8 pm Dinner
Having meal planning can help you to tackle your cravings effectively. Intuitive eating can be practiced that is eating only when you are hungry.
To prevent binge eating, staying hydrated can stop your binge eating cycle; this method is known as curbing cravings.
You need to identify the trigger foods that may cause you to undergo another binge eating episode.
Sleep is very necessary; an 8-hour sleep is essential. Ample of sleep is necessary to reduce anxiety and boost energy levels. Sleep affects the levels of leptin that are responsible for regulating our diet.
Getting enough sleep is essential; the body craves sugary foods, which causes binge eating. Enough sleep helps with appetite control and reduces the consumption of junk foods. A deprived sleep schedule can also be a reason to trigger food addiction.
Also, remember to avoid using any electronic device before sleep as it can consume 1 or 2 hours of sleep. Avoid overthinking before sleep as it may disturb you.
A regular sleep-wake cycle is achieved with consistent practice. This should be followed every day, even on weekdays and weekends. Try sticking to a specific time of sleeping and waking.
The room must be very peaceful, cool, quiet, and dark. Taking a warm water bath can get you an adequate amount of sleep.
Daytime naps should be avoided or can be for 30 minutes or so. Daytime naps can delay your sleep time at night.
4. Handle Emotional Stress
A reaction given to daily life pressures is known as emotional stress. This can be handled by practicing meditation early in the morning.
Positive affirmations can help deal with the stress and create a positive attitude towards life.
Yoga is also known to reduce stress levels. Here are a few yoga poses to reduce stress
I) Sukhasana –
Always remind yourself of the food rules that have been set.
The key to stopping binge eating is knowing that you can only stop eating now—the moment where you can successfully choose to eat a few bites or binge eat.
Be focused on avoiding unnecessary food consumption. Here willpower plays a major role in controlling the craving. This urge to binge eat may last for a very short period.
A practical method to control the craving or delay is consuming plenty of water to reduce food cravings and promote fat loss.
Certain foods like fruit juice, dry fruits, almonds, and walnuts can keep the stomach full between the two meals.
Avoid consuming coke instead of fruit juice as it contains more sugar. Eating sugar in excessive amounts can negatively impact physical and mental health.
Try to consume more fiber as it moves slowly through the digestive tract and keeps the person satiated for a longer period.
A regular eating pattern can avoid the chances of overeating anytime in the day. Proper consumption of breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a specified time is a regular eating pattern.
Ghrelin is responsible for the regulation of hunger. Ghrelin is also known as a “hunger-stimulating hormone.” A recent study has proven that a regular eating pattern decreases ghrelin.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If binge eating exceeds and cannot be controlled, it must be medically reviewed. Binge eating can result in a number of co-morbidities that may affect the individual’s health.
Hence a general physical examination under the guidance of certified doctors is necessary.
- Blood pressure levels
Normal blood pressure can range between +/-120/80 mmhg.
An abnormal increase in these levels is termed hypertension.
- Fasting blood sugar levels
These are usually checked while an empty stomach.
The normal value ranges between 70-100mg/dl.
If the levels are more than 100mg/dl, it is termed diabetes. There are two types of diabetes present; type 1 and type 2.
3. Body mass index
It measures the amount of fat-saturated in the body based on height and weight.
The normal values are 18.5 to 24.8.
The formula to calculate BMI=weight[kilograms]/height[metre] x height[metre]
4. Waist hip ratio
It is an anthropometric measure of body shape.
The formula to calculate WHR= Waist circumference [centimeters]/Hip circumference[cms]
A psychologist plays a major role in eating disorders. The following questionnaires are used to rule out the possibilities.
A few psychotherapies are available for binge eating disorders. Remember that psychotherapy does not play any role in weight reduction caused due to binge eating.
It is always the first option to treat this disorder. Here are a few treatment approaches listed below
Cognitive behavior therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy is also known as CBT. This method has effectively shown results in stopping binge eating disorders.
This treatment focuses on a stepwise approach. It is a self-help program that helps in self-control, developing eating habits, and regular eating patterns.
It is like a support group. It mainly depends on finding out the area that connects to binge eating disorders. It is mostly experimental and deals with only problem-relevant regions.
Dialectical behavior therapy
This therapy mostly deals with emotional problems that link with binge eating disorders. In this therapy, skills like watchfulness, emotional balance, tolerance, and avoiding the chances of relapsing the condition are taught.
An approach to pharmacotherapy is made when there is a marked decline in psychotherapy and may show chances of relapsing the condition.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the first line of treatment—for example- topiramate and methylphenidate cause the stopping of binge eating disorders and weight reduction.
Pharmacotherapy is not used when undergoing psychotherapy as it may hamper the results. The treating medical professional must be made aware if undergoing any treatment.
Here are a few disorders that might be similar to binge eating disorder but require a different approach. If any of the above treatments are not effective, you must consult a medical professional for a differential diagnosis of the disease.
Immediate treatment should be initiated under the guidance of a psychiatrist.
Bulimia nervosa– after consuming a large amount of food in a minimal period, the person tends to induce vomiting or use laxatives.
Anxiety disorder-the person may overheat under emotional stress. The episodes of binge eating can occur once a week in a month.
So you are all set to overcome this ” how to stop binge eating?” question, get going on your journey; you can do it.[amazon_auto_links id="280559"]