What Is a Binge Eating Disorder?

What Is a Binge Eating Disorder?

Last Updated: Tue, January 23, 2024

Do you eat unusually large amounts even when you’re not hungry? Do you feel a strong sense of guilt or shame after it? You likely have a binge eating disorder (BED).

In this article, we will talk about BED and binge eating disorder symptoms. 

What Is Binge Eating Disorder?

BED isn’t just all about food. It’s a recognized psychological condition characterized by episodes of eating large quantities of food. 

Oftentimes, people with BED consume large quantities of food extremely quickly. This causes a feeling of discomfort. Those with BED also have feelings of losing control during the binge, shame, distress, or guilt afterward. 

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms 

If you’ve been wondering what is binge eating disorder, you must understand its symptoms.

1.     Secret Behavior 

When you're alone, you’re most likely to binge. This can happen late at night or even in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant. You also get rid of the evidence, by hiding wrappers or food containers.

2.     Food Hoarding

You stock bags of chips or cookies either in your closet or under your bed. Food hoarding also includes buying food you don’t even need. 

3.     Abnormal Eating Pattern 

An abnormal eating pattern features lightly eating without setting times for meals. This also involves eating a small bit at meals or skipping them altogether.

4.     Lack of Control 

When you lack control, you don’t care about the amount of food you consume. You also lose control of when to stop eating and feel uncomfortably full after binge eating. 

5.     No Purging 

if you don’t purge, you don't get rid of the extra calories you consume in a healthy way. Instead, you make yourself throw up or take laxatives.

Effects of Binge Eating Disorder on Your Body 

A binge eating disorder can be dangerous. Here are the effects of BED on your body:

1.     Weight Gain and Obesity 

When you binge eat, it’s common for you to gain weight. Two-thirds of the people diagnosed with the disorder are overweight. 

Eating lots of food in a short period of time adds extra pounds to your weight. Many of the people who binge also feel bad about their weight. This results in low self-esteem. 

Unfortunately, this triggers even more overeating. Obesity also raises your chances of getting long-term health problems like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases.

2.     Heart Disease 

It’s harder for your heart to pump blood to the lungs and body when you’re overweight. 

Your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar also increase if you have a lot of fat, especially on your belly. These can boost your risk for heart attack and stroke.

3.     Type 2 Diabetes 

Studies show that people who binge eat will most likely get type 2 diabetes. 

Diabetes can be a lifelong disease. It might also require ongoing treatment. Binge eating can also make your blood sugar harder to control if you have diabetes.

4.     Depression and Other Mood Problems 

People with binge eating disorders commonly have depression and anxiety. 

To boost their mood, a lot of people turn to binge eating. Although this can later lead to guilty feelings, it can also make you binge more.

How to Overcome Binge Eating Disorder

Regular binge episodes can lead to health conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Thankfully, there are plenty of strategies you can use to recover from BED. 

1.     Try yoga. 

Studies indicate that yoga helps encourage healthy eating habits. It also helps reduce the risk of emotional eating.

Additionally, yoga can decrease levels of stress hormones. Decreased levels of stress hormones help prevent a person from binge eating.

2.     Eat more fiber. 

Fiber slowly moves through your digestive tract and helps your liver work optimally. Therefore, it keeps you feeling full for a longer period.

Research suggests that increased fiber intake could cut cravings. This helps you manage your binge eating. 

3.     Get enough sleep. 

Sleep deprivation is linked to binge eating.

A study showed that higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin were associated with shorter sleep duration. Ghrelin and leptin are the hormones responsible for promoting fullness.

4.     Keep a food and mood journal. 

A food and mood journal tracks what you eat and how you feel. It can help identify potential emotional and food triggers. This can also help promote healthier eating habits.

Start by simply recording what you eat and how you feel each day. You can use a journal or an app.

5.     Seek help. 

BED treatment involves different types of therapy or medications. These therapies and medications help get BED under control. It also helps treat any underlying causes or symptoms.

To find the best treatment for your binge eating disorder, reach out to a professional.

Conclusion

BED affects millions of people around the world and is a recognized psychological condition. With the right treatment plan, app, and healthy lifestyle modifications, you can overcome your binge eating disorder.