What is binge eating?

What is this thing called binge eating? How do you know if your eating is problematic? How do you know if you need help?

First of all lets us define binge eating – it is a behaviour where a person eats more than they would normally eat and more than they need to eat for energy. But that’s not all. There are many people who eat more than they should. What makes binge eating different is a sense of loss of control that is experienced while eating. It feels like giving in to something you can’t control no matter how hard you try. And it makes you feel defeated.

Binge eating can become more serious if it perseveres and can really undermine confidence and many other areas; it affects the way people feel about themselves and their loved ones, it preoccupies the mind and makes it hard to focus on important things, it saps the energy and can create quite an emotional roller coaster.

Is binge eating caused by stress?

The short answer is yes, they do cause binge eating but not in a way people think they do.

Emotions and stress are always a big part of binge eating – but trying to understand what triggers the binges and what emotions and stress precedes them seems almost impossible. While extra stress often makes symptoms worse, clients tell me they binge when they are stressed but also when they are more relaxed (or at least when the circumstances are more relaxing).

This is because the stress that makes people binge do not come from the circumstances but from conversations in the head. How you talk to yourself, about yourself, the beliefs you hold about life, judgment you may harbour about other people, angry or fearful thoughts etc. They may seem innocuous, but these kind of thoughts create a constant tension inside of your body. Just because you become accustomed to it being there doesn’t mean that the tension is not there.

How do you know you need help?

Well, the answer is simple. Do you feel that you have no control over your eating? That no matter how hard you try, you eventually give in to eating more than you need to? Do you feel that food has more power over you than you have over what you eat? Do you feel angry and frustrated because of that?

No matter how many questions you answer or questionnaires you fill out, no one really can tell you if your eating is a problem – no one but you. Does it feel stressful? Out of control? Do you obsess about food, think about it all the time, eat in secret, hiding the wrappers?

Or let ‘s turn this around, would you like to feel easier and more confident around food? Would you like to be able to choose what you eat, always, and even if you have something ‘naughty’ or extra sometimes, feel okay about it?

If things are not right, you know deep down they are not right. You don’t need an expert to tell you. You are an expert, you are the one that knows if your relationship with food is satisfying to you or not.

And while no one can tell you, others can help you resolve the problem. Mind Detox can help for sure, or you can talk to your GP about it. Don’t put it on yourself, it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It is a sign of great courage to choose to seek help. And a sign of self-love.