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Binge eating is a serious issue for people of all ages,
walks of life and weight levels. In essence binge eating is a repetitive
pattern of consuming large amounts of foods which are typically high energy
foods such as fats and carbohydrates. This is not the same as eating too much
at Thanksgiving dinner; it is a habitual behavior, an addiction to food as a
way to deal with stressors in your life. It is also a very secretive behavior that
causes huge amounts of guilt, denial and a feeling of spiraling out of control.
There are some simple strategies that people that have
difficulties with binge eating can use to help to learn about the underlying
factors that prompt this behavior. The following tips can be used to determine
- Keep an emotion journal – write down any
emotional events or conflicts that occur and if you engage in binge eating
after these events. Be detailed and specific about what you experienced
emotionally. The biggest triggers for binge eating tend to be anger,
frustration, guilt and boredom.
- Track your physical well being levels. Typically
binge eating occurs when people are tired, fatigued or are not feeling up to
par. Getting lots of rest, staying or becoming physically active and making the
healthiest food choices possible is important.
- Seek counseling support – binge eating is a
complex behavior that is driven by many different emotional factors. Talking to
a trained addiction counselor will assist in learning this triggers and
effective techniques to change the behavior.
Binge eating can also have genetic and medical factors.
There is evidence that inherited genes may predispose people to binge eating
but that with counseling and understanding these genetic issues can be
minimized. In addition brain chemistry can be out of balance and may be
contributing to the desire to eat to release the “feel good”
chemicals in the brain. An addiction counselor can assist in references to
neurologists and psychiatrists that can prescribe medications to control these