Fact file on Binge eating

You vow not to ‘pig out’ the next time you eat, but you find yourself helpless when it comes to drawing the line. To say that binge eating can embarrass you is just skimming the surface. This disorder, counted as one of the most common eating disorders in U.S.A. can impinge on one’s life in more than one way. Here’s taking a closer look at binge eating and its various aspects.

What is binge eating?

With binge eating disorder, you will be afflicted with compulsive over-eating. You will consume large amounts of food and while doing so, you will unable to stop.

If you have binge eating disorder, you will exhibit the following


  • Inability to stop while you are eating.
  • Rapid eating
  • Eating large amounts of food even while you are full
  • Stocking food in secret
  • Eating throughout the day without any specific mealtime
  • Stress and tension which is relieved only by eating
  • Embarrassment with your food behavior
  • A feeling of dissatisfaction; no matter how much you eat
  • Feeling of guilt, disgust, depression with overeating

binge eating
The question now is, what is the

Cause of Binge Eating

Causes can be

  • Biological: improper functioning of hypothalamus (part of the brain that controls appetite), genetic mutation causing food addiction or excessive serotonin secretion.
  • Social and Cultural: pressure to be thin, the craze of dieting
  • Psychological: depression, low self esteem, loneliness, lack of coping skills with emotions

Before we discuss how we can treat binge eating disorder, it is important that we find out

The effects of binge eating

Binge eating disorder brings about a whole lot of problems. They are:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Gallbladder diseases
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Are you now ready to find out the treatment options?

To begin with, here are a few

Strategies to treat Binge Eating Disorder

  • Manage stress: binge eating is not the answer to stress management! Instead, exercise, meditation, simple breathing exercises are the things to do.
  • Plan specific meals: schedule three meal times. Eat a proper breakfast with balanced lunch and dinner.
  • Don’t stack desserts or junk foods in your home: The last thing you need is temptation.
  • Don’t diet: food deprivation and hunger lead to food cravings. Eat in moderation. Also avoid foods that make you crave more for them.
  • Exercise: the ideal way to lose weight and control depression and stress.
  • Stay active: if you are bored you are more likely to give in to unnecessary snacking.
  • Sleep more: don’t try to boost your energy by eating when you are tired. Go to bed instead.
  • Maintain a food diary: the early you understand when, what and how much you eat, the better are your chances to control the craving.
  • Take support: friends, family, support groups are there to help you out. You can even consult a therapist if you like.

There are also

Therapies and support groups

Therapies like Cognitive-behavioral therapy (makes you aware of how to use various foods to deal with emotions), Interpersonal Therapy (focuses on personal problems that give rise to compulsive eating) and Dialectical behavior therapy (a combination of cognitive-behavior therapy and meditation that teach you to cope with the emotions and stress that lead to over-eating) will help you out.

Also avail of support groups led by professionals to come out of this disorder.

Binge eating can also be controlled with the help of


Such medications include

  • Appetite suppressants: they reduce the number of binge eating episodes and also aid in weight loss. However, increase in blood pressure or heart rate, seizures, etc are their common side effects.

  • Topamax: decreases binge eating and improves weight loss. Side effects include fatigue, dizziness, etc.

  • Antidepressants: help to cope with emotional stress.

Don’t neglect binge eating; it can be quite harmful for your life. Treatment options are many…surely one of them will turn out to be handy.

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