Compulsive overeating is recognized as a binge eating disorder and is usually caused by many factors. Learn how to stop binge eating and when to seek treatment.
Binge eating disorder affects those who compulsively overeat,
unable to control themselves. This eating disorder can develop as a
way of coping with depression or stress, but once it takes over it
can lead to serious weight gain.
Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge eating isn't followed by purging, but usually includes feelings of guilt that increase stress or anxiety and cause more compulsive overeating.
Overeating infrequently, like on big holiday meals, is not part of the binge eating disorder that usually develops in late adolescence or early adulthood, sometimes after a long diet period. Find out what are the causes and the treatment options to stop binge eating now.
How to Recognize Binge Eating Disorder
Most people who suffer from binge eating have a few things in common: eating even when you're full, rapidly eating large amounts of food and eating normally around others, followed by gorging when alone.
People who don't have mealtimes and eat throughout the day or stockpile food to eat at a later time also probably suffer from this eating disorder which can than cause weight gain and digestive problems.
Binge Eating Causes
Most specialists agree binge eating is a result of a combination of factors, ranging from psychological and biological to environmental.
Anger, stress, sadness or anxiety can trigger binge episodes in perfectly healthy people as well, but this type of behavior seems to be more frequent in families that overeat or use food as a reward, making binge eating seem an inherited behavior in many cases.
How to Stop Binge Eating?
Once you recognize that you have a problem and that you eat more than you need and have less control over your actions when it comes to food, the recommended treatment options include a combination of psychological and nutritional counseling and sometimes medication.
The psychotherapy aspect in any attempt to stop binge eating is focused on developing healthy attitudes towards food, while nutritional counseling promotes healthy eating patterns and a balanced diet.
Medication for binge eating can be used in some cases, mostly antidepressants which help control anxiety and reduce binge eating, including SSRIs and anticonvulsants like topiramate and zonisamide.
Binge eating causes weight gain and can also contribute to depression and anxiety, so it shouldn't be left untreated for a long time after the first symptoms appear and start changing the way you eat.