Binge eating is a frequently overlooked eating disorder in the United States, and, unfortunately, it is also one of the most common. Binge eating disorder, or BED, is characterized by sessions of eating large amounts of food in the absence of hunger, often within an isolated environment. With frequent episodes of extreme overeating, individuals with BED may be more susceptible to diabetes, GERD, sleep apnea, heart problems, and many other health issues. If you are struggling with binge eating, there are steps you can take.
1. Be open about your eating habits.
Binge eating disorder often goes undiagnosed, because people feel shame about their eating habits and may have psychological issues tied to their relationship with food. However, opening up to a professional can help you overcome those challenges and maintain a healthier relationship with food while improving your overall body image. Talking to a therapist may also present the opportunity to try medications to help manage the urge to binge eat and provide support as you take on other steps to keep binge eating at bay.
2. Don’t skip meals.
Controlling binge eating means controlling how often you eat and how much you eat with each meal. Sticking to a regular schedule of meals helps regulate hunger stimulating hormones in the body and keep down the urge to overeat.
3. Keep your kitchen cleansed.
It is easy to have an episode of binging if your fridge and cabinets are fully stocked with food. Take the time to fully clean out your kitchen (and any other areas where snacks might be stashed) and restock with healthy ingredients and foods that require some prep time, so it’s harder to just go to the kitchen and start eating.
4. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the process of connecting with your body by becoming more aware of how you are thinking and feeling within a given moment. Meditation can help you practice mindfulness, as can meditative activities like yoga, and this might help you better manage your hunger and recognize when your motivation to eat is not triggered by hunger.
Step one in managing binge eating or other eating disorders is reaching out for help. MeMD can make that step easier with behavioral health services you can access from anywhere – including the privacy of home – for a low, affordable rate.