We’ve all been there… Staring into an empty packet of chips or tub of ice cream asking ourselves “why did I do it” overwhelmed with guilt ,shame and self loathing. “Why can’t I stop binge eating?”
The definition of binge eating is the consumption of large quantities of food in a short period of time, accompanied by feelings of being out of control, followed by guilt and shame.
Emotional eating is, eating in response to feelings instead of hunger, such as stress, boredom, loneliness to name a few.Emotional eating can be a once off thing, but often the relief we experience from numbing of feelings with food can lead to a binge or a series of binges.
For many years I thought my problem with emotional eating and binge eating was my diet. Thoughts like “maybe if I eat paleo, then I’ll be able control my binges”, ” maybe I lack will power”, ” maybe if I ignore it, it will go away”. These thoughts were not helpful and did not provide me with a solution to my problem.
What I didn’t know was that I needed to find the causes of my binges and not another diet or “lifestyle change”.
So what causes a binge?
A binge is caused buy an urge, an uncontrollable desire to eat, as much as possible and right away. Without the urge, there won’t be a binge.
So let’s delve one step further and explore what creates the urge to binge?
1. The restriction of food
When engaging in calorie restricted diets, the brain thinks that the body is facing starvation and will create the urge to eat. The brains purpose is to keep us alive and away from possible threats, starvation is a major threat to survival. The more we restrict our food intake the more urgent the urges to binge will become.
2. Emotional factors
The brain prefers pleasure over pain, often we will seek out food instead of dealing with emotional situations. The temporary pleasure food provides us can serve as a distraction from what we are feeling. Emotional experiences can bring on the urge to binge.
Some urges are caused by habit. Once we have dealt with hunger or emotions by means of a binge, our brain is convinced that bingeing is the answer. We will continue to use bingeing as the solution to our problems. Eventually, we are no longer bingeing because of hunger or an emotional experience but rather out of habit. Our brain starts thinking, ” it’s Tuesday morning, time to binge” , ” it’s 3 p.m.,time to binge”.
In order to overcome emotional eating and binge eating we need to break the habit of bingeing. This is where the work lies and this is where my binge eating and emotional eating recovery journey started. This is where I help my clients in their emotional eating recovery journeys. Once we break the habit of bingeing as a solution to our problems, the urges to binge become less. The less we give into our urges, the stronger the habit of not bingeing becomes.
If you are ready to are ready to get to the bottom of your binges, I would love to help you! I have opens some time in my diary to help you get started! So if you are ready to ditch the shame and guilt from emotional eating, and binge eating schedule your free session <<here>>