WHAT IS BINGE EATING DISORDER?

 

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a serious mental illness where people experience a loss of control and eat large quantities of food on a regular basis. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, or background.

Someone with BED is unable to stop eating, even if they feel so full it hurts. They are often out of control and in a zoned out state where they can eat food in a very short space of time and then need more immediately.

Having BED means you are unable to think of anything other than food, until the binge is over when you feel guilt and shame.

You often feel very alone if you binge eat as you are ashamed of your secretive eating and don’t want anyone to find out. But this turns into a vicious cycle as you need to be alone to be able to successfully binge.

Binge eaters occasionally purge in the form of self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse or punish themselves with excessive exercise. They also practise restrictive eating to punish themselves but this inevitably ends in binge eating.

Those who binge eat tend to feel abnormal and cannot understand why they cannot just eat ‘normally’.

It is likely that you are suffering with interchangeable constipation, diarrhoea, flatulence and bloating on a regular basis.

It is likely that you will know where all the local shops, petrol stations and vending machines are and visit them on a regular basis.

A binge eater may plan a binge like a ritual or it may be a spontaneous act. There is no hunger pattern to disordered eating.

You may struggle with public social occasions where food is a big focus such as weddings or parties.

Food will come above everything in your life, sometimes above your children.

You may have started with different disordered eating such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa and are now facing binge eating. Or you may have simply spent a life time dieting.

WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF BINGE EATING DISORDER

Emotional and behavioural 

  • Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food.

  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others

  • Any new practice with food or fad diets, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)

  • Fear of eating in public or with others

  • Steals or hoards food in strange places

  • Creates lifestyle schedules or rituals to make time for binge sessions

  • Withdraws from usual friends and activities

  • Frequently diets

  • Shows extreme concern with body weight and shape

  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance

  • Has secret recurring episodes of binge eating (eating in a discrete period of time an amount of food that is much larger than most individuals would eat under similar circumstances); feels lack of control over ability to stop eating

  • Disruption in normal eating behaviours, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes; skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting

  • Developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group [e.g., condiments], excessive chewing, and not allowing foods to touch).

  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten

  • Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating

  • Fluctuations in weight

  • Feelings of low self-esteem

Physical 

  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight, both up and down

  • Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.)

  • Difficulties concentrating

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk to me about whether or not you suffer from BED and how I may be able to help, please book in a free call. All calls are completely confidential and you will be in a safe and non-judgemental zone.

*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or psychologist. The opinions and any advice on this website and in my eBook are not intended to replace the services of trained medical professionals. Eating disorders can have serious health consequences, and you are advised to seek medical attention for matters relating to your health and, in particular, matters that may require diagnosis or treatment.