The Basics of Binge Eating
Most people overeat from time to time. For example, many people eat more than they should during holiday parties or on special occasions. For most people, overeating is an infrequent occurrence, and is nothing to worry about. However, there is a big difference between occasional overeating and true binge eating.
What is Binge Eating?
True binge eaters don't just overeat every once in a while. For binge eaters, excessive food consumption is a standard eating habit. Many binge eaters don't allow others to see their true eating habits. Sometimes described as closet eaters, binge eaters will consume normal meals when in the company of other people, then eat compulsively and excessively when alone and no one else can see them.
What Causes Binge Eating?
People develop binge eating habits for a wide variety of reasons. Many people use excessive food consumption of a means of dealing with stress in their lives. In some cases, individuals suffering from depression or dealing with grief seek solace in food.
Naturally, overeating on a regular basis can cause continual weight gain leading to obesity. In addition to creating health problems, this can harm self-esteem and cause more stress, making the compulsive eating disorder worse.
Help for Binge Eaters
Individuals who don't have a problem with binge eating don't understand what it is that drives binge eaters to consume excessive quantities of food on a regular basis. Anyone who suffers from this problem knows that it is a serious one that isn't easy to overcome.
Overcoming binge eating may require serious lifestyle and behavior changes, along with help from a qualified mental health practitioner. Individuals who want to stop unhealthy binge eating behaviors must make a firm commit to making substantive changes to their eating habits. People who experience this problem must find a way to limit their food consumption to standard meal and snack periods, and keep themselves out of situations that make it easy for them to engage in binge eating.
Getting over a serious binge eating problem is not simply a matter of mind over matter. It's not likely that a habitual binge eater's urges to overeat are going to cease just because he or she decides to stop. Many of the factors that contribute to binge eating are psychological in nature, and tie to a sense of being out of control in one or more areas of one's life. Many binge eaters can find relief from their problem through counseling, because the problem isn't likely to go away until the underlying causes are identified and eliminated.
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