Binge eating is a serious eating disorder in which one tends to consume food uncontrollably in larger quantities.

While it is not unusual to occasionally ask for a second or third helping of your favourite food, for some people it turns out to be a regular occurrence.

It may be an embarrassing situation to overeat all the time and people suffering from binge eating find it hard to resist the urge to gobble up more food.

Symptoms:

It is a myth that people suffering from binge eating disorder are often obese and overweight. People with normal weight also overeat and this disorder is often driven by various behavioural and emotional factors.

1. Watch out, if you are eating larger amounts of food within specified time, like an hour to two hours.

2. Eating even while feeling full and not hungry.

3. Eating alone or secretly for many number of times in a day.

4. Battling depression, anxiety, guilt and ashamed of your eating habit.

5. Swinging between the episodes of excessive eating and dieting, possibly without weight loss.

However, all binge eaters may not be suffering from Bulimia Nervosa as they don’t regularly compensate for those extra calories eaten by throwing up, laxatives or through excessive exercise.

Causes and Complications:

The causes of binge eating are not known and not specific. Few doctors blame it on genetics, while biological factors, long term dieting, psychological issues like stress, anxiety, depression also may contribute to it.

The complications range from having a poor quality life, isolating themselves from family and friends, obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux disease. 

Tips to Avoid Binge Eating

1. Try to avoid temptation. Clear your fridge, cupboards of all junk food.

2. Eat at the right time. Don’t wait till you feel extremely hungry, stick to scheduled meal times.

3. Try to include healthy fat with each meal as it keeps you fuller for longer hours.

4. Stop boredom eating. Take a walk, talk to a friend or pursue a hobby.

5. Most importantly listen to your body. Try to differentiate between real hunger and hunger triggered by emotions and mood swings. 

Treatment:

Person with binge eating disorder often eats discreetly making it difficult for others to detect the abnormal behaviour. If you observe your loved one suffering from the disorder, strike an honest conversation and discuss about the means to help.

Talk to a medical professional on the available treatment options.