Even though binge eating is not healthy, there are still some reasons why people go for such a bad habit. Some of them include stress, anxiety, and lack of self-esteem.
Fortunately, there are many effective ways to manage anxiety. There are also many effective ways to avoid binge eating. A healthy diet, exercise, and sleep are all essential to a binge-free lifestyle. In addition, a food and mood diary is a great way to identify patterns in your binge eating habits.
In the words of a pro, “Binge eating is a dehydration hazard.” Having a plan for handling an upcoming binge can help you avoid binge eating and the many health complications accompanying it.
One of the most effective methods for managing anxiety is to avoid stressors in the first place. You can find ways to keep yourself busy with various enjoyable activities. Many simple breathing exercises and meditation techniques can also reduce stress.
The best way to avoid binge eating is to make yourself accountable for what you eat. For example, suppose you are prone to bingeing; set aside time daily to write down what you eat. This is a great way to keep track of your food and help you identify the best times to avoid eating.
Having low self-esteem is an essential factor in the development of eating disorders. In addition, low self-esteem may lead to dissatisfaction, leading to binge eating.
According to Mayo Clinic, self-esteem is formed by thoughts, relationships, and experiences. It includes a person’s ability to influence others, receive affection, and master new tasks. People with healthy self-esteem are confident about their skills and believe they deserve respect.
The relationship between low self-esteem and binge eating disorder is complex. While the connection between the two is often attributed to poor body image, studies have shown that other factors can also influence an individual’s binge eating disorder.
A study by Dingemans et al. (2006) found that ED patients have less functional thinking patterns regarding diet and weight. Moreover, feelings of loneliness and dissatisfaction play a role in developing binge eating disorder.
A more recent study by Fairburn (2008) and colleagues highlights the role of self-esteem as a factor in binge eating disorder. The researchers examined 74 participants at high risk for developing an ED. These participants completed the Multidimensional Self-Esteem Inventory. They also completed the SCOFF Questionnaire and Family APGAR.
Various studies have shown that stress can trigger an appetite-stimulating response in humans. This response may lead to cravings for food high in sugar or fat. It also affects our eating habits and can affect our weight.
The brain’s stress response begins when the brain perceives a threatening or challenging situation. The brain then initiates the stress response by sending a signal to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands then produce the hormone cortisol. This hormone causes the heart to beat faster and tense the muscles. It also increases blood pressure and the rate at which the body respirators.
Stress also reduces the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which regulates appetite and energy metabolism. This axis may also hurt glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. In addition, chronic HPA axis activation is also associated with the development of metabolic changes that promote weight gain.
It’s important to remember that the effects of chronic stress are unique. Different people experience different stress levels, and varying results may also relate to the type of stressor.
Guilt and Shame
Identifying and managing feelings of shame and guilt can be a huge step toward recovery. This is because shame and guilt are significant factors leading to binge eating.
Attention to what your body tells you is a fantastic approach to spotting the associated food guilt. Before you eat, pause to ascertain what your body requires. Your chances of making healthier decisions will increase due to being able to recognize your triggers.
Binge eating makes people feel humiliated, repulsed, and disgusted. A vicious cycle of overeating, bingeing, self-loathing, and relapse may result from this. This is when keeping a journal might be helpful.
In addition to writing down what you ate, you should also explore your emotions. For example, do you feel worried, frustrated, or disgusted? You may have also experienced a feeling of loneliness and a sense of being out of control.
You may also find that you are experiencing negative self-talk contributing to your bingeing urges. Try to silence this nagging voice in your head. You may also want to hang out with friends. This will give you some much-needed social interaction after a binge.
Long-term health consequences
Despite its relatively low prevalence, binge eating disorder (BED) has been linked to various long-term health consequences. These consequences can be both emotional and physical.
BED is a chronic condition associated with obesity, cardiovascular disease, and associated diseases. It also contributes to diabetes. It’s estimated that the lifetime prevalence of BED in adults is about 2.8%.
People with BED are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This condition occurs when the body cannot make insulin effectively.
Binge eating can contribute to heart disease, which includes heart attack and stroke. It can also lead to high blood pressure. It can also increase the risk of developing kidney diseases. It’s also a risk factor for developing sleep apnea, in which breathing pauses while sleeping.
It can also contribute to electrolyte imbalance, which can be dangerous if you’re dehydrated. Electrolytes are essential for the body’s normal heartbeat.
It can also contribute to fatty liver disease, caused by a buildup of fat in the liver. It can also lead to osteoarthritis, which occurs when cartilage in joints wears away.