Tag Archives: cycle

Binge Eating Tips

One of the problems with binge eating is that people get stuck in a vicious cycle where concern over shape and weight leads to dieting and restriction
of food, this then leads to binge-eating which makes the person feel worse and so the cycle restarts

Routined Eating

Get into a routine of eating regular meals and snacks. Erratic eating confuses the body and can mean you can’t recognise hunger and fullness signals, so you need to re-train yourself. Leave no more than 4 hours between eating and do your best not to eat outside of your meal routine.

Dietitian UK: Binge Eating Cycle

Go Slow:

Concentrate when eating, try to eat at a sensible speed, sit down when eating and make times for meals.

Analyse the binges:

Keep a food diary and review it regularly – are you missing any meals or snacks. If binges are happening, is there a pattern, for example is it in the evenings after dinner when you are bored?

Limit binge foods:

Limit binge foods in your house, car and desk drawer! The less access you have to then the less likely you are to binge.

Keep Busy:

Plan activities into your day and evening to keep your mind and hands occupied. Binges can occur due to boredom, loneliness, tiredness, anxiety and stress.

Distraction Power:

Distraction is one of the best techniques for preventing a binge. Write down a list of activities you can do that don’t include food: taking a shower, exercising, visiting a friend, playing music, reading a book etc… use these when the urge to binge creeps up on you.

This post was written for Slimsticks, see the original post here.

What is Binge Eating?

This post was written for Slimsticks.

One of the words that commonly comes up when talking about diets and weight loss is Binge. For many this means a one off slip/lapse or an over-indulgence. For others it’s a recurring cycle that they hate but are stuck in….

A binge is defined by the American Psychiatric Assoication (1) as:

  1. Eating in a discrete period of time (e.g. 2 hours) an amount of food that is definitely large than most people would eat during a similar period of time and circumstances.
  2. A sense of lack of control during the epsiode of eating.

People describe being out of control and in another zone when bingeing, some people can’t actually remember a binge at all. Whereas other people plan a binge, buying the foods and working out when and where they can eat it. The majority of binges happen in secret and are not talked about. Binge foods are usually high sugar high calorie foods, high fat foods or carbohydrate rich foods, for example chocolate, biscuits, cakes, bread, cereal. However it can just be whatever is available.

The first moments of a binge bring pleasure and a sense of euphoria, but these feelings don’t last. People tend to eat rapidly during a binge, researchers have found women with bulimia are food twice as fast as women with no eating disorder (2).

The typical binge is 1,000-2,000kcal, but they can range up to 10-15,000. (3) To put this in context the average women should be looking to eat no more than 2,000kcals per day.

Binges where more normal amounts of food are eaten but the person still has all the feelings of being out of control are called Subjective Binges and binges where large amount of foods are consumed are known as Objective Binges.

What can trigger a Binge:

One of the keys to stopping binges is to work out what triggers them, here’s some of the common triggers:

  1. Feeling fat
  2. Gaining Weight “I’ve failed so may as well give up”
  3. Hunger and Dieting – The thought of food can become overwhelming.
  4. Breaking a Dietary Rule
  5. Having free time or a lack of routine.
  6. Boredom
  7. Premenstrual Tension
  8. Alcohol

I’ll be dealing with tips on how to break the binge cycle in the next blog post.

References:

  1. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnositc and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV).
  2. Effect of eating rate on binge size in Bulimia Nervosa. Kissileff H.R et al (2008). Physiology and Behavior 93 (3): 481-485.
  3. Overcoming Binge Eating. Dr Christopher G. Fairburn (1995). The Guildford Press