Thursday, July 5, 2007

How to Tame Binge Eating

Snacking is a common habit. Whether it’s in between meals or late at night, everyone has been guilty of eating favorite foods when it wasn’t really needed. But there is a dark side to snacking that can have very disastrous consequences. Binge eating is a common occurrence, especially for women and teens.

Binge eating is different from regular snacking in the sense that more food is consumed in a short period of time. Often people who binge are not eating because they are hungry, but because of depression, guilt, boredom, anger and even plays a part in eating disorders such as bulimia.

Teenagers are becoming a fast-growing group of binge eaters. The reason binge eating is so dangerous is because the person bingeing feels out of control and can’t stop eating, even when they are full. It is for this reason that binge eating is also known as compulsive overeating. Surprisingly, this type of eating disorder is not limited to those who are overweight. Those who suffer from bulimia are likely to take part in bingeing, which results in an unhealthy practice of overeating and purging. Boys and girls are both prone to binge eating.

Before worrying that you may be a binge eater, look over these symptoms that are common when it comes to those who suffer from this eating disorder:

· Eat large amounts of food when not hungry.

· Eat alone to cope with emotions.

· Feel guilty, angry, or ashamed after overeating.

· Overeats as a form of punishment.

· Eat much more rapidly than normal.

· Eat until uncomfortably full.

If you are indeed a binge eater, it is important to seek help. In addition to being bad for your health, binge eating can take a huge emotional toll that can disrupt your daily life. Visit a nutritionist or dietitian who can educate you about healthy eating behaviors and will work with you to tame the bingeing beast.

If your binge eating isn’t severe, set up a strict but easy to follow daily diet. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. This will curb hunger pangs and suppress your appetite. Eating frequently will also prevent you from overeating. When you feel the need to snack, reach for healthy foods such as fruits and veggies. Throw out junk food, candy and other foods you would normally eat when you feel the need to binge. Many times when we think we are hungry, we are actually just thirsty. Carry a water bottle with you at all times and make it a habit to reach for it when you think you want to binge. Water is not only good for you but it will keep you full in a way that is healthy and natural.

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