The 3 Main Causes Of Binge Eating and How You Can Stop


, , ,
The Main Causes Binge Eating and How You Can Stop

Almost everyone overeats on occasion. But for some people, excessive overeating crosses the line to binge eating disorder. Are you a binge eater? Finding it tough to cope up with your habit?

When I was actively bingeing, I was sure I was alone in my suffering. Well, I knew I wasn’t the only person on the planet who binged but I had NO earthly idea just how common it is. And because I grew up in a society that praises self-control and thinness, before I became a binge eater, the image I had of them was probably something like those people you’d see on My 600-lb life just laying around all day gorging on piles of food.

You know the image I mean, someone too lazy & big to even get up, who did nothing but lay around all stuffing themselves and were mostly a drain on society. I had little to no compassion or respect for anyone who didn’t have the self-control to just get off their ass and diet and exercise the problem away — especially so for myself. Because that’s what we always hear, isn’t it? That people live that way because they’re too lazy to “fix it”.

That’s actually horseshit. Living with and recovering from it taught me how flat out wrong (and damaging) that assumption is – though it took me a long time to get there.

Early on in my bingeing days, I was thoroughly ashamed and disgusted with myself.

Binge Eating

Of course, I’d end up a binge eating bulimic – the grossest of all eating disorders. Why couldn’t I just be an anorexic? At least they get skinny – is what I used to think. I even befriended an anorexic, hoping her anorexia would rub off on me.

Yes, I knew how sick that was at the time – I just didn’t know how to change it.

Here’s the truth: binge eaters come in all shapes, sizes, and activity levels. Some of my worst binges and sickest days were at my most active and smallest size. I’m talking about wearing children’s clothing because I was so tiny yet inhaling thousands upon thousands of calories in sugar per day.

And the negative assumptions we have regarding binge eating is deeply damaging because it keeps people hiding in shame, avoiding talking about it or seeking treatment/recovery.

On top of that, binge eaters are the least likely to receive adequate treatment because they’re less likely to get life-threateningly thin.

How broken is a system that gives priority treatment to those who are the skinniest among a group of people who are all working equally hard to destroy their bodies because they’re so terrified of gaining weight?

Throughout my own experience and recovery, I gained a whole new level of understanding, compassion, and respect for binge eaters and bulimics. When we know better, we do better, as they say, and now I see those original judgments of mine (and of the rest of society) for what they are: wholly misguided, naive, and downright ignorant.

Binge eating has nothing to do with food or self-control and it has nothing to do with someone’s size. You cannot someone who binge eats by the size of the body they’re in.

Read 16 Signs You’re A Binge Thinker

So, what’s the difference between a binge and just overeating?

They’re both self-punishing behaviors, a binge just takes it to a whole nother level. Additionally, a binge is usually preceded with feelings of desperation to get food ASAP and a lack of the ability to control the need.

Eating is usually done with speed (the faster it goes in the better, right?!), often in hiding and you may feel completely helpless to stop eating. It’s usually way more food than just something like overeating an extra helping of dinner or having a second brownie. And a binge is followed by DEEP feelings of shame, judgment and self-hate.

What Causes Bingeing?

The three biggest causes:

1. Dieting:

Particularly strict dieting that eliminates food groups or severely restricts calories. That’s not to suggest that everyone who diets turns into a binge eater, but it happens WAY more frequently than we even realize because food restriction is incompatible with the way our brains work & it sets us up for binge behaviors.

Read Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss: Does It Actually Work?

2. Self-hate/punishment:

Bingeing is quite literally the act of treating one’s body like a garbage dumpster and physical manifestation of attempting to destroy it. If you’re purposely trying to jam as much food as humanly possible, as fast as humanly possible knowing it’s going to make you sick, you’re punishing it (and yourself) for something. It’s that simple.

3. Feeling empty/trying to fill a hole:

I used to physically feel like there was a hole in the center of my chest that I was desperately trying to fill with food. When I started working on recovery, I started being able to identify this feeling, and learning what was causing it. For me, it was a lack of self-love and self-trust among other things. I was abandoning myself in every conceivable way and it manifested as a huge empty feeling in my chest that I interpreted as constant hunger.

Read 5 Sure-shot Ways To Train Your Brain To stop Overeating

The Two Worst Things You Can Do When You’re a Binge Eater

The exact things we ALL do:

  1. Try to willpower and/or diet the problem away. It makes it worse.
  2. Beat the hell out of yourself for being such a pathetic failure (or whatever lie you’re telling yourself about your bingeing) It also makes it worse.

How Do You Stop?

You address the why – deal with and heal the causes.

Going back to our causes, in no particular order:

1. Dieting causes it so stop dieting & restricting foods.

When your body gets everything it needs and stops fearing that you cannot ever have certain foods again, you no longer gorge on everything at once because you think “I can’t have it again when I start being good again”.

Read How to Overcome an Eating Disorder: 4 Things to Stop Doing

2. Self-hate causes it so building a more loving and respectful relationship with yourself is job #1!

Bingeing cannot occur in someone who loves and values themselves and their bodies. It simply can’t. Those two things cannot co-exist. So if you heal your relationship with yourself, bingeing just stops because you start respecting yourself and your body enough that you cannot even fathom treating it so horribly.

3. If you’re trying to fill a hole, figure out what that hole is trying to tell you that you need.

For me, the hole was being causes by past pain that I’d never dealt with and a desperate need for my own love and support.

Read Mindful Eating: Breaking the Emotional Cycle

The three biggest misconceptions about binge eating:

  • That it’s about the food. It’s not. Food is just a tool we use to numb and self-punish.
  • That reflects a lack of self-control and willpower. That’s just not true. It’s a symptom of a deeply damaged relationship with self – nothing more, nothing less.
  • That only person who binges are overweight and lazy — “skinny” people don’t binge. Also untrue. Some of my worst binges ever were when I was under 110lbs and busting my ass with hours of exercise a day. And I am by far not the only lean person to ever binge. You cannot tell a binge eater from a non-binge eater based on their size.

Learning to stop bingeing isn’t always easy but too often the only reason people struggle to stop is simply lack of understanding and their unwillingness to give up the things that are actually keeping them stuck in that cycle.

The first step to recovery is understanding that – that bingeing & weight gain are the symptoms, not the problems. When you address the actual, underlying problems, the symptoms are simply no longer an issue — they just go away.

Treat the reasons you’re bingeing and whammo, no more bingeing.

The second step to recovery is simply wanting to start doing exactly that. How long does it take?

Everyone is different, it’s impossible to say. The one thing I know for sure is that the longer you put off starting, the longer it will take.

I’ll leave you with one final thought on bingeing. Stop judging yourself for it or trying to force yourself to stop. I learned to stop by giving myself permission to binge. Why permission? Because only when I realized the binges were serving a purpose and stopped judging myself for them, was I able to start understanding the causes and actually healing those things.

Judgement and shame only make them worse by contributing to the self-loathing that feeds them.

Written by Roni Davis
Originally appeared in Roni Davis
Bingeing What It Is Causes and How To Stop
The Main Causes Binge Eating and How You Can Stop pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

What Foods Are Good For Migraines? 9 Best Foods That Will Kick Your Headache’s A**

What Foods Are Good For Migraines? Most Effective Foods

Are you tired of those extremely painful headaches that seem to ruin your entire day, and sometimes, days? Well, I hear you loud and clear, my friend. I know what an excruciating migraine feels like, so today we are going to talk about what foods are good for migraines. That’s right, I gotchu!

When it comes to migraines, finding relief can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack, but we have curated a pretty impressive list of migraine fighting foods, that will surely help you deal with those pesky headaches.

So, are you ready to know more about the foods that help migraines go away? Let’s get started then.


Up Next

How To Practice Mindful Eating Like A Pro: 10 Habits For Healthier Living

How to Practice Mindful Eating: Mindful Eating Habits

Have you ever found yourself mindlessly devouring a bag of chips or indulging in a whole tub of ice cream without even realizing it? In our fast-paced and hectic lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of binge eating. This is why it is crucial to learn how to practice mindful eating.

Mindful eating is a practice that encourages us to savor each bite, reconnect with our body’s signals, and truly appreciate the nourishment we receive. It can help you break free from this cycle and build a healthier relationship with food.

So let’s explore what is mindful eating, what are the benefits of mindful eating and how to develop mindful eating habits into your daily life.

Up Next

When Sleep Becomes Deadly: What Is Microsleep And How To Stay Awake

What Is Microsleep? Tips to Stay Awake

Ever found yourself zoning out for a split second, only to jolt back awake? Curious about what exactly happens during these moments? Let’s explore what is microsleep and how to deal with it!

Most of us have often experienced a momentary lapse of consciousness, where our head begins to nod and your eyelids feel impossibly heavy. It’s that fleeting moment when you feel like you’ve suddenly dozed off, only to snap back to wakefulness, startled and confused. If you’ve ever encountered this bizarre phenomenon, you might have just experienced a microsleep.

In this fast-paced world that demands our attention and productivity, it’s crucial to understand the concept of microsleep, its symptoms, causes, and most importantly, how to deal with it effectively. 

So, let’s delve into this intriguin

Up Next

The Science Of Sleep Talking: What Causes You To Talk In Your Sleep And How To Stop

Nighttime Talking: What Causes You To Talk In Your Sleep?

Has your partner or family member ever told you that you talk in your sleep? Or have you ever woken up to the sound of your own voice, realizing you’ve been talking in your sleep? Sleep talking is a curious, intriguing and puzzling phenomenon. But what causes you to talk in your sleep?

Today, we will delve into the world of sleep talking, exploring the signs of sleep talking, its causes, the spiritual meaning of sleep talking, and delve into effective strategies on how to stop sleep talking. So, let’s dive deep into this nocturnal exploration.

What is Sleep Talking?

Sleep talking, also known as somniloquy, is a fascinating sleep disorder that can range from simple mumbling to full-blown conversations. It i

Up Next

10 Amazing Foods That Improve Your Mood And Well-Being

Amazing Foods That Improve Your Mood And Well-Being

Feeling a let down? Need a pick-me-up that doesn’t involve a tub of ice cream or a 6 hour Netflix binge? Well, have you ever considered that the secret to improving your mood might be in your kitchen? Yep, you got that right! There are many foods that improve your mood and how.

These mood boosting foods have the power to energize your soul, lift your spirits, and leave you feeling happy and positive. So, whether you’re craving a burst of happiness or simply want to add a sprinkle of joy to your day, read on to know more about these amazing mood boosting foods that can turn your frown upside down.

Related: Mood Boosting Foods:&nbs

Up Next

Laugh Your Way To Wellness: What Is Laughter Yoga And How Does It Work? 

What Is Laughter Yoga? Laughter Yoga Exercises To Practice

Laughter is a universal language that transcends cultural barriers, connects people, and brings joy to our lives. It is a powerful tool that can uplift our spirits, relieve stress, and promote overall well-being. No wonder laughter yoga is becoming increasingly popular. But wait, what is laughter yoga?

Well, it’s not your typical yoga practice with complex poses and stretches. Laughter yoga is a unique form of exercise that combines laughter with deep breathing techniques and playful activities. 

So take a deep breath and let’s find out more about laughter yoga, its astonishing benefits, and exactly how to do laughter yoga.

What is Laughter Yoga?

Up Next

Tech Neck: 5 Signs Your Gadgets Could Be Hurting Your Neck

Alarming Tech Neck Symptoms To Look Out For

In the present-day digital era, “tech neck” has become one of our most common modern complaints as a result of the constant usage of smartphones, tablets and laptops.

You may have experienced the discomfort and strain around your neck and shoulders that comes from bending over these devices for hours on end.

But don’t be disheartened; with some simple exercises and changes in behavior, you can banish tech neck forever and welcome relief as well as better posture into your life.

What Is Tech Neck?