Suffering In Silence With Binge Eating Disorder
Countless individuals struggle with Binge Eating Disorder throughout our nation though many suffer in silence due to the fears and stigmas that surround this painful disorder.
Binge eating disorder is often thought to be nothing more than a lack of self-control when it comes to eating, however, there are much more complex factors involved with this psychiatric illness. Binge eating disorder can occur among individuals of any age, race, gender, or socioeconomic background.
Another misconception is that binge eating disorder only occurs among individuals who are obese, but the weight stigma associated with this eating disorder is also untrue.
A common physical effect that can result from binge eating disorder is obesity, which can result from consuming a greater amount of food than is needed over time.
While it is important to understand that obesity is not a criterion for binge eating disorder, nor do all individuals with obesity have BED, it can be a serious complication of this eating disorder.
Obesity can be a risk factor for a myriad of health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular complications
- Other problems
Ways To Calm Your Mind And Body
By no means is this list exhaustive. Merely think of it as a jumping-off point for brainstorming. Its more important to collaboratively explore what a client feels works for them and much less important to serve as a human encyclopedia of stress-relievers.
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1. Cadegiani FA, Kater CE. Body composition, metabolism, sleep, psychological and eating patterns of overtraining syndrome: Results of the EROS study . J Sports Sci. 2018 Aug 36:190210.
2. Tomiyama AJ, Mann T, Vinas D, Hunger JM, Dejager J, Taylor SE. Low calorie dieting increases cortisol. Psychosom Med. 2010 May 72:35764.
3. Grammatikopoulou MG, Gkiouras K, Markaki A, Theodoridis X, Tsakiri V, Mavridis P, et al. Food addiction, orthorexia, and food-related stress among dietetics students. Eat Weight Disord. 2018 Aug 23:45967.
Take 5 Before You Give In To A Craving
Emotional eating tends to be automatic and virtually mindless. Before you even realize what youre doing, youve reached for a tub of ice cream and polished off half of it. But if you can take a moment to pause and reflect when youre hit with a craving, you give yourself the opportunity to make a different decision.
Can you put off eating for five minutes? Or just start with one minute. Dont tell yourself you cant give in to the craving remember, the forbidden is extremely tempting. Just tell yourself to wait.
While youre waiting, check in with yourself. How are you feeling? Whats going on emotionally? Even if you end up eating, youll have a better understanding of why you did it. This can help you set yourself up for a different response next time.
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Stop Stress Eating And Start Losing Weight
Weve all been there kids screaming, deadlines looming at work, angry significant other, endless to-do list, destroyed house, and you feel completely overwhelmed, hopeless, and anxious. Then, before you know it, youve eaten half a bag of chips, a box of cookies, a tub of ice cream, and whatever else happens to be around. Youre left with a stomach ache, and worse yet, that crushing guilt of wondering what the heck just happened and feeling like you failed.
Stress eating is incredibly common, and according to a survey by the American Psychology Association, 38% of adults say they have over eaten as a way to manage stress in the last month. Of those, half said they engage in stress eating at least weekly. Studies have also found that participants eat more high sugar foods when stressed compared to when not stressed, and that high-fat/high-sugar foods have a more harmful effect on women who are chronically stressed than on those who report they experience lower stress.
Assuming Weight Loss Will/should Occur As A Criterion For Successful Recovery
Many people with BED reach out to health/mental-health providers, saying, I want to lose weight. And many people with BED are told that they need to lose weight. Given cultural pressures around thinness, its understandable that there is a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. At the same time, conflating weight loss with recovery from BED is counterproductive on multiple levels.
There are all kinds of myths about BED and weight. Its important to recognize that people with BED come in all shapes and sizes. There are people at higher weights who do not have BED, and there are people at lower weights who struggle with bingeing. You cannot tell if someone has an eating problem just by looking at them!
When the focus is on achieving a particular weight, people often stay trapped in the diet/binge cycle. If weight loss is the goal, then manipulating foodrather than honoring cues for hunger and fullnessbecomes the pattern. The pursuit of weight loss can include overriding hunger signals, avoiding foods perceived to be bad, and overexercising. Its important to note that these are the very same behaviors considered to be symptoms of eating disorders in lower-weight individuals. Research shows that while most plans and programs result in weight loss in the short run, the vast majority of people gain it back, with two-thirds ending up higher than their pre-diet weight, reinforcing that the pursuit of weight loss is counterproductive.
As one of my clients wrote:
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Learn How To Manage Stress
While stress can actually be beneficial in some cases, Poon says extreme stress is usually just bad for your health. One of the best ways to avoid extreme symptoms of stress is to learn to manage your stress through meditation, breath work, and exercise.
Once you have a regular practice in place, itll be much easier to draw upon it when you need it. Learning how to meditate or do breathing exerciseswhile youre stressed out may be asking too much of yourself.
Sign #: Only Someone With Superpowers Could Do Their Life
Your client might, in passing, mention that they have a full-time job as well as a side hustle. A little later, the same person reveals theyre raising three beautiful childrenall under age 5.
And one of them has a chronic health condition.
Oh, and their in-laws just moved in.
Such people might wear stress like a badge of honor. But youre left wondering: How are they still walking around?
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Your Bodys Fight Or Flight Response Can Speed Up Your Metabolism
When youre stressed, your body goes into fight or flight mode. Also known as the acute stress response, this physiological mechanism tells your body it must respond to a perceived threat.
Your body readies itself by releasing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline prepares your body for vigorous activity, but it can also minimize your desire to eat.
Meanwhile, cortisol signals for your body to temporarily suppress functions that are nonessential during a crisis. This includes your digestive, immune, and reproductive system responses.
Alternatives To Emotional Eating
If youre depressed or lonely, call someone who always makes you feel better, play with your dog or cat, or look at a favorite photo or cherished memento.
If youre anxious, expend your nervous energy by dancing to your favorite song, squeezing a stress ball, or taking a brisk walk.
If youre exhausted, treat yourself with a hot cup of tea, take a bath, light some scented candles, or wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
If youre bored, read a good book, watch a comedy show, explore the outdoors, or turn to an activity you enjoy .
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If Youre A Coach Or You Want To Be
Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changesin a way thats personalized for their unique body, preferences, and circumstancesis both an art and a science.
If youd like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification.
Ways To Manage Stress
You can flip your mentality to make stress work in your favor. A little pressure every now and then can actually be motivating. Stress can help you focus, increase your drive and accomplish more things when harnessed correctly. But this is hard for a lot of us to achieve.
Learning how to channel your stressful energy into a more positive outcome really starts with getting more comfortable with change. If you are someone who has a hard time with change, you likely feel stressed often. Learning to embrace change can do wonders for stress.
Change is all around us. It is happening inside us each and every day – all of your bodys cells are constantly changing, and it is impossible to stop. Without it we sit still, we never grow, we don’t get stronger or more resilient, we will just decay and waste away.
Start by recognizing that change can be really good, and that learning to love it is a life skill we all need to work at. Try new things often. Go towards what makes you uncomfortable and embrace it. Find ways to learn from challenges – look back at your failures and hardships as a way to get better moving forward.
Even if you are good with change, negative stress can feel unavoidable at times – it is a part of life. So as you continue to work on getting comfortable with what makes you uncomfortable, here are a five ways you can help keep your mind at ease and handle difficult situations as they arise.
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This Is How You Handle Stress Without Putting On Weight:
If you have experienced several big traumas or a series of small traumas, especially during childhood, your brain may have learned to overreact. If that is the case, the smallest perceived threat can produce an intense stress response.
The human brain has not evolved to handle modern societys sources of stress. It knows survival instincts and the flight or fight response but has forgotten how to release it.
Before I started healing past traumas, I was in freeze mode most of the time. I would numb myself and feel nothing or I would feel extremely intense levels of stress despite the lack of major external stimuli. If youre experiencing similar erratic surges of stress, I strongly advise you to contact a matrix reimprinting practitioner like myself and use all the techniques Im going to mention below.
If your stress levels range from medium to low but with a few peaks during the day, you should be able to manage stress eating on your own with just this advice
Here are the simple strategies you can use.
If you cant exercise that often, try to practice brisk walking, use the stairs, and do 10-minute workouts daily instead.
Stop eating sugar:Sugar will increase your anxiety levels by creating highs and lows. I have written a very thorough article on the subject. Read it at How to Stop Eating Sugar
Practice deep breathing every day:
1) Monitor your breath a few times throughout the day and make sure your breath is deep in the abdomen to prevent unnecessary stress buildup.
How To Lose Stress Weight
Cortisol is a hormone made by the body to help it handle stress. It has also been linked to weight gain due to its ability to increase your insulin and appetite as the body prepares for a “fight or flight” response. Additionally, stress-induced weight gain usually occurs at the waistline because the fat cells there are more sensitive to cortisol. According to Project Aware, this is the most dangerous place to gain weight as it is more likely to lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease and diabetes. To decrease your body’s cortisol levels and begin losing weight, you’ll first need to manage and decrease your stress levels.
Watch for signs of stress. Signs of stress might include anxiety, muscle tension or irritability. Recognizing signs that you are becoming stressed will help you understand your typical reactions to the stress so that you can take steps to relieve it.
- Cortisol is a hormone made by the body to help it handle stress.
- Additionally, stress-induced weight gain usually occurs at the waistline because the fat cells there are more sensitive to cortisol.
Look for triggers to emotional eating. Emotional eating is one of the biggest barriers to losing stress weight, and recognizing when you are eating emotionally is the first step in taking control. Events that can trigger negative emotions and disrupt your weight-loss progress can include finances, health problems, unemployment, bad weather, job stress or relationship conflicts.
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Reducing Stressed Belly Fat
Its clear that its a bad thing to have chronically elevated cortisol. Even professional athletes and fitness models can develop a stress belly if they have elevated cortisol all the time. Those who suffer from anxiety and depression generally have higher amounts of cortisol . If you suffer from either of these mental health disorders it may be a good idea to seek professional help.
But there are some simple proven strategies you can use to lower your stress, anxiety, and depression. Eating healthier foods plays a big role in the health of your brain . Constantly eating bad foods wreaks havoc on your mental biochemistry promoting anxiety and depression . Cut out the junk like processed foods, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbs, excess alcohol, and bad vegetable oils.
Working out and exercising has been proven again and again to improve mood . Exercise and other physical activity done daily is a smart way to lower your stress, anxiety and depression. It might be a better idea to stay away from intense exercise since it can temporarily boost cortisol . Also, be sure youre not overtraining as this can lead to more cortisol in your body .
I know its easier said than done but staying away from stressful situations is key. Its not always practical but it can go a long way to lowering your stress and stubborn stomach fat.
Include Protein At Every Meal
Different foods can have different effects on your appetite.
If you eat due to hunger, including protein at every meal may help curb your hunger.
It could also help you feel more satisfied throughout the day, stop you from being preoccupied with food and help prevent snacking at night .
A 2011 study looked at consuming high-protein vs. normal-protein meals and the frequency of consuming them to determine if the effect of this combination method on managing hunger. The study involved 47 men who were overweight or had obesity. Results found that eating high-protein meals reduced cravings by 60% and cut the desire to eat at night by half, but frequency did not significantly impact outcomes overall (
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What Causes Binge Eating
I dont believe there is a just one answer as to what causes people start binge eating, but it seems that one common cause is having a restricted diet at some point in your life.
This could have happened when you were a child, if well-meaning parents attempted to limit your food intake to help prevent childhood obesity, or it might have happened later in life, when you attempted to diet to lose weight.
Not surprisingly, depression can also play a role in binge eating. My suffering hit its peak when I was working from home in Los Angeles, as I felt very isolated and didnt have a lot of human interaction each day. I also had a nutritionally poor diet, which probably contributed to those feelings of depression, and that left me feeling malnourished. This combination led to more serious bouts of binge eating like youll see below.
How To Approach Stress Eating:
Step #1: we need to curb the guilty feelings about stress or emotional eating.
I started this guide off by highlighting the frequency of stress eating amongst our Online Coaching clients.
You are not the only one struggling with this.
Most humans do.
And robots with human-like emotions and taste buds
Weâll come back to this idea again, because ending the shame of emotional eating will be critical for moving forward.
Step #2: allowing ourselves to stress eat will help us learn why we do it.
Weâre going to be playing detective here, to see if we can piece apart your actions and routines.
At the end of the day, our lives are a cumulation of habits. Stress eating is one such habit.
So letâs learn about it!
To do so, weâre gonna record some Emotional Eating Notes.
During an episode of stress eating, itâs important to ask:
- What am I doing?
The purpose of theseEmotional Eating Notes?
To look for patterns!
Perhaps youâll notice some of the following:
Weâre looking for patterns to help us understand what drives our stress eating.
The most important thing about this process: withholding judgment.
Weâre looking at our notes for clues into our psyche. Whatever we captured is okay.
If you order pizza every Thursday after talking with your overbearing mom , step one is to recognize it.
Oftentimes, this awareness step alone can help shift behavior. âOh, Iâm reaching for a beer like I normally do after ending my workday. Typical Me.â
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Stress Eating: 5 Ways To Beat It According To A Nutritionist
Stress may wreak havoc on your metabolism. Here’s how you can stop stress eating.
I think we can all agree that stress is bad. Excess stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, sleep disturbances, and depression. Research shows it may also wreak havoc on metabolism and cause stress-induced weight gain.
We’ve known for some time that stress is connected to gaining weight, because a high level of the stress hormone cortisol has been shown to increase appetite and lead to stress eating, drive cravings for junk food, and make it easier to accumulate belly fat. And an Ohio State study shows that stress may also result in burning fewer calories.
In the study, researchers questioned women about stress they had the previous day. The women were then fed a meal containing a very generous 930 calories and 60 grams of fat. After eating, scientists measured their metabolic rates and took blood samples.
In the seven hours after eating the mondo meal, those who had reported being stressed out within the previous 24 hours burned less of the fat they consumed, and they had higher levels of insulin, a hormone that contributes to fat storage. They also burned 104 fewer calories. That may not sound like much, but if you are aiming to lose pounds, it’s enough of a difference to account for a weight gain of almost 11 pounds in one year.