In this article, we will be discussing some of the very common reasons why people indulge in binge eating, even after knowing its negative effects on one’s body and mind.
(Related: The Art of Intuitive Eating)
Table of Contents
I. Causes of Binge Eating Disorder
In most cases, binge eating is a method used to attempt to control one’s conflicted emotions and feelings. These conflicted feelings and emotions often stem from traumatic experiences which happen throughout one’s childhood or in the past.
Traumatic experiences may include sexual abuse, neglect, witnessing horrific events and crime, living through a natural disaster, and such.
2. Body Image
Most individuals diagnosed with B.E.D. have often reported having really low confidence and self-esteem even before their eating disorder or binge eating first took place. This negative self-image may increase a person’s chances of developing an eating disorder like B.E.D.
Studies have also suggested that individuals or people who are diagnosed with eating disorders or binge eating disorders usually have a very low dopamine level. Since lowered dopamine levels may be genetic, binge eating disorders may be more prevalent for individuals who have family members living with an eating disorder as well.
4. Co-occurring Mental Health Issues
The majority (almost 80%)of individuals who seek help with an eating disorder receive a diagnosis for concurring mental health conditions. These conditions include PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, phobias, and substance abuse disorder.
But binge eating disorders can be cured throughout time with the help of Intuitive eating and with mindfulness practices. But these are Practice-based cures, and you have to continuously pay attention to them to get better and cure the B.E.D.
II. Research-based benefits of Intuitive Eating
- Variety of foods
- Body Appreciation and trust
- Body cue awareness
- Food enjoyment
- Proactive coping
- Glycemic control
- Thin idealization
- Disordered eating
III. How to nail Intuitive Eating?
Follow these simple five steps to set yourself up for success when intuitive eating just isn’t clicking.
1. If you think you’re hungry, eat more
When you’re getting and becoming more relaxed and comfortable with your intuitive eating, and then assume you’re really hungry when you think you are and then accordingly, permit yourself to mindfully eat. It’s important to keep yourself biologically fed- aka don’t let yourself get overly hungry to avoid binge eating afterward.
2. Increase non-food sources of nourishment
Begin to think about food LESS and your LIFE more. Tune in to the non-food areas of your life: the amount of fun you’re having, relationships, money, career, self-care, self-compassion, working through fears.
3. Cultivate “relax and calm” in non-food areas of your daily life
- Maybe at work, while you’re having your tea or coffee
- Also, when you’re talking or listening to a colleague or a friend, pay attention and listen
When you practice being calm in non-food areas, it will spill into feeling calmer when you eat (a key to eating mindfully while you are present in the moment)
4. Go to the grocery store more often
Always make sure that you have enough food at home to cook a decent homemade meal for yourself when you feel like eating. It’s always better to have a homemade meal than to order a dish. So, remember to stock your home is full of vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese, and a few healthy snack items that you can enjoy and look forward to.
5. Put most of your things in a bowl or on a plate
This isn’t a routine or something that you’ll have to continuously do, but it’s a calming process, for the moments when it feels like intuitive eating isn’t just going to work, and maybe clicking this can be a helpful tool in engaging and directing you to be more mindful while being present in the moment with your food.
Eat to live. Don’t live to eat.
IV. Understand what your food cravings mean?
Needs- Excitement, meditation, yoga, routines.
Needs- Comfort, love, acceptance.
Needs- Breathing exercises to oxygenate, hydration, and rest.
Needs- Dehydrated, rest, and balanced.
Needs- Addiction, comfort, love, and acceptance.
Always remember that intuitive or mindful eating takes time to master and apply. So if you think you need any professional help with it, you can consult a professional healthcare nutritionist who can help you with your intuitive eating plan and process.