Indulging on delicious food every now and then is normal and can be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, there's a thin line between indulging and binging that, if crossed too many times, can cause you to develop the habit of binge eating.
Binge eating is one of the easiest ways to gain weight quickly and feel terrible about yourself. Most binge eaters go for high sugar and fat foods which can shock the body with a high amount of energy. Leaving them feeling sick, emotionally exhausted and nauseous after.
Often the thought process that leads to binging is so fast that we don't pay attention to how irrational it is. Here are a few signs your occasional indulging is turning into binging:
1. You Go Off Script
If you planned on having a chocolate bar and end up having 4. Or if you planned on having a bowl of ice cream and finish half the tub. If you go off script often then you might be starting to develop binging habits.
2. You're Ashamed of Your Choices
If you start to feel ashamed of your portion sizes then chances are you could be overdoing it. It could reach an extent where you start eating in secret or eating during times of the day where you know no one will be watching you.
3. You are Constantly Attempting to Compensate
You could be doing this by skipping meals or eating way less during main meals. It could be the meal before (this shows you are anticipating overeating) or the meal after (this shows you ate too much before). If this constantly happens then it could be signs of you starting to binge.
4. You Come up with Illogical Excuses
"Oh this is the last time I have Nutella before I start my diet tomorrow"
"I am going to burn it off with a big exercise session anyways"
"I've been working hard and I'm really stressed, I deserve this"
"It's been a tough week"
"I will eat less tomorrow"
"This will make me feel better so I can function. Surely feeling down is worse for me. I need to cheer up"
These excuses mask the real reasons why people binge. Reasons that are difficult to consciously admit.
5. Your Emotions Guide Your Choices
Emotional eating is very rapid. It starts off as a thought that cooks in your mind and all of a sudden a massive reaction happens. After you're done eating you realize you aren't really sure what just happened.
6. The Ultimate Sign: You Lose Control
You literally cannot stop until you are either too full, finish what is in-front of you or start feeling exhausted and sick. It is almost like you have been hypnotized. This is the strongest sign of binging and if you have reached that point then there is a high chance you have developed binge-eating.
The positive side is that this is all reversible. First, the causes must be pinpointed and discussed. Second a plan of action must be devised to help prevent any "over-indulging" from happening frequently or progressing. Our program was designed to eliminate this problem or prevent it from occurring. If you can spot any of the signs above then start a conversation with us!
To a better you.
Mohamed Rezk, RD
Mohamed is an experienced and passionate Registered Dietitian who founded RNC in 2015 and is part of Cleveland Clinic Canada's team of experts working in the Executive Health Program. His expertise lies in designing the appropriate environment where his clients can transform their lifestyle and become better versions of themselves. Mohamed believes that the first step to growing in all areas of your life is building a lifestyle that is healthy for your mind and body. His programs has helped many people lose weight permanently and experience tremendous growth in their careers, relationships and quality of life.