What is binge eating disorder?
Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder where you frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating. Binge eating disorder typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood, often after a major diet. During a binge, you may eat even when you’re not hungry and continue eating long after you’re full. You may also binge so fast you barely register what you’re eating or tasting. Unlike bulimia, however, there are no regular attempts to “make up” for the binges through vomiting, fasting, or over-exercising.
You may find that binge eating is comforting for a brief moment, helping to ease unpleasant emotions or feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety. But then reality sets back in and you’re flooded with feelings of regret and self-loathing. Binge eating often leads to weight gain and obesity, which only reinforces compulsive eating. The worse you feel about yourself and your appearance, the more you use food to cope. It becomes a vicious cycle: eating to feel better, feeling even worse, and then turning back to food for relief. As much as you may feel powerless to break this cycle, there are plenty of things you can do to better manage your emotions and regain control over your eating and your health.
What is anorexia nervosa?
- Restricting type of anorexia is where weight loss is achieved by restricting calories (following drastic diets, fasting, exercising to excess).
- Purging type of anorexia is where weight loss is achieved by vomiting or using laxatives and diuretics.
The intense dread of gaining weight or disgust with how your body looks, can make eating and mealtimes very stressful. And yet, food and what you can and can’t eat is practically all you can think about. But no matter how ingrained this self-destructive pattern seems, there is hope. With treatment, self-help, and support, you can break the hold anorexia has over you, develop a more realistic body image, and regain a healthier balance in your life.
Are you anorexic?
- Do you feel fat even though people tell you you’re not?
- Are you terrified of gaining weight?
- Do you lie about how much you eat or hide your eating habits from others?
- Are your friends or family concerned about your weight loss, eating habits, or appearance?
- Do you diet, compulsively exercise, or purge when you’re feeling overwhelmed or bad about yourself?
- Do you feel powerful or in control when you go without food, over-exercise, or purge?
- Do you base your self-worth on your weight or body size?