Binge eating means that within a two hour period, you eat an amount of food that is larger than most other people would eat in a similar period and under similar circumstances. You may also have a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode.
Binge eating is associated with three or more of the following:
I tend to eat very rapidly ______
I often eat until I feel uncomfortably full ______
I eat large amounts of food, even when not feeling physically hungry ______
I eat alone because of being embarrassed ______
I feel disgusted, depressed or guilty after eating ______
I am really upset about the binge eating ______
I binge eat on average, at least two days a week for the past 6 months ______
I do not use laxatives, fasting or excessive exercise ______
Binge eating disorders may need specialized treatment because restricting food can make them worse. The initial goal of treatment is not to limit episodes but to gain control of feelings and cravings that trigger the binge.
Here are some general tips to use to start controlling binge eating:
Are you really hungry? Drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes to see if the feeling passes. In the mean time ask yourself if there is something other than food that you really need (a break, a nap, a breath of fresh air).
Eat slowly. Stop eating as you start to feel full, in a few minutes you will feel more satisfied as the food is absorbed into your bloodstream.
Prepare less food. Measure out appropriate serving sizes and save the leftovers.
Focus on the first three bites. By the fourth bite your taste buds are getting bored and you will probably be OK with a smaller portion.
Try to decide what emotion is associated with the episode. Wait one minute and then wait ten minutes before giving into a craving.
Take note if you have a specific craving - chocolate,sugar,fat,salt - you may need assistance to interpret what they mean but understanding and taking steps to control the craving can reduce or eliminate the binge is some cases.
How can I avoid evening and late night eating?
I you feel like having “a little something” as a reward, avoid indulging by:
Avoid the kitchen and shut off the lights. The availability of favourite foods can create cravings.
Brush your teeth as a signal that you are done eating for the night.
Food is not the only way to reward your self, try pampering yourself with other pleasures such as calling a friend, reading a book or having a warm bath.
Eating 50-70% of your daily calories throughout the day before dinner may help control insulin response
Still really need something? Try a low-cal drink or herbal tea.