Why Are You Bingeing and What Can You Do About It?


Why Do You Binge?

Are you on a cycle of yo-yo dieting?


Are you cutting calories or eating too little than you body needs?


Are you skipping meals intentionally or unintentionally?


Do you have a rigid food and nutrition ritual?


Do you feel guilt and shame associated with eating certain food items?


Do you have low self-esteem?


Do you engage in self-sabotaging thoughts or critical negative self-talk?


Do you have a history of trauma?


If you answered “yes" to any of the above questions, these might be the potential triggers for your binge eating behaviour. In simple terms, binge eating is the act of consuming excessive amount of food in a short period of time, or until you feel uncomfortably full (usually done in private). So binge eating is more than just overeating.


The causes of binge-like behaviours can be grouped into chemical, psychological and sociocultural.




What is binge eating?


In simple terms, binge eating is the act of consuming excessive amount of food in a short period of time, or until you feel uncomfortably full (usually done in private or secret). It is not just about food. Binge eating disorder is characterised by feelings of powerless, shame, guilt, secrecy and social isolation.

So binge eating is more than just overeating.

Examples of binge eating can be:


  • Sneaking in a bag of cereals into your room and finishing it when nobody is around.

  • Eating several burgers in a short period of time, guilt and disgust emerges instantly after bingeing.

  • Devouring a bag of popcorn, even when you are uncomfortably full and you feel it’s unstoppable.


What are the reasons you might be binge eating?


The causes of binge-like behaviours can be grouped into chemical, psychological and sociocultural.



Chemical behaviour

When we don’t eat enough/constantly restrict on foods, our bodies will take over and drive us to eat more. This serves as a protective mechanism. And when people are in the middle of a binge eating event, they feel great (even though guilt may come after) because their brains secret the feel-good chemicals called dopamine in staggering amounts. This can become an addiction.



Psychological 🧠 behaviour

If you have a history of trauma, it makes sense that you may turn into food as your innate response to cope with whatever it’s thrown at you. It can be stress, anxiety, relationship struggles, boredom, anger and other negative feelings. When you overeat and binge, it is as though you lack the willpower to stop. It is not your fault, but why? The reflective system in your brain seems to go offline and the impulsive system overrides to drive you attain short-term rewards such as comfort foods.

Another fact, people with depression are more likely to binge. It is unclear whether depression causes binge eating or it’s the effect caused by binge eating.



Sociocultural 👥 behaviour

For people without a strong sense of self-confidence, the pressure of pursuing slimness and “perfection" in today’s society can lead to bingeing. If you’re trying to lose an unrealistic amount of weight, you’re more likely to skip meals and avoid certain foods. By cutting out something you normally enjoy, you may develop intense cravings that you’ve tried to suppress but when temptations arise you start to binge on food. The tremendous guilt and shame after a binge event can heighten stress level, which can lead to a cycle of bingeing.


For people without a strong sense of self-confidence, the pressure of pursuing slimness and “perfection" in today’s society can lead to bingeing.




What are the health consequences of binge eating?


Chronic binge eating can come with high costs, these may include weight gain, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and bone loss.




How can a dietitian help?


Disordered eating patterns can affect anyone. You are not alone! If you’re grappling with this problem, you don’t need to keep it to yourself. Take the time to express your concerns with someone you trust and don’t be afraid to seek professional help. You deserve to feel better and embark on a healing journey. You deserve to be YOU again.

Meeting with a well-versed Accredited Practising Dietitian can make all the difference to your recovery journey. We provide a safe place to discuss your eating patterns and worries around food. We can help debunk food and nutrition myths and misconceptions and work with you towards making peace with the food choices you make, your weight and body. We provide a better insight into how to resolve emotional issues related to binge eating. Lastly, we can guide you how to listen and respond to your internal cues that the body receives regarding hunger and fullness, food preferences and more.


❤️ If you’re grappling with this problem, take the time to express your concerns with someone you trust and don’t be afraid to seek professional help. We offer one-on-one nutrition consultations face-to-face and online.


Go to https://www.bbdiet.com.au/dietitian-consult to find out more. You deserve to feel better and embark on a healing journey to find freedom around eating.




Where to get help