Are You A Compulsive Overeater?

sugar foods
We hear a lot these days about food and weight. If it’s not an ad for a weight-loss program, then it’s an ad about food. Obviously, Americans’ like food! Food is an everyday part of life. However, for some of us food has taken on a different meaning. Instead of viewing food as a way to meet our daily nutritional needs; as a way to fuel our bodies with energy; compulsive eaters (also known as binge eaters) use food for different purposes.

Many people occasionally eat when they’re not hungry, or when they’re down or to celebrate a special occasion. Some people just really enjoy food. When these people recognize that they have a few pounds to lose to be healthier they can initiate changes in their eating patterns to achieve their goal. These people can establish control with food fairly simply.

Not so with the compulsive eater. While the severity of compulsive eaters is broad, most feel as though the food often has more power over them than they do over it! While many may try to change their eating habits, eventually they find themselves back where they started, and often with an even more intense binge eating disorder.

Whatever the severity of the compulsive eater’s problem, the experience of feeling out of control with food is very lonely and frustrating. Many binge eaters don’t even know “why” they are eating. Sometimes it is because they are bored, lonely, angry, depressed, confused, tired or sick. Many compulsive eaters binge eat as a way to celebrate a positive achievement or event. I have heard many compulsive eaters say “I don’t know why I ate it; it was just there; I had to have it.”

Problems with compulsive eating can range from eating portions that are too large, grazing on food all day long or eating too much at desert time. If you are at this stage this is a good time to take a look at your eating habits. Be intentional and observes if you are eating because you are hungry or for reasons other than providing for your nutritional needs. If you take time to get help at this stage it is often easier to correct your overeating habits.

Then there are individuals who regularly participate in what we call “binging.” In general a binge is when you consume large portions of food in a short period of time. Often individuals plan secret binges. The person may sneak food and eat it away from the sight of family or friends. She may make special trips to the store to accommodate her binge needs or wake-up in the middle of the night and binge. Some of the common binge foods are sweets and other carbohydrates.

Many binge eaters have been trying for years to overcome their problem. Often he has tried many diet programs only to eventually succumb to his cravings. If he did lose weight he usually will return to his original weight or more. Compulsive eaters have lived misunderstood for years. It is only of recent that binge eating is being recognized as a true “disorder” and meriting special attention.

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