Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is often overlooked as as an eating disorder, but in fact is the most common (when compared to anorexia and bulimia). We all overeat from time to time, but frequently consuming unusually large amounts of food and feeling like you cant stop eating is when you may need to seek help.
Per The National Eating Disorder Association, binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating.
Emotional eating is another type of eating some people associate with binge eating disorder. While some people with binge eating disorder overeat because of emotional triggers, not all do. We all overeat from time to time (which is part of normal eating!), but that doesn’t necessarily mean a binge eating disorder diagnosis is in place. It mostly boils down to how frequently you binge, whether you lose control and feel like you can’t stop eating, and how you feel during and after a binge eating episode.
Think you may be suffering from BED?
Ask yourself the questions below to help you recognize if you or a loved one is suffering from Binge Eating Disorder.
1. I feel very self-conscious about my weight. I feel intense shame and disgust for myself and sometimes don't like to go out in public.
2. At times, I tend to eat quickly. Then I feel uncomfortably full afterwards.
3. I feel so helpless when it comes to feeling in control of my eating urges.
4. I have a regular habit of eating when I’m bored, but occasionally, I can use some other activity to get my mind off eating.
5. I have the regular habit of eating foods, which I might not really enjoy, to satisfy a hungry feeling even though physically, I don’t need the food.
6. Almost all the time I experience strong guilt or self-hate when I overeat.
7. I have a regular habit of starting strict diets for myself, but I break the diets by going on a eating binge. My life seems to be either a “feast” or “famine.”
8. I eat so much food that I regularly feel uncomfortable after eating and sometimes feel nauseous.
9. I have a regular habit of overeating during the night. It seems that my routine is not to be hungry in the morning by overeating in the evening.
10. I feel incapable of controlling urges to eat. I have a fear of not being able to stop voluntarily.
11. I have a problem not being able to stop eating once I start and usually I feel uncomfortably stuffed after I eat a meal.
12. Frequently, I eat only a small amount of food when other are present because I’m embarrassed about my eating.
13. I frequently spend too much time thinking about how much I ate or about how much I ate or about trying not to eat anymore.
14. I have days when I can’t seem to think about anything but food.
15. Occasionally, I feel uncertain about knowing whether or not I’m physically hungry. At these times it’s hard to know how much food it should take to satisfy me.
-->> If you answered yes to more than three of these questions, you may be struggling with Binge Eating Disorder. Early detection and treatment greatly increases recovery.