Binge eating disorder is one of the most common eating disorders across the world. It is characterised by uncontrolled eating and eating even when not hungry. Binge eating can prove harmful for our health and may increase the risk of certain diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart diseases, etc. Many people suffer from binge eating due to stress, unplanned meal timings, etc.
This article is about discussing some of the tips by which we can prevent or reduce binge eating.
- Avoid fad or crash diets. Over restricted diets is one of the common reasons for binge eating. Sudden restriction of calories not only deprives our body of essential nutrients but also increases the craving of foods high in sugar and fats. This ultimately leads to overeating along with a reduced metabolic rate. Hence, a diet plan should be made as per daily calorie needs having a well-balanced proportion of all the foods. A regular exercise regime is essential to lose or maintain weight.
- Avoid meal skipping - Meal skipping is a very common practice observed in many including people who are not trying to lose weight. This habit not only slows down our metabolic rate but also affects our hunger hormones. Ghrelin is a hunger hormone and skipping meals results in an increased level of ghrelin, thereby increasing our appetite. Skipping meals leads us to craving for food high in refined carbs, fats and sugar.
- Stay away from stress - Stress is the major reason behind eating disorders. It has been observed that some people do not eat food in stress but there is a major chunk who suffer from stress eating as well. When in stress, a person starts binge eating junk food, processed and sugary foods to relax and make him or herself happy. But unknowingly this might consequence in unwanted weight gain.
- Have a regular physical activity schedule - A regular exercise regime assists in reducing the levels of the stress hormone - cortisol, it relaxes our mind, enhances mood and prevents emotional eating. Thus, involving yourself in any sport you love, or practising meditation, yoga, brisk walk, etc. is worthwhile in order to prevent binge eating.
- Consume adequate dietary fibre - Dietary fibre is one of the vital nutrients required by us. Constipation is one of the most prevalent health issues these days. Proper intake of dietary fibre as per the daily requirement helps in alleviating all digestive issues and keeps our gut healthy. Dietary fibre is significant in minimising binge eating as well, as it keeps us satiated for long and reduces the chances of untimely food cravings. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts in the diet to meet daily fibre needs.
- Have an adequate sleep - Lack of proper sleep is also linked with binge eating. Inadequate sleep alters hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin. It reduces the levels of leptin which indicates the feeling of fullness. Studies have shown that lack of sleep amplifies the possibility of binge eating.
- Increase your protein intake - Protein holds a valuable role in keeping us healthy. Clinical studies have proved that our diets significantly lacks in protein. Protein in our body takes a long time to digest as compared to carbs and fats. Therefore, consuming a diet rich in proteins provides fullness for long. In order to satisfy food cravings or choosing an in-between meals snack, opt for healthy protein-rich food like a boiled egg, nuts, sprouts, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, grilled paneer, etc. so as to stay full for long within limited calories intake.
To sum up, binge eating might have undesirable and damaging health consequences. Binge eating is not difficult to overcome. It is always better to talk to someone, to try and get the best possible resolution. A person should try having control over his or her cravings, an attempt should be made to distinguish between actual hunger and emotional eating. Opting for therapy or the assistance of a dietician or nutritionist for strategic diet planning can be of great help.