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What is Binge Eating Disorder (BED)?

Binge eating disorder, also is known to as compulsive eating, is an eating disorder characterized by consumption of abnormal portions of food besides losing control over one's feeding habits. To qualify as binge eating, the episodes must recur on a minimum, after every two weeks and last for three to six months.

Research estimates the number of people with this disorder in the US to be 3% of the total population. BED is more popular in women than in men. For every three women with the disorder, you’ll get two men suffering from the same, i.e., a ratio of 3:2, females to males.

Though this condition hardly affects individuals of average body weight, you’ll find some people with normal weight with BED. The binge eating disorder definition is broad and includes a set of points that are used to qualify the disorder. It’s essential to state that not all cases of overeating qualify to be binge eating.

The definition encompasses the following:
• Intake of a considerable amount of food in a short period, e.g., after every two hours
• Loss of control and distress concerning food intake
• Eating huge quantities of foods when not hungry
• Eating until one is uncomfortably full
• Guilt and depression over one eating habits
• The absence of purging (forced vomiting)
• Episodes are recurring in every two weeks and last for three to six months
• Eating in secrecy due to embarrassment over the huge amounts of foods eaten

Causes of binge eating disorder

Though the real cause of binge eating isn’t known, several factors have been established to aid in the development of this eating disorder. They include:

• Genetics

Science has proved that BED can also be a hereditary disorder. If any of your parents have the condition, it’s more likely that you will suffer from binge eating disorder in your lifetime. Additionally, studies have established that people with BED have high levels of Dopamine a brain hormone responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward.

• Poor body image

Individuals dissatisfied with their body image are more prone to BED. Same applies to those who are overeating or dieting.

• Social and cultural pressure

A history of emotional or sexual abuse in the past can make one susceptible to BED. Individuals who are often criticized because of their body size may land in binge eating disorder.

• Psychological factors

Depression and low-self-esteem are leading factors that lead to BED. Anger, worry and boredom can result in binge eating.

• Emotional trauma

Death, divorce, separation, car accidents, and child bullying can result in BED.

How to prevent binge eating disorder?

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Maintain a regular meal plan:

According to Doug Bunnell, Ph.D., a former president of the National Eating Disorders Association, The best way to prevent binge eating is to develop and implement a regular meal plan. Undereating and overeating may ultimately lead to binge eating disorder.

Understand your triggers:

The moment you’ll understand what triggers your binge eating; you can easily take control over the matter. Understand your relationship with food. What makes you grab a snack or a plate of food? Do you eat more when you are stressed or angry?

Seek psychological help:

Every time you discover strange eating behaviors visit a therapist for help before you land into an eating disorder. You can also visit a nutritionist for guidance on planning and implementing your meal plans.

Do away with temptation:

Foods that motivate you to binge should be far away from your reach. According to Leslie Anderson, Ph.D., a training director at the Eating Disorders Center for Treatment and Research at the University of California, you should always make sure that foods that lead you to binge are beyond your reach.

Start exercising:

Exercise can help in weight loss besides energizing your mind and assisting you to keep of form overeating.

Get adequate sleep:

Lack of sufficient sleep can trigger BED. Make sure you get adequate sleep each day—seven to eight hours each day. Most cases of binge eating are treatable. Any time you discover peculiar eating habits developing, seek help immediately. Don't wait until the symptoms of the disorder become severe to seek medical attention. From this article, you're now able to know what leads to compulsive eating and the prevention measures.

Binge eating can pose a huge threat to your weight management plan and overall health. Understanding its various causes and ways to prevent it could be all you need to fight it. Hopefully, the above pointers will help you stay leaner, avoid overeating, and improve your health.

Author's Bio: 

professional digital marketer