Compulsive overeating is a type of behavioral addiction meaning that someone can become preoccupied with a behavior (such as eating, or gambling, or shopping) that triggers fulfillment. People with food addictions lose control over their eating behavior and find themselves spending excessive amounts of time involved with food and overeating.
The reward signals from highly flavorful foods may override other signals of fullness and satisfaction. As a result, people keep eating, even when they’re not hungry.
People who are addicted to food will continue to eat despite negative consequences, such as weight gain or damaged relationships. And like people who are addicted to drugs or gambling, people who are addicted to food will have trouble stopping their behavior, even if they want to or have tried many times to cut back.
Try these tips to avoid food binges:
- Keep a food diary! Sometimes it helps bring insight on when you tend to binge. You can also see what was going on in your life that may have led you to do it.
- Stick to a set nutrition plan. They’ll keep your blood sugar steady, so you won’t feel hungry enough to binge.
- Portion out your food. Don’t just grab a big bag of chips and head to the couch to watch TV. Measure out one serving into a small bag or onto a plate. You’ll be less likely to eat too much if you must get up for more.
- Think about why you’re bingeing. Are you depressed or anxious? Find another way to soothe these emotions.
A nutritionist, psychologist, or doctor who is educated about food addiction may be able to help you break the cycle of compulsive overeating. You are not alone, there is help for everyone! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional or to take those initial first steps to a healthy lifestyle.
Eating Recovery Center