Just about everybody overeats on occasion. A second helping at dinner or an extra piece of pie may create bloating and feelings of discomfort, but it is rarely cause for alarm. When the behavior becomes compulsory, however, it may be a symptom of an eating disorder attributed to psychological or emotional factors. To stop binge eating, it is first important to identify the overriding force that leads to the undeniable urges. Psychotherapy, support groups, and behavior modification programs may be helpful, as well as anti-depressant medication to alleviate feelings of sadness.
Food is often a source of comfort for people afflicted with eating disorders. For some, it is equivalent to a powerful drug. The feel-good effects of consuming large amounts of food are generally short-lived, however. Overwhelming depression may quickly follow, and the cycle inevitably repeats. Not only is binge eating unhealthy for the psyche, it can be harmful to the body as well.
To stop binge eating, you first need to establish the triggers in your life that cause you to seek comfort from food. Some people overeat when they feel particularly sad or lonely, while others react to highly stressful situations. Once you know what your triggers are, you should develop a plan for combating them when they arise.
Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and reduce anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain, which creates a natural feeling of happiness. Some people enjoy playing tennis, while others prefer swimming. Even a leisurely walk may improve your mood. You should probably avoid sedating activities, such as watching television, when you are feeling stressed.
At mealtimes, practice portion control to help stop binge eating. Prepare your plate in the kitchen and do not bring extra food to the table. Consciously eat as slowly as you can and avoid gorging. Stop consuming food as soon as you feel full. If you are no longer hungry, but the compulsion to continue eating is too strong, you may want to consider joining a support group.
Many times, it is helpful to speak to other individuals who are facing the same challenges as you. Some support groups bring in guest speakers who can offer first-hand, valuable advice based on their own personal experiences. You may be able to successfully stop binge eating after joining a support group and working with a therapist. If sadness is overwhelming you, prescription anti-depressant medications can also be effective.