CAN WE PUT A STOP TO BINGE EATING?

Oscar Wilde has been famous for his rhetorical brilliance and a sense of humor combined with witty satire, which is fashionable for all time. It proves that he was right in saying “I CAN RESIST EVERYTHING BUT TEMPTATION”. We are now witnessing an increasing number of those who CANNOT RESIST FOOD TEMPTATION and possibly have never heard of Oscar Wilde’s quote. “The weight and belly fat gain are just small sacrifices for the greater good of comfort and fulfillment feeling after consuming delicious food”, one might say. It really makes no sense to punish ourselves and refrain from such an exceptional and rewarding thing in our lives, as the tasty food is. It makes us happy and satisfied, and to be honest, in this life filled with temptations, food seems to be the most “innocent one”!? In many cases, a good meal can bring a smile to your face, makes reading a good book or watching a favorite TV show more enjoyable or simply trigger an overpowering desire to take a nap right after you had it.

However, indulging in food can easily turn into binge eating, which is not as innocent as it seemed in the beginning. In most cases, stress with all its negative effects lies behind binge eating. Stress occurs in response to situations perceived by your brain as difficult to handle or threatening. This results in a physiological response where your body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stimulation and excess glucocorticoid exposure), which triggers cravings for food that would give you a burst of energy and a rewarding emotional relief.

Stress, Eating, and the Reward System is so tightly intertwined, that if you start eating to satisfy your emotional needs, it is the right time to raise red flags, conduct a personal self-assessment, and learn how to differentiate between emotional (unhealthy) and physical (healthy) hunger.

Breaking free from binge eating is no mean feat. However, if we do not act on it in time, it may become a deeper problem, making us suddenly trapped in a vicious circle of negative feelings that accompany binge eating, leading us to continue overeating to cope and finally becoming obese.

What is important?

You should know that in all respects, losing weight is a tough, but rewarding process, so no matter how powerless you feel over food and your feelings, the first step starts with identifying your emotional eating triggers and finding alternatives to food that you can turn to for emotional fulfillment. Try thinking beyond the usual unhealthy deceptive food you crave so much, and go for the new healthy nutrients that would boost your energy and mood.  In addition, start exercising; it is a powerful stress reliever that provides a natural mood-boosting effect essential in overcoming emotional eating.

Last, but not least, never forget that positive and stimulating company, be it your friend or a pet that makes you feel good and bright all day long, is essential for the ultimate success.

Bob Wats

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