Posts Tagged ‘Compulsive Overeating’

Compulsive Overeating

Cheeseburgers and fries

Individuals who struggle with compulsive overeating typically eat excessive amounts of food—but not because they are hungry. These individuals eat to feel better, to cope with negative emotions. However, upon eating, the opposite happens. They feel a loss of control, shame, guilt, and as if they lack willpower. From there, the cycle of overeating begins again.

What exactly is compulsive overeating?

Compulsive overeating is a description of an eating disorder behavior, but it is not a diagnosis in itself. Typically, individuals who engage in compulsive overeating are diagnosed with bulimia if they engage in purging or binge eating disorder if no purging behaviors are present.

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What to do if a Doctor Dismisses Your Binge Eating

Waiting room

Binge eating disorder is a serious eating disorder that unfortunately may be overlooked by medical providers due to stereotypes and/or a lack of information about the illness. Understanding the complexities of binge eating disorder may provide insights into why binge eating often goes unnoticed in a medical setting and what individuals can do about it.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder (BED) is characterized by repetitive and uncontrolled episodes of excessive food consumption. Bingeing often leaves individuals feeling shame, guilt, or disgust. However, in contrast to bulimia, those with binge eating do not engage in compensatory measures, such as purging, following binges. Binge eating is often followed by dieting attempts that typically turn into a pattern of yo-yo dieting. In addition to causing negative emotions, frequent bingeing can also cause health-related problems, including obesity.

Binge eating disorder can affect anyone, regardless of appearance. While the illness is most common in individuals who are overweight, binge eating disorder can be diagnosed at any weight. In addition to affecting any individual, binge eating is the most common eating disorder.

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I Can’t Stop Binge Eating

Annoyed man on computer

Do you find yourself struggling with binge eating episodes? Are you eating extreme amounts of food and experiencing guilt or shame afterward? Do you find yourself stuck in a cycle of binge eating and yo-yo dieting? If so, you may have binge eating disorder—a real and serious eating disorder.

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge eating disorder starts when individuals repeatedly and uncontrollably consume excessive amounts of food, which may result in obesity. Binge eating may be driven by a need to soothe negative emotions, anxiety, stress, or depression. However, the feeling of comfort that eating may bring does not last long and individuals may experience shame, guilt, and distress following bingeing episodes. These post-binge feelings may lead the sufferer to swing to the other extreme end and engage in restrictive dieting. This cycle of binge eating followed by extreme dieting is a type of “yo-yo dieting” and can become a long-lasting cycle with negative effects.

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New Study Sheds Light on Overeating

Girl eating cupcake

Most of us have had the experience of having a strong craving for something at one time or another. Some food item or beverage that sounds particularly good. A new study brings forward a possible reason why we sometimes overconsume that food or beverage.

In a study conducted in Cologne, Germany (1), researchers used PET scan technology to see the areas of the brain that were activated by dopamine release, a brain chemical associated with pleasure, reward and satisfaction. The study subjects were given either a milkshake or a tasteless beverage, and then the PET scan tracked dopamine release once when the beverage was first tasted and then again when it reached the stomach.

In an interesting and somewhat counterintuitive finding, the researchers found that the higher the desire for the milkshake, the lower the release of dopamine from the stomach.

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