Food Fact – How does binge eating arise?

binge eating arise

Your goal has been determined. Your feeding schedule has been made. Your motivation is great. And the binges are ready to throw a spanner in the works.

Who does not know it? Your new sports outfit has arrived. The tupperware with meal preps are ready. And we are motivated to finally eat healthier and exercise fanatically. It goes well for a few days. And then those binges come around the corner and tempt us to chocolate, chips, a croquette sandwich, etc. Despite the perfect preparation. How is that possible?

What are binge eating really?

The sudden onset of intense cravings for food is labeled as binge eating (in English: food cravings). It depends from person to person whether this mood focuses on sweet, salt or fat . But once you are caught in a binge, your thoughts whine until the desire is satisfied.

binge eating arise
© katerinasergeevna

Causes of binge eating

The cause of these so-called food cravings can vary. We have listed the main reasons for you.

Not enough sleep

In a study 1 , scientists discovered that a lack of sleep causes you to eat more. When we feel tired and lethargic, our body produces more of the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin , or the hunger hormone. As a result, our brains receive the signal that they have to get the missing energy from energy-rich food. In parallel, the production of the leptin hormone decreases. Leptin is, among other things, responsible for the feeling of satiety . So the next time you catch yourself craving high-carb foods, it’s better to take a nap than run to the chip shop.

Food makes you happy

Your partner has left you, you are at the bottom and you reach for the chocolate for comfort. At work it is come and go, you are stressed and frustrated and you shove in a handful of wine gums without thinking. Why? Because food makes us happy. And that has even been scientifically proven 2 ! When we eat, our body releases the happiness hormone dopamine. As a result, you become happier. 

Habits

After a long working day, we like to put our legs up while eating something tasty. The reason for that is that you want to reward yourself after a hard day’s work. You will soon have earned a pleasant evening on the couch with a bowl of ice cream. We quickly get used to the habit of rewarding yourself with good food.

Too great a shortage

You are totally motivated to get started with your diet and training program. Super! But be careful not to overdo it. In a diet you may not exceed the maximum calorie deficit of 500 kcal. Because then you get too few calories for too long and your body switches to the energy-saving mode . As a result, all the calories you do consume are stored as fat. In addition, your need for heavy meals, such as burgers and pizza, will only increase. Your body is in survival mode, as it were, and your brain notices that you need nutrition quickly. We recommend that you stick to the average calorie deficit and eat 3 large or 6 small meals a day.

Tips & tricks against binge eating

In order not to surrender helplessly to those binges, we have put together a top 3 of tips that can help you avoid binge eating.

1. Drink a lot

Many people drink too little. You should take in 2-3 liters of liquid daily . Next time you are hungry, drink a large glass of water first. Maybe you were just thirsty?

2. Distraction

We often snack out of boredom. Often also because it is there. Whether you are at work or watching TV – we would like to have something in our mouth. In this case, it is always useful to have a pack of gum or some healthy snacks with you, such as cucumber or carrot.

3. Protein-rich foods

Proteins make us feel full for longer than carbohydrates. In the form of a tasty protein shake you are assured of a sweet snack, without feeling guilty.  

Conclusion

Do you suddenly feel like something sweet or greasy? Then you may suffer from a small binge.

  • Too little sleep, eating as a reward, eating out of habit and too high a calorie deficit can be the cause of binge eating
  • Drinking enough, a healthy and protein-rich diet as well as distraction can help you to combat binge eating

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