Eating good food can feel fun. Mealtime brings people together and offers us an opportunity to try new flavors and enjoy another person’s often hard and creative work.
It can be tough to tell where our appreciation for food ends and binge eating begins.
Today we’ll look at the warning signs for binge eating disorder (BED). After all, if you can recognize an eating disorder before it takes hold of you, you have a better chance of stopping disordered eating in its tracks.
Why You Should Take Warning Signs of BED Seriously
Binge eating disorder happens when a person regularly eats past the point of comfort, often inducing feelings of guilt and shame. Prolonged binge eating disorder can lead to weight flucuations and a host of accompanying physical and mental health complications. Binge eating disorder can be life-threatening and is, at the very least, life-deflating. (1)
Warning Signs of Binge Eating Disorder
Wondering if your behavior is trending in the direction of binge eating disorder? Be on the lookout for the following patterns in your thoughts and actions: (1)
When it comes to eating, do you find yourself trying to eat in private more than you eat in the company of others? At first, this might look like a desire to move mealtime to the living room and eat in front of the TV instead of eating across the table from a roommate or family member.
Later, it might be that you find excuses to skip out when others are eating in an effort to hide how much you eat. Or you may eat normally at meal times and begin to sneak snacks when no one is looking, regardless of whether you’re actually hungry or not.
Beyond actions, you can also check your internal thoughts around eating. Do you often finish a snack or a meal with feelings of guilt and shame? If someone asks what you had for lunch, do you feel shame and, reduce the amount you ate in the retelling or changing the meal altogether?
Physically, are you noticing significant fluctuations in your weight? You might first notice weight gain, but it’s also possible that your weight could go up and down in accordance with periods of bingeing and periods of eating more normally.
You can also check to see if your eating habits are causing you physical discomforts such as cramps and gastrointestinal issues, constipation, or new and persistent acid reflux symptoms. You may also check in with how much time you spend preoccupied by food in a day as well as feeling out of control with food.
What to Do if You Notice Warning Signs of BED
If you read through the patterns above and notice some in your own life, take heart. You’re not alone, and your situation is not hopeless. In fact, you are in the perfect position to pivot toward a healthy lifestyle. You may just need a little help getting there.
Start by educating yourself about binge eating disorder. BED is the most common eating disorder affecting adults in the United States. This is a known and treatable disorder.
Reach out to a therapist who can help you to unpack why you’re reaching for food and plan for healthier options in the future. We’d love to connect you with a professional who can get you started on a journey to health and wholeness.
Give us a call today at 562-434-6007 or complete our contact form.