Are You a Binger?

Are you a binger eater? A binge is defined as a short time period devoted to indulging in an activity. Binge eating involves excessive food intake over a short period of time. Binge eaters will frequently choose foods they have been restricting to binge on, such as chips, cookies, ice cream, breads. However, in other situations they may select anything available that is edible including bread and butter, cereal, graham crackers, cool whip or bags of vegetables. Binge eaters may make a special trip to purchase their binge foods and possibly eat all of the food in their car before arriving home. Binge eating is often a solitary activity, carried out in secret which generates significant remorse, guilt, shame, and disgust. Binge episodes can be very costly, considering the expense of the binge foods several times a week/month.

Binge eating behaviors stand in for underlying processes involving self-regulation, self-esteem, co-dependency, anxiety and worry.
So, what if you binge eat? The health consequences are significant.  They can lead to
o      high blood pressure
o      high cholesterol
o      heart disease as a result of
·       elevated triglyceride levels
·       secondary diabetes
·       gallbladder disease
The prevalence and recognition of binge eating disorder is growing rapidly. The fifth edition of “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM V) will be released in May 2013, and for the first time ‘binge eating disorder- BED’ will be included as a mental illness.
Controversy exists as to whether BED is actually a mental illness or problematic eating in an otherwise normal person. The thought is if BED is now a diagnosable disorder, patients may receive greater help from their insurance coverage which may or may not actually happen.
Criteria for diagnosis of BED according to DSM-V
Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by both of the following:

– eating in a discrete period of time (within any 2 hr period) an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.

– a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

The binge-eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:

§    Eating much more rapidly than normal
§    Eating until feeling uncomfortably full
§    Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry
§    Eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating
§    Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed or very guilty after overeating
§    Marked distress regarding binge eating is present
§    The binge eating occurs on average at least one day a week for 6 months
§    Binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors such as purging, fasting, excessive exercise
BED is differentiated from obesity in terms of greater concerns about shape and weight, more personality disturbance and a higher likelihood of psychiatric co- morbidity in the form of mood disorders and anxiety disorders. BED is also associated with lower quality of life than obesity.
If you are living with the shame, guilt, frustration of frequent or occasional binge eating episodes, seek help from a registered dietitian who is experienced with behavioral work in this area. Do not consult with someone who is going to talk about meal plans and eat this, not that! cb

“I Just Want to Eat Normally”

I want to quit worrying about what I eat. I want to quit worrying about my weight. I want to quit worrying about what my stomach looks like. I want to quit worrying about what I look like. I want to quit staying home because I know I don’t look good in my clothes. I want to quit feeling guilty about what I do eat. I want to quit feeling guilty about what I don’t eat. I really just want to quit feeling, especially about my food and my body. I want to start living …… living FREE of all of this food and body stuff!

OK …..We Get You!
The dietitians at Banister and Associates LLC are focused on setting you FREE!
Does the preceding paragraph describe those of you dealing with a restrictive eating disorder such as anorexia, binge eating disorder (BED), bulimia or the usual overweight struggles that can’t seem to be resolved? The answer is “all of the preceding.”

In my 32 years of counseling, the agonizing struggles and pain of underweight/overweight, under eating/overeating all have the same, dismal melody. I have frequently been asked ‘how do you help someone who is 20% overweight (obese) followed by someone who is 20% underweight (anorexic)?’ It’s actually easy — quite often there are very similar, underlying emotional issues which affect food and activity choices resulting in different physical appearances. An additional major common denominator is that everyone has the same goal in mind…. peace with food and self. FREEDOM from the constant mental anguish which steals your time, produces great disharmony in your life and disguises your body as something it is not!

A place of relaxed eating is a place of serenity. Relaxed eating is the ability to be at ease with the social, emotional and physical components of food and eating. It is being able to recognize gut hunger and respond appropriately by providing yourself with nourishment, until you reach a feeling of satiety(appropriate fullness). Relaxed eating encourages pleasurable, whimsical eating with flexibility and freedom from guilt or remorse. It is loving who you are and eating what you love. It is enjoying the fresh baked bread or cookies right as they come out of the oven, even when you are not hungry because we all know that is when it tastes the best! It allows you to eat based on your intuitive hunger in the moment, which can be more or less depending on the instance. Relaxed eating IS NOT following a meal plan or diet rules . It is trusting your mind and your body through self-care and self-love. Relaxed eating stems from a strong connection between mind, body and self-awareness.
How many years or decades have you been unhappy, stressed, frustrated, depressed about your relationship with food and your body? Consider a different approach rather than another diet plan, diet pill, or diet gimmick.

Consider ‘Rules and Rigidity generally = Rebellion, not Relaxation!’ cb