More and more people eat compulsively, a condition defined as binge eating disorder, which occurs when a quantity of food is consumed that is higher than what a normal person would eat in a similar period of time, accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. It is estimated that these episodes suffer about 30% of people who come to the office to lose weight.
What happens when, once the feeling of satiety is reached, there is no way to stop eating compulsively? What is that strength that leads, after a hearty meal, to continue eating?
Part of the answer is found in our biology. The world in which our body has evolved over the last thousands and thousands of years and this current world in which we live does not resemble anything. Keep reading Easy and useful natural remedies with chamomile
When almost 200,000 years ago the first homo sapiens obtained foods with a high content of simple carbohydrates (such as sugar or honey), it was convenient to gorge on those foods to create caloric reserves for the approaching winter. The slogan was to eat everything because it was not known when it would repeat itself.
However, today there is no shortage of sugary or high-fat foods, quite the contrary. Junk food is more accessible and even cheaper, compared to fresh products rich in protein, fruits or vegetables.
Those brain and metabolic circuits that allowed us to create reserves of calories to survive in scarcity are exactly the same that now cause health problems, the obesity epidemic, diabetes and other chronic diseases that are related to our current “modern” diet.
On the other hand, the issue is even more complex, since many people with binge eating disorders actually have significant imbalances when handling intense emotions: they prefer to cover themselves with food, rather than feel the situation. keep reading Health Benefits of Donating Blood for Donors
Binge eating: How do we continue?
The latest research shows that the chemical signals that awaken the sensation of physiological hunger, and the signals that make us feel pleasure when eating (even when we are full stomach) obey different stimuli and follow different neuronal pathways in the brain.
These findings are relevant because they raise the possibility of developing specific treatments that interfere only with compulsive food intake, without altering the healthy eating behavior of self-regulation.
Even so, for the moment, medicine is far from finding a solution , since it is very risky to specifically manipulate neuronal populations in the hypothalamus (main regulatory center of hunger and satiety), a very complex area that regulates other aspects as diverse of vital functions such as body temperature, thirst, sleep or heart rate.
Luckily, the discovery of brain plasticity is the current track to follow. Today we know that human biology is more flexible and malleable than has always been believed. We do not come to the world with a set of fixed, stable and unchangeable features that will determine our life.
We can change our habits and behaviors. We develop in continuous interactions with our biological and social environments. Our experiences modify our brain.
How to stop compulsive binge eating?
Here we present a series of suggestions and guidelines to take into account:
Go slowly, little by little: when we propose to make changes in our way of eating or in the foods that we are going to incorporate, it is important that we go slowly. Wanting to change our life from night to morning is not possible;
Practice “being in the present” doing only one thing at a time: multitasking makes us lose our lives. It is the case – unfortunately so frequent – of eating at home while the TV is on, there is a conversation at the table and (besides eating) we are reading messages on the cell phone. It is not so important how many things we can do, but how deeply we do it. If we intend to change, better to do only one activity at a time (eat, for example), and do it intensely, with full attention.
I chose to consume real food, that really feed: To regulate our satiety and stop eating compulsively, we must ensure “real” food: they are not refined, they are not processed and they do not come in colored packages, boxes or cans. The simple flours and sugars contained in these processed products are the ones that nourish the least. In its replacement, better include good quality proteins, whole grains, healthy fats -products of nuts, fish, low-fat dairy, olive oil, etc-, very necessary for good health and with a much more satisfying power than that of simple carbohydrates.
Follow a simple diet: an excellent advice is proposed by the Swedish health authorities, which have left pyramids and dishes and have condensed with common sense the current knowledge in three types of recommendations: 1) More: fruits and vegetables; fish and seafood; nuts and seeds, and exercise; 2) Change to whole grains; “healthy” fats and low-fat dairy products; and 3) Less: red and processed meats; salt, sugar, and alcohol.
I chose “whole ” foods that you know will cause you more satiety: if you eat cereals, they are whole, whole. If you eat fruit, better if you eat whole, do not make fruit juice despising fiber.
Beware of addictive foods: let’s understand that the taste of some foods seeks to manipulate us. Food manufacturers are only interested in selling their products; that is why they modify the chemistry of foods, remove compounds, combine them, add them, and wrap everything in attractive packages.
Do not over-cook food: if possible, avoid consuming too soft foods, such as cereals and vegetables presented as pureed or crushed. Better that vegetables do not lose their whole body. Steaming is a good option.
Learn to manage our emotional health for our self-care: determine the origin of habits and the most common impulsive reactions with food; analyze your own beliefs and automatic thoughts; recognize how we speak to ourselves; recognize what we feel, in each moment. Stopping eating compulsively is a task that requires commitment and intention to work on the change itself, for the benefit of one’s health.
It may read also: http://anxietyfightersguide.com/ideal-breakfast-healthy-and-balanced/Tags: binge eating, Binge eating eight keys stop, binge eating tips