Are You A Binger?
With all the weight loss related messages circulating around and all the weight loss products and services offered on the market, some people can develop an obsession regarding food and bodyweight, which will eventually affect their eating behavior.
Concerning eating disorders, anorexia and bulimia are the two terms we generally think of. But what about less-known ailments, such as binging?
Binging is a form of bulimia without compensatory behavior (ex; vomiting or other), which is characterized by the disorganisation of eating habits resulting from the various limitations, physical as well as cognitive, that some people subject themselves to. It is therefore truly a vicious circle: the limitation (the desire to avoid certain foods that we consider as unhealthy or bad for weight maintenance) leads to deprivation, which turns into frustration, which ultimately ends with compulsion. Following compulsion, the strong feeling of guilt will bring back limitations, and so forth…
Here is a questionnaire to help you determine if you are obsessed with nutrition:
1. Do you often feel like you are losing control when you eat?
2. Do three or more of these elements apply to you?
- You eat very fast;
- You eat up to the point of being uncomfortably full;
- You eat very large quantities of food without feeling the physical effects of satiety;
- You often eat alone because you are ashamed of how much you eat;
- You have a strong feeling of guilt after a meal or a snack where you ate too much.
3. You feel intense distress when you happen to eat uncontrollably.
4. These events have been happening at least twice a week for over six months.
If you answered yes to several of these questions and you feel you have a complicated relationship with food, know that you are not alone, and that a number of professionals can help you.
So where to start? Consulting a nutritionist specialised in that field will allow you to understand the reasons behind your binging. Your nutritionist will give you advice on how to break the cycle and restructure your nutrition, and allow you to have a more harmonious relationship with food.
By Marilyne Petitclerc, with the help of Audrey-Ann Lemay, nutrition intern at Université Laval