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Is Binge Eating a Mental Disorder?

  By posted Apr 3rd 2012
Diet & Fitness

 

Is Binge Eating a Mental Disorder?

According to the latest draft of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in the American Psychiatric Association (APA), binge eating is a mental disorder. Health professionals refer to this document to conclude whether an individual is suffering from a mental disorder or not. In the manual, binge eating shares place with grave medical conditions such as substance-related disorders, sleep disorders and anxiety disorders. But does this mean that if you chug cheese burgers, you are suffering from a clinical eating disorder? Let's find out...

Binge eating depicts a lack of control over one’s eating habits, a feeling where one has no control over how much or how many times one is eating. 

The top characteristics which distinguish binge eating from normal eating are:

 

  • Eating food much more quickly than normal.
  • Eating food until feeling awkwardly full.
  • Consuming large amounts of food when not feeling hungry.
  • Consuming food in a separate room, or in isolation so as not to feel embarrassed by the quantity or style of eating.
  • A binge eater tends to feel very appalled with oneself. A deep feeling of depression or guilt lingers on after the completion of an eating spree. 


Here are a few tried and tested ways to avoid binge eating: 
 

  • Distract yourself from the food and indulge in an activity you love. Rush for a warm water bath when you think food is overpowering you. Go for a nice chocolate pedicure session or may be light some nice scented candles in your room and play some light music rather than eating. 
  • In other times, you might find this a tad bit boring, but sip small amounts of water whenever you feel you are in the mood to indulge. 
  • Always choose healthy food and drink. Ensure that something healthy is always available to you, like a glass of milk, whole grain pasta, reduced fat cheddar cheese, eggs, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. These good foods will encourage fullness by keeping you energized all throughout the day. 
  • Trick your mind into eating something that is healthy in the middle of your binge. For example, if you start by munching on a handful of cookies, gather the strength to add a pear and nut butter in between your cookie eating act. This will switch things in your mind for a bit and will ultimately keep binge eating at bay.
  • In the end, have a backup plan. Binge eating is normal. We all do it sometimes. Once a binge begins, it is difficult to control it, so stay away from triggers and avoid that in-between compulsive bite. 


If your top four weaknesses in food are pizza, ice cream, deep fried snacks and chocolates, here's how to deal with them in a healthy way:

  • Pizza: Go for healthy topping pizza such as healthy eggplant pizza recipe and healthy mushroom and gouda pizza recipe.
  • Ice cream: Who doesn’t love ice cream? Made from dairy products, artificial preservatives and white sugar, they only wreck your weight loss plans. Go for healthy probiotic varieties which are made using skimmed milk and light sugar substitutes.
  • Deep fried snacks: Replace deep friend evening or mid-morning deep fried snack temptations by eating roasted vegetables, roasted moong dal, roasted or boiled tangy channa, plain murmura.
  • Chocolates: Often considered healthy, too much of this deadly sin is sure to show on the luxury of your waistline. Go for dark varieties of chocolate if you want to eat one as it helps in lowering blood pressure by improving your concentration levels. Replace sweet temptations with healthy yogurt recipes, which are not only healthy but will satisfy your sweet tooth too. 


*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images  

 

 

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