How binge eating disorders put women into trouble

by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 5 min read

Binge eating happens when people overeat, which takes place as a result of stress, depression, or past trauma. Is this happening because women lack self-control? Make no mistake, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is linked to a variety of psychological and non-psychological issues and is not related to women alone but to men and children as well.

What exactly classifies binge eating from your regular daily meal intake?

Binge eating disorder consists of the following conditions: 

  1. Eating more food than a normal eating pattern at a much faster pace,
  2. Inability to control one's eating,
  3. Post meal guiltiness or shamefulness.

Eating disorders are common, yet deadly, psychological disorders that can lead to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and bodily pains. It can also pave the way for compensatory behaviours that could end up in splurging on diet pills, excessive rigorous exercise, and extreme dietary restrictions. 


This condition gradually takes control of your body and mind, but to treat them, they must first be understood, which is the very purpose of this article. So read on to find out more…

Factors behind Eating Disorders in women

Binge eating disorder can result from numerous psychological, social, cultural, and biological factors. 

Some women may be more at risk for binge eating disorders.

  • Girls and women who diet repeatedly are 12 times more likely to binge than non-dieters.
  • Women in their 20s and 30s are more likely than older women to suffer from binge eating disorders.
  • Individuals who have undergone trauma or difficult episodes in their lives, which they feel can be made better by indulging in their favorite plate of food.



Women who have experienced the following factors may be at a high risk of acquiring BED than others, such as:

  1. Childhood obesity,
  2. Loss of controlled eating as a child,
  3. Having unhealthy habits as a child such as indulging in junk food or candies, 
  4. Substance abuse (drugs or alcohol), 
  5. Family history of weight concerns and eating problems,
  6. Family conflicts and parenting problems,
  7. Any form of trauma or issue that takes a toll on one's mental health, 
  8. Physical and sexual abuse,
  9. Mental health disorders, 
  10. Negative body image perception,
  11. Changes in your intestinal microbiota due to a change of place or foods, etc. 

Nature of Eating Disorders

Two or more of the following symptoms must be present for your doctor to make a substantial  diagnosis:

  • Eating much faster than usual.
  • Eating till one feels uncomfortable full, 
  • Eating a lot when one is not hungry or just plain bored, 
  • Eating alone out of humiliation or guilt, or shame for oneself.


The majority of ED patients also have anxiety disorders, mood disorders, impulse-control disorders, and substance use disorders.


“More than 45% of women suffer from binge eating disorder on a global scale.” 

Women of all races, cultures, and ethnicities are affected by binge eating disorders. It is the most prevalent eating disorder in Asian, Hispanic, and African-American women.

What is the difference between binge eating disorders and other eating disorders?

Women with eating disorders, such as binge eating disorder, bulimia, and anorexia, have mental health conditions that affect how they eat and exercise. These eating disorders threaten their health not only on the physical level but also their mental health. 

Bulimia nervosa, often known as bulimia, is a severe eating condition that may be fatal. Bulimics secretly binge on unhealthy foods and purge (throw up all they ate), seeking to burn off the additional calories before the food gets fully digested.


A distorted body image and an unfounded fear of being overweight are characteristics of anorexia. Examples of symptoms include attempting to maintain a weight below average by starving yourself or exercising excessively.



Unlike people with anorexia or bulimia (of which both are extremities), people with binge eating disorders do not throw up their food, exercise a lot, or starve themselves. People with binge eating disorders are often overweight or obese. Not all people with binge eating disorders are overweight, and being overweight does not always mean you have a binge eating disorder.

It is possible to have more than one eating disorder in your lifetime. Regardless of what type of eating disorder you may have, you can get better with treatment.

How does BED come about?

Binge eating episodes are developed as a result of negative experiences, it may provide relief from it. Difficulties with emotional regulation and a lack of emotional awareness have been linked to binge eating disorders. Furthermore, interpersonal and intra family issues are associated with this disorder.



The food addiction hypothesis states that individuals with high levels of impulsivity and reward responsiveness have an addictive attraction to particular foods, such as those that are heavy in sugar and fat.

How does binge eating disorder affect a woman's health?

Many, but not all, women with binge eating disorders are overweight or obese. Obesity raises your risk for many serious health problems. These may pose serious health problems to one’s life apart from binge eating which could be fatal in the end. 

The complications of these two disorders include:


  1. Muscle pain (Neck, shoulder, and lower back pain),
  2. Hypertension,
  3. Diabetes,
  4. Asthma - respiratory illness,
  5. Issues with your heart,
  6. Weight gain or irregular fluctuations in weight,
  7. Menstrual irregularities (preventing ovulation, difficulty in getting pregnant),
  8. Cancer (colon, breast, uterine, ovarian cancers, etc),
  9. Gallbladder disease,
  10. Metabolic syndrome, etc.

How to treat your out-of-whack appetite?

Your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist, and therapist (only if your condition is linked to your past or it's out of control) who could assist you better on your recovery journey.


A thorough treatment program for eating disorders must be created specifically for you. The intention is to help you take the reins of your eating behaviors and put a stop to unhealthy eating habits. The most common approach is a fusion of strategies including drug and diet therapy or a combination of Ayurveda and adequate exercise.



Treatment goals may include working on:

  • Trimming down on excessive body weight,
  • Tackling binge eating episodes,
  • Extreme concern for body image and other psychological issues,
  • Psychiatric conditions (anxiety, substance use disorder, and depression).


Treatment plans may include one or more of the following:

  1. Psychotherapy
  2. Medications
  3. Nutritional counseling and weight loss treatment

1) Psychotherapy:

The primary form of treatment for binge eating disorder is psychotherapy. Numerous clinical studies have found that psychotherapy has a more profound clinical impact than medication.



The goal of psychotherapy, sometimes known as "talk therapy," is to assist you in altering any unhelpful beliefs or habits by:

  1. Identifying the root cause that links to binge eating disorder, and
  2. Focusing mainly on experimentation with appropriate changes in relevant regions such as the personal conflicts one faces while binge eating.


This therapy may highlight the value of discussing your emotions and how they affect your behavior. You may, for instance, discuss how stress or work pressure fuels your bingeing. Either you can work one-on-one with a therapist or in a group setting where other binge eaters may come to find solace with similar people.

2.) Medicine 

Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications may help certain women with binge eating disorders who also suffer from anxiety or sadness. With these medications, both issues of binge eating and psychological issues are combated to help the intended patient. 


3.) Nutritional counseling and weight management

You can improve your nutrition with the assistance of a qualified dietitian. By learning what foods are more suitable for your body type and by consuming the right proportions, your dietitian can devise a diet plan appropriate for your needs and cravings. Even if you crave the most unhealthy and greasy foods, there are always healthier alternatives to that to satisfy those mouth-watering cravings. Most patients with binge eating disorder seek treatment for weight reduction rather than binge eating. All obese patients should be evaluated closely for binge eating disorders.

i) Low-calorie diets and exercise is the best option for losing weight. 

Treatment for weight loss is a tactic created to lessen binge eating as an indirect outcome of weight loss. Some of the specific elements of weight loss therapy include exercise, an improved diet with nutritional counseling, and moderate calorie restriction.



Genes, biology, body image and self-esteem, social experiences, family health history, and occasionally other mental health conditions all affect treatment effectiveness. 


“According to studies, those who suffer from binge eating disorder may use overeating as a coping mechanism for emotions such as rage, grief, boredom, worry, or stress.”


The goal of weight loss therapy is to assist patients in losing weight, which may lessen binge eating by enhancing self-esteem and body image. The goal is to gradually adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a balanced diet, and daily monitoring of food consumption and food-related thoughts.


Weight loss treatments are a good option for people who were not successful with other therapies or are primarily interested in losing weight.

How to overcome bingeing

Speaking with a doctor is the first step in getting rid of binge eating. This person can assist with a diagnosis, evaluate the disorder's severity, and suggest the best course of action. Depending on the circumstances of each person, a single therapy or a mix of therapies may be most effective. Making healthy lifestyle and dietary decisions is crucial regardless of the chosen treatment plan.


Here are some additional things you can do at home to help with your quirky eating habits:

Maintain a food diary 

  • Track down the kinds of foods you eat and the time at which you do. In your food diary, note the reasons triggering your impulsiveness towards a certain food so you can learn to better control it. 

Keep a positive mindset towards yourself. 

  • Remind yourself that it is not your fault that you are traumatized into eating out of control. Think positive thoughts and tell yourself your journey towards recovery is not impossible. A positive mindset can easily set off positive changes that your mind will begin to manifest into the physical realm. 

Find someone to talk 

  • It is vital to have moral support in your times of need. Whether it be a family member, your partner, or a therapist. You need to find a way to release all that hurt you feel inside you. 

The online world is open to you, 

  • So why not give and take? Find a sup                                                                       port group so you know that you are not alone with your problems. There are plenty of foodies to help you along the way. 


At Kindly, we have expert psychologists who can help you find the right cause of your bingeing and help you through this tough phase of life. Sometimes talking to someone who can give you the best advice in times of crisis is essential. Click here to book a one on one session with our experts. 

Look for healthy ingredients and cook your own meals. 

  • When you are out shopping, instead of purchasing a ready-made meal look for cheaper grocery items to cook your own meal. Make sure your diet is rich in proteins and healthy fats. Not only is cooking therapeutic in a way, but it also gives you control of what goes into your meal. You will find yourself saving on bucks and calories!

Begin an exercise regime. 

  • Exercise will help you in your goal of healthy weight loss by improving your stamina and muscle strength. Inevitably your anxiety and pessimistic outlook on your body image will improve along with your moods.

Make sure to get enough sleep. 

  • Sleep is one of the most vital times your body needs. You are essentially taking care of your body by giving it ample rest through the night. A lack of sleep is usually a result of a higher calorie intake and irregular eating patterns. On average, it is recommended to get at least 7 to 8 hours of solid and undisturbed sleep at night. 

In summary

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a prevalent eating problem among women of all backgrounds that, if left untreated, can have a negative impact on one's mental and physical health. It is characterized by recurrent, uncontrollable episodes of binge eating and is frequently followed by emotions of guilt and shame. It may have a detrimental impact on mental health, self-esteem, body weight, and general health. Fortunately, there are many highly successful therapies for BED, including counseling on nutrition, medicine, and psychotherapy. Incorporating healthy lifestyle practices into daily life is another popular way to combat this. To overcome BED, you must first seek professional medical assistance.

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by Dr. Pranjal on July 10, 2023 , 5 min read

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