Most people realise that binging on food isn’t healthy! It makes you feel bloated, tired, lethargic, and pile on the pounds – which is not good for self-esteem!
During my time as a personal trainer and body transformation coach, I’ve worked with lots of food bingers, and every single person wanted to stop – however, they struggled to do so by themselves!
I’ve also been a food binger myself, which may seem strange considering I’m a personal trainer – but hey I’m just being honest! I see it as a blessing, though, because I can now help other people overcome their unhealthy relationships with food!
The Batlle Of The Conscious And Subconscious Mind
What lots of food bingers don’t realise is that while you want to stop binging, it’s also providing you with some value; otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it!
It’s filling a void you have within.
What?!?! I hear you say…
When we look at this statement rationally, it’s absurd, “how can eating copious amounts of food in a short period of time help me?”
BUT the truth is… it’s helping and serving you because otherwise, you wouldn’t be doing it.
If you sit down and look at your life, you are doing the best you can with what you know, if you knew how to make your life better… you would!
You are trying your best and use food binging as a coping mechanism (which we’ll delve into shortly!)
Whether it’s food binging, smoking, alcohol, drugs, porn, gambling, or any other addiction, you’re using it in some way to help you fill a void in your life.
While consciously, we know that these addictions aren’t serving us, subconsciously, we know that they are.
When there’s a battle between the conscious and subconscious, the subconscious always wins! And until we change this powerful part of the brain, change is often only temporary, and most people will revert back to old patterns very quickly.
The first step to making a long-lasting change is developing ‘awareness’ – this means we know something isn’t right, and we want to fix it!
The trouble is that most people become ‘aware’ and try to fix things, BUT fail to get to the route causes. For example, we’ve all followed a strict diet, stuck to the plan for four weeks, lost lots of weight… BUT then slowly reverted back to old ways, and six months later, we’ve gained back all the weight and often more!
We changed things temporarily, BUT the powerful subconscious mind didn’t change, and that’s why you reverted back to square 1!
Where Most People Go Wrong…
Most people go from awareness to solution, rather than taking time to analyse their current behavior and understand the deep reasons for their addictions/behaviours in the first place.
Taking time to look at your behaviour and why it’s served you so far will give you a deep understanding, so that you can then start to rewire your brain, and replace the ‘less serving addictions’ with more empowering habits that enhance your life.
What To Expect From This Article:
In this article, I’m going to share with you 23 Reasons Why You Binge On Food. Not all of these will resonate, but I’m sure there will be lots that you can relate too.
It’s crucial to be honest here, you may claim that you hate your food binging, but if that were genuinely true, you wouldn’t be doing it! It’s serving a purpose, and that’s what we’re going to look at in this post.
Once you’re honest with yourself about why you binge on food you can then start to look for ways to rebuild your relationship with food. Here are:
23 Reasons Why You Binge On Food
#1 Tastes Good
Binging on chocolate, sweets, and takeouts taste good. That warm sensation of pizza or cookie dough entering your mouth engulfs your taste buds. It feels orgasmic – and makes all your problems dissolve away!
#2 Dopamine High
For some time during and after a binge you feel good, dopamine is released from your brain and all of a sudden the stress chemicals such as cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine are suppressed – you no longer feel stressed! Win.
When you’re gobbling on a Galaxy chocolate bar late at night in front of the TV, you’re not thinking about tomorrow’s presentation – which you are dreading because you hate public speaking! Instead, the chocolate melts away reality (for a brief period of time!), which at that moment feels blissful.
When you eat copious amounts of food, your body naturally goes into ‘rest and relax mode.’ It’s a great way to deal with stress. Food binging is a great way to relax your body (although we all know it comes at a price the next morning!). It’s like drinking with friends – great while you’re out and having a good time, BUT then the following day, the hangover hits… and you feel horrific!
#5 Improves Sleep
When you binge on food, you go into what’s called a ‘food coma’ – which means your body shuts down, and you pretty much pass out! That said, just because you’ve knocked yourself out, and slept for hours doesn’t mean you wake up feeling refreshed (in fact, quite the opposite!).
#6 Great For Self Sabotaging
If life is going well, BUT subconsciously you don’t feel like you deserve it… guess what… you’re going to sabotage your efforts! Food binging is a great way to lower self-esteem and bring you back down to feelings of unworthiness, which you are more familiar with and believe you deserve.
#7 Gets You Attention
Do your friends and family know that you binge? While lots of people binge in private, in my case, quite a few people knew about it — for example, individual family members and close friends.
As I’m a personal trainer and athletic-looking – I didn’t have any shame about my body image, so I would often do it around people I felt comfortable with. Food binging got my attention from friends and family who were worried about me, so for me, it was a subconscious cry for help, which is one of the reasons why I did it…to get attention.
#8 Self Harm
Want to beat yourself up and feel a loss of self-control… then consume copious amounts of food and then beat yourself up about it later!
Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to get back up. I would often go through long binging episodes, which could span a couple of weeks. I’d then get low and feel so awful that I would then do a 180-degree life transformation, completely turning my life around.
For me, it was a way to remotivate myself, sounds absurd, doesn’t it? But that’s how the subconscious mind can work.
The trouble was that when things felt good again, the old habits would slowly creep back again, and before I knew it… I’d be back at square one AGAIN! I repeated this type of pattern throughout the year, going from binging to being strict, back to binging, etc., etc. It becomes a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of.
#10 Numbs Feelings
When you’re body is stuffed full of food, you don’t feel anything. You are numb to the world. When most of your life is full of emotional/physical pain, relief feels welcomed.
#11 Gives You Energy
Ok, there’s a point at which too much food makes you sluggish. Still, often you get an endorphin high that lasts for period of 10-60 minutes, here you have energy and make all sorts of bogus claims to yourself like “I’m going to stop binging tomorrow” and “this will be my last hit” – you may also start to plan your new diet which starts tomorrow!
#12 Alone Time
When you’ve taken off the multiple masks that you wear each day, and it’s just you by yourself in the comfort of four walls, you can then be free to do as you please, there’s no hiding anymore. Feelings of shame, guilt, and disappointment run rife, and the food binging episode starts again.
#13 Blocks Pain
The dopamine high will temporarily block pain, for example, physical pain, such as joint and muscular aches, and also mental pain too.
#14 Quite’s Your Mind
That overactive voice inside your head, which is continuously thinking, judging, and in the fight or flight mode, suddenly switches off. For a brief moment, you are freed from your relentless thought stream and negative self-talking demons.
#15 Get’s You Out Of Doing Things
When you’re tired and feeling sluggish from a food binging episode, it means you can become lazy. You’ll avoid social events, and do less around the house, and it’s a great excuse to do less.
#16 Stops You From Succeeding
When you’re body is beaten up and inflamed from a food binging episode, you’re not going to be performing at your best. The self-sabotaging beliefs you have about yourself don’t want you to succeed.
The spotlight that you may attract from success feels uncomfortable, so if you self harm by food binging, it’s a way to prevent the unwanted attention that you don’t believe you deserve. Whether this is concerning your career, relationship, business endeavor, weight loss journey, or whatever it may be!
#17 One Area You Can Relinquish Control
Lots of food bingers are very controlled, they don’t like the unknown and will do whatever it takes to keep things the same. With food binging, it’s a chance to escape and relieve pressure. It’s the one area where you can privately lose control and be freed from the shackles that you put on your life for most of the day.
#18 Self Reflective
It’s the opportunity to look at yourself and think ‘why’ – “why am I doing this to myself” – it can often lead to change and feelings of empowerment. It’s an opportunity to either beat yourself up or to finally throw in the towel and stop your food binging.
#19 Covers Up Boredom
When the day is done, and there’s nothing else to do, food binging provides a great cover-up for boredom.
Did something good happen? Maybe you got promoted at work, got your first client for your business? Got engaged? Then why not celebrate with overconsumption of food, which will make you feel even better about your celebration!
#21 Makes You Undesirable
Food binging is a trait that may make you feel undesirable. If done frequently enough, it will also make you pile on the pounds, which again may in your head make you feel less desirable to meet future partners, friends, etc. – it’s a way to protect yourself further, not let people in, and shut yourself off from the world.
#22 Something To Rely On
With life often changing daily, and with most of life being out of our control, there’s one thing we can always count on, the local corner shop, takeout, or supermarket… where we can buy a bunch of sugary treats and savory snacks and which will instantly make you feel good!
#23 Cheap High
For £2-£5 you can get a bunch of mouth-watering goodies that will give you a high.
Healing Your Food Binging
This post has been more about making you aware of the potential reasons why you use food binging to fill a void. This self-reflection while painful is SUPER IMPORTANT, and it’s often the part that most people miss.
Once you understand why you binge and how it’s helping you, you can then start to look for other ways to fill your voids.
Here’s another post I wrote to help you overcome your food binging.
HOW TO FINALLY PUT A STOP TO YOUR FOOD BINGING: 4 SUCCESS SECRETS
I’d also recommend picking up the book – The Values Factor by Dr John Demartini
Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or want to reach out for some help, then please get in touch.
Nick Screeton – founder of LEP Fitness