14 Common Reasons For Binge Eating

Few people that don’t deal with binge eating or compulsive overeating understand what’s its like to feel loss if control around food.

I’ve been a binge eater, and I’ve talked to hundreds of others that are currently dealing with it or have overcome binge eating. The reasons we have for turning to food are usually much different than someone who doesn’t have a problem with regularly overeating or binge eating.

Eating food feels good. That’s why we do it, to feel good or to feel pleasure (even if its temporary). However, we may tell ourselves or others different reasons for why we eat.

Here are some of the most common reasons for eating, followed by the thought that runs through our heads (coming from our “animal” brain looking to rationalize anything in order to get pleasure, because it believes food is the way to get it):

1. TO RELAX AFTER A HARD DAY.

After a hard day, I want to feel the pleasure of something that tastes good (or the pleasure of a full belly).

Instead of looking for other ways to naturally relax, one chooses the pleasure of food and the. decides (usually unconsciously) that one can’t relax without food. (This was one of my most common reasons for eating.)

2. TO FIT IN WITH THE CROWD.

When I’m with others who are eating delicious food, I want to join in with them. I envy others who can have dessert when they want and feel completely in control.

Instead of saying “no” when offered food one feels uncontrolled around, one chooses to eat with everyone else in order to avoid hurting feelings or standing out from the crowd. It’s rationalized that one “had” to eat with everyone else because it was impolite or uncomfortable not to.

3. BECAUSE LIFE HAS SO FEW SIMPLE PLEASURES, SO LITTLE MEANING, SO FEW OPPORTUNITIES.

Just get the food, get out a fork and its there. No hassle, no waiting, it’s immediate pleasure or relief.

Instead of seeking ways to indulge in life’s rewards, one chooses the pleasure of food and then reports one cannot find life’s abundance in any other way but with food.

4. BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE ADVANTAGES SUCH AS AFFLUENCE, HIGH METABOLISM, A NATURALLY THIN FIGURE, THE RIGHT ETHNICITY, EDUCATION OR SOCIAL CLASS SO MY OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOOD ARE RESTRICTED TO THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH FOOD.

Who needs those things anyway? Why pursue them when I’m never going to have them?

Instead of pursuing goals or overcoming disadvantages, one chooses the pleasure of eating and justifies that one is coping with life’s problems by getting what pleasure one can from food.

5. TO ENJOY CERTAIN ACTIVITIES.

I yearn to eat and be full so much that I can’t enjoy simple pleasures.

Instead of seeking or participating in other activities that could bring pleasure, one chooses the pleasure of eating and then decides they can’t find pleasure in any other way.

6. BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING ELSE TO DO. BOREDOM.

Although there are many other things I could do, I’m not inspired. I will just use this time to eat.

Instead of feeling discomfort or boredom to the point of doing something about it, one chooses the pleasure of eating and then decides one is unable to cope with boredom without food.

7. TO HELP ME CONCENTRATE.

If I eat, I’ll be able to stop obsessing and yearning and possibly be able to concentrate.

Instead if applying oneself to another task, one decides to eat instead and decides one can’t do the other task without eating and getting full first.

8. TO COPE WITH LONELINESS.

Being alone is the perfect opportunity to eat.

Instead of writing a letter, visiting or calling someone, one chooses the pleasure of food and then decides one needs to eat in order to avoid the feelings of loneliness. (Another one of my own reasons.)

9. TO RELIEVE DEPRESSION.

I don’t want relief from depression–which friends, self improvement courses, activity, medication or psychotherapy might provide–nearly as much as I want to eat.

Instead of pushing against depression with friends, activity, or getting professional support, one chooses the pleasure of eating and then decides eating helps relieve depression so there’s no need to find other solutions.

10. TO MELLOW OUT WHEN I’M UPSET, ANGRY OR ANXIOUS.

Because I’m upset, I will eat to feel pleasure. Just thinking about that pleasure reduces my anxiety so by the time I actually eat, I’m rarely upset.

Instead of expressing or experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, or anxiety and allowing them to dissipate, one decides to eat. The mere anticipation of the food causes the feeling to dissipate. One decides that the way to cope with those feelings is to eat.

11. TO COPE WITH TRAGEDY.

When tragedy strikes, I can’t handle the intensity of the pain. I’ll eat and distract with pleasure instead.

Instead of experiencing intense, realistic grief over the loss, one chooses the pleasure of eating and then decides one needs the food to cope.

12. BECAUSE I CRAVE IT.

Yes, and I must not be deprived from pleasure when I want it. I deserve it.

Instead of experiencing the physical desire to eat or the physical discomfort of not eating, one chooses the pleasure of eating and decides one is unable to tolerate feeling desire, longing or discomfort.

13. TO PROVE I CAN HANDLE IT.

I don’t want to lose my right to experience deep, physical pleasure.

Instead of seeking other ways to find physical pleasure on a regular basis, one chooses food for pleasure and decides its a simple, easy solution to getting regular pleasure.

14. BECAUSE I LOVE THE TASTE.

I love all the other physical sensations that come from eating the foods I want.

Instead of exploring other ways to enjoy pleasure and feel love, reward or compassion, one chooses the pleasure of food and then decides one deserves to have reward or compassion from food and everything else is secondary.

To some extent, we truly believe our reasons to eat because there is some truth in them. But binge eating is actually a celebration of pleasure. With every bite, there’s feelings of pleasure. That feeling of pleasure overrides common sense in the moment, in the same way accidental pregnancies occur.

Once we start eating, “pleasure chemicals” or hormones are released into the brain. These chemicals then override the natural thoughts that say, “stop.” After several occasions of this, our brains get addicted to that pleasure and the release of the brain chemicals from it. That’s when our “animal” brains take over logic. The primal, animal part of our brain feels the pleasure rush and wants it again…and will do whatever it needs to convince us to do it again.

 

If you want to learn how to break through your habit of overeating or binge eating, my Binge Eating Breakthrough ebook is for you. You'll learn powerful tools and distinctions to be able to understand and overcome your urges to eat more than you want. You'll also learn step-by-step strategies for managing your cravings and feeling control with food. If you want to check things out first, sign up for my free Binge Eating Breakthrough video course in the right sidebar.

Share this post:

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmailby feather

 


Follow Binge Eating Breakthrough:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubeby feather