If you suffer from what you may call overeating or Emotional Eating, you might be aware that stress, tiredness or overwhelm lead you to use food to soothe and dampen these negative feelings.

At certain times, you turn to food for comfort, rather than seeing food as a source of fuel!

For some, it may be a little more than trying to eat away your feelings with just a little chocolate or chips.

You may eat so much until you are so full and sick and feel like you are out of control, when you are eating.

This is known as Binge Eating.

The contributing factors that underlie Binge Eating are many and can be quite complicated…

One of the simplest factors that contribute to all Binge Eating is a cycle of imbalance.

According to Eating Disorders Victoria, 47% of people with an Eating Disorder have Binge Eating (milder form) or Binge Eating Disorder (frequent, re-occurring and severe).

Unfortunately, if you are like many with an Eating Disorder, you may be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with this condition.

Please know that it is more common than Anorexia or Bulimia and you are not alone in this hidden and perceived shameful place. You are not:

  • Weak or lacking in self-control;
  • Lacking in discipline, or
  • Motivation.

You have a real Disorder that needs the attention of a supportive and understanding Medical Practitioner, Psychologist and/or Dietitian.

No doubt, just like the majority of people with Binge Eating behaviours, cycles of a Binge are followed by emotional devastation (including guilt, shame, disgust), and this generally leads you to physically and emotionally restrict and deprive yourself.

You believe that you need to punish yourself and you desperately grasp for programs and plans that will deliver you the ‘miracle solution’ that will stop the cycles from happening.

You tend to look for a band-aide or quick fix to a complicated situation.

The negative solutions that you tend to move towards are those that are restrictive and depriving, both physically and emotionally, and include:

  • Diets – calorie restrictive and depriving;
  • Exercise – intensive and gruelling challenges and plans, and
  • Perfection – rigid adherence to a plan that is unrealistic, unsustainable and has no room for flexibility or the day-to-day issues of life.

Research has proven that all you are doing by implementing these unrealistic and unsustainable plans is causing your Disorder to get worse!

Instead of trying to ‘fix’ the Disorder, you are actually ‘feeding it’ and intensifying with each of the cycles of imbalance of restriction and deprivation.

If you really want to change your Binge Eating behaviours then you need to start understanding Binge Eating behaviours and triggers better, and then using the B.E.D. Principle – Balance Exceeds Deprivation.

Related: The Link Between Anxiety and Weight Gain 

Strive for Balance

Strive For Balance

‘Extremes are easy; strive for balance’ – Colin Wright

When you eat to feel ‘comforted’, you aren’t addressing the problems that led to your binge.

Another study in caloric deprivation showed that those who were subjected to forms of starvation were much more likely to seek ‘comfort’ food at a buffet.

Those who experienced dietary restraint were far more likely to end up Bingeing!

There is such a thing as emotional deprivation which links strongly into the physical act of Binge Eating.

On the topic of emotional starvation, Jennifer Rollin of ‘Eating Disorder Hope’ states that ‘individuals with bulimia nervosa often feeling guilt and shame following an episode of binge eating and this may trigger them to restrict food-thus perpetuating the cycle of binging and purging.

Even if the person does not physically restrict food, they may be emotionally restricting food’.

Restriction = Inevitable Binge

It’s clear that caloric restriction and emotional deprivation is not only unhelpful, but is also entirely detrimental to those suffering from Binge Eating Disorder.


Check out these 5 tips to avoid dietary restriction and welcome positive change:

5 tips to avoid dietary restriction

Tip #1 The B.E.D. Principle – Binge Eating Disorder? Balance Exceeds Deprivation!

Binge Eating is a cycle of imbalance.

If you starve yourself or restrict caloric intake, you are throwing yourself further out of balance.

You need to find a quality balance of protein and carbohydrates.

Instead of restricting yourself, eat for NOURISHMENT – add plenty of colourful fruit and veg to your meals! 

Tip #2 Ratio Over Restriction

A much healthier way to measure health in your diet is to follow the 80%/20% ratio principle – 80% healthy foods / 20% less healthy foods.

This way, you can enjoy feeling fuller on healthier foods while still ‘indulging’ in some of your favourite less-nutritious foods. 

This is a great way to keep your dietary balance maintained, but it’s also important to seek emotional balance.

Tip #3 Tackle your stresses and emotions

Low psychological wellbeing and poor self-evaluation of health are predictors of higher susceptibility to physical illness and mortality. 

Get in touch with yourself!

By confronting your problems and setbacks, you are strengthening the balance between mind and gut, and therefore you will seek less ‘comfort’ from food.

Tip #4 Reevaluate ‘comfort’

HEALTH is comfort, not food!

When you eat to feel ‘comforted’, as opposed to eating to effectively fuel your body, it’s easy to become lost into an episode of bingeing.

The short-term ‘comfort’ actually leads to a long-term dissatisfaction. 

‘Comfort’ should be about giving your body the nourishment it needs. This will keep you much more ‘comfortable’ in the long run!

Tip #5 Don’t beat yourself up!

If you’ve found yourself feeling overly full from binge eating, rather than beating yourself up about it, action something to re-balance the scales.

This might include going for a walk, planning a nutritional meal, and reflecting on the reasons WHY you were led to binge.

This will help BALANCE your emotions, which will deter you from emotionally depriving yourself of food.

You are not alone in your journey.

Cut yourself some slack and be kind to yourself!

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude!

Balance is the answer for both emotional and dietary health, and for successfully overcoming Binge Eating Disorder.

Remember: Balance Exceeds Deprivation, Ratio over Restriction! 

Seeking professional help for your mental health and/or Eating Disorders and underlying issues is courageous. Seeking professional help shows your true strength and commitment to your health and happiness.

Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic offer a unique integrative approach that helps develop a healthy mind and body.

This will support you towards true change for your psychological, emotional and physical health.

We will guide you towards self-nurturing for a more relaxed, happier and healthier lifestyle filled with acceptance, balance, happiness and purpose.

Pin It on Pinterest