Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Food Addiction Vs Binge Eating

Overeating And Binge Eating Disorder

Understanding Food Addiction and Binge Eating

Overeating is not the same thing as binge eating disorder. BED is a medical condition, and its the most common eating disorder in the United States. People with BED regularly eat large amounts of food while experiencing a sense of loss of control over the eating episode. They often feel guilty or shame after eating. No one knows what causes BED, but it may stem from genetics or family history, and its associated with other psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety.

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Emotional eating is another type of eating some people associate with binge eating disorder. While some people with binge eating disorder overeat because of emotional triggers, not all do.

Even if you find yourself overeating to the point of excess on certain occasions, that doesnt necessarily mean you have binge eating disorder. It mostly boils down to how frequently you binge, whether you lose control and feel like you cant stop eating, and how you feel during and after a binge eating episode.

If overeating is something you do on occasion, but it doesnt distress you, you probably dont have binge eating disorder. If you feel shame during and after binging, and hide your eating habits, then you may be suffering from BED.

If you think you may have binge eating disorder, you should ask yourself the following questions:

Causes Of Compulsive Eating

Compulsive eating may result because of specific emotional triggers. Experts often suspect that its more of a developed behavioral habit. This means that its learned behavior is due to external factors.

For instance, observing your parents or a sibling eat compulsively could also make you eat compulsively. Psychological factors could also cause you to overeat, like stress eating. Some people eat compulsively because they are bored, distressed, or in a bad mood.

Transferability Of Criteria Of Addiction To Food And/or Eating Addiction

The second purpose of this review was to examine whether established criteria for addiction may be used to quantify food addiction and/or eating addiction. Table 1 shows the original DSM-5 substance dependence/addiction criteria. Using the DSM-5 paradigm as a mode for creating a food-specific criteria has been proposed and a subsequent corresponding assessment has been created.

Table 1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for substance dependence, possible food addiction equivalents and plausibility of a transfer to food addiction

* The last column of the table was taken from a publication by Meule. However, it should be pointed out that we only agree with these statements if the following three points are noticed: First, food, within the concept of food addiction, cannot be seen only as a single substance, but as a complex composition of ingredients. By this, the substance dependence definition of the DSM-5 would not fit properly. Secondly, the process of eating should be considered. Thirdly, the criterion withdrawal in our opinion is not transferable by plausible means.

Table 2. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for non-substance-related disorders, definitions of the criteria and plausibility in the context of eating addiction

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Association/overlaps Between Bed And Fa

As mentioned above, phenotypic overlaps have been observed between the definition of food addiction and binge eating disorder .

Both BED and food addiction are characterized by the loss of control over consumption, continued overuse despite negative consequences, and repeated failed attempts to reduce consumption. Because of these similarities, measures of binge eating disorder and food addiction are often highly correlated, highlighting difficulties in assessing and distinguishing those two different constructs . Some preliminary evidence reporting high frequencies of FA in patients with BED suggests that the co-occurrence of BED and FA may represent a more disturbed BED subgroup .

Emerging research suggests that binge eating and food addiction, while sharing many characteristics, may have important distinctions. In samples of individuals with BED, the frequency of food addiction ranges from 42 to 57%, suggesting that, despite the multiple similarities, the constructs do not completely overlap. Furthermore, in the study by Gerhardt et al., authors show that, compared to patients with BED without food addiction, participants with BED and food addiction had significantly higher levels of low self-esteem, depression, negative affect, emotional dysregulation, but they did not show significantly different levels of dietary moderation. A link between the severity of food addiction and eating disorders was, therefore, hypothesized, providing FA with a prognostic value .

Who Is Likely To Develop A Food Addiction

Junk Food, Binge Eating, Eating Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder ...

Recent research has found a correlation between Binge Eating Disorder and individuals who tested positive for Food Addiction according to the Yale Food Addiction Scale. Studies have found that people who are dependent on substances such as alcohol share similar brain activities with those believed to be addicted to food.

If you are a person who struggles with binge eating disorder, you will experience an increase of dopamine while repeated exposures to tasty foods. The findings from the research indicate that a combination of food addiction and BED can be thought of as a unique subset of BED. One that is more severe and difficult to manage.

However, it is also possible to struggle with addictive like behaviours to food without having binge eating disorder.

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Theoretical Similarities And Differences Between Bed And Food Addiction

Although the term addiction has been used for centuries to describe excessive, harmful patterns of substance consumption, the term dependence has been used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for decades. The decision to employ the term dependence was debated and remains controversial. While members of prior DSM substance use disorders task forces are reported to have agreed that addiction refers to compulsive drug use, there was concern regarding the use of the term addiction . Presently, there is renewed interest in the possible use of the term in the DSM, particularly as the term dependence may also indicate non-addictive patterns of substance use . As such, the core features of addiction have been discussed and non-drug behaviors and substances that have not traditionally been viewed as addictive have been considered within addiction frameworks .

First Steps In Overcoming Food Addiction

A few things can help prepare for giving up junk foods and make the transition easier:

  • Trigger foods. Write down a list of the foods that cause cravings and/or binges. These are the trigger foods to avoid completely.
  • Fast food places. Make a list of fast food places that serve healthy foods and note their healthy options. This may prevent a relapse when hungry and not in the mood to cook.
  • What to eat. Think about what foods to eat preferably healthy foods that are liked and already eaten regularly.
  • Pros and cons. Consider making several copies of the pro-and-con list. Keep a copy in the kitchen, glove compartment, and purse or wallet.

Additionally, dont go on a diet. Put weight loss on hold for at least 13 months.

Overcoming food addiction is difficult enough. Adding hunger and restrictions to the mix is likely to make things harder.

After taking these preparatory steps, set a date in the near future like the coming weekend from which point onward the addictive trigger foods wont be touched again.


To overcome food addiction, its important to plan. Make a list of trigger foods and know what is going to be eaten instead.

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How To Stop Overeating: 5 Easy Tips

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Overeating is a huge problem nowadays. Were all guilty of it, we all try not to do it, but we still end up overeating over and over again and regretting it every time. And since eating is the main factor that leads to weight loss and weight gain, its important to get rid of this bad habit and learn how to stop overeating. Especially if youre trying to lose weight!

You probably know what its like to overeat so much that you end up laying on the couch unwilling to even move because of how full you are.

This just makes you feel bloated like a balloon, sick, and disappointed in yourself. Sometimes overeating can even make you feel like youre hopeless of losing weight because it almost feels like you cant control yourself.

I know how you must feel because I used to overeat like crazy before almost every day! But I decided it was time to change this and over the years Ive gained a lot of knowledge about healthy eating habits.

No matter what you are suffering from, binge eating, eating addiction, compulsive overeating, emotional eating you need to put a stop to it. And I really hope I can help you with that .

And in this article, I will give you some great and easy-to-follow tips if youre trying to stop overeating for good! Instead, you will learn how to practice mindful eating and how to break that food addiction.

So, without further ado

The Yale Food Addiction Scale

How to Stop Binge Eating and Overcoming Your Food Addiction

The Yale Food Addiction Scale has been developed by Gearhardt , as a first categorical attempt of the concept of FA.

The YFAS is a 25-item self-report questionnaire that adapts the diagnostic criteria of substance dependence of the DSM IV-TR to eating behavior or abuse of specific foods. Currently, it is the only validated tool for assessing symptoms of “food addiction”.

It has several categories of scoring: symptoms count and a diagnostic threshold that reflects the criteria for the diagnosis of substance dependence .

Up to 11.4% of the general population may show symptoms of food addiction, while approximately 2542% of obese patients meet the YFAS criteria .

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Differences Between Binge Eating Vs Food Addiction

1. BED is associated with periods of bingeing then very often a period of restriction whereas in food addiction the overeating is constant.

2. Bingeing often happens in a short period of time as well but food addiction there is no time limit and often there are cravings for particular food

3. Binge eating is not often associated with hunger, it is usually a trigger like an emotion that sets off a binge. Food addiction may start as hunger and you find you cannot stop eating.

4. With Binge Eating, a binge comes to usually supress an emotion because its causing us pain whereas with food addiction we usually get a huge amount of pleasure from the food so its to bring on feelings

5. A lot of the time binge eating takes place in secret so that other people will not be there to see and judge your binges whereas with food addiction it can be just little amounts of food constantly so no one is going to judge you eating a lot

6. in food addiction there are the typical features of addiction: tolerance, feelings of withdrawal, devoting time to activities associated with eating and neglecting or abandoning other activities for food whereas with BED these are not always present.

7. Food addiction is more about an addiction to a substance, in this case food. It could also be about a certain type of food, for instance sugar. Whereas binge eating is more about the pattern all youre eating with food rather than what it is that you are eating

How Are They Different

Overeating is not the same as having BED. While overeating is an occasional experience thats usually situational, BED is a more serious, frequent condition.

If you have BED, you compulsively overeat, meaning you eat to feel good, even if you arent hungry.

Compulsive overeating is sometimes used synonymously with binge eating disorder, though some experts see it as one defining feature of BED rather than the same as the condition.

Here are other things that separate BED from overeating:

  • You binge regularly, at least twice a week for six months.
  • You find your bingeing very upsetting. If you dont have any feelings attached to your eating, its usually not binge eating disorder.
  • You dont like to eat in public. While most people eat with friends and family, you routinely eat alone.
  • You dont feel physiological cues such as hunger or fullness. You eat when youre feeling angry or sad.

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Tip : Find Better Ways To Feed Your Feelings

One of the most common reasons for binge eating is an attempt to manage unpleasant emotions such as stress, depression, loneliness, fear, and anxiety. When you have a bad day, it can seem like food is your only friend. Binge eating can temporarily make feelings such as stress, sadness, anxiety, depression, and boredom evaporate into thin air. But the relief is very fleeting.

I Searched Online For ‘help For Binge Eating’ In Fa I Found People Who Shared My Story

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I always ended up lying on my bed in the fetal position after a binge. I would eat in a car park at midnight binging on quantities of food. I threw the remains in the bin but, when I got home, I snuck some food out of the kitchen, hiding it behind my hot water bottle, and I continued to eat.

I searched online for help for binge eating. I found FA and learned that people in FA shared my story, but they were in right-sized bodies and they were happy too.

Without FA I will end up back in the food and there is nothing left in the food for me but pain. Today Im choosing peace instead of pain.

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Similarities Between Binge Eating And Addiction

The proposers of the addiction model of binge eating highlight the following main similarities between alcohol and drug abuse and binge eating:

  • Cravings and urges to engage in the behavior
  • Feeling of loss of control over behavior
  • Recurrent concerns about the behavior
  • Use of the behavior to modulate negative mood and stress
  • Denial of the severity of the problem
  • Persistence of behavior despite the negative consequences
  • Repeated failure to stop the behavior

Signs Of Food Addiction

Researchers at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Science & Policy have developed a questionnaire to identify people with food addictions.

Here’s a sample of questions that can help determine if you have a food addiction. Do these actions apply to you? Do you:

  • End up eating more than planned when you start eating certain foods
  • Keep eating certain foods even if you’re no longer hungry
  • Eat to the point of feeling ill
  • Worry about not eating certain types of foods or worry about cutting down on certain types of foods
  • When certain foods aren’t available, go out of your way to obtain them

The questionnaire also asks about the impact of your relationship with food on your personal life. Ask yourself if these situations apply to you:

  • You eat certain foods so often or in such large amounts that you start eating food instead of working, spending time with the family, or doing recreational activities.
  • You avoid professional or social situations where certain foods are available because of fear of overeating.
  • You have problems functioning effectively at your job or school because of food and eating.

The questionnaire asks about psychological withdrawal symptoms. For example, when you cut down on certain foods , do you have symptoms such as:

  • Other physical symptoms

The questionnaire also tries to gauge the impact of food decisions on your emotions. Do these situations apply to you?

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I Felt Disgusted With Myself That I Couldn’t Stop Eating Fa Has Worked For Me For Over 10 Years

I couldnt stop eating and was feeling disgusted with my behavior and my appearance. I was bloated and felt uncomfortable in my skin, and my clothing didnt fit well.

I always ate in private and never overate in front of family members. I put on a false front for my family and tried to act normal. I could barely sleep because of the sweats and stomach pains.

From the very FA first meeting, I felt hopeful that there was a solution for me, and that I didnt have to live in shame and depression anymore. FA has worked for me for over 10 years.

Treatment For Compulsive Eating

Is Food Addiction Real? (Find Freedom from Binge Eating and Disordered Eating)

Theres no specific treatment for compulsive eating. In many scenarios, compulsive eating episodes are one-off scenarios and nothing to worry about.

If they are recurring, then you might have a binge eating disorder. If youve had an episode of compulsive eating or worry you might develop a binge eating disorder, it doesnt hurt to speak to a mental healthcare professional.

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What Are The Implications For The Treatment Of Binge Eating

Considering binge eating as an addiction would have inevitable repercussions for its treatment. In fact, the nonpharmacological treatment of food addiction should be based on the approach that Alcoholics Anonymous and other related groups apply to help people with alcohol problems: the so-called “12-step” approach.

The 12-step approach, as shown in Table 1, differs substantially from the cognitive behavioraltherapy of eating disorders , recommended by the 2017 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines for the treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. The NICE guidelines reflect substantial new evidence that emerged in the previous decade, focused on the results of controlled clinical trials, and considered the experience of users, family members, researchers, and physicians.

Furthermore, there are no data on the long-term efficacy of binge eating treatments based on the 12-step approach. On the other hand, the findings of CBT-ED are supported by several well-designed clinical studies.

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