The Difference Between Overeating And Binge Eating
I’m sure most of us have accidentally eaten too much at some time! It’s only when indulging in some of your favourite foods becomes a regular habit that you might think there’s a problem.
You’re probably familiar with the terms ‘overeating’ and ‘binge eating’, but have you wondered what the difference is between the two? Keep reading — I’m about to explain it for you!
What is overeating?
Put simply, overeating is a term often used to explain mindless eating. Overeating tends to happen infrequently, often when you’re really hungry or when you’re distracted. I’m sure most of us have also gone back for seconds of a special meal, despite already feeling full. That’s a form of overeating.
While the occasional big meal isn’t a huge concern, overeating on a regular basis can lead to weight gain or health problems. This is because it can be easy to fall into a habit of eating larger portions than you really need. That’s why it’s really important not to skip meals — often you then overeat simply because you’re so hungry.
What is binge eating?
While binge eating may sound the same as overeating, there are some differences. Binge eating tends to be more of an emotional trigger than a physical hunger.
People who binge eat may feel unable to control what or how much is being eaten. This can lead you to eat and eat, so you are left feeling uncomfortably full. For many people, binge eating is something they do in private, and may even feel embarrassed about it. Binge eating can bring feelings of guilt, depression, frustration or even disgust.
How to avoid overeating or binge eating
A healthy diet is one of the best tools to help you avoid overeating and binge eating. If you’re regularly eating highly processed foods or foods with a high fat or refined sugar content, this can become a cycle that is hard to break.
These are a few things you can do:
- Eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Read through some of my recipes if you are looking for ideas!
- Eat mindfully! Take your time to eat and really focus on what you’re eating.
- Check your portion sizes. You might find you’re eating much larger servings than you realised.
- Avoid highly restrictive diets. They can leave you with cravings that eventually become overwhelming, leading to a binge.
- If you feel like a piece of chocolate, have a piece of chocolate. The more you tell yourself something is off-limits, the harder it can be to resist. Just try not to go overboard.
Overeating and binge eating may sound similar, but as I mentioned above, they often involve different behaviours. If you’re starting to notice a pattern, or you are bingeing on a regular basis, it may be best to speak to your healthcare professional.
Ladies, I want you to understand that overeating and binge eating may happen. Please don’t punish yourself — just try to get back on track tomorrow.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.