Feeling sad, grab a pizza!
Feeling bored, plunge on Bhel!
Feeling low on energy, fall for a chocolate bar!
Feeling tired, sip a cup of hot coffee!
Raining heavily and no place to visit outside, escape that dreary weather with fry Samosa and a cup of Tea!
Long-distance flights; get a flyer and have a snap!
Feeling happy, obviously, celebrate with a biryani! And many more.
So whatever the feeling or situation is, food is the ultimate solution. Therefore, it gets proved that food and mood have a direct relationship. The more you get food, the better will be your mood.
But what if I say that food and mood have inverse relationships as well. The more you get food, the worse will be your mood, the more triggered will be your emotions, the worse will be your mental health. Yes, that’s possible. And this phenomenon is called Binge Eating Disorder. People will just call you foody and will ignore the case. As there is already an existing stigma around mental health, this matter also gets overlooked. But the situations can be life-threatening if proper care is not given at the appropriate time.
There are many causes of this disorder. One of them being ‘the mood’. Observe the above phrases again, in each phrase there is a different kind of mood or situation. Each one of them ends up in the intake of those extra calories in the body. Occasionally, they are fine, but if one develops a habit of eating at every changed mood swings or every dynamic situation, then it is an alarming situation. Moreover, anxiety, stress, burnout, and depression are great to provoke overeating.
Now food habits also affect the mood. Excessive eating can lead to weight gain and obesity, which further can deteriorate the mood and make the person low on self-esteem. Therefore, what we can infer is ‘food and mood are directly dependent on each other and exerts their effects on one another’, ultimately contributing to Binge Eating.
Binge Eating Disorder is far more than just getting those extra calories, rather it is a psychological condition, that often goes unnoticed. Following medication is an option for the problem, going through therapies and changes in the daily habits sound like a more rational approach.
Whenever you are hungry or feeling like getting hunger packs, or if you are in a changing mood cycle, instead of grasping over snacks, have a glass of water and make your hunger confused. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the day will help in feeling full and satiated and eventually you will go low in calories, and you will get a wicket over Binge Eating. So at any time, on whatever place you go, always carry a water bottle to keep those extra calories away.
Have a well-balanced diet
Often people, when they are asked to limit calories, get themselves involve in those fad diets. Studies have shown that a very strict restriction on foods can stimulate the act of binge eating. These diets are not only difficult to follow but also, they don’t promise long term results. As soon the person gets into their normal diet, they start gaining weight and eventually feel cheated and consider their efforts as a wastage of time. So instead of following very strict diets, follow a well-balanced diet which you can continue happily in your entire life. Eat everything that you like, but in moderate quantities.
Make a strong friendship with exercise and yoga
Research has shown that exercises can drop down the stress and enhance the mood, and hence prevent that emotional eating. The problem arises when one makes unrealistic goals. Today’s era has enough technological advancements and so the types of equipment in the gym promise to give fantastic results. But it is not possible to hit the gym every day, maybe because of time constraints or because of financial limits. The solution here is to memorize the ancient methods of staying fit. Walking, running, jogging can be very effective in making a great day.
Further, recall the school days and those PT sessions. Remember, ‘Something is better than nothing’. This quote should be remembered before doing any kind of physical exercise. Instead of sitting ideally and making the day completely unproductive, it’s better to keep yourself active in every daily activity of life and burn those extra calories.
Track your food
Keep a record of whatever you eat. Carry with yourself a food and mood journal. For the same, you don’t need to carry a book or a register. Just act smartly with your smartphone. There are various apps like ‘healthify me’ and ‘better me’ which count the number of calories you had on a day, and give you an alarm if you cross the limit. The only thing you need to do is log into the app whatever you ate on the day, and then take a rest and let the app do its work. Having an eye on every calorie intake will make you cautious and help you in avoiding binge eating.
Don’t hesitate to seek help
Talking about mental health issues is already a taboo topic in our society. But we have to overlook this attitude and discuss the topic to remove the stigma associated with mental health issues. Just as if you feel cold and cough, you visit a physician, similarly, if you feel depressed and binge eats your meals, don’t worry, talk with family and make an appointment with a counselor. Have a few sessions with them to discuss your issue and accept it without any shame.
Binge eating disorder can be due to various reasons like genetics, gender, any emotional trauma, any physical accident, and many more. It’s not the fault of the person. But if help is not taken at the time, then it may result in faulty conditions which can have dire consequences. Invest your leisure time in learning and upgrading your skills, to get distracted from overeating. also, surround yourself with positive people who can listen to you and hold your hand to help you in getting out of the situation.