What is a Binge?
A ‘binge’ has been defined as ‘eating, in a discrete period of time (<2 hours), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period under similar circumstances’ and with a ‘sense of lack of control’ (1).
Sounds a bit whimsical if you ask me! I’m pretty sure most people have fit that criteria at some point in their lives, if not a little too frequently for our likings. So it turns out that bingeing is actually quite normal for us humans and often has no lasting effects. With that being said, sometimes binge behaviours can cause us significant harm.
It can be a problem...
If it affects you psychologically:
- Your lack of control distresses you.
- You feel a sense of relief or numbing during a binge with severe guilt and shame afterwards.
- You have very low body image and self confidence, usually made worse by a binge.
If it affects you physically:
- You have excessive weight gain.
- You have digestive issues.
- You have disrupted sleep.
- You have a disrupted appetite.
- You displace healthy foods from your diet.
The definition of a binge as ‘eating a larger amount than most’ can apply to the majority of us at some point. However, bingeing can be psychologically harmful. Also, long - term bingeing can be physically harmful.