If it’s not food, then what is it that makes me binge?

February 17, 2022

It’s a common belief that when you binge and overeat food is the problem.

As a result, in order to deal with your binge and stop overeating you must focus on portions and burn the calories you put in your body.

But what if food is just the tip of the iceberg?

What do I mean by this?

I mean that your bingeing and overeating on a regular basis carry a message to be listened to, often unrelated to food itself.

That’s why focusing on food and exercise have only granted you short-term results that don’t last.

If the problem isn’t food, using willpower to stop you from eating when you’re genuinely hungry, or overstretching your body in the gym to burn calories doesn’t work. Certainly not in the long-term.

If food is not the problem, what is it then, you might ask?

image of an iceberg

Every woman’s reasons for bingeing and overeating are different.

I could spend hours writing a list of triggers. I’ll keep it simple for the purpose of this post.

The most common drivers are:

1. Restriction/Deprivation

Controlling your food intake (AKA dieting) encourages bingeing. At the same time, it is a response to bingeing.

After a period of strict control on what you eat, you lose control and end up eating more than your body is comfortable with. Guilt and shame arise after your binges, which cause you to go back to restricting as a mean to compensate for the binge. And so the cycle starts again.

2. Avoidance

Using food as a coping mechanism, not to feel something that is painful, hard to face. You could be numbing a feeling of loneliness, of being over giving and never receiving, feeling devalued in work or in your relationship.

Eating gives you only temporary respire from all these.

Restriction and avoidance float underneath the water, making it difficult for you to see the link between them and the way you’re currently experiencing food in your life.

Start paying more attention and bringing more awareness, looking inward, instead of outward for a solution.

Ask yourself: If it weren’t about food, then what would it be about?

Let me know here in the comments below.

With kindness,



Would you like sharing about this and other issues with like-minded women and doing some journaling together?

Why not joining The Mindful Body Women Circle? It’s a group support for women who want to increase the confidence in their body, and learn to enjoy eating again, without guilt.

Click here if you’d like to find out more!

A picture of Donatella Porceddu Psychologist and Eating Coach helping women deal with binge eating and regular overeating

Written by Donatella Porceddu

I am a registered psychologist and life coach specialised in binge and emotional eating, body kindness, and mindful eating. I empower women to become the best version of themselves through my comprehensive approach, which combines personal coaching and psychology, leveraging my client’s strengths and building around their opportunities.

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If you have any questions, reach out to me today. I’ll be more than happy to connect with you and see how I can help.

Donatella Porceddu Psychologist & Eating Coach specialised in Binge Eating, Overeating, Emotional Eating, Food freedom, anti-diet approach. 1:1 support through my Make Peace with Food program.

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