The 6 most common characteristics of a food binge

June 11, 2021

What are the most common characteristics of a food binge?

There aren’t two identical binges, as there aren’t two identical bingers, with their own unique ways of bingeing.

However, when you ask people to describe their food binges, there are some common characteristics they come up with again and again.

Listed below are the 6 most common:

1. SPEED OF EATING

You typically eat rapidly, sometimes barely chewing it. Or you drink to help wash food down.

2. FEELINGS

The first moments of a binge can be pleasurable, but soon this is replaced by other feelings such as guilt or disgust. These feelings don’t normally stop you from eating.

3. AGITATION

You might pace up and down or wander while you’re eating feeling restless, like there’s a powerful force that drives you to eat. Obtaining food becomes the number one priority, and might push you to take food belonging to others or eat discarded food.

4. ALTERED CONSCIOUSNESS

You feel like you’re in a trance-state, like as if it’s not really you eating.

Also, you might find it’s somehow beyond your ability to stop.

5. LOSS OF CONTROL

You might feel it long before you eat or it emerges gradually as you start eating. Sometimes, it comes suddenly after you realise you have eating until feeling bloated or sick.

6. SECRETIVENESS

You go to great lengths to hide that you’re eating, while you eat in a relatively “normal'” way when you are with others.

As you read through them, keep in mind that you don’t have to experience all these characteristics at once to know that it’s a food binge. And, as I said, these are just the most common, which might not account for you feeling or doing something different.

Surely, one common denominator is the deep feeling of shame and despair, that a binge can leave you with.

Sharing your food binge struggles with someone you trust

Sharing your experience with someone you trust can be liberating.

I understand you might be afraid that if you tell someone the depths of your binges you’ll be too much exposed and feel the pain of showing you vulnerability to others.

If I think about my own past experience, many times eating in secret, and hiding any proof of that, made me feel so stupid and helpless. Often, I pretended everything was fine in front of everyone, even if I was screaming inside.

I kept telling myself that maybe a small bunch of people was doing the same. I had absolutely no clue bingeing was such a common issue.

For this reason I think it’s important to break the stigma that surrounds bingeing and emotional eating.

Let’s start the conversation about it. You are invited to join me on Instagram, where I often share about these issues and encourage women to share their experience to help each other.

Looking forward to seeing you there. Will you join? 🤗

With kindness,

Dona 🌷

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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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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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