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Fraser Trevor Fraser Trevor Author
Title: Binge eating can last for an entire day and total more than 20,000 calories
Author: Fraser Trevor
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While people with binge-eating disorder tend to have many of the same behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms, the exact definition of w...

While people with binge-eating disorder tend to have many of the same behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms, the exact definition of what binge eating disorder is remains unclear. In fact, even the definition of what a binge is remains uncertain. Some experts say that a binge is the consumption of excessive amounts of food over a short period of time, about two hours. Others say that a binge can last for an entire day and total more than 20,000 calories (a normal day’s diet is between 1,500 and 3,000 calories).

And it’s hard to define a condition when there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms. While many binge eaters are overweight or obese, not all of them are. And not all persons who are obese are binge eaters, although some of them are.

Most experts agree, though, that binge eaters share these behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms:

  • Eating excessively large amounts of food
  • Eating quickly during a binge
  • Eating food even when not hungry
  • Frequently eating alone out of embarrassment over the quantity of food eaten
  • Hiding or hoarding food
  • Hiding evidence of eating (wrappers, containers)
  • Feeling out of control in regard to eating
  • Feeling disgusted or guilty about binges
  • Dieting or food restriction after binge episodes, usually without weight loss
  • Depression or anxiety

People don’t have to have all of these symptoms to have a binge-eating problem.

Signs and symptoms of compulsive overeating include:

  • binge eating, or eating uncontrollably even when not physically hungry
  • eating much more rapidly than normal
  • eating alone due to shame and embarrassment
  • feelings of guilt due to overeating
  • preoccupation with body weight
  • depression or mood swings
  • awareness that eating patterns are abnormal
  • history of weight fluctuations
  • withdrawal from activities because of embarrassment about weight
  • history of many different unsuccessful diets
  • eating little in public, but maintaining a high body weight
  • holding the belief that life will be better if they can lose weight
  • hiding food in strange places (closets, cabinets, suitcases, under the bed)
  • vague or secretive eating patterns
  • self-defeating statements after food consumption
  • holding the belief that food is their only friend
  • weight gain
  • loss of sexual desire or promiscuous relations
  • fatigue

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