This is your thousandth resolution in the last six months of not eating those deep fried, fat-laden, high calorie, and waist widening food.
You eat lettuce, boiled chicken, oil-free soups, salads and everything else that will fill you up without adding extra calories to your diet. Also, you drink lots of water.
You miss the taste of a Mayo-filled crispy fried big fat chicken burger, but you tell yourself, it’s for your own good. You stick to it for a couple of days and by the end of the third day, you are tired, cranky, and react as if you are being attacked by the terrorists.
But it doesn’t end here…
You are somehow hanging onto that and that’s when you get an invitation to a party. Now the real problem begins. Just the sort of a thing you want to avoid, but friends insist, and you give into their pushiness. You even chow down a big bowl of green salad before leaving the house, so you eat less.
However, the moment you set your eyes on the variety of serves brought in by the waiters, those three days of abstinence comes crashing down and you hog like you have been hungry for a decade. And all that low calorie, portion size… blah, blah goes flying out of the window in that instant.
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You kick yourself in the butt for not sticking to the diet again when the scales come back on the rise next morning. You give in and eat some more that day, all the while thinking, now that the vow is broken, let’s go full-on binging spree.
Why does it happen?
Why do you stray from the diet path over and over again?
Are you a mindless hungry buffoon?
Of course not. I don’t believe you are. You know that healthy eating will keep you fit and you know junk food and over-eating will make you blow up. But you still can’t stop those hands of yours from reaching out for that extra piece of chocolate chip cookie.
It stops right here sissy! You don’t have to ride the guilt wagon ever again, because there is a scientific reason behind your binge-eating disorder. It’s a small particle in your brain called Dopamine.
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This little bugger is responsible for stimuli generation of pleasure in your mind and relives your brain from stress. A clinical psychologist once called it “The Kim Kardashian of molecules.”
Need I say more?
Do you know about the survival instinct? We all have it. It has been hard-wired into our brain for the thousands of years. Whenever the cavemen were faced with a life-threatening situation, they got stressed – they ran, they hid and they waited to let the danger pass.
We still carry that into our system and thanks to our hectic schedules and the constant juggling of responsibilities, we get stressed out easily.
So, what do we do to cure binge eating?
No, of course, we can’t run and hide, that’s not gonna solve the problem, but what may, a slice of pizza maybe or a scoop of ice-cream. A little bit of sugary release in the brain and this Dopamine imp starts calming the stress levels down.
Once the brain knows how it works, it records the response and on the next episode of a stress bout, it demands us to do the same.
So, basically, It’s like drug addiction. Only its food-addiction that makes us high on dopamine every time we eat junk or overeat since the brain begins to release a high amount of dopamine when we follow suit. The brain built up a tolerance for healthy food. And that is why a healthy diet cannot generate the same amount of high in our brain and we are never satisfied.
How do you cure binge eating?
1. First of all, understand that it is not you, it is the wiring in your brain that has recorded your stress-induced response from over the years. It wants you to play the same record again, so your brain gets stress free.
2. Identify the craving time, think why it is happening instead of counting calories and reducing portion size.
3. Instead of going over to your kitchen counter during the cravings, take your dog and go for a walk.
4. Meditate and practice breathing exercises.
5. Try avoiding any food-related visuals or posts on FB.
6. Remember, it will not be easy and you will retreat to the ways your brain is used to. But do not give up, thinking since its already spoilt, lets binge-eat.
7. Contact a health psychologist who can help find ways to rewire your brain.
More research is still required in the field of stress-induced eating disorder, but the results would be ten times better than just exercising like a machine or dieting until you give up and binge again.