The Nature of Compulsive Eating
Compulsive eating, although we do not realize it, occurs in most of our lives on a daily basis. How many times have you reached for a snack when you’re watching TV, or stopped at the vending machines in-between classes at school? Food is something we reach for when are bored, tired, or stressed…but are we actually hungry?
How can you distinguish between these feelings and actual hunger? Compulsive eating habits usually start in early childhood when eating patterns are created. Most compulsive eaters are people who never learned how to deal with stressful situations. They use food as a way of coping.
In today's society, compulsive overeating is not taken seriously enough. Instead of being treated for the serious problem they have, compulsive eaters are instead directed to diet centers and health spas.
Like anorexia and bulimia, compulsive eating habits are a serious problem, and can result in death. However, with proper correction and treatment, these habits can be eliminated.
In my own personal life, I have experienced compulsive eating firsthand, observing a friend of mine who would constantly snack throughout school, and also when she was bored. All of the compulsive eating caught up to her and she gained fifteen pounds in a matter of months.
Compulsive eating habits are something that can creep up on you and cause you to quickly pack on the pounds. A good way to avoid this behavior is to evaluate yourself and ask: Am I really actually hungry?
We often reach for the quickest fix (food) to relieve our boredom. By limiting yourself to three meals a day and only eating when you’re hungry compulsive eating habits can be reduced or eliminated. A good rule to follow is to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.
Compulsive eating is common, and is nothing to be ashamed of. Admitting that you have a problem, and consulting a dietician for help, is always beneficial -- especially in severe cases.