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Wikipedia defines binge eating as, "Binge eating is a pattern of disordered eating which consists of episodes of uncontrollable eating. It is sometimes a symptom of binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating disorder. During such binges, a person rapidly consumes an excessive quantity of food. A diagnosis of binge eating is associated with feelings of loss of control."
In simple terms binge eating is a disorder characterized by exorbitant overeating during times of stress and emotional weakness.
Often people suffering from binge eating disorders are overweight and obese. The simple reason behind this is that their overall calorie intake far exceeds the calories that they burn.
Moreover, they do not diet, fast, or excessively exercise to compensate for the excessive intake during their binge period.
The problems related to binge eating are not solely confined to physical obesity, these have a catastrophic effect on a person's mental faculties as well.
The periods of overeating are followed by a period of guilt, shame and regret. People often tend to get disgusted over the repeated failures in weight loss programmes. These people tend to diet even more but binge periods render their diet ineffective.
So it is important for one to understand exactly what the healthy substitutes are when it comes to binge eating.
Replacing unhealthy food with excess amount of carbohydrates, unhealthy fats, sugars, etc. with relatively healthier food can not only put a check on the rapidity of weight gain but also provide some important nutrients.
1. Popcorn Instead Of Chips
Though not the healthiest option (due to the presence of excessive amount of salt), popcorn is a good substitute to the junk that we eat in the form of packed potato chips. An average packet of chips has around 150 calories; however, popcorn of the same weight carries only 30 calories. Moreover, it is always preferable to substitute anything processed by something that is made at home. The reason behind this is very simple. Processed foods contain tons of preservatives which are not present in home made food.
2. Fruit Juice Instead Of Soft Drink
Typical carbonated drinks are nothing but flavoured sugar water. They do not provide you with anything but empty calories. One may substitute this with a simple fruit juice made at home. Fruit juices are as tasty as soft drinks (if not more). Moreover, one derives a healthy supply of vitamins from fruits.
3. Beer Substituted By Dark Beer
If binge eating is a problem, then drinking beer is also a very significant problem. People tend to gulp down bottles of beer. Alcohol does not provide the body with any nutrients whatsoever. It is just empty calories that we gulp down. However, the good news is that the darker varieties of beer contain way less amount of calories than the paler ones. Moreover, it contains antioxidants which are beneficial for the body.
4. Desserts With Fruit
People who have an affinity for sugar often gorge on desserts. Desserts, though mouthwatering are very unhealthy. They are loaded with sugars and unhealthy fats. Instead, a good substitute would be the use of fruits. Fruits have fructose (fruit sugar) in them which will satiate your sugar cravings. However, it will provide you with some vitamins and fibre.
5. Cookies With High-Fibre Alternatives
Cookies are delicious but they are often laden with sugar. A better option could be replacing these with high-fibre alternatives like biscuits made of whole grains or oats. Fibre keeps you filled for longer intervals of time and also eases constipation.
6. Chocolate Milk For Chocolate Bars
Chocolate bars have high sugar content and also exorbitant levels of unhealthy fat. Excessive consumption of these bars will increase the blood sugar levels and spike your blood pressure levels. A useful alternative to this would be drinking low-fat chocolate milk. This has the goodness of chocolate and milk and is devoid of unwanted sugars and fats.
7. Prepared Over Processed Foods
Prepared food always triumphs over processed foods when it comes to health benefits. So if you feel a craving for pizza or a burger, why not make it yourself? It is much better than tossing frozen food in the oven and consuming it.
8. Having Fibre-Rich Foods
Fibre-rich foods like psyllium husk, glucomannan, oat bran fibre, apple pectin fibre or other natural fibres can keep you full for a long interval of time. This in turn would lower your calorie intake.