Skipping Meals When You Have Binge Eating Disorder
Skipping meals is something that a lot of people do but skipping meals when you have binge eating disorder is not going to help you manage the disease. It seems like everyone has to skip a meal at one time or another, whether they're incredibly busy or they just forget to eat. But skipping a meal when you have binge eating disorder, as a long-term habit, is going to harm your body, not help it.
I Used to Skip Meals Because of My Binge Eating Disorder, But I Can't Now
I used to skip meals before my binge eating disorder was diagnosed. I figured that if I skipped a meal, I could have an even bigger meal later, guilt free. For my entire high school career I would skip both breakfast and lunch. When I got home from school, I would eat a massive meal and then another massive meal an hour or two later for dinner, usually followed by a midnight snack. These mini-starvation diets didn't keep me from binging. It just displaced the times when I did it.
Now, post-gastric sleeve surgery, I can't skip meals. If I go about five or six hours without eating I start to feel ill and will become nauseated if I don't fix myself something. That put a screeching halt to my meal skipping. Eating small meals throughout the day keeps me from feeling sick and helps me to control my eating.
What Can Happen to Someone with Binge Eating Disorder Who Skips Meals?
When you skip meals and you have binge eating disorder, you can have physical effects and psychological ones. For physical effects, there is evidence that going too long without eating results in abdominal weight gain. Also, it can have an impact on your blood sugar and glucose levels.
Psychologically, it's common to tell yourself that you're saving calories, when you're just going to eat all of those calories, and probably more, at a later time. Being hungry can also have a negative impact on your mood. The term "hangry" became popular recently to describe the anger and loss of control you might feel when you get hungry. Recently, a study has shown that this feeling is very real and a result of how the pre-frontal cortex regulates aggression.
How Can You Avoid Skipping Meals If You Have Binge Eating Disorder?
I wish I could tell you there is one foolproof way to avoid skipping meals for every binge eating disorder patient. But there isn't. However, I have some tips to help you out.
- Remind yourself that you will be more healthy if you eat: In a society that tells us eating is bad and not eating is good, it's easy to think that skipping meals is a magical shortcut to weight loss or weight regulation. But you are better off if you eat regularly.
- Plan ahead: Pack a lunch, be able to find a restaurant, and carry a snack with you for if you get stuck somewhere.
- Don't let others pressure you to not eat: Other people might still be operating under the erroneous idea that skipping meals is perfectly healthy and might encourage you to not eat. Don't let them. Do what is best for you.
- Talk to your doctor: If you can't stop skipping meals, talk to your binge eating disorder therapist or physician about how you can eat more regularly and get healthier. They can help you come up with a plan.
Remember to always talk to your doctor before changing your diet, especially when you have an eating disorder. Eating regularly can help you to stop situations where you might binge, control your hunger, and stop you from becoming "hangry." Skipping meals is not healthy for anyone, but skipping meals when you have binge eating disorder can trigger your symptoms and lead to binges.
LaBranche, S. (2015, July 23). Skipping Meals When You Have Binge Eating Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 7 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/bingeeatingrecovery/2015/07/skipping-meals-when-you-have-binge-eating-disorder