But what's the difference? Please reply, I need help! :)

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annalin_a's picture
But what's the difference? Please reply, I need help! :)

What's exactly the difference between binge eating and so-called emotional-eating? Like some of my friends, who've never suffered from ed's, tell me they too eat more when they're stressed out and stuff. I'm trying to understand if I'm binge eating or just over eating because all of a sudden I'm enjoying food so much and I've finally allowed myself to have everything, not just the 'good food.' I'm trying to get over that 'good vs bad food' thing. But I need help in distinguishing between the two things, thanks!

tapas butterfly
tapas butterfly's picture
hey cutie. so in the e

hey cutie. so in the e bulimia help book richard talks about the 3 types of binge urges:
1. physical deprivation
this is brought about by restricting food. when your body is lacking certain nutrients you will feel the urge to binge as a result, this is your bodys way to restore what your body needs to build and maintain a healthy system. even if you are eating alot you can still be starving nutritionally because you could be missing certain essential nutrients, the nutrients in the food you are eating have been destroyed, because you are purging and not digesting your food, or your cells arnt absorbing the nutrients

2. mental deprivation.
this is a result of avoiding certian foods, these may be the foods you really want to eat. so a mental deprivation would be feeling like you are denying yourself foods that you are craving, even tho your diet may be 100% healthy

3. emotional discomfort.
this is binging to control or numb unpleasant moods or feelings. an example of an emotional binge would be through a chronic (a family member is ill) or acute (you failed a test) stressor in your life. your body is craking out adrenaline and cortisol. cortisol increases your appetite for fatty and sugary foods. so if you are depressed your body will also use the food as a way to temporarily increase the endorphins in your brain.

this is all basically straight from the e help book. Richard says that we first need to take the physcal deprivation. even if we do the other ones to he says physical deprivation is the most important to deal with first. he says "being in a distressed hunger state only can make you emotionally vulnerable and much more susceptible to emotional binges....it is very possible your emotional binges will stop when you remove the distressed hunger state"

------so to answer your question i tihnk it is great that you are not just eating "good food" and i think it is great you are allowing yourself to eat. i also think that the body because it had been in a deprivation state for so long, when you do eat it might be craving a bing because it doesnt know the next time it will get food. the e book says that your body might do things like this for 6-8 months as it goes through the "re feeding process".

i dont know if this helps. I think it is so great that you are not dieting and restricting bad foods, i think it is great that even if you binge you are learning to not purge. hope i get there soon

annalin_a's picture
Thank you dear, I have

Thank you dear, I have downloaded the e-book but I didn't think about this distinction. I think I'm over the physical deprivation but I still have to deal a lot with mental deprivation and emotional discomfort. I'm trying to schedule an appointment with a new nutritionist and see if she can help me out with these binges and also with mindful eating. My other problem is that I eat way too fast. For now my goal is using the guided eating audio at least once a day. Have you used it? What do you think about it? By the way good luck with your recovery! You can do it! :)

Coach Jen
Coach Jen's picture
Honestly, I think the

Honestly, I think the difference is the mindset. Everybody overeats sometimes, everyone under-eats some days too. ED tell us we are successful for starving and a failure for overeating. ED associates our self-worth with our weight.
Example: My bf sometimes is too busy to eat all day, then he comes home and eats enough for the whole day. When he does it, he says 'ahh I'm full' and moves on with his life giving it not a second thought. If I eat that way, it is a binge, then I stress that I overate, then I'm a failure and a fat reject.. then it might lead to a purge. Because of this mindset, structured and intuitive eating are crucial for me. But my boyfriend can eat in any pattern he wants and it doesn't phase him psychologically. Now that I have recovered enough, I can overeat sometimes, or eat some junk food and not want to purge. I have removed my self-worth from my eating habits. Now, its just nourishment, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes I do eat out of boredom, but those are things I did before ED with no problem. Now I must be way more careful not to lose control.
People who eat out of emotion or boredom just do it, then its over and they move on. ED tells us that its a huge deal and we must compensate for the calories. My goal is to reach the point of 'no big deal' if I eat too much, which I am still working on.

justfortodaypsk's picture
Hmm, I've asked myself the

Hmm, I've asked myself the same question before. For me, there is a difference in a binge and an emotional-eating episode (perhaps an "over-indulgence" or whatever you want to call it). For me, when I binge, I know I am bingeing, and at that point, I want to get my hands on anything. Now it may be a result of something emotional, but for the most part, I am just interested in stuffing my face, especially with foods that are cheaper, easier to stuff without feeling full right away, foods that I deem "appropriate" for a binge, and foods that are easier to vomit. There is absolutely no part of it that is comforting, rewarding or fun, even though a small part of my brain convinces myself it will be, right before I do it. As for an emotional-eating episode, now this may sound weird, but I accept them randomly in my life because I do believe they happen and they are common and are not necessarily "bad." For example, I recently went to the movies with my sister. Lately I had been stressing about a boy I am no longer involved with and about the impending departure of my job. Well as a result of all this, going to a movie with a lot of treats sounded really good. We got a dessert beforehand and had lots of treats for the movie. Now it was a LARGE amount of food, but I am okay with that. I wasn't bingeing, I wasn't stuffing my face without even chewing or tasting the food. I enjoyed all the treats and had been wanting them for the movie and don't do that very often. In the moment, even though it was food/treats and not the best way to deal with my emotions, it did soothe me on some level. I was with my sister, we were seeing a movie, I didn't find a place to purge nor continue the "overeating/emotional" eating episode after she left. Because I have struggled with bulimia, my brain did ask myself at times if it was a binge and if I was going to purge. But I didn't want to. And I didn't feel stuffed. Anyway, that's my experience! Hope it helps!

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