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Dear Dish-It: How Do I Stop Binge Eating?

Dear Dish-It,

Lately, I can’t stop eating. When I wake up in the morning, food is the first thing I think about. And while I’m eating, I think about what to eat next. I crave food all day long and will cancel plans with my friends just to watch TV and eat. I want to stop, but my mind won’t let me! Why is this happening to me and how do I stop?!

Food Machine

Dear Food Machine,

Believe it or not, binge eating is the most common eating disorder, and it usually starts when people are young. Not to scare you, but if your habits aren’t corrected, it could lead to obesity and other related health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.

Why You’re Binge Eating

Everyone has a different reason for binge eating. Some causes include a lifestyle change, stress, boredom, depression, low self-esteem, loneliness or insecurities.

Food Addiction

If you’re feeling completely out of control and can think of nothing but food all day long, you may have a food addiction. Talk to your doctor and see how he or she can help. Also, talk to your parents. They can help you by regulating your food intake or by keeping only nutritional snacks in the house.

You Can’t Quit Cold Turkey

The tough thing about overcoming a food addiction is that, unlike other addictions, you can’t quit cold turkey. You need food to live. So in order to start fighting the constant cravings, you need to develop new healthy lifestyle habits:

Some Tips for Success

  • Choose sleep over eating when possible. People who sleep more tend to weigh less and, naturally, have less time for overeating.
  • Eat several small meals a day, including breakfast. Depriving yourself of breakfast will slow down your metabolism and lead to binging later on.
  • Exercise. This will improve your mood and decrease stress levels.
  • Distract yourself. Whenever thoughts of food pop into your head, force your mind to shift to something else.
  • Stay out of the kitchen. Unless your body tells you it’s hungry, steer clear of rooms that contain food.
  • Conquer boredom. Find a new hobby or activity that you enjoy doing, preferably an active one. This will give you less time to sit around thinking about food.
  • Don’t watch TV while you eat. TV can be so distracting that you keep eating until the end of a show, even if you’re full. Force yourself to eat in silence and eventually you’ll get bored.
  • Keep a food journal. Keeping track of your food intake will encourage you to eat less.

Have Your Say

Do you have any advice for Food Machine? Leave your comment below!

 

 

59 Comments

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Know Someone With an Eating Disorder?

  • Yeah, one of my close friends had an eating disorder.
  • I've personally had an eating disorder.
  • I've heard of people at my school with an eating disorder.
  • No, I've never known someone with an eating disorder.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

Autonomy
"Lulu335" wrote: I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!! Oh sweetheart, your situation is so, so very far from being complicated. In fact, it's actually, entirely simple. But I'm here to help you see that, because you can't see it yourself quite yet. Brace yourself, you may never hear such advice in your life ever again. Or you might, I can't predict the future. You're in sixth grade, you said. Assuming you live in the United states and weren't held back, you're probably 12, maybe 11. The problem is, the human brain isn't fully developed until a person hits the age of about 25. This means, without debate, that your brain unable to fully grasp what being in a relationship actually entails, what it means, what the consequences are, and so forth. You can't even fathom it, my dear. I couldn't at your age; no one can. You've just begun to hit puberty at this point in your very young, completely normal life. Certain hormones are now being developed by your body that, up until puberty began, your body did not produce. Let me explain, in simple terms, what this means: these new hormones are giving you fuzzy feelings for boys, but these feelings are not what people with fully developed brains call "love." Love means being self sacrificing, compromising, giving and taking, communicating clearly and honestly, and so much more. What you're feeling is a part of love-romance-but it's not all there is to love. It's actually just a few simple chemicals being released in your brain: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and few others. Your brain releases those chemicals when, say, you see a boy you like, and those chemicals make you feel all fuzzy inside. In fact, (brace yourself,) there's nothing inherently special about the boys you like, or the boys that like you; in fact, they're also, entirely normal, and aside from a few minor differences in character, completely like most other boys their age. Had you been born in another town, gone to another school, you would have gotten the same fuzzy feeling about whatever boy you thought you liked at that school. You see? I'm not saying this to make you feel insignificant, but perhaps the insight will make moving easier for you. The next place your militant parents settle down in will also have a middle school, with a bunch of normal 11-14 year old boys and girls, all doing the exact same things the kids at your school do right now. Does that put things in perspective for you? The world is a very, very big place, and it's home to billions upon billions of people. Your situation is far from being a needle in a hay stack; it's more like a blade of grass, in a vast field of foliage. The feelings you're feeling aren't uncommon or complicated, they just feel that way to you. (Now, really brace yourself, because this is going to get uncomfortable.) We, as people, tend to think that we're special. Each one of us a unique snowflake, drifting about in big blue sky, that exists solely to show the world how special we are. The problem is, the other seven billions snowflakes (people) think exactly like we do, and in this way, we are all the same. We think our problems are new problems that no one has ever dealt with before, and no one else could possibly understand the pain and suffering we're going through. We all think this way, by nature; but it's simply naive. Heartache and suffering have existed since people existed, and possibly before then. Your situation may not be ideal to you, but once you come to terms with the fact that life isn't ideal for anyone, you might actually feel comfort. The easiest way to cope with our many problems, is to accept them for what they are: a part of the human experience. Natural, normal, repeating generation after generation without end. Again, these are concepts that require some deep thought, and you might not fully grasp them quite yet. But remember them. With time, as you grow, think about them more, and you will find peace with your life. And remember this: although you're stuck (for now) on a giant rock hurling around the sun at an incredible speed, you're not alone. With billions of other people stuck here with you, you'll never be without friends.
reply about 8 hours
Fun_125
I personally think that when you ARE ready then go for it! As long as the person you like isn't a jerk to anyone or you go for it! Just don't get too serious. It's middle school. Good luck!
reply about 10 hours
Error44
"Lulu335" wrote:I live in a military family, which means we have to move A LOT. I'm halfway through 6th grade, and I'm really stressed out. The reason is because I have a guy who really likes me, and we liked each other back in the 5th grade, and he's even got me presents and everything, but now I'm starting to doubt whether I still like him or not. And he is a great guy; he's silly, funny, kind- but I just don't know if he's the right guy for me. Plus there's a friend of mine who I know likes me as more than a friend, and he's a great guy, too. I really need advise!!I know, it is too late but I think you should not go for a deeper relationship, don't make it hard for yourself and try to be his just friend because you are so young .
reply about 13 hours
Error44
"queenslay173" wrote:I was at school when I noticed people started to tell me this boy liked me and I thought it was cool because I'm used to that type of stuff then we started to dated in October we broke up right before christmas and it was so strange. we got back together in the beginning of January and we broke up again on the 4 my friends are really mad at me and he seemed really upset I like him but I just don't want to be with him anymore what should I do ?- confused lover Tell him your reasons and make it clear for both of you
reply about 13 hours
lottie_h141
lottie_h141 posted in Style:
thank u!!! acc helps so much. Obvs going to superstars aswell 
reply 3 days