common causes of binge eating

Binge eating is when you consume large amounts of food at one time and leading to poor health. Compulsive overeating has some common causes that present themselves to some individuals, and it often is associated with crash diets that restrict food intake too much.

It is essential to have healthy eating habits in place to have a healthy weight loss mindset.  While crash diets and restricting food can lead to binge eating, it’s important to remember that it is not the only thing that triggers overeating.

What Causes Compulsive Overeating?

Mood Disorders

When you are engaging in extreme calorie restriction dieting, it can change your brain’s chemistry, leading to mood disorders. You may feel anxious, depressed, and these feelings can make you crave large amounts of food.

After limiting your calories for a week, you may begin eating compulsively until you are sick. This will eventually produce the opposite affect you want…  Instead of losing weight, you will likely gain weight.

If you are suffering with a mood disorder that affects your life negatively, please remember that you are not alone and there are ways to receive help to better your life.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to a healthcare provider with your concerns about possible mood disorders and binge eating.

Common mood disorders related to binge eating disorder includes:

-Major depression

-Bipolar disorder

-Substance-induce mood disorder


Each of these mood disorders does not directly cause binge eating disorder it just means that mood disorders like the ones above increase the likelihood of overeating.


Researchers believe there is a genetic link involved with binge eating disorders. If you have a parent who has an eating disorder, then your likelihood of developing an eating disorder increases.

Recently, while sequencing the human genome researchers identified a specific gene (CYFIP2) that increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.

Poor Self-Image

If you lack confidence, then the inability to lose weight to have a trim physique may lead to bad habits such as binge eating. When someone makes a rude remark to you about your weight, you may starve yourself for a day or two in an attempt to lose the pounds faster. When you don’t lose weight right away, you feel worse, causing you to eat compulsively.

Low Blood Sugar

When you restrict your caloric intake too much, it can lead to low blood sugar that leaves you fatigued. This will lead to increased hunger pangs and poor choices in food options.

According to recent research, individuals with low blood sugar levels experienced more hunger pangs and on average ate 75 calories more per meal than those who maintain a steady blood sugar with regular eating intervals.

Eventually, all you can think about is eating, and when you do begin to consume food, you may overeat to compensate for your low blood sugar levels.

How Can You Prevent Binge Eating?

Don’t focus on dieting

Instead of focusing on dieting, focus on healthy eating.  This alone will switch your dieting mindset.  You will no longer see all the foods you cannot eat, but instead find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods you like to consume in large quantities.

If you have a craving for chips and tend to overeat them, try replacing chips with a healthy salty and crunchy option like roasted chickpeas.

Break up your meals

When you break up your meals into smaller meals throughout the day, your blood sugar remains steady and you can prevent your blood sugar from dropping, which can cause binge eating.

Try setting up a meal schedule throughout your day that includes three larger meals and two to three small snacks.  This not only will keep blood sugar levels steady, but also keep you fuller longer to help you lose weight in the long run.

Find your trigger

As you can see there are many factors that lead to episodes of binge eating.  However, it’s important to find out what your specific triggers for overeating are.

Although you cannot control things like the genetic factors that may influence overeating you can identify other factors that may trigger or cause a binge eating episode.

Dig deep and look inward as to what causes overeating for you.  Do you overeat when you are overly stressed?  Are there certain foods you just can’t say no to?

Up Your Protein Intake

Protein leaves you feeling fuller longer.  Much of the time when you overeat you’re probably indulging in fatty and high carb foods and baked goods without much protein.  Although these foods taste delicious and activate your brains “reward system,” these types of food are not typically high in the protein category.

To help reduce the odds of overeating (especially in the evening time) increase the amount of protein you eat so you are feeling satisfied and full after each meal.

Keep Healthy Options

Do you have a hankering for something sweet that you can resist any longer?  Everyone to some degree has a sweet tooth!  If you want to satisfy your sweet tooth and you know you are prone to binge eating sweets, think ahead and preplan what to keep in your house that sweet and healthy.

Instead of reaching for cookies or a pie, try not purchasing or making those sweets at all and instead have fresh fruit like grapes, berries, oranges, and more to satisfy you.


Many people have found links between extreme dieting and binge eating. If you restrict food for too long, you eventually get to a point where you have big binges of all the foods you denied yourself, go back on your diet, then go back to binging.

To stop this cycle, you need to nourish your body properly and keep a healthy balance between diet and exercise.