When it comes to binge eating there are some foods that will completely derail you. Knowing which foods and lifestyle factors can trigger a descent into binging may be all you need to get back on track and stay on track for good.
Additives in processed foods can disrupt brain chemistry and hormones leading to binge eating. Watch out for Monosodium Glutamate, also known as MSG or E621. This additive which can be found in Chinese food, Pringles, French Fries and Super Noodles, to name a few will cause insulin levels to rise encouraging your body to store fat and overriding satiety signals in the brain. This can trigger bingeing. Another additive to watch out for is High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). HFCS desensitises the bodies appetite regulation and triggers dopamine release leading to bingeing, food addiction and weight gain.
Some people are susceptible to the natural peptides created from the proteins gluten and casein (from dairy products).If these proteins cross the blood/brain barrier then they can have an opiate-like effect. This can explain the intense, addictive cravings some people have for these foods and can lead to overeating them. Other food intolerances can cause binge eating too, but via a different mechanism. It is best to identify food intolerances as well as testing to see if you are susceptible to gluten and casein peptides.
Lack of sleep
A lack of sleep or a disturbed nights sleep will disrupt your appetite significantly. It will lead to higher cortisol levels which make you crave starchy and sugary food and then favours storing it as fat. Also, a good night’s sleep stimulates leptin production which curbs your appetite. Low levels of leptin mean you will struggle to keep binges at bay.
Sugar and Unbalanced Blood Sugar Levels.
Sugar depletes vital nutrients that you will need to regain control of your eating habits and balance your brain chemistry. Sugar is highly addictive and eating sugary foods will lead to blood glucose crashes. These crashes are often the cause of uncontrolled binges. Low blood glucose can affect mood, emotions and will lead to poor food choices and excessive consumption of those foods.
Physical and Mental Stress
Long term physical or emotional stress will lead to disrupted cortisol levels which will exacerbate food cravings – especially for starchy or sugary foods and your body will store it as fat. Stress can be a tough day at work, a traffic jam or a unhealthy relationship. Sometimes ‘stress’ comes from unexpected sources. These are internal and include undetected food intolerances, underlying viral issues or ongoing inflammatory issues – all of these are stresses on the body and can lead to raised cortisol and binge eating.