Deadlines, Stress, Feeling Fat—What Are YOUR Binge Triggers?

What sends you runnin' to the candy story?

I just talked the other day about how being alone has been a binge trigger for me. Feeling “fat” is a sign I’m headed down that road, too. Hmm…lack of sleep has caused trouble in the past, as has getting too tipsy! reader Heather adds her own triggers:

“My binge points have always been about deadlines. If I have a trade show or deadline looming, my mouth starts to water for binge foods…bags of cookies, macaroni and cheese, chips, pulled pork sandwiches on super squishy bread!”

Another reader, Jenn, says: “I know I eat when I am stressed out with school or am feeling less than confident in myself.”

Amanda emailed: “I know I ate when I was upset, stressed, when I didn’t think I was pretty enough, or a guy didn’t call me back.”

What about you? What emotions or happenings make you more likely to binge or overeat? And what do you try to do to stop it?


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5 Responses to Deadlines, Stress, Feeling Fat—What Are YOUR Binge Triggers?

  1. Razieh says:

    Yes, yes I couldn’t agree anymore with all these comments! Lonlieness, feeling rejected, overwhelmed with deadlines and watching my bank account decline are all triggers for my bingeing. I’ve also noticed when I don’t have a plan, for instance: coming home after work and not having plans for the gym or plans with friends or even “laundrynight” plans. I have noticed being around others and doing things I like ( baths, calling a friend, painting nails) lessen these thoughts about bingeing.

  2. Morgan says:

    A helpful thing that my mom used to say when you start feeling the urge to reach for food (or binge) is practice saying to yourself: HALT! Actually stop, and check in to see if you are H(ungry), A(ngry)/or A(nxious), L(onley), or T(ired). I find that when I get weird with food and overeat, these situations or feelings are often the triggers! Being aware of “HALT” as triggers for me, it sometimes helps me catch myself and use non-food ways to get what I need.

  3. Trish says:

    yes, yes and YES. i binge hardcore during finals — which coincidentally is right now. my friends and i literally don’t have time to make dinner or lunch, so we all end up ordering food like chinese or pizza, and while we’re locked in our library study room we’re continually snacking on crap. not to mention the obscene amounts of caffeine we consume daily — it’s just ridiculous. it’s the stress and the lack of free time. it’s easy to choose whatever you can get your hands on first, rather than thinking about the food choice, because we have no time to think of anything else but criminal procedure and immigration law. can’t wait for this to be over and get back to REALITY!

  4. Veronica says:

    Yes!! There are a lot of the things that trigger me to binge. loneliness, stress, lack of sleep, being rejected, being sad, being angry, being happy. as you can see that’s a lot. I need to learn a way to control my feelings, that way I wont want to binge…

  5. Kate says:

    Yes, any negative/painful emotion triggers a binge. When I feel lonely (or emotionally neglected) I tend to binge eat or go on a shopping spree. I binge whenever there is something I don’t want to do because the thought of doing the task causes anxiety (work at my old job, wedding planning two years ago, graduate school now). Most especially I binge whenever something in my life doesn’t go exactly right-I feel out of control and the only way to regain control is to stuff myself with food.

    I’m working on figuring out non-food ways to deal with this problem.

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Sunny Sea Gold

About the Author

Sunny Sea Gold is a media-savvy advocate and commentator specializing in binge eating disorder, cultural obsessions around food and weight, and raising children who have a healthy body image.