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How Many Calories In a Binge?

Mar 14, 2022
Two bitten doughnuts

How many times have you laid in bed, post-binge, sick to your stomach, riddled with guilt and frantically tried to calculate the number of calories you have just consumed? 

Or how many times have you told yourself that as long as you stay under a certain number of calories for a day then you are still being “good”, and it doesn’t truly count as a binge? 

If you are anything like me then you have been through this more times than you can count.

 I can’t tell you how many times I have ‘re-emerged’ from a binge, as if I was waking from a trance, surrounded by the empty packets of all the food I had just eaten. As I assessed the damage of what I had just done I would enlist the help of my trusty friend MyFitnessPal to tell me just how “bad” I had been. 

Although some sources characterise eating 1,000+ calories in a short period of time as a binge, other sources do not specify a number. For example, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) describes binge eating as uncontrollably eating considerably larger amounts of food in comparison to what the average person would, in a similar amount of time and under similar circumstances. 

And that’s just it!  There isn’t one magical number which can define a binge. Binging is entirely subjective and what may be a nice filling dinner for one person may also be an incredibly shame inducing binge for someone else. 

When asking yourself whether you have just binged it is far more important for you to focus on your mental state rather than the physical amount of food you have consumed. Did you feel like you had no control over your actions? Did eating feel like the only solution, like an itch which just had to be scratched? Did you eat way past fullness, to the point of feeling unwell? Did you zone out and re-emerge with a hazy memory of the past few hours of eating? 

For me, a binge could last anywhere from 5 minutes to a week straight. Although the amounts of food that I had eaten was vastly different between these binges, they were both still categorically a binge – regardless of the calories!!

 I know this because a binge was always characterised by the same feelings for me. Slowly or all at once the urges would begin to rise, taking over my every thought. Eventually the ‘need’ would become unbearable and I would cave; eating incredibly quickly, anything in sight and eating until I was uncomfortably full. I would completely detach myself from my physical body. I would have no idea how much or what I was eating and it seemed like any desire that my rational brain had to recover from binging would completely leave the chat! 

All of this to say is, there isn’t one number which can define a binge for you, or anyone else. You CAN and SHOULD eat as many calories as your body needs and, going over a certain “limit” does not mean you have binged. Binging is a mental state, a feeling which provokes actions that are so out-of-line from your higher-self; the happiest, healthiest version of you.

 If you’re tired of repeating this same pattern, please know that you are not alone! I understand what you’re going through and I know how hopeless yet another binge can leave you feeling. 

If you would like to finally kick this habit to the curb then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. The 30 day Reboot course will teach you to recognise and dismiss an urge to binge, allowing you to ultimately re-connect with your higher-self.

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