What Does Binge Eating Do To Your Body?


Binge eating refers to Binge eating disorder (BED) and largely has a psychological component to it. Binge eaters will often hide their food and sneak eat to avoid embarrassment. They will eat a second helping even if they have feelings of being very full and then feeling guilty and ashamed afterwards.


Binge eating has several effects on your physical health, mental health, and emotional health.


Binge eating has several short-term and long-term effects on physical health. Those include:


  • Weight gain with a higher risk of becoming obese
  • Increasing visceral fat 
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Impacts on work, social activities and relationships
  • Changes in skin such as drying of the skin and poorer complexion
  • Gut problems due to food excess, the poor choice of food. This may include heartburn, reflux, heartburn and changes in bowel motions.
  • Sleep Apnoea due to excess weight
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Arthritis due to excess weight
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Increase in blood glucose levels


Why do some people binge eat?


Binge eating may result from attempts to regulate one’s emotions, difficulty knowing when one is hungry or full, or social and cultural conditioning to overeatOpens in a new tab.


Binge eating disorder was recognised as a mental health disorder in 1994 when it was introduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-IV)Opens in a new tab..


Eating too much when you’re not hungry can be a way for some people to cope with their feelings. People who suffer from binge eating may have an issue with self-regulation.Opens in a new tab.


Those who suffer from binge eating not only may suffer from the physical aspects of this condition but their mental and emotional aspects of it too. Many people who binge eat also have anxiety and depression and eating gives the feeling of relief.


What are some of the emotions experienced by binge eaters?


Binge eaters experience various emotions, with instant gratification while eating, that quickly leads to:

  • Feelings of guilt
  • Shame and isolation
  • Feeling hopeless and helpless and lack of willpower to stop eating
  • Loss of motivation
  • Reduced self-image and confidence
  • Feelings of sadness


MythBusters- Can binge eating help with weight loss?


In relation to weight loss, it comes down to calories in vs calories out. If you are eating in excess and binge eating regularly, it is likely you will be in a calorie excess and therefore your body’s job is to store that excess energy as fat.


What is the treatment for binge eating disorder?


If you feel you have a binge eating disorder, it’s always best to consult with your local health care professional for them to assess you further.

Due to the cascading effects of binge eating, it is very important to get help to help modify this behaviour.

Your doctor may recommend some common and very effective therapies, which may include:

  • Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) to help give you stools and strategies for positive thoughts and behaviours
  • Antidepressants such as Sertraline may help with binge eating disorder.



Emilie Masi- Registered Nurse

Emilie MASI

Nurse Practitioner Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice Graduate Diploma of Wound Care Masters of Wound Care

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Binge eating can effect your health in negative ways. Proper diet and exercise that is in proportion is essential for good health