What triggers a binge?

Emotional eating is driven by the need to be comforted, not by hunger. People often binge on foods such as ice cream, fried foods, or pizza that make them feel good, or remind them of a positive experience or comforting memory. Triggers that lead to emotional eating include:

  • stress and anxiety
  • boredom
  • childhood habits or trauma
  • social eating

If you feel the urge to eat because of your emotions, try distracting yourself. Call a friend, take a walk, or practice relaxation techniques. You may also try taking a five-minute pause before eating to determine if you are eating because you are hungry or because of emotions. If emotions are to blame, identify and accept those emotions. This can help you find other, healthy ways to cope with your feelings. So what triggers binge eating?

Messing up

Getting ravenous

Feeling fat

Negative mood states (feeling down, bored, lonely)

Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms and Treatment