Friends and dieticians may tell you that eating a healthy diet six days out of seven gets you a reward of binge eating on the seventh. However, that is not good news for you because all the food you eat on the seventh day can play havoc with your system.
Here are seven effects of binge eating on your body:
Your whole-body insulin sensitivity is reduced:
One day of binge eating of high-fat foods reduces insulin sensitivity by about 28%. A study was conducted on 15 subjects who were asked to eat delicious high-fat foods. These foods contributed to 78% of their total calories for a typical day. Through insulin sensitivity, the way the body reacts to insulin comes through. The hormone insulin allows body cells to absorb blood sugar better from the blood for use as energy.
By having reduced insulin sensitivity, therefore, the body requires more insulin to absorb blood sugar. Over time, the pancreas may not be able to release enough insulin for its functioning. At such times, any extra blood sugar builds up in the blood stream, leading to pre-diabetes or diabetes. The pancreas may also stop functioning normally by not producing insulin when needed.
You overeat and turn obese:
The common fallout of overeating or binge eating is weight gain. About 67% of people diagnosed with binge eating disorder are generally overweight. This is because you pile on the kilos by eating a lot of high-fat food in short periods without exercising it off.
Sometimes, those who binge feel bad about doing this and have a low self-esteem, often leading to uncontrollable binge eating. In the long run, indulging in binge eating can raise your risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, arthritis and sleep apnoea.
Your immune system takes a beating:
Your organs go through trauma each time you overeat. The body swings between high levels of insulin and glucose, causing immune function to fall for at least 24 hours after you have binge eaten.
Your dopamine levels spike:
Depending on the kind of foods you eat, either moderate or high levels of dopamine, the pleasure hormone of the brain, is released. For instance, if you eat a nutritious snack or meal, this could release a moderate amount of dopamine.
However, eating high-sugar foods like ice cream, tomato ketchup or orange juice can spike it. The more you indulge in binge eating, the more the brain needs dopamine to experience similar pleasure levels. This “feel good” experience from food can be regularly achieved by eating more such foods or different kinds of high-fat foods.
Your body releases cortisol and adrenaline:
When you binge, you go through some amount of physical stress that stimulates the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. When this happens, the body looks for some degree of balance. Briefly, you might feel a hormonal rush that is manifested by perspiration and an increased heart rate. This experience is followed by a period of sluggishness and heightened irritability since your glucose levels fall dramatically.
So, be positive and do not let binge eating control your life. Instead, control your eating habits and lead a healthy life.