We all love working out, fitness, exercise, physical activity, sports, weight lifting, body building, etc. and we also all love to pretend that it’s all sunshine and rainbows and flowers for the most part.

And while that’s, technically, not a completely false statement. It is most certainly not true at all, and it’s rather misleading to trick people into thinking that there aren’t some darker sides to fitness and what not.

So that’s why today we’re going to be delving into some pretty uncomfortable territory for many people.

Some of you may have had personal experiences with what’s mentioned in the rest of the article. Maybe first-hand, maybe second-hand, maybe third-hand, and so on and so forth. But regardless of any details related to something personal; we are here to address very real concerns and what not that can negatively impact and affect your life or those around you. You might love to read the best recumbent exercise reviews by fitness experts.

And we are doing all of this because we hope that by ‘nipping it in the bud’ before it starts we can kind of do this ‘preventive treatment’ thing and stop anything bad from ever happening.

Make sense?

OK so at this point I think it’s time to reveal just what exactly is this vague, dark, and mysterious evil entity lurking in the shadows and the blindspots of the fitness world.

And that would be…binge-eating disorder!

So first thing I want to mention is that this is obviously not a comprehensive list of all of the dark corners of fitness-dom.

There are, of course, many other things wrong about fitness than just Binge-Eating disorder, but today we are going to focus on just this one guy here because of how prevalent it is, how pervasive it can be, and how complex the whole thing is too. Trying to explain more than one disorder would be too big for one single article.

Now let’s get to the details already.

Binge-Eating Disorder Basics


So what exactly is Binge-Eating Disorder?

Well, BED (the acronym) is an eating disorder (obviously enough) that is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of pain and/or discomfort; a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress, and/or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. It is also the most common eating disorder in the United States.

So right away we can see how big of a deal this really is. It’s not just some rare occurence. It affects a lot of people, so it behooves us all to take care of it.

Now let’s talk about the process of it all.

BED Episodes

BED happens in ‘episodes’ and ‘phases’ if you will. It comes and goes. It’s not like it just sort of sticks around constantly. Which is part of the reason why it’s so dangerous, because of how unpredictable it may be oftentimes it may look like it’s ‘cured’ or simply not be taken as seriously as it otherwise would’ve been.

Here’s what a typical episode can look like.

  • Excessively eating, in a discrete period of time, a quantity of food that is significantly larger than what most people would be eating in a similar position under similar circumstances.
  • A distinct lack of sense of self control during the eating binge. The sufferer gets the unsettling feeling that they cannot stop eating or have any control over what they are eating and/or how much they are eating. Quite terrifying.
  • The sufferer may also be eating at a much more rapid pace than normally, continuing to eat until feeling uncomfortably or even painfully full, consuming large amounts of food when not actually feeling hungry, dining alone due to fear or embarrassment over how much one is eating, and then finally getting hit with a tremendous feeling of disgust with oneself and/or depression and guilt over how much was eaten after all is said and done.
  • We are also looking at an overall timeline of having the sufferer go through binge phases of at least once a week for three months. Although, interestingly enough binging is actually not associated with the recurrent use of opposing compensatory behaviors such as purging necessarily. Sometimes, it could just be binging and only binging.

And that really just scratches the surface of this psychological plague right here.

It’s very sad to see something like this happen as oftentimes it first gets its beginnings from people who are simply trying to change their lives and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

And it’s, unfortunately, this exact line of reasoning that is what causes someone to cross over from simply ‘being healthy’ to ‘obsession with dangerous results’. It’s when well-meaning intentions get taken too far that they become harmful.

Now, some of you may very well be thinking to yourself that “not everybody is going to end up like that” or “don’t bash the overall fitness community for the actions of the minority” or even that “this doesn’t tell the whole story”.

And yes, you would be right actually.

However, as with all things this complex, there are caveats.

No not everybody is going to end up like that, but there’s no guarantee if you will be that one guy who does “end up like that”. But there are precautions to take to prevent such a scenario. Keep things in perspective and remember not to let this become too much of an obsession that begins to take over your personal life and you’ll have ensured that much of a higher chance of avoiding things like BED.

And of course we are not bashing the overall fitness community here. Ridiculous! But our point here is to make you aware of how something like this can start, and there’s no denying that conditions like BED can start as the result of taking a ‘fitness initiative’ just simply too far.

Lastly, yes this doesn’t tell the whole story. Which is why we encourage anyone curious to do their own research and due diligence and thus keep themselves safe from harm.

Alright, that’s a wrap folks!

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Matt Williamson
My name is Matt - fitness freak by choice. I intensively study and write about nutrition and health related topics. After reading and researching intensively on human health, I aspire to proliferate the wisdom that I acquired in a simple way.