How Many Calories Make Up A Binge
How many calories would you say make up a binge in your book?
Binge eating disorder can be defined as the consumption of a large volume of food in a short span of time, to the point of feeling uncomfortably full.
How Many People Have Binge Eating Disorder?
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, around 2 to 3% of the adult population globally suffer from binge eating disorder.
With that volume of people dealing with binge eating disorder, there’s a lot of room for interpretation in how it’s defined.
And that’s probably a good thing.
Binge Eating Disorder Is A Very Personal Experience
A large volume of food is going to be different for different people. Uncomfortably full it’s going to be different for different people. And a short span of time is going to be different for different people.
And the thing is that any mental health issue, whether it’s binge-eating disorder, any other eating disorder or pretty much anything else – it shouldn’t be defined by a set metric or set numbers.
It’s something that’s deeply personal and you know, very much depends on you, your experiences and you as an individual.
So, I guess the short answer is that you can’t really define a binge by the number of calories in most cases.
It’s really down to your behaviour pattern and how you’re feeling.
Lower Calorie Binges
So to give you two examples of what I mean by that.
It was my birthday last week.
And I did plan to indulge a bit more than or eat a bit more than I normally do. And I made sure to enjoy myself.
I didn’t count my calories throughout the day, but I would guesstimate somewhere between three and three and a half thousand over the course of the day of which one and a half to 2000 were probably between my birthday cake, dinner, and dessert.
It was planned. I never felt not in control, but by the end, I was absolutely stuffed. I wouldn’t say I was uncomfortably full, but I did have a lot to eat that day.
On the flip side the week before my birthday, I was quite stressed and I was really busy. I was working a lot and I did binge a couple of times.
I think one evening in particular, I had four protein bars in a row in the space of 10 minutes.
When you add that up, it’s “only” 800 or so calories with an emphasis on the quotations around the word “only”.
And my calories for the day overall were probably less than what I had on my birthday – definitely were less than what I had on my birthday actually – but that behaviour pattern was very different.
It was that complete lack of control. It was that emotional response.
And that’s what really indicated that that was a binge for me. I did manage to stop myself after the fourth protein bar, but you could see that behaviour pattern.
How Many Calories Is An Average Binge?
I was looking, but I couldn’t find any specific stats on generally how many calories people have when they binge.
In my own history of binge eating, the biggest binge I’ve ever had would have been between 3,500 and 4,000 calories. On average, my binges have tended to be 1,000 – 1,500 calories when I have binged.
Obviously, some have been more, some have been less. But I would say more often than not, it’s been in that range.
I’ve seen accounts of other people bingeing from 10,000, 12,000, 15,000.
It’s probably possible to go higher than that as well.
I’ll come onto how to process that below.
I couldn’t find much in terms of detailed stats. I found that most binges tend to be over 1,000 calories and roughly a third tend to be over 2000 calories.
So How Many Calories Make Up A Binge?
Coming back to my original point, there’s no set number of calories that make up a binge.
It’s very much down to how you’re acting, how you’re feeling, and it’s a deeply personal thing.
If your calories are lower than that, it doesn’t make your experience with binge eating disorder, any less valid.
Similarly, if you are at the higher end of that range you don’t need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. The same applies if you are higher than that.
There is no set number of calories that would be classified as a binge. Binge eating disorder affects all of us differently. It’s just something that we all have to work through in our own way.