Ever played 'em? Or is it more like hunger has sometimes played a game...on you?! A lot of times when we think we're hungry, we may be mistaking hunger for boredom or just plain-old eating out of habit. Those hunger games that foods play on our minds can lead to some serious consequences. And for a long time, we assumed this was more of an issue for women than for men. But as it turns out, we may have been wrong all along.
Recent data suggests that one in four people suffering from eating disorders are male.
Binging, purging, yo-yo dieting, even anorexia were all eating disorders often associated with the ladies. However, recent data suggests that one in four people suffering from eating disorders are male. The problem is, because anorexia and bulimia were largely considered female issues, the guys ended up suffering in silence with their own eating disorders. I guess there's a little stigma associated with a man having those problems. Even worse, because of that social stigma, men may not even recognize that they may have a psychological problem with their eating habits. Well, here are some clues for men...and women.
Are you actually underweight, or does your weight frequently change due to repeated attempts to drop pounds? Do you regularly and sometimes severely restrict your food intake by the amount or variety of foods you eat? (I used to do that many years ago.)
Do you sometimes eat large amounts of food and end up feeling out of control when you do?
Do you sometimes eat large amounts of food, (even when you're not hungry), and end up feeling out of control when you do? You may almost feel like you've GOT to eat and may even tend to have those terrible binges at the same time every week. (I have a friend who used to do that.) Problem is, you may have built this bad habit into your lifestyle, making it something you almost look forward to doing. But are you getting any happiness out of it, really?
Now here's the scary part. After one of your binges, do you then try to "make up" for eating all of that food and the calories you've consumed? Some of you know very well what I'm talking about. After that calorie-super-overload, you may force yourself to throw up the food you've eaten or even turn to laxatives to help rid yourself of the food "on the other end." This is dangerous and in time, can really mess with your metabolism and even make you sick.
Eating disorders are a widely recognized problem but there is help for you.
If you spot yourself in any of today's message, whether you're male or female, you may very well have a problem. Please don't let the desire for food, masquerading as "hunger" take control of your life. If you're concerned that your relationship with food is unstable and problematic, please talk to your doctor about it. Eating disorders are a widely recognized problem and there is help out there for you. Your doctor should be able to recommend a program that can help you men and women fight and WIN...The Hunger Games!