17 Natural Remedies for Anxiety, Stress, Depression and Binge Eating (2023)

There are some ingredients that go pretty well together. Those ingredients are: Anxiety, stress, insomnia, and sleeplessness. Put them all together and you have a great recipe for binge eating.

Why is that? Well, there are several reasons. First off many people try to mitigate their stress and anxiety with food. Lots of women hold the feelings of anxiety in their bellies and their stress in their jaws. What helps? Eating. Chewing helps to release the stress that you’re holding in your jaw and having food in your belly keeps the anxiety from presenting itself. It stays “pushed down.”
Another reason is that many women (and men) cannot sleep without pushing themselves to sleep by eating themselves into a food coma. The natural serotonin boost from bingeing helps to calm down your brain and help you sleep.
However, there are some natural remedies to deal with anxiety, stress, sleep issues, and urges to binge and debilitating sugar cravings
*Disclaimer: Check with your physician before starting a supplement regimen, and if you are on any other medications, please discuss possible interactions or problems with taking these particular supplements. This article is not a substitute for medical attention or psychotherapy. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Here is a great list of alternative remedies for stress, anxiety, depression and vitamins and supplements to help with binge eating. Many people consider several of these to be natural alternatives to Xanax.

B-Vitaminshelp regulate serotonin levels to elevate mood and decrease binge episodes

L-Theanine. This is an amino acid which is considered an anxiolytic- meaning that it can reduce anxiety levels. Unlike many anti-anxiety supplement, L-Theanine does not make you drowsy, so you can take it anytime of day. It also has been show to help with focus when taken with caffeine.

Chromium -200 mcg per day – when needed for sugar cravings. Helps insulin to get into your cells to regulate glucose so that your hormones stop sending messages to your brain that you need more sugar.

Manganese– 10 Mg per day helps the transport and metabolism of glucose. It stabilizes blood sugar to reduce sugar cravings.

Magnesium Glycinate– 500 mg in the evening- calms the body and the brain while stabilizing glucose levels which can wildly fluctuate when a person is binge eating. When magnesium levels are stable, cravings decrease. This is also great for night time sleep.

(Video) Best Foods for Anxiety and Depression

Zinc– 15mg- per day- helps to regulate appetite

5-HTP– 200 mg per day in the evening- or whenever you have the urge to binge. The precursor to serotonin will suppress your appetite and relax you to take the anxiety away from the binge.

L-Glutamine– 500 mg when needed no more than 3 times per day. When you are having a strong sugar craving, take 500 mg of L-Glutamine or open a capsule and put the powder on your tongue. L-glutamine is an amino acid that is converted into food for the brain.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil To help with anxiety, stress and for immune support and strength.

Ashwaganda Ashwaganda has been found to be very helpful to calm anxiety.

Relora Decreases stress related eating


Kava Kava Kava has been traditionally used in the South Pacific (I first found out about it on my Honeymoon in a Kava Bar in Hawaii). It has a calming effect that relieves anxiety, insomnia and stress-related symptoms such as muscle tension or spasm. It may also relieve pain. When taken for insomnia, kava promotes deep sleep without affecting REM sleep.

PrebioticsYes, that’s prebotics, not probiotics. Prebiotics are pretty amazing. Taken daily prebiotics severely reduce anxiety and depression. I first learned about this at an eating disorder conference within the last few years. The theory is that bacteria living in your gut can affect your brain chemistry and research backs it up. Anecdotally I can tell you that in the times that I’ve used it, my sense of well-being and feeling complete joy has been extremely palpable.

InositolInositol has been shown to be extremely helpful for women who have depression, anxiety and mood fluctuations prior to menstruation (PMS). As we know, PMS leads many women to binge eat and have sugar cravings due to increased estrogen levels. However, it has been shown that women who take inositol show clinically significant improvements in PMS symptoms.

Epsom Salt Bath A hot epsom salt bath for 20 minutes before bedtime will help relax your muscles and decrease anxiety. This is because the magnesium in the epsom salts is a natural stress reliever. I know that you will sleep like a baby after one of these mineral baths. Hot water is good medicine.

Gotu Kola This herb has been used for more than 2000 years for everything from anxiety to leprosy! It also has great mental benefits including as the power to improve cognitive abilities, reduce anxiety and decrease severe stress.

Jarrow Sleep Med- This is a light little sleep med with a very low does of melatonin plus tryptophan, valerian and GABA. The low dose of melatonin is much better for sleep than the typical high doses that can often trigger insomnia.

(Video) HOW I STOPPED BINGE & EMOTIONAL EATING | How I Overcame Binge Eating

Valerian promotes relaxation and sleep. It has similar effects to valium without the drug induced stupor.

CBD Oil – People swear by CBD for anxiety relief, pain relief, insomnia, etc. If CBD works for you- that’s great.

Self-Hypnosis and Mediation has been shown to immediately decrease anxiety and increase well-being. In fact, it’s the only thing that has immediate effects of well-being and increasing joy.

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(Video) 17 Natural Remedies for Depression and Anxiety that Work | How to Treat Depression Naturally at Home

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Most recent quote from community member:"Unbelievable progress. I had a slice of cake, wasn't that fussed about it and moved on. Cake is just cake!I never thought I'd get to this place. I keep thinking back to an earlier meditation when all the negative energy left down through my feet. That was really powerful. I'm planning to play it again. I've also drawn up a weekly meal plan of healthy balanced meals. This just helps to give me a bit of guidance and planning and eliminates any need for impulsive decisions when I often feel stressed after work. Amazing, thank you so much. I always hoped for hope, but n ow I feel like I'm living hope! I'm so grateful Leora. Thank you."

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(Video) Common and Accessible Herbs for Stress and Anxiety | Plant-Based | Well+Good


How do I recover from binging mentally? ›

How to Recover from Binge Eating Disorder: A Journey, Not a...
  1. Recognize the cyclical nature of binge eating recovery. ...
  2. Learn about the symptoms. ...
  3. Identify your personal triggers to binging. ...
  4. Grow a healthy relationship with food. ...
  5. Anticipate setbacks. ...
  6. Build up your support system. ...
  7. Address other mental health concerns.
25 Mar 2022

Why do people binge? ›

Many people who have binge-eating disorder feel negatively about themselves and their skills and accomplishments. Triggers for bingeing can include stress, poor body self-image and the availability of preferred binge foods.

Why do I overeat? ›

Many people eat for reasons other than hunger, such as being stressed, tired, or sad. A lot of people also overeat because of certain habits, such as eating while distracted or eating too quickly. Try making a list of things that trigger overeating and then coming up with ways to avoid or address them.

Why do I binge eat at night? ›

Endless snacking at night can result from a number of factors, including not eating enough during the day or eating due to boredom, stress, anger or sadness. For some, there may also be a hormonal imbalance that causes severe increases in appetite.

Can binging be cured? ›

Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is a serious problem that can be solved with proper treatment. With treatment and commitment, many people with this disorder can overcome the habit of overeating and learn healthy eating patterns.

What happens to your body after a binge? ›

Following a bingeing episode, individuals may feel uncomfortably full and/or sick to their stomach. They may experience bloating, abdominal pain, and nausea. Binge eating overloads a person's system, which may result in low energy, sleepiness, and sluggishness.

Is eating too much a mental disorder? ›

Binge eating disorder is a serious mental illness. People with binge eating disorder regularly (at least once a week) eat large quantities of food, rapidly, in a short period of time. They feel out of control and unable to stop themselves from eating. This is often linked with high levels of distress.

Why can't I stop eating even when I'm full? ›

Some people who overeat have a clinical disorder called binge eating disorder (BED). People with BED compulsively eat large amounts of food in a short amount of time and feel guilt or shame afterward. And they do so often: at least once a week over a period of at least 3 months.

Which diseases are caused by overeating? ›

Health Risks Associated with Compulsive Overeating
  • Metabolic syndrome.
  • Heart disease.
  • Stroke.
  • Type 2 diabetes.
  • Certain types of cancer.

Why do I want to keep eating when I'm not hungry? ›

Eating is a handy outlet for the extra energy that comes with feeling edgy. Not only does it give you something to do, it also distracts you from whatever's making you nervous. Or you might manage your stress by not eating at all. This can slow your system down because your body thinks it's starving.

How to stop food addiction? ›

How to beat it…
  1. Decide that you want to change. ...
  2. Precisely articulate what triggers your cravings. ...
  3. Make a meal plan. ...
  4. Find yourself a distraction tactic. ...
  5. Write out and regularly re-read your goals. ...
  6. Don't keep temping food in the house. ...
  7. Get you're family & friends on board. ...
  8. Keep a food diary.
28 Feb 2022

Why can't I stop bingeing? ›

Binge eating may be driven by a need to soothe negative emotions, anxiety, stress, or depression. However, the feeling of comfort that eating may bring does not last long and individuals may experience shame, guilt, and distress following bingeing episodes.

How many calories is a binge? ›

Binge eating is when a person eats a much larger amount of food in a shorter period of time than he or she normally would. During binge eating, the person also feels a loss of control. A binge eater often: Eats 5,000–15,000 calories in one sitting.

What to do after binge eating? ›

What to Do After You Overeat
  1. Relax. 1/12. Don't beat yourself up. ...
  2. Take a Walk. 2/12. An easy stroll will help stimulate your digestion and even out your blood sugar levels. ...
  3. Drink Water. 3/12. ...
  4. Don't Lie Down. 4/12. ...
  5. Skip the Bubbles. 5/12. ...
  6. Give Away Leftovers. 6/12. ...
  7. Work Out. 7/12. ...
  8. Plan Your Next Meal. 8/12.
27 May 2021

Is there a medication for overeating? ›

Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate (Vyvanse), a drug for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, is the first FDA-approved medication to treat moderate to severe binge-eating disorder in adults.

How long does it take to undo a binge? ›

It takes around three days to recover from a binge and return to your regular weight. Furthermore, the amount of days it takes to lose binge weight is determined by how different the binge food is from your usual diet, your fitness and activity level, and how you react to the binge.

Is binge eating permanent? ›

Though some of the complications associated with BED may be reversible once treatment is received and binge eating behaviors cease, others may lead to long-term or even permanent damage. Long-term consequences of binge eating disorder include: Type 2 diabetes. High blood pressure.

Should you fast after a binge? ›

Do not fast. Fasting after binging raises the risk of triggering a binging-fasting cycle. Fasting can make you more hungry so that you subsequently overeat.

Why do depressed people overeat? ›

People with depression seek different ways of shaking those unpleasant feelings of sadness and despair. Eating is an easy way to boost your mood because comfort food activates the reward centers of the brain. This prompts you to eat more of the pleasurable food, even if you're not hungry.

Is overeating a symptom of depression? ›

When you're struggling with depression, your eating habits often suffer. Some people overeat and gain weight, turning to food to lift their mood. Others find they're too exhausted to prepare balanced meals or that they've lost their appetite.

Can anxiety and stress cause overeating? ›

There is much truth behind the phrase "stress eating." Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary "comfort foods" push people toward overeating.

What is clean plate syndrome? ›

A tendency to finish up all the food that's there on the plate even after the hunger has been satiated is called the “clean plate syndrome” and if you have a propensity to do the same, welcome, you are now in the “Clean Plate Club.” As we have mentioned earlier, clean plate syndrome can lead to overeating.

What can I do instead of comfort eating? ›

This is one of the best tools to cope with stress, boost mood and suppress appetite. Try to walk or do some form of aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day. It's also a great idea for when you have the urge to binge eat as well. Do something that relaxes you such as yoga, meditation, massage or hot bath.

Why do I always want to eat something? ›

Constant hunger could be a sign of health conditions including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, depression and pregnancy. It's important to rule out medical conditions while addressing those hunger pangs.

What part of the brain causes excessive eating? ›

The amygdala is the primary brain area regulating appetite with response to emotions. Indeed, the amygdala activates to food cues [124, 125], and this response is increased in childhood, adolescent, and adult obesity [126-129].

What part of the brain is associated with overeating? ›

The pathway involves receptors on astrocytes in the ventromedial hypothalamus, a part of the brain which controls hunger and promotes glycemic (blood sugar) control.

What is a mental disorder characterized by overeating? ›

Bulimia is an eating disorder. It is characterized by uncontrolled episodes of overeating (called bingeing). This is followed by purging by self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, and other methods. Bulimia typically affects females and starts during the teenage years.

What is the root cause of food addiction? ›

Consuming “highly palatable” foods, or foods that are high in carbohydrates, fat, salt, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, triggers the pleasure centers of the brain and releases “feel-good” chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

Can food addiction be cured? ›

According to The Food Addiction Institute, it is possible to overcome food addiction. Like other addictions, the condition may not be “cured” with a single course of treatment. But treatment can help to bring the condition into remission and can help you to repair any psychological, social, and economic damage.

How long does it take to break a food addiction? ›

According to Moss, it only takes about six weeks of healthy eating to ditch your dependency on junk food, especially salt.

How can I train my brain to hate food? ›

5 ways you can train your brain to hate junk food
  1. Start with a plan. You have a better chance of following through with a new habit if you plan it out first. ...
  2. Attack the root cause of cravings. ...
  3. Turn healthy food into a special treat. ...
  4. Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. ...
  5. It's okay to cheat.
23 Oct 2021

How do you break the bingeing cycle? ›

Of course, overindulging isn't a problem if it's just once in a blue moon. But, if the days of overeating turn into weeks and it's a habit, your health could suffer.
Can you break the cycle?
  1. Sit down when you eat. ...
  2. Don't multitask. ...
  3. Savor your food. ...
  4. Take your time. ...
  5. Check in with your hunger.
22 Jan 2019

Do you weigh more after a binge? ›

Wait to Weigh: Weighing yourself immediately after a binge can be a false representation of your actual weight gain. Not only will the actual weight of the food in your belly tip the scale, but excess sugar, salt, and starch can make you retain water, which will flush out over time.

How do you feel better after a binge? ›

Keeping your body well-hydrated is always a good practice, especially after a binge, because water aids in digestion and reduces bloating. Vavrek recommends sticking with vegetables, fruits and other foods with high-fiber content as well as lean protein the day after a binge.

What is considered a big binge? ›

A binge eating episode can last over an hour, though it may be much shorter or longer. Sometimes binge eating is a planned activity and other times it is not. Most binges involve the consumption of more than 1,000 calories, with a quarter of binges exceeding 2,000 calories.

How do you clean yourself after a binge? ›

Here are some tried-and-true ways to bounce back quickly after over-indulging:
  1. Start the day with hot water and lemon. ...
  2. Hydrate all day long. ...
  3. Give your digestive system a break. ...
  4. Move your body. ...
  5. Sweat it out in a sauna. ...
  6. Focus on what you can include. ...
  7. Forgive yourself.

What should I eat while binge eating? ›

Binge-Watch Snacks
  • Popcorn. Instead of buttered or caramel popcorn, pretzels or potato chips, which are packed with sodium and fat, try air-popped popcorn, which can satisfy your urge to munch. ...
  • Raw veggies. ...
  • Nutrient-rich dips. ...
  • Fruit. ...
  • Water (not soda).
9 Jun 2018

Should you sleep after binge eating? ›

It's not recommended to sleep after eating because you will likely experience digestive issues like indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux that disrupt your sleep.

Why is binge-watching so addictive? ›

Binge Watching Is Like a Drug

The release of dopamine helps us feel good, and it results in a "high" similar to that induced by drugs and other substances with addictive qualities. Your brain craves more and more, and as long as you continue to binge, your brain produces dopamine.

Why does binge-watching feel so good? ›

Like gambling and other behavioral addictions, binge-watching activates the part of our brain responsible for “reward” functions, producing dopamine and making us feel good. Over time, though, our brains produce less dopamine from the same level of activity as we build up a level of tolerance.

Is it normal to binge? ›

Overeating can be a normal tendency for many individuals, such as having an extra helping at a meal even when already full or eating beyond satiety at a special holiday meal or celebratory occasion.

How do you recover from binge-watching? ›

Luckily, there are some things you can do to combat the box set blues.
  1. Exercise. OK, so this probably isn't what you had in mind when you sat down to binge watch the last five episodes you've missed. ...
  2. Eat healthily. ...
  3. Reduce the binge. ...
  4. Talk to someone.
27 Feb 2018

What do you call a person who sits in front of the TV all day? ›

A couch potato is a popular expression in American English so it's worth learning. Couch potato: A very lazy person who sits on a couch watching television all day.

Is binge-watching related to depression? ›

Results. The findings of this study demonstrated that extensive binge-watching is an antecedent of stress, loneliness, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Is binge-watching a coping mechanism? ›

Calling it a negative coping strategy, many psychologists argued that binge watching is a “rescue” from anxiety to distract us from what else is going on in real life. While it may make you feel good and quiet your anxiety for a time, the gratification is only until the episodes run out.

How do you fix binge quality? ›

  1. Sign in and choose something to watch.
  2. Click the 'Audio & Settings' icon at the top of your video player.
  3. The Top Tray will open with a list of options.
  4. Click on 'Quality Options'
  5. Choose between two options just by clicking on them: ...
  6. Click on the option you wish to change your video quality to, and voila, you're done!

Is binge-watching a form of escapism? ›

We suggest that binge-watching, due to the entertaining nature and ease-of-access of digital streaming services, allows lonely people to satisfy the need for escapism as a coping strategy to compensate for the lack of social ties, by identifying with a fictional character.

Why do I binge everyday? ›

People binge eat due to depression, genetics, anxiety, low self-esteem and dieting. Planning meals, portioning food and keeping a food diary can help you overcome binge eating. Teletherapy and in-person support groups are great solutions for helping people with a binge eating disorder.

Why do I have no self control with food? ›

But if you regularly overeat while feeling out of control and powerless to stop, you may be suffering from binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is a common eating disorder where you frequently eat large amounts of food while feeling powerless to stop and extremely distressed during or after eating.


1. EDNOS: Most Dangerous, Unheard of Eating Disorder | Nightline | ABC News
(ABC News)
2. Food and Addiction: Stress Opioids and Binge-Eating in Rats
(University of California Television (UCTV))
3. Emotional Eating Signs and 7 Tips Cope | Making Peace with Food | Counseling Techniques
(Doc Snipes)
4. Recovering from Binge Eating, Sarah's Story- The Binge Eating Therapist
(Therapy in a Nutshell)
5. Natural Ways to Treat Anxiety and Depression | This Morning
(This Morning)
6. Why are eating disorders so hard to treat? - Anees Bahji
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