With all the hype surrounding eating disorders, it can be hard to know what is normal and what isn't. An increasing number of people are overweight, or suffering from debilitating conditions such as anorexia. If you feel you are one of the many people who are overeating, then are a few simple ways to tell.

Put simply, you are overeating if you regularly eat more food than you need to in order to maintain a healthy weight. I'm not saying that you are overeating if you indulge a little too much on a posh meal out, but rather that you will regularly consume more calories than you need on a day to day basis. If you are eating four McDonald's burgers everyday with a large fries and fizzy drink, you are overeating. If you eat a ready meal to yourself which says 'serves 8' on the side, then that is overeating. We all want to eat a little too much on occasion, but if your overindulgence can be classed as 'regular' then you have taken it too far.

Are you gaining weight? As silly as it sounds, many people will look at their waistline and thing 'why am I gaining weight?' Unfortunately this is a case of simple mathematics: if you are eating more calories than you burn off, then you are overeating and will inevitably gain weight.

Of course, there is a fine line between overeating and binge eating. Overeating is simpler to manage and can be curbed with some self control. However, chronic binge eating is an addiction and may require medical treatment. Some of the common signs of a binge eater are:

• Eating to the point that you are feeling sick. This is also associated with Bulimia, where the sufferer will vomit or take laxatives in order to prevent weight gain due to binge eating.
• Eating alone. Like regularly drinking alone, this can indicate shame, and fear of others finding out about your problem. If you are ashamed of what you eat, to the point that you hide it from those around you, it is advisable to seek help.
• Eating when you're not hungry. If you are eating large amounts of food for the sake of it, even though you aren't actually hungry, then this also indicates a problem.
• Feeling depressed about themselves and their food intake. Often binge eaters will have feelings of shame and even depression associated with their binging. If this is you, then seek help as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if the above problems don't relate to you, then it is probable that you are overeating rather than binge eating. If you just like a second portion a little too much, then following a sensible diet plan will probably solve the issue. Fundamentally, if you are gaining weight and are not growing, then you are probably overeating for your body's needs. Don't forget, that as the body ages its needs change and you may need a smaller food intake to maintain a steady weight; overeating is also dependent on your body type, height and age.  End Binge Eating – Control Cravings!