I don't often remember my dreams, so I don't know how often I dream about food or binging. Perhaps I just woke up in the middle of this one and so it stuck. I was in the throes of a full-on, no-holds-barred, Homer Simpson level binge.
It doesn't take a genius to interpret this kind of dream, but I looked it up anyway. "Binge" or "Binging" doesn't seem to be in most dream dictionaries, so I tried looking up "desserts" because that's what I was eating. Apparently, to dream about dessert "means that you are experiencing the benefits of satisfaction, fulfillment, or desire. You are taking pleasure in the positive events in life." Yet this was clearly not pleasurable. Even in my dream, I knew I was in a full-blown binge. I knew it was wrong. I felt the guilt and the shame.
Okay. Let's try looking up "food" or "eating" in dreams. "To dream that you are overeating or not eating enough signifies a lack of spirituality and fulfillment in your waking life. Food can represent love, friendship, ambition, sex or pleasure in your life. Thus, food is a metaphor to fulfill and gratify your hunger for love and desires." Hmmm. So, not so much an interpretive meaning as the exact psychological reasoning for waking eating. Using food to replace or compensate for feelings. Emotional eating will getcha every time, even in your subconscious.
Perhaps there's an even simpler explanation, which needs no interpretation: "If you are currently dieting in your waking life, then the dream may serve to compensate for the sustenance that you are lacking."
Getting away from dream interpretation or dream dictionaries, a quick search for dream binging pretty much leads you to forums where people talk about doing exactly what I did: dreaming about food. The most common forums are for eating disorders, while some are just your average diet sites. Either way, it's clear to me that this is not uncommon. The more you think about food during the day, the more your brain needs to process it while at rest. What is not clear is whether this is a healthy or unhealthy coping skill. Will dreaming about eating stem the tide of a waking binge, or will it trigger the hunger pangs and the thoughts that lead to a binge?
If eating in a healthy way does not come naturally or easily, (which, let's face it, is true for a lot of us), then it can be quite consuming - both consciously and subconsciously. At least I didn't dream that my food was consuming ME.