Binge eating disorder, also known as compulsive overeating, is a problem for many people who are embarrassed to talk about it or admit it is a problem to themselves to to others. Fortunately, it is possible to overcome and learn how to stop binge eating that can help not only improve your physical health but your emotional health as well. Understanding this condition can greatly help those who seek support or struggle with their own eating addiction.
What is Compulsive Overeating?
Many people who have experienced compulsive overeating may not even be aware that they do it. By definition, it means to eat an excessive amount of food without being able to stop or control the impulse to do so.
What Causes Binge Eating?
There are a number of factors that may play a role in why some people develop this disorder. One of the biggest reasons that many can attribute to their eating habits is the inability to cope with stress, anxiety, or other problems. Food becomes an escape, a way to release stress, or deal with problems. Eating habits developed early in life or childhood can often also play a role in this. Other emotional factors such as depression, low self esteem, or prior history of abuse can often trigger it. It can happen in both males and females.
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
- Excessive binge eating on a habitual basis
- Eating when not hungry
- Feeling ashamed about eating too much
- Eating in alone or in secret
- Afraid of not being able to stop
- Starving oneself intentionally to compensate for binging
- Constant thoughts about food and eating
- Storing/Hiding food in places other than the kitchen/pantry
- Missing activities or avoiding social interactions because of either the fear of overeating or to eat compulsively instead
- Constant cycle of Yo-Yo dieting
How Can I Stop Overeating?
Learning how to stop binge eating and learning to control cravings or impulsive behavior is not easy to do without guidance or making lifestyle changes. Treatment for compulsive overeating can involve many different methods and styles.
There are several books available to help with food addiction that can help improve the situation and teach you different methods to cope and deal effectively with overcoming the disorder. Below are a few that we recommend checking out:
Other options that may be of more benefit would be to speak to a reputable and licensed therapist and nutritionist who can help you overcome food addiction and end binge eating for good. Emotional healing can take many months to see positive results, and having occasional slips and set backs is common. Many people have found a lot of relief and support through group therapy and organizations such as Overeaters Anonymous, which adopts a 12 step plan and holds meetings for those to talk to each other. Knowing that you’re not alone, that your situation is not hopeless, and finding new ways to cope with life can all of be great benefit. There is no shame in getting professional help after you’ve tried to do something on your own and still do not feel like it is working.
You may also be interested in these:
- End Binge Eating
- Emotional Eating
Have any thoughts or additional resources one can turn to if they suffer from compulsive overeating and binge eating? Share them in the comments below.