Do you remember the last time you ate too much? How did you feel after that? Did you find yourself dealing with guilt or shame?
Though it is quite normal to overeat, every once in a while, compulsive overeating may be a sign of binge eating disorder (BED).
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
The National Eating Disorders Association identifies binge eating disorder (BED) as the most common eating disorder in the US. The following signs characterize this condition:
- Inability to stop eating
- Eating even while full
- Eating normally around others but binging when you’re alone
- Feeling that eating is the only way to reduce stress
- Feeling depressed or guilty after overeating
BED is caused by several factors, such as:
- Social and cultural pressure: Exposure to the pressure to be thin or frequent comments about your body and weight
- Psychological factors: Depression, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction
- Biological abnormalities: Low levels of serotonin, incorrect messages sent by the hypothalamus about hunger and fullness
How to Stop Binge Eating
Binge eating leads to a range of emotional, physical, and social problems. You’re likely to experience health issues like diabetes and heart problems. You may also experience anxiety and depression.
However, many people have recovered from BED. You can, too. If you’re experiencing symptoms of BED, here are strategies you can try:
#1: Develop a healthy relationship with food
Learn to differentiate physical and emotional hunger. If you just ate and your stomach’s not rumbling, you’re probably not hungry. Let that craving pass.
Don’t skip meals because you’re most likely to overeat. Stick to scheduled mealtimes. Be a mindful eater and savor what you’re eating so you consume less food.
#2: Find a way to manage unpleasant emotions
Identify your binge-eating patterns using a food and mood diary. Every time you overeat or are tempted to eat, figure out what caused the urge.
#3: Control the cravings
Instead of turning to food for relief, distract yourself by doing something else: take a walk, hang out with a friend, or read a book. Once you’re interested in something else, the craving will go away.
#4: Take up healthy lifestyle habits
Find other ways to handle stress without food, from regular exercise to meditation. Get enough sleep every night to control your appetite and support your mood.
#5: Seek help from a professional
Sometimes it’s challenging to stop overeating on your own, especially if there are deep-rooted problems involved. Work with a professional to help you discover psychological triggers that might be causing you to binge eat.
Overcome Binge Eating at the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health
Binge eating disorder is a psychological condition that affects your relationship with food and your body. It’s possible to overcome it by seeking help and making healthy lifestyle changes.
Begin your healing from binge eating by contacting the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH). We provide a range of treatments for those with eating disorders in Westport.
Our team works with you to gain the capacity and confidence to manage the symptoms of your conditions. By evaluating your specific conditions and needs, we create a comprehensive treatment that will help you deal with life situations positively and productively.
Set an appointment with us by filling out our contact form or calling 1-888-745-3372.