Binge Eating Warning Signs
Do you or someone you care about suffer from binge eating? Some common warning signs follow:
- Binge eating while conscious that the eating pattern is abnormal
- Fear of not being able to stop eating when you want
- Bingeing that occurs on average one day a week for at least three months
- Depressed mood
- Self-loathing thoughts following the binge
Binge eating among men and women is associated with significant levels of emotional distress, negative health consequences including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, anxiety, depression and work productivity impairment.
Steps to Take to Overcome a Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating may be especially difficult to overcome since food is a necessary part of life. Unlike those with a drug problem or smoking addiction, binge eaters cannot just eliminate food from their life.
How can you overcome this challenge? The following steps may help:
- Tell someone. Even if only one person knows about your disorder, at least you will no longer be alone in your struggle.
- Seek out treatment. Enroll in an eating disorder treatment facility or attend therapy sessions. Be willing to learn and make yourself vulnerable.
- Keep limited amounts of food at home. Although this may create more of a hassle, it also will limit temptations at home.
- Relax. Set aside time to enjoy life.
- Forgive yourself. You can’t change the past; you can only learn from your mistakes.
- Exercise. Plan out an appropriate exercise program you will want to maintain. A good rule of thumb is start out with the least amount of exercise you can do every day and build from there. It may sound counterintuitive but it works.
- Determine the causes and triggers of your disorder to take steps to prevent further binges.
- Eat breakfast daily. Those who do not regularly eat breakfast are more prone to binging and eating high calorie meals later in the day.
- Share your concerns with friends and family. Never isolate yourself.
- Take adequate nutrients. If you do not consume enough nutrients for your body, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements.
- Find self-help books. These books can encourage you and offer helpful advice, especially if they are centered on binge eating.
- Attend a support group. Knowing that others struggle with the same problems may relieve stress.
- Talk with a nutritionist. He or she can help you design an appropriate meal plan.
- Write in a journal, especially when you have the urge to binge eat.
- Do not diet. Fad diets rarely help for long periods of time and very strict diet plans may only make your disorder worse.
- Love yourself for who you are, not what you look like.
If you or someone you care about suffers from overeating or binge eating, get help. Our therapists are in recovery themselves, and understand how you can break the cycle.