Binge eating disorder is a potentially life-threatening eating disorder that involves recurrent episodes of binging. During the binge episodes, the individual will eat large quantities of food, often very quickly. They may feel a sense of loss of control during the binge. Embarrassment and shame can be common emotions people with binge-eating disorder experience after engaging in this behavior. Binge eating disorder treatment centers can help a person become fully recovered from this disorder.
Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States; however, it is a newly recognized disorder and often poorly understood by the general public. Many people are not aware of how to identify or address the symptoms, which may include:
- Uncontrollable binge episodes in which a person eats large amounts of food in a short period of time
- Feelings of shame, distress, and embarrassment after engaging in a binge
- Feeling a sense of lack of control during binge eating episodes
- Eating until sick or uncomfortably full
- Eating alone to hide food intake
- Low self-esteem or self-confidence
- Feeling distressed or anxious about the amount of food eaten during a binge eating episode
- The concern with body weight or size
- Fluctuations in weight
The severity of binge eating disorder can vary from mild to severe. Eating disorder experts have identified a variety of ways for people diagnosed with binge eating disorder to cope with their behaviors. Here are some of the best ways to cope with binge eating symptoms.*
1. Identify Triggers
One of the most important first steps is to identify the triggers for the binge episodes. Binge eating episodes are typically related to stress. Research studies have consistently found people are more likely to engage in binge episodes after a stressful event. Identifying your triggers can help a person with binge eating disorder prepare for stressful changes and understand what purpose the binge eating episodes are providing (i.e. alleviating this stress for a brief period of time).
2. Meditation And Other Relaxation Techniques
Guided meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques can help a person with binge eating disorder better manage stress, which can lead to binge eating episodes. These interventions can also help ease feelings of worry or anxiety that can often co-occur with binge eating disorder.
- Talk With A Nutritionist or Eating Disorder Specialist
Nutritional therapy is a very important part of binge eating disorder treatment. Nutritional therapy can help a person regain nutritional balance and a more normalized relationship with food. It can help individuals with binge eating disorder learn to eat in order to meet the body’s nutritional, rather than emotional, needs. An individual may also learn to cook and order food at a restaurant in a more mindful manner.
4. Talk to a Professional
People with an eating disorder, including binge eating disorder, may be reluctant to talk with someone about their symptoms due to feelings of fear, shame or embarrassment. It is important, however, to talk with a doctor about the symptoms. Physicians and eating disorder professionals can help monitor for health complications and refer the individual to binge eating disorder treatment.
5. Attend A Support Group
Binge eating disorders are often shrouded in secrecy. Because people with this disorder may feel shame, embarrassment or guilt about their behaviors, they may keep the behaviors a secret. Binge eating support groups are helpful because they show the person they are not alone. This can reduce negative feelings of guilt or shame, and increase feelings of hope and support.
These are a few of the ways to cope with binge eating disorder symptoms on the path to recovery. People who are diagnosed with a binge eating disorder can regain a sense of balance and mindfulness with the help of the above-mentioned practices and with support and guidance from a binge eating disorder treatment center.
*These methods should be used under the guidance and direction of an eating disorder medical professional.