Home » Overcoming Binge Eating Effectively (8 Tips)

Overcoming Binge Eating Effectively (8 Tips)

by Dana Bean, RD

Binge eating can affect so many aspects of life from physical health, social interactions, and mental health. We’ve got the tips to help you to start overcoming binge eating!

how to overcome binge eating 8 tips photo

A binge eating episode is characterized by eating an amount of food “definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time in similar circumstances” while feeling unable to stop eating or out of control while eating. The binging can happen quickly and can be pretty uncomfortable physically. The person binging may also feel guilt, shame, and embarrassment after eating. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a diagnosed eating disorder used when the binging occurs at least once a week for 3 months.

Over 2 million people are diagnosed with BED in the US (based on the current population). Keep in mind this doesn’t include many undiagnosed and others who still struggle with binge eating habits, but don’t meet all of the criteria for BED. It’s also more common than both bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa.

Biological factors and mental illness can definitely affect binge eating. Behaviorally, it can be common to have binge eating habits stem from physical and/or mental deprivation of food. Binging can also occur because of unmet emotional needs.

Binge eating can be isolating and cause a poor quality of life. It can affect sleep and your ability to perform at work/other activities. It’s often connected to other mental health concerns like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and substance abuse.

Healing from binge eating help to improve quality of life, body image, and emotional distress just to name a few. Here are 8 tips to get started!

Having a therapist, dietitian, and primary care provider on your team who specialize in eating disorders is crucial! Make sure they are HAES® aligned to get appropriate treatment for binge eating. You should consider contacting an eating disorder treatment center.

To avoid binging we want to avoid extreme hunger and/or deprivation! Even if you don’t feel hungry, it’s a good idea to plan on eating breakfast and eat every 3 hours or so after.

Avoid cutting out food groups, counting calories or macros, and weighing yourself. Nourish yourself with enough food and try to stop looking at foods as “good” or “bad”. Leaving dieting behind will promote getting more in tune with your body’s signals which can help prevent binging.

Don’t restrict any specific type of food physically or mentally. Restriction causes an emotional reaction to food which can lead to the “out of control” feeling with binging.

Because binging often happens as a response to unmet emotional needs, finding healthy coping mechanisms is very important for overcoming binge eating! A therapist can help with this.

Those healthy coping mechanisms can come in handy both when you’re faced with a potential binge and also for keeping your stress levels manageable overall. Learning tools to lower stress levels will help immensely with overcoming binge eating.

When food is seen as an enemy, it can feel very conflicting for your mind and body (since your body needs to be nourished!) Creating a positive relationship with food helps us work with our body instead of against it. This way you can learn to trust your body and its signals.

Self compassion and body respect are an important piece of healing from binge eating. We don’t have to love our bodies 100% of the time, but finding a way to be neutral and respectful allows space to heal.

quote: When food is seen as an enemy, it can feel very conflicting for your mind and body

If you struggle with binge eating, I know it can sometimes feel like things won’t change. But please know that many others in your shoes have taken these steps and more to reach a place of recovery from binge eating. Don’t forget the first tip of getting professional help! Having guidance in this journey is the best first step to take. You can do this!

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