Reducing eating in binges, improving emotional well-being and losing weight are the primary goals for treating binge eating disorder (BED). As binge eating is complexly associated with shame, self-disgust and poor self-image, including other negative emotions, the treatments are centered to tackle various psychological issues. By knowing all the causes and the reasons for binge eating, you can learn to lose weight and maintain it efficiently.

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Can Be Classified Into Four Major Types. They are:

  1. Psychotherapy To Treat Binge Eating Disorder

    Psychotherapy can be done in individual as well as group sessions which will help one in learning to accept healthy habits in exchange of the unhealthy ones. This may further help in reducing the binging episodes. Some examples of psychotherapy as a treatment to tackle Binge Eating Disorder are as follows:

    • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) For BED: This therapy focuses on bringing down the thoughts and behavioral changes that are associated with binge eating. One of the primary goals is to create a sort of self-awareness in an individual, which will help in combating the emotions. The therapist will help in recognizing various triggers that are related to the disorder and teach to control them as well. Various relaxation techniques, nutrition and healthy weight loss methods will be taught during each session of cognitive-behavioral therapy for treating binge eating disorder.
    • Interpersonal Psychotherapy For BED: It lays importance on the interpersonal relations and the issues that make a person stressful. The therapist will help in improving the communication skills and develop healthy relations with family members. As the patient learns to relate better to all the interpersonal relations, the binging situations become less frequent. This makes it easier to resist all the triggers that are bugging a person's mind.
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) To Treat BED: It combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with various meditation techniques. The therapy emphasizes on the eaters and teaches them to accept themselves, regulate the emotions and tolerate stress in a better way. The therapist will also address all the unhealthy eating habits that you are following. Dialectical behavior therapy involves individual as well as group therapy sessions.
  2. Medications To Treat Binge Eating Disorder

    Treatment of binge eating disorders does not have any specific medication. However, several kinds of medication will help in reducing symptoms when combined with psychotherapy. Following are a few examples:

    • Antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) help in reducing some symptoms. The cause of their effect is not yet determined, but they affect some brain chemicals that are linked to mood swings.
    • The Anticonvulsant Topiramate (Topamax): This drug is normally used for controlling the seizure attacks. However, it has also contributed in reducing the binge eating episodes. Prior to consumption, one must consult with the physician, as there are associated side effects.
  3. Behavioral Weight Loss Sessions To Treat Binge Eating Disorder

    People with binge eating disorder often have a history of failed attempts of weight loss programs. Weight loss programs are often not recommended unless the disorder is treated as they may give rise to various episodes in frequent numbers.

    When in need, various means of keeping the weight under control are recommended under medical supervision. While doing so, the doctor will make sure that your daily nutritional level is met successfully.

  4. Self Help Strategies To Tackle Binge Eating Disorder

    People often try to learn more about the disorder and look for treating them with self-help books, joining various support groups or taking help from the internet. Even after you are using these means for controlling the disorder, you might still need the help of a professional or necessary medication.

How To Stop Binge Eating?

Overcoming a food addiction or binge eating can be difficult at times. Unlike all other addictions, the food is essential for survival and you do not have any option for avoiding it. On the contrary, you must effectively build relationship with food as a means for meeting your daily nutritional requirements and not your emotions.

Healthy eating comprises creating balanced meal plans and choosing to consume healthy foods. In every diet, one will have to take care about the essential nutrients that he or she is going to consume.

10 Strategies To Tackle Binge Eating Disorder (BED):

  1. Have 3 Meals a Day: Begin the day by eating a healthy breakfast, as this will boost your metabolism. Follow the routine with a fully balanced supper and dinner as well. Make sure to consume some healthy snacks amidst every small break. Plan schedules for healthy eating as this will reduce the binge eating.
  2. Become Aware of Temptations: You will be tempted to consume all sorts of junk food if your house is full of stored desserts and unhealthy snacks. Get rid of the temptations by clearing the cupboards and fridge of all the binge foods that you love.
  3. Stop Dieting: Following a strict diet can trigger various yearning and the urge for overeating can rise boundlessly. Rather than dieting, you must in turn try eating in control. Find a nutritious food that is full of essential nutrients, which will make you feel full. Avoid foods can make you crave more for them.
  4. Stress Management: Finding various habits to handle the stress and associated overwhelming situations without consuming food is of utmost importance. This may involve using various strategies for sensory relaxation, meditation, exercise and simple deep breathing techniques.
  5. Keep Yourself Busy: When you feel like eating certain foodstuff, try to distract yourself. Talk to a friend, take a walk or engage yourself in daily chores.
  6. Maintain a Journal: Keep a track about the foods that you consume and in what quantities. Also, note down the emotions that struck your mind while eating the food. This way, you can connect the dots and see how you are linked to binge eating and your mood.
  7. Sleep: Boost your energy by sleeping sufficiently. When struck with boredom take a nap for a short time, which will keep you distracted from the thought of eating food.
  8. Observe Yourself: Distinguish between emotional and physical hunger. If you have had your meal recently and your stomach is not craving for food, then you are not hungry at all. Give some time for the craving to pass.
  9. Exercise Regularly: Exercise will not only help you in reducing weight, but will also improve your on the whole health and reduce stress level. The natural mood improving exercises will help in stopping the binge eating disorder.
  10. Ask for Help: When you do not have enough support, you may surrender to the trigger caused due to over eating. Take help from the therapists when in need. Rely on family members and friends, as they will extend you some support.

How To Help Your Loved One With Binge Eating Disorder?

If you are trying to help someone and the person does not open up to you on the first go, give them some time. It is not easy for one to speak about having some sort of eating disorder. If you love someone and that person has same disorder, you cannot force him or her to change. The decision to join a therapy session should come from the patient. Offering support, encouragement and compassion can help them in recovering faster. When in need, take them to a therapist who is readily available for help when in need.

If Your Family Member Has Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Insist Them To Seek Help: Ask your loved one to get help from a health physician. When left untreated for a long time, this disorder can be difficult to overcome in the later stages. So it is better to urge the loved ones to get help from the professional.
  • Offer Support: Try to support the person and grant them an assurance that you are listening. If they are trying to recover for good, try to motivate them.
  • Avoid Insults and Lectures: Binge eaters often feel low when someone tries to explain them more about the disorder that they are already facing. Instead of upsetting them, make them aware of your concern and the happiness that you feel when around them.
  • Become an Example by managing their diet and helping them out with daily routines and exercises.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Dealing with the disorder can be quite stressful at times. Make sure to seek help from the health professional at the right time or rely on domestic support groups for help.

Also Read:

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: April 14, 2015

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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