We all know how dieting and losing weight is not that easy for everyone. Staying away from your cravings and controlling your appetite can lead to two things. One, with discipline and perseverance, you may succeed and become healthier; or two, your cravings will become too intense to handle, and you may lose yourself and develop binge eating disorder (BED). If the latter happens, it is almost certain that you will develop many health problems and make yourself at risk for more in the future. How do you get through it? Here are proper ways on how to recover from binge eating disorder.
What is binge eating disorder?
BED or binge eating disorder is an eating disorder characterized by compulsive overeating. You may think that ‘if this is the case, then I have BED too since I overeat during the holidays!’ However, binge eating disorder is more than just overeating occasionally. With normal overeating, it happens because you want to eat more. With BED, you overeat even if you don’t feel like eating. You make yourself full even if you already feel that your belly is going to burst. You feel ashamed about stuffing your mouth with food, and even though you want to stop, you can’t.
What causes binge eating disorder or BED?
Even experts couldn’t pinpoint a specific reason for developing such an eating disorder. Their studies just show that more common for women to develop the disorder. Moreover, research showed that obese and highly obese patients have higher tendencies to develop binge eating. However, the findings do not discount the fact that people in their ideal weight groups can also develop BED.
Emotional problems. There are some researchers and psychologists that relate binge eating disorder to the emotional status of a patient. They claim that most patients with BED use food to handle or control their emotions, using them as what others call ‘comfort food’.
Depression. Binge eating disorder also relates to depression. There is an ongoing study that wants to find out if certain brain chemicals or neurotransmitters play certain roles in a patient’s overeating activity.
Hereditary. Doctors and researchers also found out that this eating disorder can run in the family. Maybe seeing someone close to you who suffers from the disorder, thinking that this is customary, makes a person develop the same problem.
Abuse. Emotional, mental, or physical abuse also plays a role in developing BED. Most patients have had instances of abuse in their lives, and have reported getting into many different kinds of addiction, from drugs to alcohol.
How does one get diagnosed with binge eating disorder?
The best way to formally diagnose a person with BED is for him or her to become honest with herself. In order for her to have the courage and seek medical help, she must realize within herself that she is binge eating and it is not normal. The problem is that most patients deny the truth and they try to hide it because of shame and embarrassment. If you think you are overeating against your will, it is best to seek professional help because they can help you pinpoint what caused your problem and how you can overcome it.
Your doctor will ask questions about your eating habits. These would include the amount, duration, frequency, and manner of eating (do you fast or slow? Do you eat alone or with family?). Answer these questions truthfully so the doctor can determine if you are indeed a candidate to have BED.
Your doctor can qualify your BED as:
- Mild if the overeating happens once or thrice a week
- Moderate if you overeat 4 to 7 times a week
- Severe if you overeat about 8 to 13 times a week, and
- Extreme if you claim to overeat almost in every meal (about 14 times a week or more).
How To Recover From Binge Eating Disorder
Now, this topic of binge eating disorder is the most difficult part. If you think diagnosing a person with BED is a challenge, just think about how you can correct such eating disorder. Some have lived with a binge eating disorder for half their lifetime and still have not found a way to battle their demons. There is no perfect formula. Some need therapy and medications, and that is perfectly fine as long as you follow what your doctors instruct you and you do not overdo it yourself. Here, we can also state some ways other people managed their eating disorder so we can share with you ways on how to recover from binge eating disorder.
Some swear by willpower, or the ability of a person to psyche himself in doing things on his own. He has to control his cravings and stay away from thoughts about food, eating, and the satisfaction of giving in to your desires. He would not depend on diets because most diets fail, and strictly following a diet plan is like setting yourself to fail.
Analyze your thoughts and feelings
Listen to what your body tells you. Think about what effects do foods have on how you view life in general. Think about what good overeating would do for your body and how bad it is for your overall well-being. Analyze your mood every time you feel like eating too much. Try to identify a pattern and analyze how to find ways to combat highs and lows on your mood.
Change your eating pattern
Start being mindful of how you eat. Slowing down and chewing your food properly not only makes digesting your meal easier for your tummy, but it also takes your mind off from eating more. Sometimes, setting a timer can help if you really are used to eating fast. Let’s say, extending your lunch or dinner from 15 minutes to as long as 30 minutes to an hour is quite an achievement already.
You can also do portion control. Plate your food in such a way that you get to taste all foods that are on the table but in sizes that can only fit to your plate. Do not eat while watching TV or using your gadgets. These habits take your attention away from satisfying yourself with even a small amount of food, making you crave for more.
Eat with company. If you are used to eating in front of the TV and just being alone, try sitting down and have a meal with your family or friends. Start a conversation while eating. This step will allow you to maintain a healthy relationship with your family members and friends. Not only that, it could up your mood and make you feel happier. Moreover, talking is like an exercise to your mouth, and this action makes you feel satiated without overeating.
Go for a walk or rest
How to recover from binge eating disorder? Try walking. If you feel like you need to eat even if you are not hungry, stop yourself and try exercising or sleeping. You can either exert your energy in doing exercises like jogging or walking than stuffing yourself with unhealthy junk foods. You can also try and let yourself rest and sleep off the cravings that you are feeling. Both activities release brain chemicals that control your appetite and improve your emotions and mood. Whichever way is more effective is up to you, just make sure that you do not starve yourself and you do not overdo it. Overdoing it means exercising until you feel your legs and arms will come off your body or oversleeping for more than 8 hours. We all know that all extremes are bad for our health.