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Binge or Compulsive Overeating

Binge or Compulsive Overeating

 

Nearly 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. are battling eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, while millions more suffer from binge eating disorder.

Binge and compulsive overeating is where someone feels compelled to eat when they are not hungry and who cannot stop when they have had enough.

“Expert” definitions of Binge or Compulsive Overeating include some or all of the following features which occur with regularity at least 3 times per week:

  • Eating faster than usual,
  • Eating past the point of fullness,
  • Eating when not physically hungry,
  • Eating alone or in secret,
  • Feeling upset or guilty after overeating,
  • Feeling that you are abnormal,
  • Feeling “taken over” or “driven” as if by another presence in respect of eating,
  • Trying to compensate for overeating by dieting or restraining food or purging ( in the latter case you are suffering from bulimia).

Is this may be you?

Making sense of compulsive overeating

Compulsive overeating is a combination of:

  • Food addiction
  • Comfort eating – to manage difficult and troublesome feelings
  • stress disorder
  • body image problem

Compulsive overeaters always feel that they should be eating less.  They believe themselves to be fat even when some may not be, and they feel “instantly fatter” after eating foods which are considered taboo.

 

Lack of “will power”?

People who try to control their weight but fail often feel that they lack “will power.” To control their weight, they usually try all kinds of senseless diets, resort to slimming wonder pills, teas or exotic formulas, and often choose more dangerous medical procedures; but nothing works in the end.

To treat compulsive eating means getting rid of the “cravings.” It is only then manageable to stay in control of food and weight.

Feeling constantly terrified of weight gain, compulsive eaters frequently attempt to compensate for unwanted calories through panicky dieting, starving, taking slimming pills or other dangerous treatments. Sadly these make the problem even worse. Appetite suppressants also do not work in the long run for compulsive overeaters and can often make the problems worse in the long run.

Compulsive overeaters do not have less willpower than people who eat normally and healthy. Yet, they do have more often stronger cravings for food.

Thinking more kindly of our body  

Compulsive eaters generally have poor body image and hate the way they look. They can’t even enjoy the food they eat.  Severely overweight binge eaters have a greater lifetime risk of depression, and anxiety disorders. As a result of their poor body image, they avoid social situations, and do not take care of their bodies sufficiently.

There are some overeaters who feel so hopeless about their weight that they say they have “just given up trying to lose weight.

This kind of attitude further supports their already damaging relationship with food.

 

I’m fat anyway, so why bother, they might say as they reach for another piece of cake.

Thinking more kindly of our body is one of the most important parts of the healing process and will also boost our self esteem.

Good therapy will give control back where it is most needed – from within.

 

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