Who Does It Affect
Globally, anorexia affects 0.4 % to 4% of all people and bulimia affects about 1% of all people. Binge-eating disorder affects up to about 2% of all people. These illnesses are more likely to affect the following groups of people:
Women—Up to 90% of people diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia are women. However, more boys and men are being diagnosed with eating disorders, and it’s likely that experiences of boys and men aren’t caught in current statistics. Binge-eating disorder is diagnosed in men and women more equally.
Young people—Anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder often start in the teenage and young adult years, though they can also start earlier or later in life, too.
Family members—Eating disorders tend to run in families, so you have a higher risk of developing an eating disorder if a close family member also has an eating disorder.
People with other mental illnesses—People who experience an eating disorder are more likely to be diagnosed with mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, a substance use disorder, or a personality disorder.
People from certain cultures or careers—Anorexia and bulimia are more common among people who have jobs that depend on the way their body looks. This may include some dancers, models and athletes. Eating disorders may also be more common in cultures with strong gender stereotypes—for example, ones that idealize thin women and lean, muscular men.
Are You Trying To Recover From Binge Eating Disorder Alone
If you’re reading this, you’re either preparing for full professional mainstream therapy or alternative treatment for binge eating disorder, informing yourself about binge eating disorder treatment because a loved one is going through it, or you have binge eating disorder and you are wondering whether you can overcome it by yourself.
If you fall into that last category, and recovering from binge eating disorder by yourself is harder than you thought it would be, you may want to know that even if treatment at an eating disorder clinic is not currently possible for you, guided-self help therapy may be an option, and drugs used to treat binge eating disorder may be a prescription away. Home treatment for binge eating disorder, with herbs, may complement your eating plan as well.
Are You Hoping To Lose Weight After Binge Eating Recovery
Are you wondering how to lose weight after binge eating disorder?
Are you hoping you can stop bulimia without gaining weight, or even shed some weight after recovery?
You are not alone if you have these questions and more—weight is a common concern for recovering binge eaters. In this post, I want to help you with your questions and give you healthy ways to think about weight as you recover and after recovery. I want you to start trusting your body and stop worrying about weight gain, or about how to lose weight after binge eating disorder and bulimia.
Before I go further, I want to say that I’m not a nutritionist, a personal trainer, or an MD. This post is not to be taken as medical advice about how to lose weight or gain weight after binge eating recovery , or how to have an ideal diet. Please know that these are my own opinions about the issue of weight as it relates to stopping bulimia and binge eating disorder, and this does not substitute for nutritional advice. Also know that weight is a big topic, and if you want to dive deeper, you can read my post—Addressing Weight Issues in Binge Eating Recovery.
Recovery from Binge Eating is Not About Weight Loss
I strongly feel that anyone who wants to quit binge eating—regardless of how much they weigh or how much they desire to weigh— should try not to focus on weight loss or on preventing weight gain during recovery.
There are two primary reasons why I feel this way:
1. Weight Can Take Care of Itself After Binge Eating Stops
Should People With Binge Eating Disorder Try To Lose Weight
Many people with binge eating disorder are obese and have health problems because of their weight. They should try to lose weight and keep it off; however, research shows that long-term weight loss is more likely when a person has long-term control over his or her binge eating.
People with binge eating disorder who are obese may benefit from a weight-loss program that also offers treatment for eating disorders. However, some people with binge eating disorder may do just as well in a standard weight loss program as people who do not binge eat.
People who are not overweight should avoid trying to lose weight, because it sometimes makes their binge eating worse.
Focus On Adding Healthy Foods Rather Than Eliminating Bad Ones
Donâ€™t cut out entire food groups, Bulik says. Instead, choose healthy foods — lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Try to avoid processed foods. They’re often high in sugar, fat, and salt — an unhealthy combination that makes you more likely to binge.
Most binge eaters eventually lose weight by choosing healthy foods and getting counseling. It’s a slow process, but you’ll be more apt to keep the weight off, Flanery says.
#4 Pursue Body Positivity
Letting go of the “goal” of weight loss, and committing to pursue actual health, can be challenging in a culture that regularly stigmatizes people on the basis of size.
We are constantly being fed messages that we are only worthy or lovable in thin bodies, and this can trigger a cascade effect onto our food:
Body Shame ? Dieting ? Binge Eating
Of course, binge eating often leads to more body shame…and the cycle continues on and on indefinitely.
While many hesitate to work on body-image believing that self-hatred is somehow “motivating” them into thinness,
the truth is, it is VERY difficult to overcome diet-binge cycling without doing significant body acceptance work right off the bat.
The sooner you work to accept the body you have, the sooner you’ll be able to truly let go of dieting and eat “normally” in accordance with your biological hunger signals.
Work with a coach, find a body-positive or body-acceptance support group, do what you need to do to remember:
Why Best Way To Lose Weight Is To Stop Focusing On Weight Loss
You can listen to this part of the interview at 20:57 …
This is where Brianna expands upon the Eating Enlightenment mindset.
- Focusing on more positive things than body weight
- Getting excited about other ways to measure ‘success’ besides body weight
Focus on more positive things than body weight
It’s a huge mindset shift and I had to essentially break up with that part of myself that cared so much about weight loss.
I had to stop the judgment, stops the limiting beliefs, stop all the negative thoughts that were coming into my brain.
I had to realize that it wasn’t about being perfect. And at some point in my journey it stopped being about being skinny, stopped being about being thin …
Getting excited about other ways to measure ‘success’ besides body weight
Instead of weight loss it became about being strong and instead of focusing on the number on the scale, I was focusing on how much weight can I bench press, how much can I dead-lift?
And I was more excited about those numbers.
Which water can I drink today, next week? 128 ounces of water.
And so I started focusing on different things. If I had woken up every day and weighed myself and thought “97 pounds to go …” I would have given up.
That would have been depleting and I would have given up, my eating habits would have never changed.
But instead, the focus wasn’t on this scale as much as it was on being strong and focusing on different numbers to measure my success.
#2 Challenge Your Diet Mentality
While listening to your body’s hunger signals for information about what to eat is super helpful in making sure you get enough food,
be careful not to fall into the trap of the “hunger & fullness diet,” which will backfire just like every other diet on the planet.
At the end of the day, rules and restrictions around food are the real enemies when it comes to binge eating recovery—and practicing “Intuitive Eating” can only go so far if you’re still struggling with diet-mentality around it.
Assuming Weight Loss Will/should Occur As A Criterion For Successful Recovery
Many people with BED reach out to health/mental-health providers, saying, “I want to lose weight.” And many people with BED are told that they need to lose weight. Given cultural pressures around thinness, it’s understandable that there is a focus on the pursuit of weight loss. At the same time, conflating weight loss with recovery from BED is counterproductive on multiple levels.
There are all kinds of myths about BED and weight. It’s important to recognize that people with BED come in all shapes and sizes. There are people at higher weights who do not have BED, and there are people at lower weights who struggle with bingeing. You cannot tell if someone has an eating problem just by looking at them!
When the focus is on achieving a particular weight, people often stay trapped in the diet/binge cycle. If weight loss is the goal, then manipulating food—rather than honoring cues for hunger and fullness—becomes the pattern. The pursuit of weight loss can include overriding hunger signals, avoiding foods perceived to be “bad,” and overexercising. It’s important to note that these are the very same behaviors considered to be symptoms of eating disorders in lower-weight individuals. Research shows that while most plans and programs result in weight loss in the short run, the vast majority of people gain it back, with two-thirds ending up higher than their pre-diet weight, reinforcing that the pursuit of weight loss is counterproductive.
As one of my clients wrote:
Find Someone To Talk To
Talking to a friend or peer when you feel like binging may help reduce your likelihood of overeating.
One study in 101 adolescents undergoing sleeve gastrectomy showed that reliable social support was associated with less binge eating .
Another study in 125 women with obesity found that better social support was linked to decreased binge eating severity .
A good social support system is thought to reduce the impact of , which may help decrease your risk of other coping habits like emotional eating .
Next time you feel like binge eating, pick up the phone and call a trusted friend or family member. If you don’t have someone to talk to, eating disorder helplines are available free of charge.
Summary A good social support system may be linked to decreased binge eating and stress.
How To Stop Binge Eating: Understanding Why You Binge Eat
For the most part, all of the various programs I tried to stop binge eating suggested that binge eating was a self-containedpsychological defect—the result of a “spiritual malady,” or bad habit, or perhaps some childhood trauma.
In other words, they all suggested that if I could just fix the underlying emotional problems that “triggered” binges, I would be healed.
Doing everything in my power to get this problem “under control,” I went to therapy, I went to church, I journaled, I made up with my mother…and for years, I just couldn’t stop bingeing.
It wasn’t until years into my healing journey, that someone finally suggested that perhaps my bingeing wasn’t just a response to difficult emotions or “neurological junk” in my brain…
perhaps my binges were a natural responseto countless years of dieting and feeling deprived around food as a result of innumerable attempts at weight control throughout my life.
Dieting And Binge Eating Disorder: When Attempting To Lose Weight Only Fuels Binge Eating Disorder
Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope
Our society is saturated with countless diet fads:
- Vegetables only
- Fruits only
For any individual who may be attempting to lose weight, the plethora of information that is available is confusing and overwhelming to say the least. Even if you are not looking to diet or lose weight, being surround by the dieting message can lead to insecurities about ones body and self.
Many individuals who struggle with binge eating disorder may find themselves in a similar position. While not all individuals who are dealing with binge eating disorder are overweight, feeling a lack of control over one’s body and food is a common experience with this eating disorder.
Getting Help For Someone Else
If you’re concerned that a family member or friend may have binge eating disorder, let them know you’re worried about them and encourage them to see a GP. You could offer to go along with them.
How Common Is Binge Eating Disorder And Who Is At Risk
Binge eating disorder is probably the most common eating disorder. Most people with this problem are either or ,* but normal-weight people also can have the disorder.
About 2 percent of all adults in the United States have binge eating disorder. About 10 to 15 percent of people who are mildly and who try to lose weight on their own or through commercial weight-loss programs have binge eating disorder. The disorder is even more common in people who are severely obese.
Binge eating disorder is a little more common in women than in men; three women for every two men have it. The disorder affects blacks as often as whites. No one knows how often it affects people in other ethnic groups.
People who are obese and have binge eating disorder often became overweight at a younger age than those without the disorder. They might also lose and gain back weight more often.
* The 1998 NIH Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and in Adults define overweight as a body mass index of 25 to 29.9 and obesity as a BMI of 30 or more. BMI is calculated by dividing weight by height squared.
What Causes Binge Eating Disorder
No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. As many as half of all people with binge eating disorder are depressed or have been depressed in the past. Whether causes binge eating disorder or whether binge eating disorder causes is not known.
It is also unclear if and binge eating are related. Some people binge eat after . Dieting here means skipping meals, not eating enough food each day, or avoiding certain kinds of food. These are unhealthy ways to try to change your body shape and weight.
Studies suggest that people with binge eating may have trouble handling some of their emotions. Many people who are binge eaters say that being angry, sad, bored, worried, or can cause them to binge eat.
Certain behaviors and emotional problems are more common in people with binge eating disorder. These include abusing alcohol, acting quickly without thinking , not feeling in charge of themselves, not feeling a part of their communities, and not noticing and talking about their feelings.
Researchers are looking into how brain chemicals and metabolism affect binge eating disorder. Other research suggests that genes may be involved in binge eating, since the disorder often occurs in several members of the same family. This research is still in the early stages.
How Does It Start
In some cases, people simply overeat out of mindless habit, like always sitting down with a bag of chips in front of the TV at night. But oftentimes, itâ€™s the result of underlying emotional problems. Having a negative body image can play a big role.
For many people, compulsive overeating is part of a cycle that starts with a restrictive diet. May calls it the â€œeat, repent, repeatâ€? cycle. You might begin a diet because you feel bad about your weight or size but find that itâ€™s too hard to stick to — especially if you use food as a coping tool. Eventually, you hit a breaking point and binge on â€œforbiddenâ€? foods, and then the guilt and shame set in, and the restrictions begin again.
The cycle can be hard to break. â€œEven people who say theyâ€™re not on a diet often have ingrained ideas about â€˜goodâ€™ or â€˜badâ€™ foods,â€? says Marsha Hudnall, president of Green Mountain at Fox Run in Vermont, a center for women who struggle with overeating. â€œBut when you have a substance that is naturally appealing and soothing and comforting, and you make it off-limits, it just becomes more attractive.â€?
How I Tackled My Binge Eating
Growing up, dinner time equalled fun. I’d race my siblings to the table and we’d devour our mum’s homemade lasagne or curry.
But mindlessly consuming second helpings caught up with me between the ages of 14 and 16, and I put on around 3st. I was tall for my age, so it wasn’t obvious, but it dented my confidence at a time when it was still being shaped.
Tips For Helping Someone With Binge Eating Disorder
Encourage your loved one to seek help. The longer an eating disorder remains undiagnosed and untreated, the more difficult it will be to overcome, so urge your loved one to get treatment.
Be supportive. Try to listen without judgment and make sure the person knows you care. If your loved one slips up on the road to recovery, remind them that it doesn’t mean they can’t quit binge eating for good.
Avoid insults, lectures, or guilt trips. Binge eaters feel bad enough about themselves and their behavior already. Lecturing, getting upset, or issuing ultimatums to a binge eater will only increase stress and make the situation worse. Instead, make it clear that you care about the person’s health and happiness and you’ll continue to be there.
Set a good example by eating healthily, exercising, and managing stress without food. Don’t make negative comments about your own body or anyone else’s.
Get more help
Binge Eating Disorder – Symptoms, causes, and treatment options for binge eating disorder.
How I Stopped Binge Eating
I’m embarrassed to admit it, but for years I struggled with binge eating.
When others were around me, I would eat healthy, normal-looking meals, but when I was by myself I would gorge on junk food until I felt sick. It was a heavy secret to keep, affecting not only my weight and overall health, but also my social life and relationships.
Today I want to share some of the steps I took to finally stop binge eating, in the hopes that it might help someone else out there who might be struggling, too.
Disclaimer: If you are feeling suicidal, severely depressed, or in need of medical attention, please see a licensed health care provider. This website is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
‘i Lost 190 Pounds Using Therapy To Manage My Binge
“I’d eat until I felt sick, go to bed, and wakeup for a midnight snack.”
I grew up overweight, but I didn’t really become aware of it until third grade. It hit me one day in gym class when a boy I had a crush on told me I looked like I was pregnant—I was devastated.
From there, my weight continued to climb—and I tried every diet to fight it. I tried the cabbage soup diet, SlimFast, low-fat foods; but by the time I was 14, I weighed 285 pounds.
Then, my weight started to yo-yo. In high school, I tried out LA Weight Loss and lost 85 pounds, but gained it all back so that by my sophomore year in college, I weighed 353 pounds. But it didn’t end there: I had gastric bypass surgery as a 19-year-old college student and lost 154 pounds. But, 10 years later, my weight crept back up 305 pounds.
What Is Binge Eating Disorder
According to The National Eating Disorders Collaboration, the Binge eating disorder definition is having regular episodes of binge eating accompanied by feelings of loss of control, and in many cases, guilt, embarrassment and disgust. Unlike those with bulimia nervosa, a person with binge eating disorder will not use compensatory behaviours, such as self-induced vomiting, laxative taking or over-exercising after binge eating.
Binges are intense, they are done fast and if you are anything like I used to be, you devour very large quantities of food within a very short period of time. The amount of guilt and anxiety that I would feel after a binge was too much for me to handle and unfortunately this would lead to self-induced vomiting, followed by restricting my food intake the next day.
My experience with Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia was extremely secretive. I didn’t tell anyone that I was suffering and I had to be very calculated and cautious about when and where I could binge, as well as making sure there was a way for me to compensate for the binge .
This was not only time consuming, but it was also mentally draining. My thoughts were constantly surrounded by food, and about what I could and couldn’t eat.
But by doing this I was triggering our bodies fight or flight response .
What Causes Binge Eating
I don’t believe there is a just one answer as to what causes people start binge eating, but it seems that one common cause is having a restricted diet at some point in your life.
This could have happened when you were a child, if well-meaning parents attempted to limit your food intake to help prevent childhood obesity, or it might have happened later in life, when you attempted to diet to lose weight.
Not surprisingly, depression can also play a role in binge eating. My suffering hit its peak when I was working from home in Los Angeles, as I felt very isolated and didn’t have a lot of human interaction each day. I also had a nutritionally poor diet, which probably contributed to those feelings of depression, and that left me feeling malnourished. This combination led to more serious bouts of binge eating like you’ll see below.
Causes Of Binge Eating
The exact causes of binge eating disorder are not known, but you are more likely to have an eating disorder if:
- you or a member of your family has a history of eating disorders, depression, or alcohol or drug misuse
- you’ve been criticised for your eating habits, body shape or weight
- you’re too worried about being slim, particularly if you also feel pressure from society or your job, for example, ballet dancers, models or athletes
- you have anxiety, low self-esteem, an obsessive personality or are a perfectionist
- you’ve been sexually abused
Suffering In Silence With Binge Eating Disorder
Countless individuals struggle with Binge Eating Disorder throughout our nation though many suffer in silence due to the fears and stigmas that surround this painful disorder.
Binge eating disorder is often thought to be nothing more than a lack of “self-control” when it comes to eating, however, there are much more complex factors involved with this psychiatric illness. Binge eating disorder can occur among individuals of any age, race, gender, or socioeconomic background.
Another misconception is that binge eating disorder only occurs among individuals who are obese, but the weight stigma associated with this eating disorder is also untrue.
A common physical effect that can result from binge eating disorder is obesity, which can result from consuming a greater amount of food than is needed over time.
While it is important to understand that obesity is not a criterion for binge eating disorder, nor do all individuals with obesity have BED, it can be a serious complication of this eating disorder.
Obesity can be a risk factor for a myriad of health issues, including:
- Cardiovascular complications
- Other problems
Forget About The Diet
In a society that is constantly telling you that your happiness depends on the way you eat and look, it can be quite difficult to give up dieting.
But specialists warn that many restrictive diets, apart from being unhealthy, can also trigger binge-eating episodes. So, if you’re drastically cutting back on calories in order to lose weight you could set yourself up for much more intense cravings and higher risks of overeating.
The aim should be to eat in a way that makes you forget about restrictions but still eat less in order to lose the extra pounds. If you want to find out more aboutweight loss and how to do it in a healthy way, here’s a good resource you can start with!