According to the National Eating Disorders Association, Binge eating disorder (BED) is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food (often very quickly and to the point of discomfort); a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (e.g., purging) to counter the binge eating. Binging becomes a cycle because of the emotions involved with the eating. Here are some helpful tips to help end the cycle.
1. Develop a support system – this could be friends, relatives, a therapists or even a support group (i.e. overeaters anonymous) to help you through this time and that you can call when you have the urge to binge.
2. Identify the triggers – what are the feelings/emotions that are associated with the binge? Keep a journal of the feelings you felt when you ate. This will help identify the patterns.
3. Replace emotional eating with healthier coping skills – journaling, meditation, reading, taking walks. Do things that help you relax and work through the emotion without using food.
4. Be gentle – don’t beat yourself up when you slip up. Identify what happened and keep moving forward. Learning to love yourself leads to healthier decision making.