Like any eating disorder, there is no miracle cure or one-step solution. Recovering from binge eating disorder is a process that will look different for each individual. It’s not a linear journey, and you’re sure to face challenges while you seek healing.
The road is marked with triggers and setbacks, but the good news is that recovering from binge eating disorder is possible. In this article, we’ll walk through tips for how to recover from binge eating disorder, from understanding your symptoms to celebrating little victories.
Recognize the cyclical nature of binge eating recovery
The first step in healing from binge eating disorder is to accept that the journey will not be linear. Healing from binge eating disorder is a cyclical process, and each of these steps will need to be revisited over and over.
This is easy to understand in theory, but when you’re putting in the hard work of recovery, it’s bound to feel like defeat. When times get tough, keep in mind that healing is not a checklist. Give yourself grace, reset and keep going.
Learn about the symptoms
According to Mayo Clinic, binge eating disorder is characterized by periods of overeating and feeling unable to stop consuming food. This excessive eating often follows an overwhelming compulsion to eat and intense feelings of guilt after a binge.
Even if you have a diagnosis of an eating disorder, you may be unaware of all the symptoms. One of the best ways to heal from impulses to binge eating is to acknowledge your symptoms so you can address them.
Identify your personal triggers to binging
Your symptoms of binge eating always follow triggers. A trigger is anything in the environment or any thought that brings about a compulsion to binge. For example, you might botch a job interview and binge to handle the disappointment, or overeat when you feel lonely on a Friday night.
The more you understand your symptoms, the easier it will be to name your triggers. When you grow in familiarity with the underlying psychological stimulus to overeating, you’ll find that binge eating recovery is easier. Pay attention to the emotions you experience when binging and trace them back to events.
Grow a healthy relationship with food
Avoiding food is impossible, so perhaps the best antidote to binge eating triggers is to rebuild your relationship with food. It will take plenty of patience, but you can grow a new perspective on food so you don’t experience the guilt of overeating.
Try gardening your own foods, learning to cook, trying cuisine from new places and finding wellness habits that support a balanced diet. When you appreciate your food and the way it nourishes your body, triggers won’t have the same effect they once did.
Binge eating recovery is a journey, not a checklist. The healing process will have plenty of ups and downs, and that’s normal. If you regress in binging or in your emotional state, don’t consider it a failure, but a lesson learned.
It’s unlikely that you’ll stop binging entirely on the first day of treatment, but the hope is that binging episodes will decrease in the amount of food and frequency, until it’s rarely a concern.
Build up your support system
Like any eating disorder, one of the best protective factors to reduce binge eating is a strong support system. Family, friends, coaches, mentors, coworkers, therapists, nurses and others can build a team that understands your needs and can build you up when triggers are overwhelming.
Keep in mind that this circle doesn’t have to be big. Even two or three solid support people can make a huge difference in your recovery. Communicate openly, sharing your stressors and accomplishments.
Address other mental health concerns
Binge eating disorder is often seen side-by-side with mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and substance use disorders. In fact, a study in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that 73.8 percent of patients with binge eating disorder experienced another psychiatric disorder in their lifetimes.
When you’re working toward binge eating recovery, healing the whole person is essential. When you start treatment you’ll want to make sure it covers any comorbid issues you may be facing.
Celebrate little victories
Binge eating recovery surely has its setbacks, but there are also many victories to celebrate. When you’re in treatment, you’ll set goals with your mental health professional in your treatment plan. These goals will be realistic and attainable, so you’ll be meeting milestones in no time.
Be sure to bask in your successes by celebrating them with loved ones and looking to them for motivation in the future.
Connect with professional help
The number one tip for how to overcome binge eating is to get in touch with professional treatment. While there are some significant steps you can take toward healing on your own, the expertise and knowledge of mental health and medical professionals can make recovery smoother, safer and quicker.
At Seeds of Hope, you can find the expert assistance you’re looking for. Don’t wait another day to get the treatment you deserve. Get help now.