Top 5 Binge Eating Disorder Recovery Tips for the Holiday

A gift of BED Recovery Tips

Contributed by Canopy Cove

The holiday season is characterized by many traditions and behaviors depending on your culture. However, one that is universal is the focus on food. Here are some BED recovery tips.

For many, this is exciting, but, for those struggling with Binge Eating Disorder (BED), it opens a Pandora’s Box of emotions, concerns, and fears.

It is possible to enjoy your holidays and maintain your recovery and these BED Recovery Tips will give you the foundation to do just that.

BED Recovery Tips

Be Present

It is easy to get swept up in the bustle of the holiday and lose sense of the present moment. But, for those in recovery from BED, the present moment is crucial.

Remaining engaged in what is happening right in front of you allows you to keep attuned to your body and emotions.

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0Many like the BED Recovery Tips technique of 5-4-3-2-1, which engages your senses to help you focus on your current reality instead of becoming overwhelmed by negative emotions that might trigger you to binge.

Try this technique by counting down, 5 things you can see, 4 things you can feel, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and 1 thing you can taste.

Listen to Your Body

Practicing “Intuitive Eating” can help improve your relationship to your body and food.

Also known as “body wisdom,” this practice asserts that “the body intrinsically ‘knows’ the quantity and type of food to eat to maintain nutritional health.” It also asserts that “societal cues that work to override this innate body wisdom include: diets; being made to clear one’s plate as a child; eating because it’s ‘dinner time’; and advertisements encouraging people to eat irrespective of hunger [1].”

To regain “body wisdom,” one can learn to recognize their body’s cues for hunger and satiation as well as its cues for sugar, salt, water, etc.

Knowing each of these cues can help you in taking stock before a holiday meal – What do I want to eat? Am I hungry? What is my body asking for? Ask yourself these questions throughout the meal.

Get help now from Canopy Cove.
Call 855-338-8620.

Fight “The Last Supper” Syndrome

One of the biggest reasons we love to gorge ourselves during the holidays is because we often only get to eat some of these dishes once a year.

For many, this can result in “Last Supper” syndrome, AKA, feeling the need to consume everything in vast quantities because it will be another year before we can eat them again.

Fight this by reminding yourself of two things: “these foods will be there next year” and “I make my own rules for recovery.”

Beginning with the first, the whole reason these foods are so great is that they are there every year, have been around every year, and will continue to be around every year.

This is not the last time these foods are available, so, eat them as much as your body feels comfortable, then, stop, telling yourself that you will enjoy these foods next year when they are around again.

Woman with ear muffsThis brings me to the second reminder: you call the shots in your own recovery.

If you find yourself craving some fudge or stuffing or Christmas ham in July, there is no law saying you can’t eat it.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

Just as you make your own rules for recovery, you have a right to assert them.

Holiday get-togethers can be like minefields for insensitive or harmful talk about food or body image. You don’t have to listen to it.

Know that you have the right to tell someone when they say something negative or harmful.

Know that, if they don’t listen, you don’t have to be around them, whether it is a co-worker, friend, or relative.

Assemble Your Squad

Don’t ever think that your support system is too busy to be there for you during the holidays.

Too often, we think of ourselves as “bothersome” to our support system and don’t reach out, hurting ourselves and robbing them of being there the way they want to.

Plan ahead by asking who is okay with you calling, texting, or messaging them and take them up on it if you need to.


[1] Van Dyke, N., Drinkwater, E. J. (2012). Relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators: literature review. Public Health Nutrition, 17:8, 1757-1766.

About Our Sponsor:

Canopy Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center is a leading residential Eating Disorder Treatment Center with 25 years’ experience treating adults and teens who are seeking lasting recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and other related eating disorders.

We are a licensed rehabilitative provider accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Trusted and recommended by doctors and therapists throughout the country, our program provides clients with clinical excellence and compassionate care.

As one of the most experienced Eating Disorder Centers in the nation, we’ve developed a highly effective program that incorporates solid evidence-based therapies which have been shown to increase recovery rates.

  • Each person we treat receives a customized treatment plan tailored to their specific needs.
  • We increase recovery rates by simultaneously treating co-existing conditions such as anxiety, depression. (We also accept clients with an Eating Disorder and co-existing Diabetes).
  • We provide family education and family therapy throughout the recovery process. (Offered by phone for out of town families).
    Our Christian-based eating disorder treatment program warmly accepts all clients from various belief systems.

Get help now. Call 855-338-8620.
[email protected]

Image of Margot Rittenhouse.About the Author: 

Margot Rittenhouse, MS, PLPC, NCC is a therapist who is passionate about providing mental health support to all in need and has worked with clients with substance abuse issues, eating disorders, domestic violence victims, and offenders, and severely mentally ill youth.

As a freelance writer for Eating Disorder Hope and Addiction Hope and a mentor with MentorConnect, Margot is a passionate eating disorder advocate, committed to de-stigmatizing these illnesses while showing support for those struggling through mentoring, writing, and volunteering. Margot has a Master’s of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective on eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on December 19, 2018.
Reviewed & Approved on December 19, 2018, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC

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About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.