Each eating disorder subtype is unique in its predictors, behaviors, and motivators. The newest of these disorders to be formally recognized is Binge Eating Disorder, commonly referred to as BED. So, how does one Overcome Binge Eating Disorder?
While the formal recognition is new, the disorder itself is not. BED has been around for quite some time, and research has found it to be the most common eating disorder in the United States .
As the second blog “Traits of Those That Overcome Bulimia” in this series mentioned, eating disorder subtypes do share some traits that can be used to enhance recovery. For example, individuals with BED have elevated levels of impulsivity just as those with bulimia. It may be helpful to read the second installment to learn how individuals with both disorders can decrease impulsive tendencies to achieve recovery.
However, BED was given its own diagnosis for a reason. It differs from anorexia and bulimia in that it is often not motivated by a desire to lose weight or alter the body but more as a result of using food as a coping tool.
People struggling with BED have to re-learn their hunger and fullness cues and find more positive ways of coping in order to overcome.
Those with BED often struggle to listen to, and understand, their body’s hunger and fullness cues. For these individuals, their body is like a friend they used to be very close with but have fought the friend for so long they don’t recognize them anymore.
To overcome binge eating disorder, this relationship between the body and the person has to be repaired. This is where “Intuitive Eating” comes in. The practice of intuitive eating states that “the body intrinsically ‘knows’ the quantity and type of food to eat to maintain both nutritional health and an appropriate weight” .
People that overcome BED refine their ability to listen to their body when it tells them they are truly hungry or full. This is helpful in combating binge eating disorder because the individual learns the difference between emotional eating and eating to fuel their body.
The notion of positive coping is pretty self-explanatory. It involves coping with trauma, stress, or daily hassles in a way that effectively brings you joy, peace, and health.
Those dealing with binge eating disorder often use food to cope, which is not only ineffective but short-lived.
People that overcome BED and achieve recovery find more efficient ways to cope with the troubles they face.
These ways often not only involve stress relief, but facing the problem itself, processing, and working through it.
When you are coping with a stressful day or challenging interaction, ask yourself whether your behaviors are solving the problem or shoving them under the rug and hoping they disappear.
This series examined those traits unique to each disorder that can be fostered or repurposed toward recovery. There are traits that foster recovery no matter the disorder.
Be sure that, as you battle your disorder, you are learning and engaging in unconditional self-love, self-care, and body acceptance. Separate your past, disordered, life from your new, healthy, life. Work to find your identity separate from your disorder.
Find a support system that helps you on your road to recovery.
You are persistent, you are resilient, and you are brave.
Use these traits to fight your way to a joyous and healthy life.
About the Author: Margot Rittenhouse 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 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.
References: (2016). Overview and statistics. National Eating Disorders Association. Retrieved on 22 January 2018 from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/binge-eating-disorder.
 Van Dyke, N., Drinkwater, E. J. (2012). Relationships between intuitive eating and health indicators: literature review. Public Health Nutrition, 17:8, 1757-1766.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer 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.
Reviewed and Approved by Jacquelyn Ekern on June 4, 2019.
Published April 10, 2018, on EatingDisorderHope.com