Did you fail to meet the deadline at work? Are you overworked? Do you want to grab that jar of cookies? Do you want to indulge in meditation? Well, if you are doing the former, you might be a compulsive eater.
Some people overeat on special occasions like a birthday party, Thanksgiving, because there is a lot of food to eat. We eat because of our emotional connection with food, after all, we all love food. Michelle May, MD, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat, says emotional connection to food is normal.
From the moment we are born, we are nurtured and rewarded with food. But some people eat food to overcome their emotions. There is a big difference in emotional eating and eating for the love of food. Emotional eating is the state of mind which directs you to eat a lot of food at a time to overcome your negative thoughts and later on, you feel guilty. In this state, you are not feeding your body; you are feeding your emotions (stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts).
People who are emotional or compulsive eaters have a clinical disorder called binge eating disorder (BED). People with Binge Eating Disorder eat a large amount of food at a time. According to the recent Diagnosticand Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 criteria for BED, it was discovered that negative emotions and binge eating are share a deep connection. It is the most prevalent eating disorder in the U.S, and about 30 million people suffer from it. It affects 3.5% of women, 2% of men and up to 1.6% of adolescents.
How You Can Treat Binge Eating Disorder
The first step towards healing is deciding to seek treatment. Therapy can help you learn ways to stop overeating and make you feel better about yourself. The sooner you get help, the more chances are there for your recovery. Here’s how to take the initiative.
No one knows you better than you. The first step in treatment is to know everything about your problem. Self-help will be a good start towards your healing. You will get to know more about your eating disorder. Observe your behavior, your emotions and how they are connected to eating. Plan your eating schedule. Do not let food cravings control you. Only you can overcome your food addiction.
2. Seek help from Your Family Doctor
Your family doctor can be a very important source of support. He/she can assess both your physical and psychological health because eating disorders can affect both. Also, a visit to your doctor can boost your motivation to recover.
If you fear the embarrassment of being judged about your disorder, then you can write everything on the paper and let your doctor know how you feel. Remember, telling your worries to someone who understands and accepts that they are valid and normal will help you in overcoming them.
3. Consult a Dietitian
A registered dietitian can help you design meal plans that support your eating disorder. He/she can help you understand the relationship between your eating patterns, your behaviors, and your emotions. You can also keep a food diary; it will help you identify binge eating triggers. What’s better is that it will be a useful recovery tool for you. Remember, having a meal and exercise routine can help you avoid falling into an unhealthy lifestyle trap again.
Everybody knows about the healing power of yoga. Stress and depression are the reasons for binge eating and a recent study, conducted by researchers at Deakin University in Australia, found that yoga can help you manage emotional, mindless eating. The research participants attended yoga program which included Postures, relaxation, meditation, and breathing exercises.
You can also incorporate yoga into your life and heal your stress. The more you can control your stress, the more it will help you manage BED.
5. Individual Psychotherapy and Counseling
Don’t feel ashamed or guilty to go to a psychiatrist. You need psychotherapy and counseling if you want to heal your binge eating. Psychotherapy and counseling are called “talking therapy.” It is about empowering an individual to make choices and enable them to live more resourcefully and achieve a higher sense of wellbeing. It is a time taking process. So be patient with it. If you don’t get the help you need in the first session of therapy, don’t get disheartened. Keep trying until you find the solution that works best for you.
Don’t let excessive eating control your life, be a survivor and fight with your eating cravings.
Happy eating is better than mindless eating. So stay happy!
AUTHOR BIO: Judy Robinson is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger. She loves to write on women’s healthy lifestyle, fitness 101 and DIY related topics. Follow @judyrobinson for more updates.