Weight Loss Tips - How to Stop Binge Eating
April 01, 2010
We've all been there. It's late at night, everyone's gone to bed. There's a cheesecake in the fridge with your name on it. That leads to a bowl of cereal, which leads to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and before you know it, you've eaten a day's worth of calories all after 12am. You feel bloated and awful.
Binge Eating. Having once been very overweight myself, binge eating was my main problem. I didn't tend to starve myself like many binge eaters do before consuming a calorically gigantic meal - I did eat really poorly all day long (fast food three meals a day, anyone?) and then I let myself eat whatever I could get my hands on in the evening.
I weighed 265 pounds by the time I was 21 years old. I had high cholesterol, back pain, leg pain. And I was miserable.
When someone is obese, they probably live a lifestyle that supports their weight problem. Many people with weight problems are Binge Eaters. In fact, binge eating is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
If this is your issue, you are NOT alone.
Here are some things to keep in mind when combating Binge Eating.
It's NOT About the Food: The key to understanding binge eating, as with all eating disorders, is to realize that it's not just a weight management problem. It's an emotional issue. I used to think I just really loved food, that it was my weakness. I thought I was a bad person because I couldn't stay away from the stuff. But nothing could have been further from the truth. My issues were all emotional.
An article a recent Oprah Magazine was called "What Are You Hungry For? Hint: It's Not Food," highlights a new book called "Women, Food and God," by Geneen Roth. Roth believes that we choose to overeat based on deeply held negative beliefs about ourselves, that our relationship with food mirrors our relationships to ourselves, our feelings about our bodies, lives and what we think we deserve. I really think she's on to something with that concept.Consider Helping Yourself: Dealing with the emotional issues of binge eating isn't always easy. The best treatments can sometimes be expensive and time consuming. However, a new study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, reports CNN.com, found that self-help treatment for binge eating can be just as, if not more affective than traditional treatment methods. Patients followed a 12-week, self-guided program from a book called "Overcoming Binge Eating." (CNN notes that the author of the book was in no way affiliated with the study.) 63% of that group was able to stop binge eating. Those are amazing odds.