How Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Can Help You Find Hope and Freedom
Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder defined by loss of control of eating patterns, which leads to significant distress and guilt. Despite being one of most common eating disorder diagnoses, treatment for binge eating disorder is just as complex as treatment for other disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. All aspects of a person need to be integrated into treatment so that clients can experience lasting recovery and regain a meaningful life that is so deserved.
Top Tips for a Good Outcome in Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
Stabilizing Eating Patterns is a First Step in Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
Individuals who enter binge eating disorder treatment are experiencing chaotic eating patterns as part of their eating disorder. These eating patterns often perpetuate the bingeing cycle, especially when compounded with altered hormone levels (such as ghrelin and leptin), which is common for those with binge eating disorder. Dieting histories are common as are pressures to reduce body weight. These efforts often result in feelings of deprivation, causing more bingeing. A registered dietitian specializing in binge eating disorder treatment will help you develop a structured eating plan. This plan will help ensure you are getting a balance of nutrients and that you are fueling your body in a way that will assist you in navigating these chemical differences in your body. Starting with this step allows those in binge eating disorder treatment to feel grounded as they go into deeper work.
Incorporating Mindfulness is an Essential Tool in Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
To challenge loss of control while eating in treatment, mindfulness techniques should be incorporated. Individuals with binge eating disorder often have a disconnect from their eating experience, as well as many other aspects of life. Mindfulness teaches awareness in the present moment; observing thoughts, emotions, and our surroundings. Mindfulness also teaches acceptance of these observations. In binge eating disorder treatment, mindfulness can help increase awareness of urges for behaviors and help you take alternative action to help meet your true needs.
Sleep Regulation is key for Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
Rates of insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleep disturbances are high among individuals with binge eating disorder. These disturbances create significant vulnerability for increased bingeing in individuals with binge eating disorder. Sleep deficits lead to altered mood, behaviors, and appetite. Binge eating occurs at night for many individuals, which further increases the sleep disturbances. Creating consistent evening and waking rituals can be helpful tools in improving your sleep hyenine. Utilizing light therapy by remaining in dim lighting two hours before bed and exposing yourself to bright sunlight or a light therapy box each morning are great examples of this.
The Importance of Debunking Shame in Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
Binge eating disorder is a disorder fueled by shame. Shame is often reported as a reason for not seeking Binge eating disorder treatment. You may feel self-criticism around not being able to “control” your behaviors or feel that if you just had more “will power” you would not be engaging in binge eating. You may also experience fear of external shame related to physical appearance and weight stigma. These intense feelings of shame are often numbed by further binge eating. Therapy in binge eating disorder treatment will help you throw away this shame and develop a place of self-compassion. It’s not shameful to need help–it’s freeing and you deserve it.
How Professionals Can Help in Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
You don’t need to fight binge eating disorder alone! There is help! Those seeking binge eating disorder treatment often have had past negative experiences with medical providers, many of whom suggested restrictive diets or excessive exercise to “fix” them. At Alsana Eating Disorder Treatment Centers, we have specialized providers who understand the complexities of binge eating disorder and will help you seek full recovery without judgement. Depending on your needs we have residential care, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs are available. We can also help you find binge eating disorder outpatient providers and support groups in your area.
Kate Kaczor, RD, CEDRD, CSP, CSOWM
Lead Dietitian – Alsana Luna