An eating disorder, overeating is characterized by bouts of binge eating, with a loss of control over the type and quantity of food ingested. It is accompanied by a feeling of ill-being and leads to other conditions like obesity. That’s why it is important to identify it early and seek treatment.
Overeating is an eating disorder that manifests itself in the form of repeated crises of food orgies, over a limited period of time. The absorption of food is very rapid and well above the physiological needs of the person. According to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis, this binge eating is accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. But, unlike bulimia it is not always followed by compensatory behaviors, such as vomiting, taking laxatives, or excessive sport, for example.
Symptoms of Overeating
Binge eating is accompanied by a number of symptoms, such as the feeling of loss of control, shame, and even self-loathing. People who suffer from it feel guilty and experience depressive symptoms. They are also at risk of being overweight or obese.
The diagnosis of binge eating disorder is based on a clinical examination. More specifically, the practitioner will rely on the DSM-5 criteria, namely:
- Recurrent episodes of food orgy with loss of control;
- Binge eating is associated with three (or more) of the following characteristics:
- Eating much faster than normal.
- Eating until you feel a painful feeling of abdominal distension.
- Eating large amounts of food in the absence of a physical feeling of hunger.
- Eating alone because you are embarrassed about the amount of food you eat.
- Feeling disgusted with yourself, depressed, or very guilty after eating.
1. Focus on cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive and behavioral therapy can help control binge eating over the long term. This is, therefore, one of the ways that you can use to treat binge eating. It provides several practical tools, such as cognitive restructuring, which consists of identifying negative and false thoughts and replacing them with more realistic and useful alternative thoughts.
2. Learn to listen to your body
Note, however, that the therapies have little effect on body weight if they are not accompanied by dietary measures. But be careful not to become obsessed with diets and develop a harmful relationship with scales. Avoid weighing yourself every day and aim for a healthy weight that helps you feel good. A health professional like a nutritionist or dietician can help you come up with a diet that is suitable for your needs.
3. Reconnect with feelings of hunger and satiety
It is also important to reconnect with the feelings of hunger and satiety, which are typically affected by eating disorders. Before each meal, rate your level of hunger on a scale of 0 to 10. Take the time to chew well, putting your cutlery down between each bite, and don’t force yourself to finish your plate if you are no longer hungry. At the end of the meal, this time evaluate your level of satiety. Over time, you will learn to recognize the signals sent by your stomach more easily.
4. Reward yourself
If you have been trying to eat less, reward yourself at the end of the week. For example, if you’ve gone an entire week without overeating
, treat yourself to a little treat, like ice cream (or whatever you like best) on Sunday. This way, your fight against overeating will be more enjoyable.
5. Seek professional help
If you have tried everything but are still unable to stop overeating, seek professional help. Most doctors employ a multidisciplinary approach when treating an eating disorder. The objective is to help the patient overcome their compulsions, regain self-confidence and understand the origin of the disorder. Its treatment is therefore based on:
- Individual psychotherapy or group therapy with a specialized practitioner;
- Follow-up with a psychiatrist who will assess the psychological suffering and can set up appropriate drug treatment (antidepressants, stimulant drugs);
- Regular consultation with a nutritionist, who can provide education to relearn good eating habits;
- Exercising regularly after an assessment with his attending physician.
- Some physicians or nutritionists can prescribe medication meant for weight loss or appetite suppressants to help the person lose weight.
Do you have any other tips or unique ways to avoid overeating? We will be happy to read you in the comment section on our Instagram page. 👉sorokaloseinches