How to stop binge eating disorder

15 Helpful Tips to Overcome Binge Eating

Along with following your treatment plan, making the right lifestyle changes can help you manage compulsive eating.

Binge eating disorder (BED) is considered the most common feeding and eating disorder in the United States (1).

BED is about more than food, it’s a recognized psychological condition. That means people with the disorder will likely need a treatment plan designed by a medical professional to overcome it.

People who are diagnosed with BED experience episodes of eating unusually large amounts, even when they’re not hungry. After an episode, they may feel a strong sense of guilt or shame.

Regular binge episodes can lead to weight gain, which can contribute to health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies you can try — both at home and with the help of a professional — to reduce episodes of binge eating.

Here are 15 tips to help overcome binge eating.

1. Ditch the diet

Fad diets can often be very unhealthy, and studies show that overly restrictive eating methods may trigger episodes of binge eating.

For example, one study in 496 adolescent girls found that fasting was associated with a higher risk of binge eating (2).

Similarly, another study in 103 women noticed that abstaining from certain foods resulted in increased cravings and a higher risk of overeating (3).

Instead of following diets that focus on cutting out entire food groups or significantly slashing calorie intake to lose weight quickly, focus on making healthy changes.

Eat more whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and moderate your intake of treats rather than excluding them from your diet altogether. This can help reduce binge eating and promote better health.

Summary Studies show that fasting or
eliminating certain foods from your diet may be associated with increased
cravings and overeating. Focus on eating healthy foods instead of dieting or
cutting out certain foods completely.

2. Avoid skipping meals

Setting a regular eating schedule and sticking to it is one of the most effective ways to overcome binge eating.

Skipping meals can contribute to cravings and increase the risk of overeating.

One small, 2-month study showed that eating one large meal per day increased levels of blood sugar and the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin to a greater extent than eating three meals per day (4).

Another study in 38 people found that adhering to a regular eating pattern was associated with a decreased frequency of binge eating (5).

Try setting a regular eating schedule and sticking to it.

Summary Adhering to a regular eating
pattern can reduce the risk of overeating and may be associated with lower
levels of ghrelin and fasting blood sugar.

3. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves listening to your body and paying attention to how you feel at the moment.

This technique can prevent overeating by helping a person learn to recognize when they no longer feel hungry.

One review of 14 studies found that practicing mindfulness meditation decreased the incidence of binge eating and emotional eating (6).

Another small study showed that combining mindfulness with cognitive behavioral therapy may improve eating behavior and self-awareness (7).

Try listening to your body to recognize when hunger tapers off. Additionally, try to eat slowly and enjoy food to promote healthy eating behaviors.

Summary Practicing mindfulness can
help you recognize when you’re no longer hungry, which can improve your eating
behaviors and reduce the incidence of binge eating.

4. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is a simple yet effective way to curb cravings and stop overeating.

In fact, studies show that increasing water intake could be linked to decreased hunger and calorie intake.

For example, one study in 24 older adults found that drinking 17 ounces (500 ml) of water before eating a meal decreased the number of calories consumed by 13%, compared with a control group (8).

Similarly, another study in older adults showed that drinking 13–17 ounces (375–500 ml) of water 30 minutes before a meal significantly decreased hunger and calorie intake while increasing feelings of fullness during the day (9).

Other studies indicate that drinking more water can boost metabolism and weight loss (10, 11).

The amount of water each person should drink daily depends on various factors. Thus, it’s best to listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty to ensure you’re staying well hydrated.

Summary Drinking more water can keep
you feeling full to decrease calorie intake and prevent binge eating.

5. Try yoga

Yoga is a practice that incorporates both the body and mind by using specific breathing exercises, poses, and meditation to reduce stress and enhance relaxation.

Studies indicate that yoga can help encourage healthy eating habits and reduce the risk of emotional eating.

One small study in 50 people with BED showed that practicing yoga for 12 weeks led to a significant reduction in binging (12).

Another study in 20 girls found that combining yoga with outpatient eating disorder treatment decreased depression, anxiety, and body image disturbances — all of which could be factors involved in emotional eating (13).

Research also shows that yoga can decrease levels of stress hormones like cortisol to keep stress under control and prevent binge eating (14, 15).

Try joining a local yoga studio to start adding this type of exercise to your routine. You can also use online resources and videos to practice at home.

Summary Yoga can help prevent binge
eating and may reduce common triggers like stress, depression, and anxiety.

6. Eat more fiber

Fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract, keeping you feeling full longer (16).

Some research suggests that increasing fiber intake could cut cravings, reduce appetite, and food intake.

One small, 2-week study found that supplementing twice daily with a type of fiber found in vegetables decreased hunger and calorie intake while increasing fullness (17).

Another study in 10 adults showed that taking 16 grams of prebiotic fiber daily increased levels of specific hormones that influence satiety and significantly reduced feelings of hunger (18).

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are just a few fiber-rich foods that can keep you feeling full.

Summary Fiber can help keep you
feeling full to reduce calorie intake and feelings of hunger.

7. Clean out the kitchen

Having lots of junk food or trigger foods in the kitchen can make it much easier to binge eat.

Conversely, keeping healthy foods on hand can reduce your risk of emotional eating by limiting the number of unhealthy options.

Start by clearing out processed snack foods like chips, candies, and pre-packaged convenience foods and swapping them for healthier alternatives.

Stocking your kitchen with fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can improve your diet and reduce your risk of binge eating unhealthy foods.

Summary Removing unhealthy foods
from your kitchen and stocking up on healthy alternatives can improve diet
quality and make it harder to binge eat.

8. Start hitting the gym

Studies indicate that adding exercise to your routine could prevent binge eating.

For instance, one 6-month study in 77 people showed that increasing weekly exercise frequency stopped binge eating in 81% of participants (19).

Another study in 84 women found that pairing cognitive behavioral therapy with regular exercise was significantly more effective at reducing the frequency of binge eating than therapy alone (20).

Plus, other research suggests that exercise can decrease stress levels and enhance mood to prevent emotional eating (21).

Walking, running, swimming, biking, and playing sports are just a few different forms of physical activity that can help relieve stress and reduce binge eating.

Summary Studies show that exercising
can reduce the risk of binge eating and decrease stress levels.

9. Eat breakfast every day

Starting each day off with a healthy breakfast might reduce the risk of binge eating later in the day.

Several studies have found that maintaining a regular eating pattern is associated with less binge eating and lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger (4, 5).

Plus, filling up on the right foods can keep you feeling full to curb cravings and reduce hunger throughout the day.

For example, one study in 15 people found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced levels of ghrelin to a greater extent than eating a high carb breakfast (22).

Meanwhile, eating fiber- and protein-rich oatmeal was shown to improve appetite control and promote fullness in another study in 48 people (23).

Try combining a few fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, with a good source of protein to avoid overeating.

Summary Eating a fiber- and
protein-rich breakfast can prevent cravings and keep you satisfied throughout
the morning.

10. Get enough sleep

Sleep affects your hunger levels and appetite, and sleep deprivation may be linked to binge eating.

In fact, one study in 146 people found that those with BED reported significantly more symptoms of insomnia than people without a history of this condition (24).

Another large study showed that shorter sleep duration was associated with higher levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin — the hormone responsible for promoting fullness.

Additionally, sleeping less than 8 hours per night was linked to higher body weight (25).

Aim to squeeze in at least 8 hours per night to keep your appetite in check and reduce your risk of binge eating.

Summary BED may be linked to
increased symptoms of insomnia. Sleep deprivation has been shown to alter the
levels of hormones that affect hunger and appetite.

11. Keep a food and mood journal

Keeping a food and mood journal that tracks what you eat and how you feel can be an effective tool. It can help identify potential emotional and food triggers and promote healthier eating habits.

One study in 17 people showed that using an online self-help program that involved keeping a food diary was associated with fewer self-reported episodes of binge eating (26).

Several other studies also suggest that tracking your intake may be linked to increased weight loss and aid long-term weight management (27, 28, 29).

To get started, simply start recording what you eat and how you feel each day using either a journal or app.

Summary Food and mood journals can
help identify triggers to address potential problems. Studies show that using a
food diary is associated with fewer episodes of binge eating, as well as
increased weight loss.

12. Find someone to talk to

Talking to a friend or peer when you feel like binging may help reduce your likelihood of overeating.

One study in 101 adolescents undergoing sleeve gastrectomy showed that reliable social support was associated with less binge eating (30).

Another study in 125 women with obesity found that better social support was linked to decreased binge eating severity (31).

A good social support system is thought to reduce the impact of stress, which may help decrease your risk of other coping habits like emotional eating (32, 33).

Next time you feel like binge eating, pick up the phone and call a trusted friend or family member. If you don’t have someone to talk to, eating disorder helplines are available free of charge.

Summary A good social support system
may be linked to decreased binge eating and stress.

13. Increase your protein intake

Upping your intake of protein-rich foods can keep you feeling full and help control your appetite.

One study in 19 people showed that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% led to significant reductions in body weight and fat mass, as well as decreased daily calorie intake by an average of 441 calories (34).

Similarly, another study found that following a high-protein diet enhanced metabolism, promoted feelings of fullness, and increased levels of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), a hormone known for its ability to suppress appetite (35).

Try including at least one good source of protein — such as meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, or legumes — in each meal and enjoy high-protein snacks when you feel hungry to keep cravings at bay.

Summary Increasing your protein
intake has been shown to decrease calorie intake, enhance feelings of fullness,
and increase levels of GLP-1, a hormone that can help suppress appetite.

14. Plan meals

Planning meals can help ensure that you have healthy ingredients on hand to prepare nutritious meals. Also, measuring out portion sizes and putting the remainder of food away may help you avoid triggering a binge.

In fact, one study in over 40,000 adults showed that meal planning was associated with improvements in diet quality and variety, as well as a lower risk of obesity (36).

Meal planning also makes it easier to stick to a regular eating pattern, which has been linked to a decreased frequency of binge eating (5).

Set aside an hour or two each week to plan out a weekly rotation for your meals.

Summary Meal planning has been
associated with improvements in diet quality and variety. It can also make
sticking to a regular eating pattern easier and ensure that you have healthy
ingredients on hand at all times.

15. Seek help

While the strategies above can be helpful, oftentimes a treatment plan designed by a professional is needed to help overcome binging.

Treatment for BED can involve different types of therapy or medications to help get binging under control and treat any underlying causes or symptoms.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, the most effective form of therapy, explores the connection between your thoughts, feelings, and eating patterns and then develops strategies to modify your behavior (37).

Other types of therapy used to treat binge eating include dialectical behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and behavioral weight loss therapy (37).

Antidepressants, antiepileptic drugs, and certain stimulants are also sometimes used to treat BED, though more research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of these medications (38, 39).

Summary Cognitive behavioral therapy
is considered an effective treatment method for binge eating. Other types of
therapy and certain medications can also be used.

The bottom line

BED is a recognized psychological condition that affects millions of people around the world.

However, it’s possible to overcome it with the right treatment plan and healthy lifestyle modifications.

Editor’s note: This piece was originally published on Sept. 17, 2018. Its current publication date reflects an update, which includes a medical review by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD.

How You Can Stop It Before It Starts

Written by Beth Axtell

In this Article

  • What Can You Do Day-to-Day?
  • Stopping a Binge When It Hits

Recovery from binge eating disorder (BED) doesn’t happen all at once. You’ll feel like you have to binge while you recover. You may even relapse. As time goes by, urges will come less often and they may be less demanding.

Through treatment, you can learn to manage those strong feelings. When they do happen, you’ll learn how to handle them.

Along with your treatment, there are lifestyle changes that can help you head off a binge, and tips that can help you when the moment hits.

What Can You Do Day-to-Day?

Eat breakfast. People who binge eat have predictable patterns. Many will eat no breakfast, have a light lunch, then be famished in the afternoon and eat too much. Eat at regular times throughout the day. Timely, predictable meals go a long way toward giving you power over the binge.

Avoid temptation. You’re more likely to go overboard if junk food and desserts are at arm’s reach. Plan your treats. Go to a shop and enjoy one cup of ice cream. But don’t stock the freezer with gallons of it.

Build a support system. Pick out a few family members or friends who you can talk with about your struggles. As you’re choosing, remember that they need to be able to encourage you when you’re feeling down, too.

You may find a support group helpful. You would spend time with folks who are on the same journey you are. Plus, those relationships don’t have the emotional ties that can come with family.

Get moving. Exercise is a great stress reliever that can do wonders for your mood. The natural spirit-elevating chemicals that physical activity brings can help curb emotional eating.

Make sure to ask your doctor what kind of exercise is best for you, especially if you have health issues.

Identify emotional triggers. Try to figure out what tends to push you into a binge. Is it anger? Frustration? Boredom? Is it when you’re celebrating? Pay attention to which feelings flip the switch, and use them as warning signs.

Relieve stress. Find ways to handle tough times without food. Some options include:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Guided relaxation
  • Deep breathing exercises

Stopping a Binge When It Hits

Despite your best efforts, the urge can still come upon you. Try these tactics to stop yourself. And have multiple approaches in your toolbox in case plan A fails.

Sit with the emotion. What are you feeling that makes you want to binge? Identify it, and accept it without judging the emotion or yourself. This will be hard at first. But emotions pass, and as you accept your feelings, you’ll realize you don’t have to binge to get rid of them.

Surf the urge. You may think your desire to binge will just continue to grow. But if you distract yourself with other things and get away from your food triggers, you’ll see that feeling start to go away. Think of the urge as an ocean wave that will grow, but then wash away.

Distract yourself. Find something to take your mind and body away from food. You can, among other things:

  • Play a game you really enjoy
  • Go for a walk
  • Go to the park
  • Mow the lawn
  • Go for a drive
  • Meditate
  • Read a book

Pick up the phone. Here’s where that support system you built comes in. Call your trusted friend or support group member and tell them what you’re going through. Talking it out can help make the urge pass.

Also, some therapists specialize in working with binge eating disorder, and some medications are FDA-approved to treat it. Talk with your doctor to explore these options.

Find your happy place. Do whatever makes you feel good about yourself. You can listen to music that boosts your mood, hit the gym, or watch a funny movie.

Think it through. If you do start to eat, try to slow down, pay attention to each bite, and don’t allow yourself to fall into a daze. Stay in the moment.

allow yourself to fall into a daze. Stay in the moment.

Be positive. Learning how to change negative thoughts about overeating and your body into positive action is an important step toward avoiding the binge and getting better. Sometimes you can help yourself.  Other times, professional help can redirect your thoughts. You can try:

  •  Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a common treatment for binge eating disorder. Your doctor or therapist will likely suggest this therapy first. Most people with the disorder who try CBT get better. It can also help you if you have depression, which often happens along with bingeing.

A version called "enhanced CBT" is designed for people with eating disorders. It teaches you to recognize feelings of low self-esteem and other negative thoughts that can trigger binges.

Instead of saying:

  • "I'm a failure because I eat too much."
  • "I'll never get to my ideal weight."
  • "It's too hard to eat right."

You’ll learn to say things like:

  • "I'm a good person, and I can get my eating under control."
  • "With a little effort, I will reach a healthy weight."
  • "My therapist and my dietitian will help me create a diet I can stick with."

CBT is usually done once a week for about 20 weeks. During each session, you'll meet with a therapist alone or as part of a group.

  • Interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT). Therapists have used IPT to help people with depression for a long time. Today, it's also used to treat eating disorders. IPT can help you stop binge eating and avoid setbacks. Studies find it works about as well as CBT.

IPT helps you figure out whether problems at home or in your other relationships are triggering your binges. There are three phases:

  • Phase 1: You identify the problems in your personal life that make you want to overeat. For example, maybe you snack whenever you feel lonely, or after you get into a fight with your parents.
  • Phase 2: Your therapist shows you how to build better relationships.
  • Phase 3: You work to stick with the changes you've made and prevent binge relapses.

IPT is usually done once a week in a group or one-on-one with your therapist.

  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT).  DBT is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy, but instead of trying to change your negative thoughts, you accept and learn to live with them. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and yoga help you become more aware of your thoughts.

Therapists have used DBT to help people with personality disorders who have self-destructive habits. Research is still being done to see how well it works for binge eating. So far, it seems to help, and those who start the program are able to stick with it.

  • Guided self-help. If you don't have time for regular therapy sessions or you can't afford them, guided self-help might be an option.

Some self-help programs are ones you complete all on your own. They involve using books, DVDs, videos, etc.

In other guided self-help programs, you meet with a therapist or health care professional for guidance. This professional will recommend books, computer programs, or self-help videos for you to use at home. It's up to you to put in the time and effort.

One study of people with binge eating disorder found that those who did a 12-week self-guided, manual-based form of cognitive behavioral therapy had greater remission from binge eating than those who got more traditional care. And more than one-third stayed well a year later.

  • More tips to lift your mood

Even with these treatments, you can slip back into your old ways of thinking from time to time. To stay positive you can:

  • Give yourself encouragement. Leave sticky notes around your house with inspiring messages like "You can do it!" Stick them on mirrors and other places where you'll see them every day.
  • Keep a list of 10 things you like about yourself. Whenever you get down, read the list.
  • If you have a setback, don't give yourself a hard time. Just make sure to get back on track the next day.
  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself.
  • Reward yourself for the gains you make. Get a massage or take a warm bubble bath, for example.

How I got rid of compulsive overeating and came to a healthy diet

April 19, 2021 Health

Step by step guide to release.

Sebastian Hallqvist

Founder of holo. health, a startup that helps people cope with chronic diseases through lifestyle changes. Writes about health and gives business advice to young entrepreneurs.


It all started when I was 21 years old. Before that, I was able to do almost everything in my life. I got straight A’s and was one of the best in my sport. Now I yearned to move on and challenge myself more. On the same day, I founded a company and started my studies at the university (in Sweden, waiting a year or two before entering the university is a common thing).

After a few months, it became clear that I had taken on too much. Trying to grow my business and study at the same time resulted in me working until 10 or 11 pm almost every night. The night became the only time I could devote to myself. I missed rest so much that I soon began to stay up until one, then until two in the morning, then even longer. Over time, I discovered the intoxicating sense of relief that comes with the combination of sweet and fatty. So I started eating at night.

And not just to eat. I think only those who also suffered from compulsive overeating will truly understand me. The amount of ice cream, biscuits, and whatever came to hand was overwhelming.

It helped to forget about my worries for a while, gave me a break and immersed me in the present moment.

The worse my daily life got, the more I got addicted to this feeling. After some time, I began to refuse invitations and meetings with friends, just to stay at home and get my “dose”. It took me more than two years to recognize the abnormality of such behavior.

One day I was talking on the phone with a close friend. We planned to meet in the evening. When I hung up, I realized that I had lied to him just to stay at home and eat. At this point, I hit rock bottom. Then I vowed to myself that I would be healthy again.

Today I have practically got rid of compulsive overeating. My body looks great. And I can finally focus on the important things that improve my existence, and not vice versa. Through reading, self-experimentation, trial and error, I was able to improve my life - and you can too! I wrote this article to make your process faster and less painful than mine.

Learn more 🍔

  • What is binge eating, how to diagnose it and how to treat it

How to stop binge eating

Step 1. Admit you have a problem

from dependencies. If you don't acknowledge the problem, you won't solve it.

If you are reading this text, then most likely you have already realized the difficulties. If not, don't judge yourself too harshly. Just know that until you are ready, you will not be able to change your life for the better.

Recognition of the problem was my first big breakthrough. But it really started when I started telling other people about it. It is not necessary to tell everyone. I started with my closest friends, and then I told my family, and the second was more difficult for me. It all depends on your relationship. First, it is best to share with those with whom you are most comfortable. But keep in mind that such a conversation will always be a little unpleasant. This is even good: discomfort means that you are working on yourself.

Later, I started talking about overeating even to people I had just met. This is necessary in order to separate yourself from the problem and look at it more objectively.

Overeating is not part of your identity. This is a problem that you can solve.


  1. Admit you have a problem. Don't judge yourself. You can even fix it on paper, describing everything as truthfully as possible.
  2. Make an appointment with close friends. Let them know in advance that you want to talk about your problem and that it's important to you.
  3. Start telling other people. Do it to the extent that you are comfortable.

If you have no one to share with or feel that your eating habits are already unhealthy, see a therapist. Don't be shy about it.

Step 2: Identify the Needs Behind Overeating

In my experience, there are two main factors that lead to compulsive overeating. The first is unsatisfied physiological needs (more about them in the next step), the second is unsatisfied emotional needs.

When I first started overeating, I felt like I didn't have enough time to socialize. I also could not cope with the volume of tasks that appeared due to studying and running a business. There was too much stress in my life.

Overeating became an opportunity to escape from the severity of the lifestyle I was leading.

I had high standards and suffered because I didn't live up to them. It affected my relationships with people. I was ashamed. I became more and more distant from the world, and this led to an even greater feeling of loneliness. Of course, I felt that something was wrong. Diary entries helped me. I recorded my thoughts and emotions, and also reflected on why I think and feel the way I do.

The difficulty is that the negative effects of overeating (metabolic disorders, excess weight, health problems) occur only after a long time, while the positive ones (sedation, pleasant taste of food, dopamine release) are felt immediately.

In the end, keeping a diary and thinking helped me understand roughly what I lack and what I want from life. It set the direction and ultimately led to the creation of my current business. I also went to a psychotherapist. This allowed me to see the situation more clearly and begin to make up for what I was trying to compensate for by overeating.

You need to identify and deal with your own emotional needs.

As behavioral scientist Jason Hreha says, habits are simply reliable solutions to recurring problems in our environment. Therefore, you need to replace the benefit received from overeating with something else, no less valuable.


  1. Write down your emotions associated with overeating. Record everything that comes to mind. Ask yourself: what led to this? What do I usually feel right before a bout of overeating? Is there anything to help control this behavior?
  2. Start working with a psychotherapist. This will help to understand the psychological causes of overeating. And discussing the situation with another person will reinforce the first step (acknowledging the problem).
  3. Create an emergency plan. Knowing exactly what provokes overeating, you can reduce the risk of a new attack and reduce the negative consequences if it does happen. Here are the items in my plan:
  • Do not keep food at home that I abuse during attacks. For me, these are sweet fatty foods, you may have something else.
  • Eat healthy food. Feeling hungry is the last thing you need in such a situation.
  • Listen to your hunger during an attack. Pay close attention to the sensations. The sooner you notice the discomfort of overeating, the sooner you stop. This is an important step to train the body to recognize the feeling of satiety.
  • Focus on long-term goals and the consequences of overeating. Stop before picking up a tidbit. Consider: how will what you eat affect you in the short and long term?

Step 3. Stop dieting and start eating foods with high nutrient density

So, another factor that contributes to overeating is unmet physiological needs. Most people who suffer from compulsive overeating have been on a diet of some sort. As a result, they ended up in a state where the body is constantly striving to get calories.

I have been involved in sports for a long time and experimented with nutrition. My appearance and fitness have always been important to me. I have tried almost every known diet. By the time my overeating problem was at its peak, I had been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for about a year.

Due to various beliefs (mainly ecological, which, as it turned out, were completely wrong), nine months after that I switched to a vegan diet. I tried to keep my diet low in carbohydrates. But due to the fact that the diet was plant-based, and because of the frequent bouts of overeating, I still received a lot of this nutrient. So the body mostly lived on sugar, and put off all the fat. In addition, I experimented with fasting: often I did not eat for 24 hours, and sometimes for 72. Fasting became for me a kind of penance after bouts of overeating.

I was constantly thinking about food and the wonderful feeling of relief I had from eating something fatty and sweet. At the same time, I suffered from guilt and shame for my behavior and could not understand why I did this.

Now it doesn't seem like a mystery to me anymore. The typical binge cycle is influenced by physiological and evolutionary factors. Firstly, if you are on some kind of diet or simply restrict yourself, as I did, your body will not receive enough nutrients and will begin to require certain foods - much more than under normal conditions.

Secondly, if you regularly starve or otherwise repent for the sins of overeating, your body will start to panic. Especially with a diet with a high amount of carbohydrates, from which blood sugar fluctuates greatly. And if you suffer from compulsive overeating, your diet is very likely high in carbohydrates and fats.

To control fluctuations in blood sugar, the body will require more high-calorie foods, such as ice cream. And when you eat, he will begin to store fat, because he is used to the fact that you should not rely on a regular intake of calories. Moreover, this process is not realized. You will notice an obsession with food and obsessive thoughts about unhealthy high-calorie foods, but you will not understand what is wrong.

This creates shame and guilt, which only increase the need for food. When unsatisfied emotional needs are mixed in, the situation gets completely out of hand.

I will not teach you how to eat. I'll just tell you what happened to me when I tried eating animal products for a month:

  • I soon stopped dreaming of yogurt and similar fasting foods in large quantities.
  • I began to think less about food, and between meals I felt full.
  • It has become easier to control oneself and resist the desire to swallow everything that comes to hand.
  • The depression that I developed amid all this soon became less severe.

For the last two and a half years I have been trying to figure out why this happened. Here are the conclusions I came to. Religious teachings and corporate profits aside, it is clear that animal-based foods have the highest nutrient density (i.e., they have a lot of nutrients, but not as many calories). In addition, the nutrients it contains are important for our mental health. And it is essential to deal with the hurricane of emotions and negative thoughts that accompanies (and causes) compulsive overeating.

Whatever food you choose, the fact remains that in order to get rid of overeating, you have to give the body what it needs.

You have every right to refuse meat for ethical reasons. Just remember that this is not the time to hold on to old beliefs and ideas about yourself. You need to be pragmatic and take care of the body, and you can find a way to defend your position later.


  1. Stop dieting and starving. I did not give up fasting for a long time, and it was very stupid. Once you've recovered and established a relationship with food, you can experiment as much as you like. But for now, forget about it.
  2. Try to eat well three or four times a day. Skip meals only if you feel completely full. Understand that this will eventually give you the body you wanted, but your current nutrition will not.
  3. Eat foods that are high in protein and high in nutrient density. I advise you to build a diet on animal products. Hunger is your worst enemy, especially at the beginning of the journey, and such a diet will help you stay full for a long time.

What to do after a bout of overeating

Let's be honest: someday you will have a bout again. And there is nothing wrong with that. After this, I lost my common sense for several days and began to think: “Well, since I’m already at the bottom, I can stay here a little longer.”

Fight this thought with all your might. Start today. Do not try to fix what happened by fasting: this will only increase the desire to eat too much again.

After your next bout, focus on one goal: to be better than yesterday.

Even if you succumbed to your weakness for the second day in a row. Try to hurt yourself a little less than before, and don't punish yourself for relapse.

In conclusion

Not so long ago I did not dare to believe that I would ever be completely free from compulsive overeating. Now I can finally say that I have a stable, healthy relationship with food that will only get better in the future.

You, too, have come to this if you are able to indulge yourself with something delicious sometimes and not blame yourself. And do not imagine how to eat it in kilograms until you feel bad.

Compulsive overeating is not worth wasting even a minute of your time or a fraction of your potential. The release will not take a day or two, but you can do it if you do not give up.

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Drug treatment of compulsive overeating by a psychologist, treat the disease by a psychotherapist

Sometimes it happens that delicious food, appetizing appearance of dishes cause a person to get up from the table with a feeling of a full stomach. If such situations occur rarely, overeating can be controlled, then there is nothing to worry about. If we are talking about causeless and uncontrolled appetite, which is preceded by stress or negative emotions, then we can suspect a dangerous eating disorder - compulsive or uncontrolled overeating. It is important not to miss the moment and turn to a psychotherapist in time.

Article content:

  • Disease description
  • Causes
  • Psychological aspect of the problem
  • Methods of psychotherapy in the treatment of illness
  • Possible complications
Seek medical attention if symptoms occur. The information on the page is for reference only and cannot be used for self-diagnosis and self-treatment.

Description of the disease

Compulsive overeating (CP) is a dangerous pathological condition. The patient is unable to control his appetite due to stress. The essence and nature of a compulsive disease is well explained by its second name - psychogenic overeating, since the causes of the development of an eating disorder should be sought not in the physiological, but in the mental sphere.

Any stressful situation can provoke a painful condition: the loss of a loved one, the loss of keys, a conversation with superiors in a raised tone, and other unpleasant situations.

Bouts of psychogenic overeating may recur from time to time. As with other eating disorders, the patient considers himself healthy. The exception is excess weight, which accompanies psychogenic overeating. Uncontrolled appetite has clear differences from other diseases of a food nature:

  • if the patient ceases to adequately perceive his own body during anorexia, then with compulsive overeating the problem of excess weight becomes obvious and is the root cause of contacting a psychologist, psychotherapist, other doctors;
  • a patient with compulsive overeating usually does not seek to get rid of food by inducing artificial vomiting, while the symptoms of bulimia are characterized by mandatory cleansing procedures, which the patient cannot refuse.

Causes of occurrence

Normal physiological need - to eat exactly when there is a feeling of hunger. If food intake is reduced to nervous chewing, no attention is paid to the amount eaten, it is worth considering that it is bulimia or uncontrolled overeating that can cause increased weight, the appearance of extra centimeters in volume.

Physiological factors can provoke compulsive overeating - dysfunction of the hypothalamus and genetic predisposition. Genetic scientists have identified three genes whose presence in the genetic code leads to obesity and can provoke the development of an eating disorder.

The psychological aspect of the problem of psychogenic overeating

Physiological and genetic causes may be a consequence of the development of an eating disorder, but the psyche plays a central role.

Leading psychotherapists in describing clinical cases of compulsive overeating note that the onset of the disease is preceded by negative life events. Such stress can be caused by social and physiological factors.

In order to understand whether you have a problem or whether you need the help of a psychotherapist, you should honestly answer a number of questions.

  • Have you noticed that your diet is difficult to control?
  • all your thoughts are related to food?
  • do you prefer to eat alone?
  • Do you tend to overeat when stressed out, distracted from current problems?
  • Do you experience guilt, which affects the pleasure of eating?
  • How often do you start eating without feeling hungry?
  • Do you find it difficult to refuse food if you are treated?

If you answered yes to 4 or more questions, it makes sense to contact a medical institution for advice and clarification of the causes of the food problems that have arisen.

Methods of psychotherapy in the treatment of illness

The solution in the fight against food addiction is to seek help from a specialist. Only a psychologist is able to help find the causes of binge eating disorder and form a healthy model of dealing with stress.

The Center for the Study of Eating Disorders uses the latest psychotherapy techniques accepted in the international medical community.

Depending on the severity of the condition, a treatment algorithm is selected. It can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis under the supervision of a psychotherapist. The following areas of psychotherapy are used to treat patients with compulsive psychogenic overeating, bulimia, anorexia and other eating disorders:

  • CBT - cognitive behavioral therapy;
  • DBT - Dialectical Behavioral Psychotherapy;
  • FBT - Family Involved Therapy.

All methods have scientifically proven effectiveness, are actively used in practice by psychotherapists and other doctors of "CIRPP" in the fight against overeating.

Family Therapy

Successful Family Psychological Therapy, which was developed for the treatment of patients with eating disorders by the leading specialists of the Maudsley Clinic.

A multi-family group has been organized in CIRP, where not only patients, but also their relatives, as co-dependent persons, receive therapy. In the course of group therapy, the psychotherapist helps to jointly develop the right adaptation tactics, build the right behavior model, and provides the necessary support to parents whose children suffer from eating disorders.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

The program is aimed at finding the causes of eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia, compulsive uncontrolled overeating, etc.). It is important to find out the root cause of the disease, this will help in choosing the right tactics.

DBT - Dialectical Behavior Therapy

The use of Dialectical Behavior Therapy has a positive effect in the treatment of patients with compulsive overeating. The method is aimed at finding new ways to deal with stress, teaching effective emotional regulation techniques that are not related to eating or deliberately refusing it.

At the end of the treatment phase, the patient will be able to painlessly give up destructive ways of dealing with stress, strict weight control and dietary regimens. Bouts of uncontrolled overeating will be left behind.

Psychologists of "CIRPP" use the latest methods of working with people suffering from eating disorders, psychogenic overeating. In addition to providing basic medication, resuscitation, developing an individual diet, the DBT program includes the work of online psychotherapy groups, art therapy, dance therapy led by a psychotherapist, and other eating behavior adjustment programs.

Possible complications

Delayed treatment of eating disorders can adversely affect the condition of a patient suffering from regular overeating. If there is no treatment, then there is a high probability of developing other complications: