• Binge eating disorder is a serious and life-threatening disorder characterized by compulsive overeating.
• Understand your triggers and create healthy habits to replace patterns of behavior that lead to binge eating episodes.
• Keep a journal, talk to a therapist, join support groups, and incorporate physical activity into your routine.
• Practice mindful eating, sleep well, stay connected with supportive people, and ask for help when needed.
Binge eating disorder (BED) is a severe, life-threatening eating disorder. People with BED experience uncontrollable urges to eat and quickly consume large amounts of food. It can be an isolating experience that people often struggle to find the courage to talk about. The good news is that it is possible to recover from binge eating disorder and lead a more healthy and balanced lifestyle. Here are some tips for what to expect when recovering from BED.
Understand Your Triggers
One of the most important steps in recovery is understanding your triggers—the situations, emotions, and thoughts that make you feel compelled to overeat or binge eat. This can be difficult work as it requires you to confront uncomfortable emotions, but it is also incredibly rewarding because it will help you identify patterns in your behavior and develop strategies for dealing with them.
Understanding your triggers can also help you identify strategies for avoiding them altogether. Here are ways to understand your triggers:
Keep a Journal
A journal will serve as your guidepost as you recover from BED. Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors will allow you to look for patterns in your actions that may trigger a binge eating episode. It can also provide an outlet for expression and understanding of the emotions behind them.
Talk to a Therapist
A therapist or counselor can provide support, insight, and guidance as you identify triggers and develop coping strategies. They will be able to provide a safe space for exploring your thoughts and feelings, as well as provide guidance on how to manage them. You will, then, be able to use the insight gained from therapy to develop your plan of action for recovery.
Seek Out Support Groups
Whether it’s an online group or an in-person support group, connecting with individuals who have gone through similar experiences can be extremely helpful as you recover from BED. They can provide a sense of understanding, comfort, and support that will be invaluable during this time.
Create Healthy Habits
It’s important to create healthy habits while recovering from a binge eating disorder. Your healthy habits will help to replace patterns of behavior that lead to binge eating episodes. Some tips for creating healthy habits include:
Incorporate Physical Activity
Physical activity is essential for both physical and mental health. Regular exercise can help to relieve stress, improve mood, and provide a healthy outlet for emotions. When recovering from BED, this is most important since you need to divert your energy and attention to healthy outlets.
Mindful eating is a way to be fully aware of the experience of eating without judgment or emotional attachment. It’s about paying attention to your body’s signals and being present at the moment as you eat. Practicing mindful eating can help you develop healthier eating habits, build awareness around hunger cues, and reduce overeating.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential when recovering from a binge eating disorder. Not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue, mood swings, and irritability, increasing the risk of binging. Aim for at least 8 hours of restful sleep every night to give your body and mind the time they need to heal.
Relapse is one of the biggest challenges of recovery from BED. It’s important to have the plan to prevent an eating disorder relapse. Here are some tips for preventing relapse:
It’s important to stay connected with your support network throughout the recovery process. Surround yourself with people who understand and accept you and provide encouragement and motivation when needed. These relationships can be incredibly helpful in avoiding relapse.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for managing stress, anxiety, and emotions. It encourages you to observe your thoughts without judgment and better manage difficult situations without resorting to binge eating.
Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. Many resources available can lend support and guidance as you recover from BED. Reach out to a therapist or counselor, join a support group, or look for online resources to help you stay on track.
Recovering from BED is not easy, but it’s possible with the right approach and support. Remember to take things one day at a time and focus on your progress, no matter how small—it all adds up in the end. With commitment and dedication, you can achieve lasting recovery.