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National Eating Disorders Awareness Week ~ Binge Eating/Compulsive Overeating

Posted Mar 03 2009 3:42pm

Binge or Compulsive Eating is the number one eating disorder!

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Binge eating disorder is a specific type of eating pattern, which meets the following criteria.

Diagnostic Criteria for Binge Eating Disorder

Care needs to be taken when making a diagnosis whether or not you have Binge Eating Disorder. To an anorexic, a head of lettuce can feel like a binge. It takes up a lot of room in the shrunken stomach and the fullness lasts for many hours. Just about any meal that is a bit bigger than what they are accustomed to eating can feel like a binge to a person with Anorexia or Bulimia.

People suffering from an eating disorder can report "binge's" but more careful questioning of their symptoms concludes that they ate a moderate amount of food, but due to their biochemical and metabolic state, they feel extremely full and guilty. A stepped approach to re-feeding can help a patient recalibrate their hunger and fullness cues correctly.

As treatment, I encourage some overweight people to first stop gaining weight. A pound never gained, is a pound always lost. Especially for people with Binge Eating Disorder, you may struggle with actually losing any weight while making that essential step to stop binge eating.

If you are a binge eater, weight loss will come in time. So really, the only way you can fail at the program described by my book is to not give yourself a chance to learn something. I get so excited for my patients when they come in my office and say "I am so much more aware of what I am doing". In reading my book, you may be able to realize that your eating behavior is sometimes a result of your thoughts and feelings. If you are not aware of what you are have little chance of making a good choice.

A rule of thumb when treating a bulimia and binge eating disorder illness (people who have large swings in calories intake) is that "smoothing out" eating patterns is the first goal. Weight loss will eventually happen, but only after you gain confidence that these days of over-consumption are over.

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