binge eating disorder treatment

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment

Individuals struggling with binge eating often feel tremendous shame and have great difficulty talking about their relationship with food. Despite being aware of the health risks associated with binge eating, they cannot stop themselves. Nevertheless, they desire to have a normal relationship with food. Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is often unrecognized, misdiagnosed, or misunderstood by professionals, but it is actually the most prevalent of all eating disorders. Many who want to control and lose weight are just told to eat less and this is an over-simplified solution that fails to recognize the underlying problems and feelings of helplessness that often accompany this disorder.

The DSM-5 defines binge eating as "recurring episodes of eating significantly more food in a short period of time than most people would eat under circumstances, with episodes marked by feelings of lack of control." When treating patients who are part of this population, we often hear frustration and embarrassment as they describe how they often eat quickly and do not stop when full. "I just can't stop myself" is often accompanied by a tremendous amount of shame.

Here are some warning signs to consider if you suspect you or someone you know may be struggling with the disorder:

  • Eating larger than normal amounts of food
  • Eating even if full or not hungry
  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes
  • Eating until being uncomfortably full
  • Feeling that the eating behavior is out of control
  • Feeling disgusted, ashamed, or guilty about eating too much
  • Experiencing depression and anxiety
  • Feeling isolated and having difficulty talking about feelings
  • Frequent dieting
  • Losing and gaining weight repeatedly, also called yo-yo dieting

How Metabolic Testing and Body Composition Analysis can help:

When prescreening, diagnosing, and treating patients who have BED, Metabolic Testing and Body Composition Analysis have proven to be invaluable tools. Our nutritionist can identify whether or not malnutrition is present and if patients are hypometabolic. Individuals with BED often binge at night and restrict during the day to compensate. This under/over eating pattern often results in slowed metabolism. Because the body is not burning enough calories, they will gain weight. Increasing caloric intake earlier in the day helps increase their metabolism. Body Composition Analysis can help our nutritionist tailor an eating plan to meet the needs based on the data. This population is very rewarding to work with because instead of being handed another diet, they become active players in their recovery. They are taught what their bodies need and the test results reinforce this by revealing when their bodies are malnourished and when their bodies are beginning to thrive. (See our short video for a visual representation of this.)

Please reach out to us, we would love to help you.