Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a complex mental illness affecting thousands worldwide, irrespective of age, gender, or background. It is characterized by a person eating a large amount of food in a short period, usually within two hours, and feeling of loss of control and compulsion to complete all the food. It is often triggered by stress, anxiety, or low self-esteem. BED can lead to various physical and emotional health complications if left unaddressed. However, with proper understanding and management strategies, individuals can regain control of their eating habits, get better with treatment, and lead healthier lives. In this blog, we will explore some practical tips on how to manage it effectively:
- Seek Support: The first step in managing BED is to consult a professional specialising in eating disorders. They can provide an accurate diagnosis by conducting mental health tests that assess various factors, and based on that, the mental health professional develops an individualized treatment plan tailored to one’s needs. People struggling with binge eating or related issues can also opt for online mental health counselling from the comfort of their own homes.
- Incorporate Mindful Eating: A structured eating routine is crucial for managing BED. Individuals should aim to have three balanced meals and planned snacks throughout the day with a combination of proteins, healthy fats and ample amounts of fruits and vegetables. This helps prevent extreme hunger and reduces the likelihood of binges. Maintain a food diary to monitor when you eat, what you eat, why you eat, and your thoughts and emotions before and after binging.
- Recognise the Triggers: BED can be triggered by many emotional and environmental factors, such as eating excessively when you are sad or certain outside world situations that favour overeating. Accepting and recognising such triggers and finding alternative ways to cope with the emotions is important. For example, when you are stressed, instead of having a big tumbler of ice cream, opt for something you like doing, such as listening to music or watching a movie.
- Identify Hunger: Learn to recognise when you are feeling physical hunger. When someone is hungry, they experience symptoms like stomach growling, headaches, feelings of tiredness, and weakness. This will help to stop eating when you are not hungry. Also, do not wait until you are starving, as it could lead to overeating.
- Create a Close Support Network: Surround yourself with people who can offer understanding and encouragement throughout your journey. Sharing your experiences with people who have faced similar challenges can provide emotional support. Samvedna Care hosts several support groups that provide a safe and understanding environment where people can connect with others and share their emotions without fearing getting judged.
One must always remember that everyone’s experience with BED is different, and the causes can vary from individual to individual. Binge Eating Disorder is a challenging mental illness, but one can learn to manage and overcome it with the right strategies and support. Mindful eating and online counselling support can help disrupt mindless eating and bring awareness about the triggers and patterns. Remember, recovery takes time and effort, so be patient and kind to yourself along the journey. If you are struggling or you know someone who is fighting binge eating and is unable to manage their symptoms, it is important for you to reach out to a trusted therapist for help. Samvedna Care has various specialists who can assist you in managing and coping with your condition. Book your session with a trusted provider on Samvedna Care and get all the support you need.