Current estimates show that between two to four percent of Americans struggle with Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Most of these patients (around 10 million) are middle-aged women. People who have this disorder oscillate between binging on unhealthy foods and going on extremely restrictive diets.
Patients often experience tremendous guilt after a binging episode and have unrealistic anxieties surrounding weight and diet issues. If you or someone you love is suffering from BED, then you must read this article. Below, we’ll go over proven strategies dealing with how to overcome binge eating disorder.
1. Plan a Balanced Daily Diet
Many people suffering with BED spend far too much time counting calories and obsessing over their weight. This often leads them to go on extreme diets for a few days, which only increases their risk for a binging episode in the future. The best way to reduce binging episodes is to set up a regular diet.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a diet that works for your lifestyle, schedule an appointment with a registered nutritionist. Without a doubt, establishing a healthy diet is the most important step in how to overcome Binge Eating Disorder.
2. Find Your Inner Zen
The main reason people binge eat is stress. We’ve all heard the term “comfort food” before, and most psychologists say that overindulging in certain foods is completely natural during times of great distress. People with BED, however, routinely use binge eating as an emotional crutch. So, now we have to figure out how to overcome binge eating disorder stress.
Not only will daily meditation practice reduce a person’s urge to binge, it will also lower blood pressure, increase self-esteem, and even cortisol levels in the bloodstream. For this to be effective, however, a patient must practice mindfulness meditation every single day. If sitting down and watching your breath doesn’t work for you, consider practicing yoga or Tai Chi.
3. Drink more Water
Did you know that 75 percent of Americans are chronically dehydrated? Not only are Americans not getting the recommended amount of water everyday, they’re consuming far too many dehydrating drinks like sodas and coffees. It’s very common for people, especially BED patients, to mistake thirst for hunger nowadays.
The recommended daily dose of water according to the Institute of Medicine is 10 full glasses. If you think that’s too much water, consider that 60 percent of your body and 85 percent of your brain is water. There’s no doubt about it; pure water really is the fountain of youth!
4. Look into Supplements and Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs have been used for centuries to naturally combat stress. As the name suggests, these herbs help us “adapt” to stressors in our lives. Many of these plants are grown at extremely high altitudes and have to produce powerful enzymes just to survive.
A few products you might want to look into include ashwaganda, 5-HTP, and rhodiola rosea. Other supplements you should research include maca powder, kava kava, and a vitamin B complex. All of these supplements have been shown to help regulate your hormones, decrease your blood pressure, and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. You should easily find all these products at your local nutrition shop or online.
5. Treat Yourself to Epsom Salt Bath
People have been using hot baths for centuries to help the body detoxify. One of the best things you can do to reduce stress levels is to take a hot bath with Epsom salt before you go to bed. The Epsom salt will release magnesium into your body, which is great for helping the muscles relax.
People who do this bath every other day notice drastic reductions in their stress levels and improvements in their eating habits. Anyone trying this method of stress reduction can add a few essential oils like lavender or frankincense to the bath to increase the healing benefits. If you don’t have time for a full body Epsom salt bath, try an Epsom salt foot bath once in awhile.
6. Schedule Talk Therapy Sessions
Last on our list of how to overcome Binge Eating Disorder is to book an appointment with a talk therapist. Sometimes just talking about your issue with an impartial third party can really help you get to the root of your BED problem. Many patients who have this disorder suffer from serious mental issues like major depression or generalized anxiety disorder. People could also be binging on food due to some kind of repressed childhood trauma.
Your cognitive therapist will first help you uncover the subconscious reasons you are drawn to overeat. After that, they will help you change your negative thought patterns and replace them with positive habits. It’s a great idea to ask your talk therapist to get in contact with your nutritionist so they can plan a comprehensive healing strategy.