How to Overcome Compulsive Eating

 To overcome compulsive eating in any given case, it is essential to know what  causes  compulsive eating, or  binge  eating in the first place.


  What Causes Compulsive Eating Disorder?

 The causes of compulsive eating disorder in many cases are believed to stem from unhealthy eating habits that begin in childhood, learned from family and even friends.

-These poor eating habits may eventually develop into  bingeing habits .

 Society's emphasis on the human body and being thin could play a part for many. Peer pressure, a lack of ones own self worth, the desire to fit in, to be thin, causes stress, which ironically can result in eating to get relief.

-This low self-esteem and the depression that generally accompanies it, is also strongly linked to compulsive eating disorders.

 There have also been indications it may be due to genetics in some cases.

-Research also suggests that the part of the brain that controls appetite may not be functioning the way it should.

 Neurotransmitters in the brain that are released while eating may be at improper levels, causing withdrawal like symptoms and even a very real cocaine-like addiction, with the lack of food.

-It appears to be much the same as an addiction to drugs or alcohol in many ways. The fact is: it is frequently called a food addiction.

 It can often be even harder to overcome compulsive eating than defeating an alcohol or drug addiction, because a person with a compulsive eating disorder still  has to eat , but has to learn to  eat less  ... easier said than done.

Health Problems of Compulsive Eating Disorder

-When you overcome  compulsive  eating, you avoid the risk of many health conditions that occur due to binge eating, or more accurately the  obesity  that is sure to follow, such as:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Body and joint aches and pains
  • Digestive disorders and disorders
  • Clinical depression

  Long-term side effects include:

  • osteoporosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Stroke
  • arthritis
  • Morbid obesity

How to Stop Compulsive Eating

 -How to stop binge eating and overcome compulsive eating? 
On our own, most people will just circle around the problem without getting to its core, by dieting etc.

 The result is often failure and then hopelessness, which in turn leads to more overeating for relief, and the vicious cycle continues and intensifies with each new binge. ( see emotional component )

 -However, this compulsive over-eating is  not  hopeless.

Many people with a compulsive eating disorder have had the problem since childhood, and it only escalates from there. -These 10 steps may help:

  • 1. If the disorder is treated in its early stages, success is faster and the likelihood of setbacks are fewer.

  • 2. Seeking the help of a medical professional is the first step in attempting to recover from this disorder. Treating depression and low self-esteem issues, which likely are at least part of the underlying cause, can truly work wonders.

  • 3. Medications such as appetite suppressants and antidepressants may sometimes be helpful. Many doctors use these only as a last resort as side effects and relapse rates when they are stopped can be high.

  • 4. Stop dieting. Dieting is not how to stop compulsive eating. Eating 3 well-balanced meals every day, with plenty of protein and especially foods that are high in fiber. Chances are planned meals were rare before; scheduling meals removes the need to binge later.

    -Eating healthy really means getting rid of all the empty calorie foods you were eating, not necessarily less food ...just better food.

  • 5. Get rid of all the junk food. Trade in all your cakes, desserts and other junk foods for healthy snacks. If the temptations are not there you can't eat them. (see calorie calculator)

  • _______________

  • 6. Write down what you eat each day. I know, it sounds like a chore but it really helps to know what you've eaten and what may cause your desire to eat increase. Usually it's the fatty and sugary foods you need to avoid.

  • 7. Exercise to help manage the stress. Whether the stress was the main cause of your compulsive eating or not, exercise can help you feel and look better fast. It's also a well-known fact, exercise releases feel good endorphins in the brain, not to mention burning off excess weight.
    -Be patient with yourself, one step at a time.

  • 8. Start a new hobby. Aside from a new exercise routine, which is very important, do something new, interesting and fun. Maybe that new exercise routine could be dance lessons!

    -But it need not be exercise; stamp collecting, photography, or even writing, -anything that helps occupy the mind and body and takes the focus off of food, will help you overcome compulsive eating.

  • 9. Be good to yourself, and be patient with yourself. Recovery takes time, it's okay if you slip up now and then, with support from family and friends and professional help when it's needed, you'll get there.

  • 10. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Tell friends and family about your problem, chances are they already know. You'll be surprised at all the support you receive; a support group is essential in any recovery, and will help you to stay committed if you know someone else is aware of the problem, and cares. Try a meeting of Overeaters anonymous

  • ____________________

     The Good News:

     Compulsive eating is a treatable condition. With the right combinations of family counseling,  talk therapy , and with medical and  nutritional  guidance most people who seek treatment will be helped significantly.


    Back to  Compulsive Eating Main Page

    -More Information on Eating Disorders and Your Health...

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    Signs of Bulimia - Beat Child Obesity in 3 Steps - Symptoms of Anorexia

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