Overcome Food Addiction and Advice For Relatives and Friends
You could eat all day, obsessive hunger plagues you constantly, and you just cannot keep your fingers away from food. Whether it’s cheeseburgers or some chocolate, you experience hot hunger attacks several times a day.
If that’s you, then there is the danger that you are suffering from food addiction, and it is reasonable to at least consider binge eating disorder treatment in the near future.
It is one of the most common eating disorders and, just like bulimia, is characterized by the fact that uncontrollable binge eating is part of your normal life. However, the difference is that you do not throw up with a pure food addiction after eating, as would be the case with bulimia.
Many sufferers are overweight and feel uncomfortable in their bodies. They try one diet after another but at most combat one symptom of their disease without remedy its cause.
There are also normal-weight people, however, who are ill with food addiction.
The reasons for food addiction can be very diverse. Often the food is a substitute for comfort or reassurance. Many times, the disturbed relationship to food intake is associated with psychological problems such as social anxiety, bullying or depression.
This quickly turns into a vicious cycle: You gain weight through frequent binging, which makes you feel uncomfortable. Thus, your depression worsens and, under certain circumstances, the bullying gets worse, too.
That, in turn, causes you to eat more. But how can you free yourself from this vicious circle and overcome your food addiction?
What Is A Food Addiction?
Food addiction is one of the many eating disorders. Here, the involved suffer from compulsive hunger cravings. In medicine, it is also called binge eating disorder.
This is only the case if binge eating occurs at least twice a week and bingeing repeatedly over a period of at least half a year – solely then it is categorized as a binge eating disorder.
In addition, the patient may not vomit after the binge eating, otherwise one would call the eating disorder bulimia. During binge eating the sufferers consume significantly more than they would require for the entire day.
The body is often unable to process the immense food intake properly. In addition, those affected eat quickly and lose control: They do not notice when they are satiated and feel afterward a strong feeling of fullness.
It is typical for binge eaters to constantly try a new diet to lower their body weight. The causes of an eating disorder are many. Often it is triggered by mental problems of all kinds, and a psychological evaluation is of the essence.
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Overcome Food Addiction – These Approaches Will Help You
As with all eating disorders, it is far from easy to get the disease under control. The binging can not be avoided by sheer willpower, because even if you know that you are not hungry at all, you will add to the cravings just by thought. However, there are several approaches that can help you overcome your eating disorder.
Self-help programs often help with mild forms of this eating disorder. A behavior-oriented therapy with a psychologist is well suited for medium-strength manifestations.
Staying at a clinic is often the last resort for the ailing persons who suffer from a strong form of food addiction.
There are some self-help apps, with which you can get eating disorders such as food addiction, but even the bulimia, under control. That is if you truly wish to and are committed to performing the appropriate tasks. You will find links to free tools below.
How Does Binge Eating Disorder Treatment (BED) work?
The therapy of binge eating disorder starts in several places. First of all, the food cravings should be reduced and the self-acceptance of the affected person should be strengthened and trained. Regular physical exercise supports the treatment of BED.
At the beginning of the treatment, the cravings should be reduced.
For this purpose, regular meals are planned and food intake is sought, which is based on the hunger and satiety level.
For example, eating at regular meal times is allowed. Concurrent behavioral therapy can help reclaim more self-control.
Normalization of Eating Behavior and Eating Rhythm
In order to normalize the eating behavior, a person concerned usually keeps an eating journal, so he can find out what feelings, moods and habits led to binge eating.
Most treatment approaches do not include diets, but rather abstain from weight loss attempts. Because the primary goal is to regain control over the food. If the eating behavior has normalized, the weight reduction follows automatically.
Strengthen Self-Acceptance and Train Conflict Resolution
In a second treatment section, the person concerned should revise the negative self-assessment of his body and appearance. He should learn to accept the existing weight and to feel good in his own body.
In addition, therapists and sufferers work together on psychological conflicts and develop coping strategies for dealing with risk situations.
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Physical Activity in the Treatment of BED
Physical activity, for example, walking, gymnastics or aqua jogging, can support the therapy in all phases. Exercise also promotes positive engagement with one’s own body, reduces the health risks of obesity and generally contributes to a more positive mood.
People with a binge eating disorder benefit particularly from a group therapeutic treatment and participation in self-help groups.
Especially in younger people with a BED, it is appropriate to involve the family members in the therapeutic process.
The above address links you with tons of FREE online, offline support groups nationwide, as well as phone counseling. They, furthermore, offer support group listings by state.
Self-help portals, such as EDReferral.com are also suitable not only for binge eating disorder but, furthermore, for people who suffer from bulimia, as the recurring bingeing is also typical for this disease.
In addition, self-help apps, like Recovery Record: Eating Disorder Management, are great to help you while you’re still waiting for a therapy session.
Recovery Record: Eating Disorder Management
For there is often no way around a therapy with a psychologist. This is especially true when you finally did overcome the food addiction, which has been haunting you for many years, and your body visibly and noticeably suffers.
A simple diet is then no longer enough to lose weight in the long term. On the contrary, it can make the problem even worse. In psychotherapy, you will then learn to feel comfortable again within your body and to enjoy the food.
You will reconnect with food, and get to understand that it is alright to eat, and that food isn’t your arch enemy. You will feel free!
The last resort is finally only the stay in a clinic. There you stand under constant observation, whereby relapses can best be avoided. You get a nutritional plan that includes a balanced and rich breakfast.
The fact is that a good breakfast is vital in order to avoid bingeing, which usually occurs as the day goes on. In addition, during your hospital stay, you will discover possible triggers that can lead to binge eating, and that is a huge advantage in the future.
Medical Reasons To Seek Aid With Therapy
Immediate Physical Consequences of Eating Attacks in BED
Sufferers can experience a sensation of fullness, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing. Often, the eating disorder leads to unhealthy diets, which can trigger feelings of hunger and lead to the recurrence of eating attacks – a vicious circle is emerging.
Serious Physical Consequences of BED
In the longer term, the most serious consequences are the consequences of eating disorder, such as type II diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases (e.g. high blood pressure), stroke or heart attack, osteoarthritis and spinal damage.
Mental Consequences of Binge Eating Disorder
The eating disorder can also have psychological consequences. They range from social withdrawal to depression and self-deprecation. Most of those affected are ashamed and try to hide their disorder from other people.
In addition, alcohol abuse, anxiety, self-hatred, compulsive cleaning and washing can accompany the disease.
Financial Problems Caused by Eating Attacks
As with bulimia, people with binge eating disorder have to finance their high food consumption. The more frequent the eating attacks occur, the higher the expenditure, which can then lead to financial worries.
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Tips and Advice – How to Get Rid of the Food Addiction
First of all, you have to learn to accept your food addiction for what it is: a disease and not a lack of discipline. Like anorexia and bulimia, it is one of the most common eating disorders and cannot be easily controlled by diet.
In order to get a grip on compulsive hunger cravings and avoid binging in the future, you have to grab your food addiction at its source. This also means that you accept help offers without doing everything by yourself.
Tips for Relatives and Friends
People with binge eating disorder (BED) often feel helpless. Whether exhortations, loving coaxing or well-intentioned advice: Often, the sufferers reject any and all help.
They do not want to talk about it and rather withdraw right away. Nevertheless, those affected need their support – even if they do not want to admit it. But how do you behave properly as a relative? Is it better to leave the patient alone with the topic “eating disorder,” or is a confrontation better even if it’s against his will?
Here is how to behave properly in dealing with an eating disorder:
1- The better you have informed yourself about the disease, the better you can understand the person affected. If necessary, consult a doctor or therapist.
2- Again and again, offer your help to the affected person – without pressing on them. Try to show as openly as possible that you are very interested in the person and want to understand their point of view. Sometimes this can make it easier to accept help.
3- Show the sufferer how much you like or love him – regardless of what he does and what he eats.
4- Be patient and do not get angry with the person concerned. Because the treatment of the eating disorder will take a long time. Do not be shy to make yourself available for any possible support in this difficult situation.
5- Protect the person affected from attacks by others.
Fresh fruit or vegetable smoothies are not only filling and nurturing, but they also give a BED sufferer the confidence that, while he did eat something in between meal times, he did something great for his body. Here is an article I wrote about green smoothies. I also share our favorite recipe in it.
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Small steps are huge successes – Reward them with praise
6- Demonstrate what the individual suffering from the eating disorder can do and support him if he wants to do something about it.
7- Motivate the sufferer repeatedly to emphasize that he has the power to do something about his illness.
8- Praise even the smallest success!
9- Always be honest and show your feelings – without blaming or judging.
10- Treat the person as normal. Keep your privacy and do not try to preserve the sufferer from everyday burdens. It could be understood as incapacitation.
11- Also, the person affected should bear the consequences of his actions. So he should, for example, replace the missing supplies and clean the toilet or sink himself after a vomit attack.
12- Always be aware that the person concerned is not acting in such a way as to annoy you, but because, at the moment, he has no other conflict resolution strategy.
Looking for a Therapy Place, so that You Receive a Suitable Nutrition Plan.
This is important so that you can enjoy the food again. Only then will you develop a healthy relationship with food intake. In behavioral therapy, you also learn that there are certain actions and situations which provoke and can lead to the unpleasant binging in your individual case.
Avoiding such triggers is also one of the basic strategies for successfully overcoming food craving.
Here’s the link to EDReferral.com. Remember it’s free!
Search For Treatment
Eating disorders can have many faces. When eating, hunger cravings cause binging with completely normal eating behavior.
Often only a combination of behavioral therapy, a nutritional plan and a lot of exercises helps to re-establish a natural relationship to the meal and at the same time to strive for a weight reduction.
This is an essential step, so you learn to love yourself again, which is important in order to leave the food addiction behind forever.