Overeating and Binge Eating


Overeating and Binge Eating are common, and do not always reach the level of a full-blown Eating Disorder diagnosis.  If you are struggling with these behaviors, it may be time to resolve the triggers behind these habits.  

Overeating vs. Binge Eating

Emotional Eating, Overeating and Binge Eating usually develop as ways to comfort and numb ourselves.  We commonly choose carbohydrates, which release high levels of dopamine.  These chemical changes in our brain and body disconnect us from the uncomfortable feelings that led us to overeat or binge in the first place.  The good news is we can eliminate the triggers to Overeating and Binge Eating whether we know the triggers or not. 

Therapy for Overeating and Binge Eating, like any trauma therapy, helps you reprocess the original source of distress once and for all.  And when that’s gone, your food related behaviors are also gone.

Binge Eating is eating large amounts of food and feeling out of control.  If you eat compulsively, or secretly, your relationship with food is out of balance.  Eating when not hungry, eating rapidly, or eating to the point of physical  discomfort can also be signs of Binge Eating.  Especially relevant are feelings of shame or guilt that follow a food binge.  Often, those with Binge Eating behaviors compensate by later restricting, which, in turn, triggers more binging.  

Bulimia is a category of behaviors designed to expel food or calories from the body.  This includes self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, diuretic abuse and over-exercising.  These behaviors can be an effort to avoid weight gain, facilitate weight loss or experience the physical and emotional release that often comes with purging.  Often, those with Binge Eating Disorder compensate for binging with one or more bulimic behaviors.

Negative Body Image vs. Body Positivity 

Negative Body Image is based on the belief that our body does not conform to ‘acceptable’ standards.  It is fueled by our culture’s messaging that every ‘body’ must conform to today’s marketed image of ‘beauty.’  If you are preoccupied with your body, weight, shape, appearance and comparing yourself to others, you may be struggling with Negative Body Image.

Further, from a feminist perspective, while women spend their time, energy and money on conforming to false ideas of beauty, we are less free to use our resources in more meaningful ways. 

Body Positivity, Fat Positivity and Diversity & Inclusion campaigns such as Health at Every Size, National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance and NoLose are healthy resources to explore.  Before we can have a healthy mindset about our individual physicality, we need to resolve what keeps us from doing so.

Because, as you likely know by now, it’s not about the food.

Emotional Eating, Overeating and Binge Eating Treatment

I provide online and in-person therapy for Disordered Eating, Emotional Eating, Binge Eating Disorder and Negative Body Image Issues using several body-based approaches.  Because Eating Disorders, Disordered Eating and Body Image struggles are symptoms of deeper issues, it is important to resolve the underlying issues that drive these behaviors to experience long-term relief.

Disordered Eating behaviors are efforts to reduce distress, regulate our emotions, and disconnect from uncomfortable feelings.  By eliminating the ‘triggers’ that lead to these behaviors, we eliminate the usefulness of disordered eating behaviors once and for all.  And, at the same time, we can learn and practice new, healthier ways to regulate our emotions.  In order to stop using food (or other substances and behaviors) to self-regulate, both parts of this process must be engaged fully.

Healing from Disordered Eating is possible.

I look forward to helping you create a loving, compassionate relationship with both your Outer Self and your Inner Self.

© melissalesterlcsw.com 2023

error: Content is protected !!