Binge eating, also known as compulsive overeating or binge eating disorder is the most prevalent eating issue I help with in my Vancouver and virtual counselling ofﬁces. Sometimes binge eating is also referred to, but confused with, emotional eating, which may be related to the fact that certain emotional states can trigger folks to binge eat. Bingeing then becomes a form of self-soothing. It is important to distinguish, however, that not all emotional eating results in binge eating and that the two terms are not synonymous.
I deﬁne binge eating as an episode of rapid, uncontrolled consumption of an excessive amount of food, often with the purpose (conscious or not) of dealing with difﬁcult feelings, or avoiding particular emotions. Emotions may include anxiety, overwhelm, guilt, shame, anger, fear, or self-loathing. Sometimes binging also becomes a form of punishment or self-harm, or conversely, a reward or an act of emotional soothing. Sometimes it is related to a history of trauma. There can also be physiological triggers such as food restriction or an underlying medical condition.
Bingeing should not be confused with other acts of overeating that do not appear to meet an emotional need such as unintentionally taking too much food and feeling over-full. People who binge eat can be of any body size.
If you are interested in reducing or stopping bingeing, therapy can help. It is often difﬁcult to recover from binge eating without support. Success in treatment is maximized when your therapy is supplemented by a physician’s and registered dietician’s care; therapy alone is not a substitute for medical treatment. If you are interested in getting started in counselling, I welcome the opportunity to hear from you.
The book links on this page are Amazon Associate links; if you choose to make a purchase through them, I may earn a small commission which I use to fund my low-cost counselling resource lists. Your support is greatly appreciated.
The title describes the book perfectly. Understanding body liberation and the practices that free us from the tyranny of dieting. My favourite book on the topic.
Hard-hitting look at the diet orthodoxy and strategies for living in a fat-phobic world. Author is a journalist and anti-diet registered dietician.
From the authors that coined the term intuitive eating, and then went on to write about it in this book, introduces the reader to intuitive eating and how to make it real.
Sensible discussion of the practice of person-centred intuitive eating. Realistic, not idealistic take on eating mindfully.
How to eat mindfully and intentionally. Because the late author was a Buddhist monk, this book may have more appeal to those with Buddhist leanings.
Practical tips and strategies, mostly contained in the first part of the book.
Call or text 9-8-8, from anywhere in Canada, 24/7.
List of private master’s-level counsellors, or their interns, offering subsidized counselling. Updated quarterly.
Canada-wide, 24/7 professional phone counselling and other support options.
Web-based learning of DBT skills. Particularly useful for those without access to individualized programming, or to supplement an existing group DBT program.
Resource list, updated quarterly.
BC-based organization offering prevention initiatives and intervention programs for those suffering from eating disorders and their families.
A resource list of lower-cost professional counselling options in Vancouver. Corrections and suggestions welcome.
National database for help in locating a registered dietician in your area.
Provides extensive information on eating disorders and food/weight preoccupation. Offers a telephone helpline: 1-866-633-4220