How to Overcome Binge Eating Disorder

Two Parts:Caring for the emotional causesCreating a new approach to food

Binge eating (also known as Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Eating Behaviour, and Emotional Eating) is the most common eating disorder according to a recent study from McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.[citation needed] Their finds are shocking, making it a “major public health problem.”[citation needed] However, if you are ready to put an end to your Binge Eating Disorder, there is a solution.

Part 1
Caring for the emotional causes

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    Feel deserving of yourself. You need to feel that you are worthy enough to change your binge eating habits. Only after you do this and improve your self-esteem can you win the war over Binge Eating Disorder.
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    Find a way to relax. Relaxation is very important in clearing your mind and turning away from the binge. Listen to music, take a warm bath, pamper yourself, go for a walk on a nice day, meditate, or picture yourself somewhere else where binge eating isn’t a part of your life. Another thing that you can do for relaxation is to go for a nice drive. Perhaps you live by the ocean or a lake. Maybe you have some great scenic roads. Just remember not to take any money with you and try not to drive by fast food restaurants, or any places that sell food for that matter. You want to make the binge go away - you don’t want to be tempted and give in.
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    Seek distractions. If you are bored, do not eat. Instead, find something else that fulfills you. For example, try reading, exercising or hanging out with family or friends. There are many things you can do instead of binge eating:
    • Do something with your mouth. You may just need something to chew on.
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    • Go for a walk. Try to really take in everything beautiful outside and shift your focus from food to the pretty flowers you see, the nice houses you see, or the nature that surrounds you.
    • Do some arts and crafts. Sew, paint, draw - create your own masterpiece. You can capture how you are feeling in your art.
    • Play an instrument. Play the piano, violin, trumpet, or any other instrument that you like.
    • Take a nice, relaxing bath. Dim the lights, put on relaxing music, light some candles, close your eyes, and feel calmness take over your whole body.
    • Listen to music. Put on whatever makes you feel good. Singing out loud also helps to put you in a good mood.
    • Write down exactly what you are feeling in your journal. Write about whatever happened that day to make you feel like you want to turn to binge eating. You will feel better once you have your feelings off of your chest. In days to come, you will be able to look back on the times that you didn’t give in to binge eating. If you don't binge eat you will feel better about yourself and decrease the amount of times the problem arises.
    • Go for a drive. Pick up your license and keys and go for a drive. As long as you feel safe, leave all cash and credit cards at home. Try to drive in an area where there is not a lot of temptation for food if you do bring money with you. This will at least make it more difficult to binge eat.
    • Pick up any kind of uplifting book that you can find. Reading stories about motivating people that went through challenges will provide hope to you. There are many inspirational stories out there.
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    Talk about the problem. Talk to a friend or anyone else that you can trust about how you are feeling. If you are upset, vent your frustrations out to them. Just having someone listen will be very helpful to you. You will feel that a weight has been lifted from you after you get everything off of your chest.
    • Say an affirmation out loud and with feeling behind it. Write this affirmation down and post it everywhere you can so that you are always reminded of how you want to be. Put a copy of it on the refrigerator or on the pantry door so you think twice about binge eating. Always try to talk yourself out of binge eating.

Part 2
Creating a new approach to food

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    Throw out all the foods that you binge on. Remember, if food is not readily available to you, it will be harder to binge eat. This also applies to going grocery shopping - when you don’t purchase items that you might binge eat, it will be easier to conquer a binge when you are at home.
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    Keep a journal. In your journal, record all binges and what feelings were present during the binge. Record all details including the time, day, what you ate, how much you ate, and how you felt before and after the binge. Journaling is a great tool because it will provide insight to you as to why you turn to food like you do. This will help to narrow down your binges so that you will be able to see any similarities that happen when you binge eat.
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    Try to substitute junk food for nutritious and filling food. Ask your doctor for advice on healthy food choices.
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    Seek medical attention. BED is considered an eating disorder just like anorexia or bulimia.


  • Understand that frequent compulsive binging is often caused by a subconscious need to eat that is completely separate from how you feel about yourself. You may not feel depressed or have any other obvious problems. If that happens to you, then you have a compulsion to eat.
  • Join several eating disorder support groups online. Find strength in knowing you aren't the only one and that you aren't alone. There are many others who understand your struggle. Find encouragement from those who are overcoming the same battles.
  • If you have a subconscious compulsion to eat, it can be dealt with through EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Rebuilding). EMDR requires a licensed psychotherapist. EFT can be done by a trained counselor.

Sources and Citations

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