Binge Eating Treatment Denver & Food Addiction Recovery Facts
25 million Americans may have Binge Eating Disorder – this is more than twice the number of people in treatment for Anorexia and Bulimia. Approximately one-third of people enrolled in traditional weight loss and diet centers have Binge Eating Disorder. These weight loss programs only address the symptom of excess weight, and attempts to control food intake with diets can actually cause Binge Eating Disorder.
Approximately one-third of recovering Alcoholics and Drug Addicts report the development of eating disorders — and Binge Eating Disorder is sometimes considered a “Food Addiction.” Many Food Addicts report an inability to control their intake of specific foods, such as sugar. However, attempts to abstain from “trigger foods” can often trigger binge eating episodes.
There are diagnostic criteria which mental health professionals use to determine if you have Binge Eating Disorder, but if you struggle with any of the symptoms listed below, then our EDIT Treatment Team is here to help. If any of these behaviors are problematic for you – interfering with your relationships, career, or your ability to enjoy your life – then we can design a customized treatment plan to guide you on your Positive Pathways of Recovery.
Sometimes it can seem like your Eating Disorder “ED” is your identity.
Can you relate to any of these symptoms?
Binge Eating Disorder involves consuming large quantities of food, often very rapidly.
It’s not one or two pieces of pizza, it’s the entire box. It’s not a few cookies, it’s a few dozen. It’s not a bowl of ice cream, it’s the entire half-gallon. Maybe it’s the entire pizza — and all the cookies and ice cream, too. In a short amount of time, you can eat a large amount of food — and still want more. During a binge episode, you probably eat very quickly, as if you can’t get the food in your mouth fast enough. To control your binge behaviors, you might try to control the type or amount of food you plan to eat. You might have tried more diets or weight loss programs than you can count. You might be considering bariatric surgery (or you may have already had this surgery). But the more you try to control your binges, the more out of control they seem to be — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder can result in an inability to stop eating, until feeling uncomfortably full.
Once you start bingeing, it’s as if you can’t stop eating. Sometimes the only reason that you stop eating is because there is nothing else to eat which would taste good. Or perhaps nothing else to eat, period. You rarely “feel full” — until you are extremely full. Your stomach may be very distended, or you may feel nauseated. Although you do not make yourself throw up like someone with Bulimia may after they binge eat, you may feel physically ill and sometimes vomit involuntarily. After a binge, you may also feel very tired and fall asleep, almost like you’re in a “food coma.” When you wake up, sometimes it’s as if you have a “food hangover” and you might not feel like eating for many hours. Or, you might repeat the binge cycle all over again — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder behaviors often occur in isolation due to embarrassment about quantities of food consumed.
While dining with others, you might try to control your binge eating by choosing “moderate portions” of “good foods.” However, when no one is looking, you might reach for an extra piece of bread from the breadbasket. You might tell others you don’t want dessert, but then sneak into the refrigerator later for some leftovers. Or, you may deliberately buy an entire cake and binge eat when you hope no one will catch you. You probably feel guilty about your secret eating, but you don’t know how to stop your cravings for the “bad foods” which you love to eat. If you live alone, you might find that you avoid going out to eat with friends, and you have binge foods delivered instead — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder can occur when not physically hungry — possibly as a means of coping with intense emotions.
Your co-worker is stressed, so he crunches on a few handfuls of chips to relieve his tension. Your friend is depressed, so she reaches for a few pieces of chocolate to boost her mood. Everyone eats for emotional reasons every now and then — stress, boredom, anxiety, depression, and joyful times as well. However, you might notice that when you eat for emotional reasons, a few handfuls of chips or a few pieces of chocolate aren’t enough — you could eat a family-sized bag of chips or a pound of chocolate, or more! Also, you might notice that nearly all emotions are hard to cope with, so you eat for emotional reasons very often, perhaps several times a day — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder can involve an insatiable appetite for specific foods — sometimes called a “Food Addiction”
You can have one apple and experience no cravings which compel you to finish an entire bushel. However, if you have one bite of apple pie, intense cravings result, and you could eat the entire pie and still crave more! You might try to control your cravings by controlling your portions. You tell yourself that it’s OK to have one piece of apple pie after dinner, and so you eat just one piece, just like the other members of your family. However, knowing that the leftover pie is in the refrigerator, you are at war with yourself for hours, trying to fight off the intense craving to have more. After everyone has gone to bed, you sneak into the kitchen and binge on the rest of the apple pie — and anything else sweet-tasting that you can get your hands on. You usually don’t even taste the food as you binge – you keep eating the next bite, and the next, and the next, as if you’re trying to satisfy an insatiable hunger. Your food cravings may leave you feeling powerless over food — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder is a Behavioral Addiction, although it can sometimes seem like you are a “Sugar Addict”
Is sugar a drug? Some research suggests that certain foods, such as sugar, have chemically addicting properties. However, most research suggests that eating disorders are actually behavioral addictions, not chemical addictions. In other words, someone with a “Sugar Addiction” repeats their sugar-binge behaviors because their pleasure and reward centers are being stimulated by the ritual of binge eating, not necessarily sugar itself. Since approximately one-third of those with a previous history of drug/alcohol abuse develop eating disorders, the label “Sugar Addict” can seem appropriate. Just like one drink is too many because 10 drinks wouldn’t be enough, one bite of sugar can trigger an overwhelming urge to binge eat. The treatment for alcoholics/addicts is abstinence. You’ve probably tried to abstain from your “trigger foods,” but you can’t seem to adhere to abstinence meal plans. The less sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder behaviors can cause marked distress — with feelings of hopelessness.
You might vow you’ll never binge eat again. That’s it. No more! So when you do binge eat again, you feel like a failure. Overcoming Binge Eating Disorder is not about having enough willpower to stick to a diet or meal plan. But other people may seem able to succeed with various plans to control eating and weight, so you “beat yourself up,” telling yourself you should be able to beat this. You may struggle with feelings of frustration, embarrassment and depression, isolating yourself because of your binge eating behaviors and weight. You may feel extreme disgust and shame, which only triggers more binge eating. You may feel hopeless to ever stop binge eating — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
Binge Eating Disorder frequency can range from once a week to twice a day, or more.
You might find yourself “doing well all week,” and then having one binge episode on the weekend. You might tell yourself it’s your “cheat day” — but you’re beginning to realize how much you look forward to the day you can “eat whatever you want,” and this concerns you. Perhaps your binges aren’t planned at all — you just find yourself suddenly “into the food,” a few times a week. Maybe you find yourself in a habit of watching TV and binge eating every night. Whatever your binge eating pattern may be, you’re finally realizing that it’s not going away on its own. In fact, your binge behaviors are probably getting worse. It’s like food is your “best friend and worst enemy” — which is exactly what “ED” wants…
You can reclaim your life – without “ED” as your identity.
Hold onto the hope of complete recovery!
I might have Binge Eating Disorder or what seems like a Food Addiction and I need help…
What concerning symptoms do you have?
What unhelpful behaviors are you noticing?
What challenging life issues are you experiencing?
At Positive Pathways, we’d like to hear your story.
Our therapists with empathy and compassion.
We can develop a customized action plan for your recovery!
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EDIT™ Recovery Plan for Binge Eating Disorder Treatment:
At Positive Pathways, we believe that complete recovery from Binge Eating Disorder is possible! Our EDIT™ Treatment Team will customize a Binge Eating Disorder treatment plan for you. You’ll learn intuitive eating strategies to help you be more mindful of the type and amount of food your body truly needs. You’ll discover how to use “intuitive structure” to gradually make peace with food that you used to be “addicted to.” You’ll discover “what’s eating you” and learn healthy ways of expressing your emotions and resolving challenging situations. You’ll replace your eating disordered behaviors with your own unique Intuitive Self-Care techniques, which will be a much better “reward” than food ever could be. Are you ready to begin your journey of recovery, from a place of compassionate Self-Love, seeing your wholeness beyond the symptoms of your eating disorder?
YES!!! we do...
- Provide strategies to reduce the intensity of binges
- Teach Intuitive Eating and Intuitive Exercise skills
- Use an “abstinence-free” 12-Step model (optional)
- Address the root cause of Binge Eating behaviors
- Partner with medical doctors as needed
NO!!! we don't...
- Control binges through avoidance of “trigger foods”
- Force adherence to “abstinence” or other meal plans
- Require a 12-Step program as a part of recovery
- Focus on weight loss as a treatment goal
- Provide medical treatment (referrals available)