How Therapy Can Help You Recover from Compulsive Overeating

 Tips to help overcome compulsive eatingAre you struggling with food? Do you often eat more than you really want? Many people wrestle with compulsive overeating. You are not alone.

Not too long ago, we offered guidance for those who may be struggling with compulsive overeating. The post included some fundamental background information. In addition, you can find 5 important self-help steps you can take to address this concern.

However, there are times when compulsive overeating reaches a point where you need more help. Fortunately, there are proven treatment options — with therapy at the top of the list.

So, let’s review the basics and then explore the healing power of counseling.

A Refresher on Compulsive Overeating

Compulsive overeating is a term used to describe more than the occasional bout of consuming more food than you need. Instead, it highlights an eating-related pattern. One out of 35 American adults struggle with binge eating that features any or all of these factors:

  • A history of weight fluctuations and/or dieting
  • Hiding or hoarding food
  • Eating too quickly or when you’re not hungry

Compulsive OvereatingMost likely, the person dealing with such disordered eating is quite aware of their abnormal patterns. They may even choose to eat alone as often as possible to avoid scrutiny. This added component to the struggle may increase the likelihood of your compulsive overeating leading to emotional impacts like:

  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Becoming sexually promiscuous or reckless
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety

This combination of physical and mental symptoms exacerbates the problem, feeds the cycle, and requires your full attention.

There are steps you can and must take on your own. From there, though, it is absolutely essential to seek out professional help.

what drives your overeating

How Therapy Can Help You Recover from Compulsive Overeating

Let’s start with the good news: Thanks to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), nearly 80 percent of compulsive overeaters achieve sustainable recovery after 20 sessions. This is partly due to the realization that disordered eating is not an issue of weight, diets, or food.

The problem lies in your brain and must be treated as such.

This is not to say it’s not a problem of the body. Rather, CBT for compulsive overeating is rooted in the simple reality that we cannot separate the mind from the body.

The “cognitive” part focuses on thinking and beliefs. The “behavioral” half is about the actions you take based on your thoughts and feelings.

Your CBT therapist will help make clear that emotional reasoning is shaping your eating patterns.

Binge eating may temporarily comfort you but it cannot make you feel better about yourself in the big picture. On the contrary, it lowers one’s self-esteem and promotes further overeating.

Together with your therapist, you will practice new ways to handle stressful or disappointing moments in your life. An important component will be restoring your self-esteem.

You’ll learn to:

  • Accept compliments
  • Acknowledge and celebrate achievements and accomplishments
  • Forgive yourself today and for past mistakes

These and other strategies allow you to identify how your distorted thoughts result in unhealthy behaviors. As those thoughts are explored and replaced, so too will your action begin to change.

How Does One Begin to Get the Therapeutic Help They Need?

To repeat, the path to recovery from compulsive overeating does not take you through dietary tweaks or trends. It requires an awareness of the source and thus, it also requires an assessment with someone trained in this specialty.

Enlisting the support of an experienced therapist is a proven path when dealing with any type of disordered or body image issue.

Therapy can help you:

  • Cope with food cravings
  • Heal physical, emotional and spiritual imbalances that contribute to overeating
  • Understand and manage night eating
  • Stop binge eating/compulsive eating
  • Increase self-compassion and behaviors that support a positive relationship with food
  • Improve your body image

You can make peace with food and with yourself.

Healing is possible but quite often, it is a road best traveled when accompanied by an experienced guide. Please reach out for a consultation soon. Eddins Counseling Group, in Houston, TX, has experienced therapists that specialize in disordered eating. Call us today at 832-323-2355 or book an appointment online.

Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP on Twitter
Rachel Eddins, M.Ed., LPC-S, CGP
Rachel’s passion is to help people discover their personal gifts and strengths to achieve self-acceptance, create a healthy relationship with food, mind and body, and find meaning and fulfillment in work and life roles. She helps people create nurturance and healing from within to restore balance and enoughness and overcome binge eating, emotional eating, anxiety, depression and lack of career fulfillment.

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