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Binge eating disorder - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Binge eating disorder – CBT Kenya

Binge eating disorder is an illness that involves eating a lot of food in a short amount of time. The person with binge eating disorder feels out of control about how much he or she eats.  More food is eaten than others eat in the same amount of time, under the same circumstances. It differs from bulimia.

Many people who have binge eating disorder use food as a way to cope with uncomfortable feelings and emotions. These are people who may have never learned how to deal effectively with stress, and find it comforting and soothing to eat food. Unfortunately, they often end up feeling sad and guilty about not being able to control their eating, which increases the stress and fuels the cycle.

Symptoms of Binge eating disorder

  • Evidence of binge eating, including disappearance of large amounts of food in short periods of time. Or lots of empty wrappers and containers indicating consumption of large amounts of food.
  • Disruption in normal eating behaviors, including eating throughout the day with no planned mealtimes. Skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals; engaging in sporadic fasting or repetitive dieting.
  • Developing food rituals (e.g., eating only a particular food or food group [e.g., condiments], excessive chewing, and not allowing foods to touch).
  • Eating alone out of embarrassment at the quantity of food being eaten. Feelings of disgust, depression, or guilt after overeating.

What are the health risks?

  • Up to 50% of people with BED have obesity. However, the disorder is also an independent risk factor for gaining weight and developing obesity. This is due to the increased calorie intake during binging episodes.
  • In women, the condition is associated with a risk of fertility problems, pregnancy complications, and the development of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
  • Research has shown that people with BED report challenges with social interactions, compared with people without the condition.
  • Research has shown that people with BED report challenges with social interactions, compared with people without the condition.

Binge eating disorder can be controlled

  • Plan to exercise. Choose an activity that you enjoy doing. Consider asking a friend to exercise with you. This will make it more enjoyable and help keep you accountable.
  • Drink plenty of water—at least 64 fluid ounces a day. Most binges incorporate a lot of sugar and sodium, both of which are dehydrating. It’s very important to be properly hydrated, especially after a binge. It is also common to confuse hunger with thirst.
  • Avoid idle time. Many times, people will eat out of boredom. Fill your time with projects or activities that you find enjoyable or work that needs to be accomplished. Having a list of things to do when bored or anxious can be very helpful in preventing a binge.
  • Make eating a singular activity. Avoid doing multiple activities while eating, such as working in front of the computer, watching TV, driving, or reading. You want to be mindful about what you eat and how the food tastes.
  • Identify triggers. For example, don’t meet someone at a bakery if that’s your weakness! Skip the all-you-can-eat buffets or potluck dinners where the temptation to overeat is overwhelming. Try to engage in more non-food social activities as much as possible.


Many people with binge-eating disorder have a history of failed attempts to lose weight on their own. However, weight-loss programs typically aren’t recommended until the binge-eating disorder is treated, because dieting may trigger more binge-eating episodes, making weight loss less successful.

When appropriate, weight-loss programs are generally done under medical supervision to ensure that your nutritional requirements are met. Weight-loss programs that address binge triggers can be especially helpful when you’re also getting cognitive behavioral therapy.

Treatment of binge eating disorder is challenging because most people feel ashamed of their disorder and try to hide their problem. Often they are so successful that even close family members and friends don’t know they binge eat. Eating disorders require a comprehensive treatment plan that is adjusted to meet the needs of each patient. The goal of treatment for binge eating disorder is to help the person gain control over their eating behavior.

Can Binge eating disorder be prevented?

Although it might not be possible to prevent all cases of binge eating disorder, it is helpful to begin treatment as soon as you begin to have symptoms. In addition, teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits and realistic attitudes about food and body image also might be helpful in preventing the development or worsening of eating disorders.

CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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