by Babs ‘O’ Reilly
(Miami Beach, Florida, USA)
Treatments vary for the different types of overeating. Some treatments may target bingeing, Bulimia or Anorexia while others may involve a combination of treatments!.
The most effective method of combating overeating is to combine treatments. Behavior modifications along with a healthy eating program, education and medication (if recommended) is the only way to effectively end an overeating disorder for the long term.
Getting to the underlying cause(s) of an overeating disorder is key to the treatment. A professional who is educated in treating these types of disorders can help enormously in sorting out the reasons for overeating. These reasons may include family history, health factors, stress quotients, anxiety and psychological factors that may or may not be obvious.
You won’t find any “quick fixes” for overeating disorders. Most treatments involve a long term commitment and involve a life-changing process.
As with any type of addiction, a step-by-step treatment process works better than a so-called, short term fix. While we might be able to avoid alcohol and drugs, food is necessary for our survival, so that each time the food addict is around food, they’re confronted with feelings of being out of control.
Cravings must also be addressed in any treatment for an overeating disorder. When a food addict doesn’t have access to foods that he might be craving, withdrawal symptoms may occur and the overeater may sink deeper into feelings of depression and emotions that carry him back into the binge and overeating cycle.
Among the treatments for overeating disorders you may find several methods used, including individual and group therapy sessions, counseling for the entire family, nutrition counseling and how to prevent a relapse of the disorder. During the treatment process, the overeater will receive tips about how to control their compulsion.
This may include keeping a journal of what and when eating occurs, exercise, setting goals and dealing with responses to boredom, stress and other “triggers” that may cause overeating.
Rigid dietary plans usually don’t work on those addicted to food because the real problems with overeaters are so varied. In fact, a food addict who tries one diet plan after another usually ends up with the “yo-yo dieting syndrome,” where they lose weight for a period of time, but gain it all (and then some) back when they resume their normal eating habits.
Making small, but significant changes in overall patterns of eating are much more effective in realizing long term goals and reclaiming a life that’s been subject to food cravings and feelings of inadequacy.
Ask your health care provider about overeating disorder treatments in your area or research online to get the help you need with an overeating problem.