Is Overeating the Sign of Something Deeper?
Everyone overeats sometimes. Maybe it’s at a special event, a night out with friends, or a stressful day. Maybe it’s when your favorite food is around. This occasional overeating is common and, in most cases, nothing to worry about. However, when the behavior becomes compulsive, it could be a sign of something more serious.
Compulsive overeating is a disordered eating behavior characterized by consuming an excessive amount of food frequently and uncontrollably, without regard to hunger levels. Typically, this behavior serves as a way to avoid challenging feelings or circumstances. If you consistently eat excessive amounts of food in a way that feels uncontrollable, it may indicate the presence of an eating disorder, such binge eating disorder (BED) or Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED).
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge eating disorder (BED) is marked by recurrent binge eating sessions that are accompanied by guilt, shame, and a lack of control. BED binges typically involve:
- Eating a large amount of food in a discrete period of time more than once a week
- Eating rapidly
- Eating until you feel uncomfortably full
- Eating alone due to embarrassment
- Eating large amounts of food when you’re not physically hungry
During binges, individuals with BED often feel a lack of control over their eating and find it difficult to stop or interrupt the binge. Unlike in bulimia, the bingeing is not associated with inappropriate compensatory behaviors like purging.
What is OSFED with a Pattern of Binge Eating?
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED) is a category of eating disorders that do not meet the exact criteria of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). OSFED is not any less serious, however. These eating disorders can be just as harmful to one’s physical and mental health as other eating disorders.
One type of OSFED includes a pattern of binge eating. This condition applies to people who binge eat but do so less often and/or for a shorter time period than those with BED. OSFED can also include other disordered eating behaviors such as purging and restriction.
Specialized Binge Eating Treatment is Available
Binge eating is a behavior that deserves just as much empathy and attention as any other eating disorder behavior. It is not a reflection of personal weakness, laziness, or a lack of willpower. Rather, it is a sign of a complex and challenging disorder that can stem from a variety of biological, psychological, and environmental factors.
If you think you may be experiencing binge eating disorder or OSFED with a pattern of binge eating, you deserve care that’s made for you. Veritas Collaborative’s Virtual CARE IOP for Binge Eating program provides binge eating treatment tailored to your needs.
CARE, which stands for Cultivating Awareness and Resilience with Experience/Eating/Emotions, is an intensive outpatient program designed to provide informed, inclusive, and intersectional care. Although binge eating has a similar etiology with other disordered eating behaviors, it often presents unique difficulties, including challenges with meal and snack times, food and body judgment, and complex intersectional issues related to weight. CARE IOP provides specific support that addresses these concerns.
CARE IOP is not a weight loss program. In fact, we include curricula on things like the consequences of dieting, weight bias, weight stigma, and related sociocultural norms. Our providers foster a weight-inclusive environment that focuses on overall health and body appreciation, rather than weight loss. Our providers respect the complex lived experiences of patients like you, fostering the safe and responsive environment you need to pursue recovery.
Freedom from binge eating is possible. Get started on the path to healing today.