While binge eating disorder is severely dangerous, there are effective treatments available for this condition. Many of these treatments may help lead to the road of recovery. The National Eating Disorders Association echoes this notion. It describes binge eating disorder as a “severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder.” Binge eating disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food and feeling a loss of control during the binge, then experiencing shame, distress and guilt afterwards. (1) Some who suffer from the eating disorder use purging to counteract the binge eating. Binge eating disorder causes range from genetic to biological, environmental and lifestyle factors. Implementing binge eating disorder natural treatments can help many who suffer from the disorder get their life and health back on track.

Binge Eating Disorder Causes

There are several possible causes of binge eating disorder, such as other underlying mental conditions, family history, quality of childhood, and even bullying. Let’s explore some of these causes in further detail.

Genetic and Biological Causes – Binge eating disorder causes may be genetic and/or biological. BED is more likely to affect people who have family histories of eating disorders and obesity. Combining specific genes with physical or emotional problems can lead to a destructive relationship with food. (2)

Other Mental Disorders – Binge eating disorder is often linked to depression and anxiety. People who have underlying mental problems or abuse drugs and alcohol may suffer from low self-esteem, guilt, shame or hopelessness, which can lead to an eating disorder.

History of Weight Stigma – Many people who suffer from binge eating disorder developed BED as a result of feeling intense pressure to lose weight. Children who experience weight-related discrimination, childhood obesity or bulling about weight have a greater risk of developing BED.

Childhood Trauma – Childhood trauma such as abuse or neglect can raise a person’s risk of developing an eating disorder. As a result, many people turn to food for comfort. This may start to occur in childhood and carry on through adulthood. It can lead to a development of binge eating habits that become difficult to break.

Frequent or Restrictive Dieting – Binge eating disorder causes include frequent and restrictive dieting. Studies have shown, in fact, that 1 in 5 obese adults struggle with binge eating disorder. Most are aware of their problem and have attempted to lose weight and control their food intake through restrictive diets, which can trigger an intense urge to overeat.

Binge Eating Disorder Natural Treatments

1. Try Therapy

Professional mental health therapy can be of great help to those who struggle with binge eating. Quite often, there is an underlying cause contributing to conditions like eating disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy can help get to the bottom of those underlying issues. In fact, this type of therapy specifically is considered to be one of the most effective forms of therapy concerning eating disorders. It addresses the underlying thought patterns and beliefs that drive a person to perform compulsive behaviors and experience feelings of shame and anxiety. (3)

2. Forget About Weight Loss

Frequent and restrictive diets are risk factors for BED. When it comes to overcoming an eating disorder, it may help to put weight loss on the back-burner for the time being. Right now, it’s more important to concentrate on health rather than numbers on a scale. Focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced and portion-controlled diet instead of constantly weighing yourself. Visit a nutritionist for extra help making your health, not your weight, the priority. Once you’ve learned how to properly manage healthy food intake, you will likely be more successful in your weight loss goals.

3. Find a Strong Support System

A support system is often a crucial part to overcoming an eating disorder. Spend time with your family and friends and don’t be afraid to lean on them when you need to. If you don’t have family and friends to support you, join a support group. You can go to weekly meetings or find a support group online. Many support groups for BED can be found through the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s website. (4)

4. Reduce Stress Levels

Binge eating disorder natural treatments include lowering and managing your stress levels. Stress is a common underlying condition that drives eating disorders and compulsive behaviors.  When you’re stressed, you may feel like your life is out of your control. Eating disorders often occur due to an attempt to try to control some aspect of one’s life. Reducing stress may help address that particular facet of this issue. To reduce stress, try regular exercise, yoga, listening to music, spending time with friends, reading, writing, painting or spending time outdoors. Spend more time enjoying healthy activities and hobbies that make you happy.

5. Meditation, Deep Breathing and Yoga

Binge eating disorder natural treatments can also include meditation, deep breathing and yoga. These are tools that focus on relaxing your body and mind. Furthermore, these practices can help you focus on your feelings and cultivate a sense of gratitude. Purposefully creating the right mindset can help to overcome numerous obstacles, whether mental or physical. Furthermore, mindful meditation, healing prayer and yoga may help improve health aspects related to obesity and overeating. For example, it may help reduce such issues as blood pressure, cholesterol and cortisol levels. (5)

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