Relapse prevention is an integral part of living with binge-eating disorder (BED). If you’ve recovered from a period of disordered eating, you may have a heightened risk of relapsing. An eating disorder treatment program, like those offered at Red Oak Recovery®, can help young men gain control over their disordered eating, prevent relapse, and live healthier lives. Call 866.457.7590 today to learn how we can help.
What Is Binge-Eating Disorder?
Binge-eating disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder that involves regularly consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time, often to the point of feeling uncomfortably full. It can affect people of all ages, genders, and backgrounds. People with BED may feel out of control while they are engaging in bingeing behavior and have difficulty stopping once it has started.
Bingeing episodes can include both unhealthy and healthy foods. However, individuals typically report craving high carbohydrate or sugary snacks during binges. Common emotions surrounding binge-eating episodes include feelings of shame, guilt, disgust, and hopelessness. This can lead to further distress about body image and weight concerns, which may contribute to maintaining binge-eating behavior.
If left untreated, BED can lead to serious physical and psychological health consequences. Some of these include an increased risk for:
- Anxiety disorders
- Type 2 diabetes
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Other serious illnesses
Treatment options for BED typically involve a combination of psychotherapy and medication, depending on the individual’s needs. It is important to seek help from a mental health professional who specializes in eating disorder treatment if you believe that you may be struggling with BED or any other type of eating disorder. With the right support and guidance, it is possible to learn how to cope with unhealthy urges and cravings as well as develop healthier coping strategies for managing difficult emotions associated with this disorder.
Avoiding Your Binge Eating Triggers
Many people feel helpless when it comes to eating disorders. Most people refuse to discuss these disorders openly. Unfortunately, this may make you feel ashamed or wrongfully lead you to believe that there’s nowhere to turn for help. Instead of seeking assistance, you may have turned to drugs or alcohol. Besides the myriad of reasons these substances are harmful to our bodies, they often trigger binge eating. One of the first steps to stopping a binge eating habit is knowing your triggers. Some common triggers of binge eating disorders are:
- Alcohol and drugs
- Work, school, and family stressors
- Specific people or situations in life that cause you to feel incredibly anxious
- Sudden traumatic events or life-changing events (even positive ones)
- Celebrations and Holidays
- Deeper psychological issues, such as depression, generalized anxiety, or PTSD
When you’ve realized you are struggling with overeating and are committed to changing your lifestyle for the better, it may be necessary to dig deeper to discover what is causing your disordered eating. Some triggers are straightforward. Other triggers may be less apparent, and you may require therapy outside of addiction treatment to uncover them.
Addressing binge eating will involve recognizing your particular triggers and restructuring your eating habits to facilitate a lifestyle change. Eating disorders are complex, and there are often multiple factors involved. Getting proper treatment that you can commit to is the most successful way of recovering. In professional treatment, you will learn the specific strategies that will work for you to stop your unhealthy eating.
How Do I Prevent a Binge Eating Relapse?
Relapse is not an indication of failure. The ability to rebound from a relapse and forgive yourself quickly is one of the primary recovery goals. Some techniques we teach in binge-eating disorder treatment are:
- Making a habit of structured, consistent mealtimes: Frequently, people with an eating disorder skip meals, eat at unpredictable times, or crash diet. Having predictable eating habits can make food less of a struggle and goes a long way toward staving off hunger and preventing a binge.
- Finding a support system: Knowing you have people to talk to who have been in your situation can make you feel less alone. People with similar experiences can give you advice that will help you navigate the tougher aspects of recovery.
- Taking away the temptations: This sounds simple, but until you’re comfortable that your disorder is under control, it’s best to keep the unhealthy foods that tempt you out of your home.
- Trying not to eat alone: Many forms of disordered eating happen in private. In most of our cultural history, eating has been a social activity.
- While eating is a necessity, it has the power to bring people closer through enjoying food together. When eating is purposeful and joyful, it has less chance of becoming a secluded habit or an unhealthy way to cope.
- Learning new, healthier methods of handling daily stress: Coping with the uncertainty and discomfort of everyday life is difficult. Methods can include meditation, breathing exercises, writing in a journal, or cultivating a new hobby, like gardening.
Getting professional help and support is the easiest way to begin to recover from a binge-eating disorder. In addition to the coping skills learned in therapy, FDA-approved medications may be available that will help make it easier to achieve the goal of healthy eating.
Getting Professional Help for Binge-Eating Disorder
Binge-eating disorder is an eating disorder that can seriously impact physical and mental health, so it is crucial to get professional help. Treatment for binge-eating disorder usually involves a combination of psychological therapy and lifestyle changes such as nutrition counseling, physical activity, and stress management skills.
In treatment for binge-eating disorder, you can expect:
- Identifying negative patterns of behavior and learning new, healthy coping mechanisms while reducing stress and improving self-esteem with therapy
- Learn to make healthier food choices with the help of nutritional counseling and education
- Regular, healthy exercise like yoga, walking, running, or other forms of moderate exercise to help with weight management, overall health, and mental well-being
- Developing stress management skills that will help you avoid relapses, such as breathing techniques, mindfulness, or progressive muscle relaxation
Getting professional help for a binge-eating disorder is the best option to gain control of the condition and lead a healthier life. With the right combination of psychological therapies, lifestyle changes, and stress management skills, individuals can learn how to cope with their binging behaviors in a healthy way.
Find the Support You Need to Make a Change at Red Oak Recovery®
Young men with binge-eating disorders can benefit tremendously from the support of Red Oak Recovery®. This specialized treatment center focuses on providing comprehensive and compassionate care that is tailored to the specific needs of each individual.
The team at Red Oak Recovery® understands that this disorder can be difficult to manage, and they provide tailored treatments and support that can help young men to make positive changes. Call us at 866.457.7590 or fill out our online contact form for more information.