Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that makes
people very miserable. People suffer for many years before admitting that they
People who come to us sayI don’t really have an eating disorder. I am just greedy, orI have no willpower. They blame themselves. This is wrong. If you are able to spend just one hour of your time with us, we will explain why you lack control with food, and what can be done about it.
Binge eating disorder can take many forms, it can be picking, nibbling all the time, or it can be mindless bingeing on large amounts of food. Binge eating usually happens in secret and it can cost you a lot of money. Very few people binge on celery sticks. The most common binge foods are those which are normally forbidden, large amounts of chocolate, biscuits, toast, cereal. Sometimes you try to put off a binge but have to get it over and done with. Sometimes whatever you eat is never enough.
You know by now that losing weight on a diet was never enough to stop you from binge eating. So there has to be another way to regain control of food. The way to regain control is not to talk endlessly about your early life, and it is not taking tablets for depression. You are depressed because of the eating disorder. You don’t binge eat because you are depressed or because you are simply comfort eating.
Help for binge eating disorder is just a phone call away. There is a wonderful, effective psychological treatment for compulsive overeating. It is not a quick fix, but it will change your relationship with food long-term. It can be hard work but it can also be fun. A properly trained eating disorder therapist can put this misery to an end.
If you would like to know more about binge eating disorder help for you personally, consider a one-off confidential assessment. Help is just a phone-call away; call 0845 838 2040.
So many people contact us and say that they are interested in bulimia nervosa treatment. First let’s be clear about what bulimia is. Bulimia Nervosa exists in people who are very concerned about what they weigh. They usually feel out of control with food at least some of the time. They binge eat, usually foods that they think will make them fat.
Then they throw up and / or take laxatives to try and avoid weight gain. We call this “purging” and there are many other ways to purge, all of which can cause great harm.
Even over-exercising to prevent weight gain after overeating, or using diuretics, are ways of purging to avoid the effects of eating. It doesn’t really matter how much food you eat, nor does it matter how often you purge. If you do any of this at all and if this is happening in secret, you are suffering from Bulimia Nervosa
Some very thin people purge, even though the amounts of food they eat are small. They might be suffering from Anorexia rather than Bulimia Nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is an illness which can be treated with the right kind of help.
Some people have very mixed feelings about accepting treatment for their bulimia. They worry that treatment will make them fat. No, it will not.
Or they feel that their bulimia is a kind of friend, it
helps them get through the day, it helps them to feel calm because nothing else
does. Bingeing gives them a kind of comfort and purging gives them emotional
relief. We understand all this too.
Bulimia treatment is a two-sided process. On one side, we will stabilise you physically, because as someone with bulimia, you gain weight easily and you have cravings for food that are hard to manage. You are unhappy in part because purging leaches away the neuro-chemicals which make you peaceful. We can teach you many new skills that will make it much easier to live in a world full of food and we will not judge you if you have to purge.
The other side of therapy is called enhanced cognitive-emotional therapy. This allows you to experience a deep, compassionate healing process which is hard to explain in just a few words so I will try to make it brief.
You will learn how to manage dangerous feelings that are being controlled by your illness. We may need to deal quickly with adverse events that have happened to you, so that you will feel more at peace with yourself. You will learn to be emotionally stronger than you have ever been before.
This therapy also attends to your mindset and to your self-worth which has been damaged by the shame and secrecy of the bulimia,. We attend to your thoughts about your appearance which are at the heart of your struggles with food.
Bulimia nervosa treatment is not just removing symptoms. People who complete this treatment feel happier, their life is transformed and they look forward to the future and to all that has opened up for them. One word of advice however. Bulimia treatment can only be done properly by someone who has been trained in eating disorder psychotherapy.
Many counsellors will tell you that healing is achieved through an accepting relationship. They may be wrong. The therapy relationship is important, and you need to work with someone you trust and you know that he or she understands eating disorders properly. But the relationship is not enough. An eating disorder specialist has learned a lot of additional skills and tools to set you free from your struggles with food.
If you want to consider having a one-off assessment with someone who cares and who understands eating disorders completely please click here. Or call us on 0845 838 2040 just to have a chat.
Do you need an eating disorder clinic
or, some other help with your eating disorder?
Does eating rule your life? Does your eating disorder make you or your loved
ones deeply worried?
If your eating disorder is severe, and making you ill, you may need inpatient treatment or day-care. You can look on our website for a list of the treatment services that we think are good. Please CLICK HERE to view our preferred list of eating disorder clinics in the UK.
If your eating disorder is not life-threatening,
it is better to work on your eating disorder at home, where you can continue to
work, complete your education and get on with your normal life.
Then you do not need an eating disorder clinic. An eating disorder clinic is costly and at some point, you will need the skills and support to help you to thrive in the real world.
Consider having a one- off assessment with someone who will tell you what you need right now. We have people all over the UK to advise you on the next step. If you want to see our counsellor list please CLICK HERE.
Do you need binge eating help? If so, stop here for a moment.
I know that you feel awful, that your willpower
has deserted you; you would be ashamed if people could see what you do,
scoffing all that food, eating all those biscuits, drowning in bread and
butter, cereal, chocolate. Once you start eating these foods, it is never
Stop here for a moment and be calm. Over 40 percent of all women say that they binge at times. But some people binge more than others and it is affecting their whole life. Please be assured, this can be treated.
Binge eating disorder takes many forms, it could be picking, nibbling, going backwards and forwards to the fridge, it is always done in secret. Maybe you eat normally in front of other people and then go for the binge when you are on your own? Some people with binge eating disorder throw up to avoid gaining weight, but there are many overweight people with bulimia, so please don’t try this, it isn’t a solution.
Binge eating disorder can be treated faster than you think. First we will discover your story, your joys and hurts, If something bad has happened to you – we will not insist on talking about it. We will figure out what kind of help will work best for you. The treatment is always personal for your needs.
We will attack the problem on two sides, the physical side and the emotional side. Here it becomes a little more complicated so I will try to make it easy.
On the physical side, your body will be hounded by the effects of chaotic eating. Sugar highs and lows will affect your metabolism and your hunger levels. So we will do something simple to put that right, and your cravings will subside. You will not be put on a diet.
On the psychological side, we will attack the problem in a number of different ways. If there is a great deal of comfort eating or too much stress, we deal with that with targeted skills. We will do many things that will build your willpower from the inside out.
We will never tell you to eat celery instead of chocolate. We will not pforbid you from binge eating. The binge eating will fade away. There is no need for a last supper before you start treatment. The treatment for binge eating disorder is not another diet programme and you regain control of food from the inside out.
Binge eating disorder treatment is based on CBT, but it is much more than that. The treatment for Binge eating is called ENHANCED CBT; which can only be delivered by a specialist. This treatment takes a few weeks, and even people who have struggled with eating and weight for many years are amazed to discover that they can get back in control of food,
Some people believe that binge eating is an addiction to sugar, or to food in general. It certainly FEELS like an addiction. At NCFED, we are convinced that compulsive eating is more like a needle stuck in a groove. You don’t need years of therapy about your childhood to get through this. If you would like to see how we can help you with binge eating, come and have an assessment. We will hear your story and we will explain exactly how we can help.
Watching Jesy do her programme on body trolling, all of us here were nearly in tears. How brave of her to do this and I hope that one day she will look back on this time and feel good about herself. Poor body image is called Body Dysmorphia and the need for changing your nose, lips or anything else is a symptom. Eating disorders is always about poor body image. It broke my heart to learn that Jesy starved for a week to look thinner on a show. Jesy – this will only make you crave food even more. Katie Hopkins, I rate some of your ideas – but calling Jesy a chub is a crime, for which I would willingly hang you out to dry or put you in the stocks. A 9-year-old child I know, who is as thin as a reed, was fat-shamed “for fun” online a month ago. I have something on this website information section about body image if you would like to read it. https://eating-disorders.org.uk/information/body-image/
And we can treat poor body image too. Is your body the real problem or your OPINIONS about your body? Do you need HELP with internet bullying? Don’t suffer in silence. Don’t wage war on your body. Ask for help. Call us 0845 838 2040 This is something we can treat .
Are you vegan because you love animals, or is it a way to lose weight? Do you feel deep deep down that vegan-eating will prevent weight gain? Do you feel dirty if you eat fish, meat or eggs? Have you ideas of saving the planet? If you do, learn how plant based diets contribute to affecting the biosphere. Its more complicated than you think.
Victoria Lambert writes in the Telegraph. “When I first went back to eating fish after a year of strict veganism, I noticed the effect quite fast. I felt more alert and aware as though someone had woken me up.
My experience replicated that of actor Anne Hathaway who said she felt like her brain had “rebooted” when she returned to eating fish after some years on a plant based diet.
Now a new report in the journal BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health suggests that our instinctive dietary changes may be grounded in fact. Dr Emma Derbyshire has warned that vegans may be storing up health problems for themselves and even future generations.
Dr Derbyshire is concerned that vegans cannot access the amino acid choline which is essential for the health and development of our brains.
“Plant-based diets are great and brilliant for the environment,” she says. “But in terms of reducing intake of choline – which is vital for foetal brain development – no-one had given it much thought.”
Choline is not the only nutrient a vegan diet can lack, says consultant dietitian Sophie Medlin, a lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College London.
“Anyone following a plant-based diet,” says Medlin, “is likely to have sub-optimal levels of Vitamin B12 and an essential fatty acid called DHA. These are vital for the health of our neurons or brain cells.”
Deficiency symptoms include brain fog, short-term memory loss, changes in mood, difficulty sleeping, agitation and anxiety.
Choline, DHA and B12 have one other thing in common: they cannot be made in the body and only accessed in meat, fish, algae or dairy directly.
Vegan supplements do exist: DHA can be found in an algae supplement and B12 via an oral spray. Choline is more complicated as it is only available as a powder to be added to food but supplies are unregulated and, says Medlin, its’ impossible to know how much you need to take.
For those of us who have taken veganism on as a dietary change hoping to feel better, Medlin suggests introducing a little meat or daily, via a glass of milk or a portion of oily fish.
However for those doing it for ethical reasons she says: “I’d like to see The Vegan Society getting more involved. They need to warn of the risks and signs of deficiency and how that can be overcome in a properly vegan way.
“Giving up being vegan is difficult if you are committed to animal welfare. So vegans need to be shown all the options to support them. But if they want to avoid brain fog, they need to know the risks that they are running of serious nutritional deficiency.”
A report came in about a young person going blind because of their eating difficulties. Today, I also had a phone call from the parent of a 5-year old autistic boy who will only eat crackers and is not getting the right help from his therapist.
So, let’s make it clear what ARFID is, what causes it,
and what to do about it.
ARFID is a name given to a cluster of eating difficulties. It means Avoidant Restrictive Eating Disorder.
It exists in children who are called fussy eaters and it exists in adults in
various forms. I (Deanne Jade) am an eating disorder specialist and I am a
Selective Eater, there are many foods I just don’t eat because of texture or
taste. But I eat well. You could call me an ARFID case, but I am healthy fit
and very well fed.
An eating disorder is SPECIFICALLY eating disturbances which are motivated by
the need to control weight and shape. Not all ARFID behaviours thus satisfy the
definition of being a classical eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. ARFID
is a name given to a cluster of conditions which are different. These could include
ANOREXIA NERVOSA in a child. Children as young as 5 can get
anorexia. The diagnosis is only valid if the eating motivations are fear of
weight gain. Children with anorexia don’t usually complain of feeling fat; they
are more likely to complain of tummy aches. It takes a specialist to tease out
the weight control issues that are affecting their desire to eat.
SELECTIVE EATING – where a child will only eat bread and jam
or crackers. Selective eating is normal in children due to something we call
neophobia (fear of eating what is unfamiliar). It can be very dangerous or mild
and often changes as a child ages. The REASONS are very diverse. Some children
might have early traumatic experiences with choking, swallowing difficulties if
given food lumps too soon fear of being sick which they associate with certain
foods, or they just haven’t been well trained in eating a wide variety of
foods. It is easier for a child to eat a wide variety of foods if their mother
has eaten widely and well during pregnancy and breast feeding.
Selective eating can emerge due to unhelpful parenting,
family poverty where parents only give children food they will eat. They cannot
afford to buy vegetables and have them discarded. Parents who want their child to eat often don’t
know how to persuade their child to try something they dislike and give up too
easily or use the wrong skills such as shouting or bribery which often doesn’t work.
SELECTIVE EATING OR ANOREXIA – AUTISM
Arfid behaviours are common in autistic people of all ages; autistics typically have a narrow range of foods they feel able to eat. They may avoid certain colours, only eating yellow food, and commonly experience panic if they are asked to eat anything unfamiliar. The primary problems in autism include what psychologists call “central coherence”- this means problems with how the brain is wired. Wiring is not an illness but it can help make people ill; they find it hard to shift out of persistent unhelpful behaviour. Another primary problem in people living with neuro-divergence is sensory hypersensitivity that makes certain textures hard to bear.
ORTHOREXIA could be viewed as a form of ARFID. Orthorexia is
where people restrict the types of food that they are willing to eat because they
think it is bad for them. They may for various
reasons start to cut out meat, dairy food, wheat, all carbohydrate because they
have developed fixations that such eating is wrong, or they are allergic.
Orthorexia is associated with anxiety and in some people orthorexia is linked
to weight control, being just another
way of being on a diet. Orthorexia in those cases is a classical eating disorder
not unlike anorexia. It is a problem when it interferes with life and general
happiness. Orthorexia is explained more fully elsewhere on our website.
CHILDHOOD FOOD AVOIDANCE EMOTIONAL DISORDER is not anorexia;
it is a stress response, sometimes to drama or adverse experiences during
childhood. It is more common in sensitive children. We cannot make assumptions
about whether the problem is in the family or in the personality of a child or
their environment. A careful assessment must be made.
PERVASIVE REFUSAL to eat is present when a child is unable
to take care of themselves in any way and is often the effect of trauma and
OTHER CAUSES OF ARFID
Restrictive eating can exist in people with other mental
health difficulties like schizophrenia where for example, people have delusions
about food in general or certain types of food. Delusions of being poisoned can
lead some mentally fragile people to avoid eating.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT: CHILDREN
Since ARFID takes many forms, the first thing to do with a child
is to see a GP, to express your concerns. A GP should track a child’s weight
and growth to make sure that they continue to thrive. A GP can see if there are
physical problems; it would be wrong to assume that the eating is entirely
There are things that parents can do at home. Children don’t
respond well to bribery or threats. If parents regularly give pea-size portions
of disliked food and gently insist that these are eaten, over time (keep going)
the child will learn to accept and tolerate new tastes. Thee should be no
attempts to fill up with foods high in sugar, like cakes and biscuits, although
parents are rightly afraid that their child is not getting enough. If you are very worried, find a way to supplement
a meagre diet with appropriate vitamins and an omega 3 supplement which is
important for brain health.
Getting a child to cook with / for the family is a useful
way to broaden their familiarity with new foods. You can do this with a child
as young as 4 or 5 starting with things that are easy like making a smoothie
(healthy) which contains a range of fruits and vegetables. We recently made
carrot ice cream which our children loved.
Children live what they learn, so they will watch what their
parents eat (show enthusiasm about healthful foods). It may be helpful to learn
skills to hide vegetables in food, or use other tricks to ensure a child eats a
diet. Some children grow out of ARFID, but not all.
IF THE SITUATION IS WORRYING
If a GP is worried, the next step would be to ask for an
appointment with a child psychologist who will do a proper emotional risk
assessment, to find out what KIND of ARFID is present. The psychologist should be able to advise on
strategies to help a child eat better. CBT is useful to deal with some forms of ARFID
but this is mostly for adolescents and adults.
If you have concerns about inadequate help, please call us
for some advice. We have some therapists who are qualified to work with
children. Call 0845 838 2040 and speak
to someone who cares.
Are you a teenager between 16-19 years old and struggling with your weight? Are you a parent worried about your overweight teenagers?
Following our previous Channel 4
series ‘Shut Ins’, Blink Films are looking for people to take part in a
programme tracking the lives of teenagers who have become seriously overweight
and are at risk of heading towards health issues as young adults. We will be
working with some of the country’s leading medical professionals and we may be
able to help you with expert treatment and support.
You might have struggled to seek or
find support from health care authorities. Or perhaps you struggle to change
eating habits for psychological reasons and need the courage to make a brave
All of us here at the office are inundated with Anorexia Blogs, posts and stories. We welcome your writing in hope to treat anorexia, and we know that writing about anorexia helps you if you are suffering.
This is an account of Anorexia written by Lizzie Porter. It is Eating Disorder Awareness time again and we wonder if what you are writing helps others, or helps them to reach out.
We get very sad reading all this ourselves. But it is OK if this helps us to treat anorexia or if this helps you to recover. Or if it adds to our awareness and understanding of the disease.
I do not think that any descriptions aid understanding because people with anorexia do not really understand themselves; they just describe in a lot of very colourful detail. A starving being is stripped of self awareness. It is up to us psychotherapists to know about the nature of the Voice and to know what else is hidden underneath this condition. It is the hidden material which is not in awareness.
I have talked today to a journalist about pro anorexia websites and what is bad and good about them. I explained about anorexia and what it means if you have it. It isn’t just a wish to be thin and you can’t treat it with threats and promises. It is like Aids of the soul.
If reading Lizzie’s article helps you, along with all the other books and stories, then we will keep on sharing your stories. Please, please, please, please, however send us more stories about what helped you to recover. Please use your suffering to help others recover, if you can. I recovered from anorexia many years ago and it is simply a shadow memory. I do not give it house room any more. The wish to be thin never goes away, but the Voice now bounces off a different life for which I am always grateful.