Do you often get restless, experiencing an irresistible urge to eat?Well, if this happens too often, you are considered to be a compulsive overeater. In binge and compulsive overeating, individuals feel compelled to eat, even when they are not hungry. National Eating Disorders (NEDA) defines such eating as a severe, life-threatening, yet treatable condition that is not only characterized by a feeling of loss of control while eating, but also experiencing guilt, shame or distress after the episode. In fact, NEDA classifies compulsive overeating as the most common eating disorder in America.
Society might see compulsive overeaters as being careless toward their body and health. What they fail to understand is that food is an overeater’s way of coping with negative emotions.
Compulsive Eating Leads to Obesity
Most people, at various stages of life, might find themselves surprisingly driven toward food, where eating feels out of control. Food becomes an addiction, which makes individuals gain weight. Such people are unable to master their cravings and just mindlessly pick and nibble on snacks throughout the day.
Compulsive overeaters usually lack the willpower to stop and they prefer eating for their comfort rather than out of hunger. However, for most, not being able to control the eating is frustrating and agonizing. Being overweight makes them feel like a prisoner in their own body.
Have you suffered enormously from being overweight for most of your life? You feel ashamed, depressed, lonely, in despair, perhaps you even hate yourself?You do not have to anymore. It’s easy to get trapped in the debilitating pattern throughcontinued use of food for comfort and escaping from a bad situation. You might have experienced repeated failed attempts to change this eating behavior, but this does not mean that it cannot end. Instead of filling your life with regrets and breaking promises to yourself, there is a need to add more willpower and discipline to your efforts, which means enlisting the help of a psychotherapist.
Weight loss treatments involve a combination of support, guidance, education and gentle confrontation. The aim is to uncover and address the underlying factors responsible for such self-destructive behavior. Psychotherapists often combine a cognitive-behavioral approach with a psychodynamic model, and a family therapy perspective to achieve the weight loss goal, explains Linda Charnes, a leading psychotherapist in New York. What is important is to recognize that you need help and then seek a professional who can help you overcome compulsive overeating.