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Binge Eating

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Category: Beauty Talk
Forum Name: Diet Days
Forum Description: A place for sharing ideas, tips and our daily struggles
Printed Date: January 28 2023 at 10:38am

Topic: Binge Eating
Posted By: Elissa
Subject: Binge Eating
Date Posted: June 13 2003 at 11:44am
We began discussing the bad feelings some people have after eating or overeating. I mentioned that I have the propensity to binge, and how troubling that can be.

I was wondering for any binge eaters out there, what does it take for you to stop the cycle? I know for me, a binge day tends to lead to another binge day and then another and's a viscious cycle. But if I have one good day, it's easy for me to keep building on that and stop the cycle. I was bingeing a little bit on fruit since I've been home from work for over a week. Yesterday I was out of the house all day, and that's all it took for me to get back on track. Now it feels like it never happened and I don't have the urge to do it anymore.

So what methods to people use to stop dangerous eating patterns, or binges?



Posted By: Stinka
Date Posted: June 14 2003 at 10:13am
Hey, hey.

Okay, here's my tips to not binge eating, and it works pretty well.

1) My triggers to binge eating is that I can still taste the food I just ate in my mouth, and for some reason, I still go onto eat more. It's weird, yeah, but that's what it is. I usually drink a lot of water after, or before, I eat. That way, I feel full, and there's less of a chance that I'll binge eat when I'm already bloated.

2) Just simply avoid the kitchen, and any food that's left out for you to pick at. Go to your room, go watch tv, go on a walk. Keep yourself occupied.

3) Don't ignore your cravings. Chances are when you've binged, your body wanted something. If you have a craving, satisfy it in small amounts. If you ignore it, you're more likely to snap, and eat a whole tub of ice cream rather than just have a cone.

4) Give yourself a nice time interval after you've eaten. Say, five, ten mintues. Let the food go down, and wait and see if you're still full. If you're not, then don't eat anymore. If you are, then continue eating slowly, or until you feel like you're full.

Hope that helps!


"And to make a long story short, I was wearing an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time..."

Posted By: Orc
Date Posted: June 15 2003 at 5:58am
I have read somewhere that it takes the brain 20 minutes before it knows that there is food in your body!
What I do is, after I eat and I know that I have had enough but my brain is telling otherwise; I have a go at the popcorn that I make at home without the butter or salt (I have a popcorn machine). It is light, full of fiber and it tastes good and above all, it satisfies you with fewer calories.

Blijf luisteren naar je lichaam en haar!

Posted By: Unregistered Guest
Date Posted: June 15 2003 at 11:19am
Has anyone been part of any of the 12 step programs designed around binge issues? If so, did you find that they helped or not?


Posted By: Karen Shelton
Date Posted: June 15 2003 at 1:28pm

I was active in Overeaters Anonymous and worked the program for years. I still follow the 12 steps for all aspects of my life although my current addiction of choice is work. :-).

While OA is not a diet club in any way, it does help you figure out who you are and what drives your food choices and behaviors. I found it a very worthwhile experience. Throughout my life I have had periods that included extreme starving, binging and other unhealthy exercise & eating behaviors. Since my time at OA many years ago I have not repeated those destructive eating or body abuse patterns. Its not easy to be in a 12 step if you really work it because it opens up all your family of origin "stuff" and exposes the demons in your life. But if you do make the effort and find your true self it offers you a more enriched life and often helps soothe the nastiest of personal deamons. :-)

Best wishes,

That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger or drives you totally insane. :-)

Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: June 16 2003 at 9:41pm
I was also active in OA for a number of years, and it really changed my life. I too delved very deeply into the root causes of and influences on my eating behaviors. Some of that was very painful, but it was very helpful. OA helped me to identify certain personality traits that were holding me back, things I didn't like about myself, and gave me tools to use to change these things. All of this in turn helped me to stop overeating. Unfortunately, I did return to overeating after leaving the program but my symptoms have become progressively lighter over the years.

I still carry with me, and apply, most of the things I learned in the program in my daily life. I think the most important thing I learned in the program was this: in conflicts with others, I learned to look at how I have been at fault or how I contributed to causing or carrying on the conflict. I learned not to blame others, but to take responsibility for my own dissatisfaction with people, places and things. This certainly has nothing to do with eating and dieting, but in the program people believe that it's all connected. When I'm living as a good, honest, compassionate person, I'm a lot less likely to overeat.

For more information, check out -


Posted By: Unregistered Guest
Date Posted: June 17 2003 at 9:04pm
Dear Karen & Elissa,

Thank you so much for your honesty. I have been alternately starving and purging and overeating for years. Only one or two of my closest friends know and even my boyfriend doesn't know. I stop for awhile but then it gets so much worse.

Did either of you also purge? You said you starved and did the binge food thing. If you don't mind sharing I would appreciate any help.


Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: June 18 2003 at 8:29am
Dear Deep,
It sounds as though you have an eating disorder that could really affect your health. I have a 17 year old daughter who binges and purges and we have been trying to help her for the past two years. I have never been up against something as baffling and heartbreaking as this and there is no easy answer for fixing it. I see it as an addiction, and unless you are totally committed to stopping and really want to stop, and are willing to work at it almost minute by minute it is very difficult to stop. It is very complex and hard for people on the outside to understand. I feel terribly guilty because as a mother I think I must have done something to my daughter to make her feel so badly about herself that she has to do this. At this point she is totally denying that she has a problem and we are at a standstill. She is seeing a therapist but right now they aren't progressing.

Here is what I know so far. Paxil (the antidepressant) is helpful in at least reducing the need to binge and purge. It controls the impulsive behavior somewhat. Second, it is almost impossible to completely recover from an eating disorder and you need to have a support group you can rely on 24/7. Third, the need to do this is so profound and complex that you need the help of a professional who specializes in eating disorders to work with you. Fourth, unless the person wants to stop they won't no matter what kinds of interventions are tried. Because many people are somewhat successful in controlling their weight this way and like how they look as a result, they will not be persuaded to stop no matter what. You have to desperately feel that you have a problem and be willing to reach out for help and do the hard work to get to the bottom of the problems. It is extremely painful.

If you haven't sought professional help please, please do so quickly. There are several organizations on the internet who can point you to experienced professionals in your area. If you can't afford that, try OA. They are a big help too. There is nothing about the way your body looks that is worth losing your health and even your life over.

And please don't think I am judging or preaching to you. I know you must be in a great deal of pain. Just believe me, there are other ways to deal with it that in the end will make your life so much better. There are no easy answers but dedication and determination will see you through to the other side of this. Don't stop looking for help until you find the right solution for you. You can't do this alone and there are lots of people out there who can and will help you if you give them an opportunity.

I think you may be wrong about how many people know or suspect that you are binging and purging. The behavior becomes obvious to those who are around you pretty quickly. They may just be afraid to confront you about it. It is a very scary thing to be up against as a parent or significant other and sometimes it is easier to just ignore it. If you open up to your boyfriend or your parents, you may find that they knew and just didn't know how to help you. Asking for help is the first and hardest step toward recovery.

Good luck. Stay on the board and let us know how you are doing. Asking here for information is a great step forward. Keep on looking.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: June 19 2003 at 10:50am

Welcome to the board. Although I have never been a purger, I do know how painful it is to be unable to stop overeating, to eat to the point of sickness and to be caught in a cycle where you can't stop. It is a nightmare.
And as demodoll said, it is quite baffling to ourselves and our loved ones.

I agree with demodoll that seeking a professional who is experienced in eating disorders is definitely needed. I worked with a great therapist who helped me tremendously. The 12 step OA program together with the therapist really helped. OA is not just for fat people who want to lose weight, it is a place for anyone who desires to stop the horrors of overeating.

I have been close with several bulimic girls who went to eating rehabs. Basically you go inpatient for 4-6 weeks. What is wonderful about it is that you are in a controlled environment, so you *will* stop bingeing and purging. That takes a lot of the pressure off of you, leaving you free to work on getting better. When you go home you are armed with a whole set of tools that will help you live happily and normally.

Do not give up hope, I know many people who were in your shoes who got better. You will too if you are willing to take the steps necessary to recovery. Confide in your mom or best friend, or husband or whomever can help you get the professional help you need. This WILL stop if you take some steps.

Best of luck, lots of love and PLEASE do let us know how you are doing. Also feel free to email me, if you need a sympathetic ear or help finding resources.



Posted By: wheeler
Date Posted: July 14 2003 at 6:23pm
Please, please do not blame yourself for you daughter's eating disorder. Sure upbringing has something to do with addiction but I believe that other things like deaths or painful situations, genetics, and school environments have more to do with it. I've been struggling with an eating disorder since I was 13 (I'm 16 now) and my mom has been nothing but wonderful and willing to help me, whatever it takes. There is only so much that you can do and to me it sounds like you're very well informed and very willing to be there for your daughter. I've known girls that have eating issues and they have everything that could ever possibly be given to them (loving family, wealth, friends, good grades and looks), yet somehow they started a vicious cycle of self destruction and they simply can not stop. I'm sorry for writting such a terribly depressing post. I just wanted to say that I hope you don't blame yourself for your daughter's disorder. I wish you the best and if you ever want to talk to someone that's in your daughters shoes or you have a question that a therapist can't answer etc, please also feel free to email me at
Best Regards,
~ Emily

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.
- M. Scott Peck

Posted By: tina m
Date Posted: July 14 2003 at 11:18pm
The only time I ever did binge eating was when I used to smoke marijuana. I would get the munchies and eat like a pig!

I'm lucky I guess, I've never been overweight and never felt like I had to binge eat or purge or starve myself or any of that.

To be honest I don't understand all of that. Just eat healthy food in moderation. That fills you up and it tastes good so why eat unhealthy when you can eat healthy?

But like I said, I don't have that problem so I can't understand what some people are going through with it.


Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: July 15 2003 at 4:45am

Eating disorders are a type of mental illness. There is no rhyme or reason to them.

I wish it was as simple as "just eat normally". It's kind of like telling an alcoholic "just drink normally. Why get rip roaring drunk and destroy your life when you can just drink moderately and have a nice time?". The behavior is compulsive and can't be simply arrested.

Most of the world has trouble understanding eating disordered behavior, not just you.



Posted By: Giles
Date Posted: July 15 2003 at 12:27pm
Tina and Elissa:

One problem that folks with an eating disorder have that other addicted people don't is that they can't just quit. Go to AA and stop drinking completely (but many of them smoke like fiends), similarly with drugs. But people with eating disorders still have to eat. This makes it far more insidious.


Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: July 15 2003 at 4:53pm
Indeed, Giles. Normal eating is like asking an alcoholic to have three drinks a day and not get out of control.

Food is never an issue for me until I start eating. I am fine until then. But sometimes when I start eating I simply cannot stop. I suddenly feel overwhelmed by a compulsion to keep eating. Thank god I am in control of it these days. But some days are a real struggle. For those who are lucky enough not to know, I can't even begin to tell you what a nightmare it is to not be able to stop eating when you want to, especially when you are eating past the point of sickness. It is horrifying.

Thank you for making that excellent point, Giles.



Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: July 17 2003 at 12:11pm
Thanks for your kind words but I think as a mom I will always place some blame for my daughter's eating disorder on myself. It is just so hard to deal with. I always felt like I could handle most of the stuff that teenagers do having been sort of wild myself but this is not something I ever expected. Drugs, unwanted pregnancy, that stuff I could deal with but this is so insidious. I guess she just won't get over it until she is ready. We have her on Paxil which seems to curb the impulse a lot but I know she still purges occasionally. I don't want to follow her to the bathroom every time she eats but what else can you do???

I think you are right though. Society plays a huge part in all this. She actually told me she tried it after seeing a show about bulemia on TV. I guess they discussed "techniques" or something and she was going to a swimming party and that solved her "tummy problem." She was in a horrible accident and spent a lot of time in a wheel chair. After she was walking again it got really bad for awhile. She is better now but an angry person in general. She is very beautiful but like most of us she can't see it herself. She does realize it to a degree though because she gets a LOT of attention and perks due to how she looks. At least her weight is normal and she is working out again but I know that doesn't mean a whole lot in the world of bulemia. Many people who do that are normal or even overweight.

I hope things will even out for her. The accident was the turning point toward full blown bulemia but she is doing better. I wish there was something else I can do but then I have my own body issues, especially as I age. That is very, very hard.

I could go on and on. Thanks for all the support out there.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: July 17 2003 at 9:25pm

It must have been so difficult for you and the entire family, first the accident and then the recovery period and onset of the eating disorder. I'm so sorry you had to experience that.

I have known many eating disordered women, including my own mother, cousin, and many friends. When it onsets during the teen years, it does tend to get better as the young woman matures. I hope things just keep getting even better for her and for you.



Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: July 21 2003 at 5:30pm
I hope that holds true for my daughter. She did tell me the other day that piercing the tongue apparently stops all purging behavior immediately. She has been angling for that for quite some time but I find it frightening to see one of those studs sparkling around in someone's mouth. I am sure she'll do it on her 18th birthday if she hasn't already though. Her friends all have pierced tongues that they hide from their parents..... Sigh.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: July 21 2003 at 5:38pm
They gross me out, but then I used to put unclean safety pins right through my ear piercings (circa 1980) and I suppose that was pretty gross, too.

Is it Karen Shelton whose sig line says "that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger?" I'm not a parent YET but I have the feeling that one will come in handy....someday.

It sounds like the two of you are close. Some day she'll be grown with a daughter of her own and you guys will be even closer.



Posted By: whitney_brett
Date Posted: July 21 2003 at 9:10pm
i feel like i've finally gotten my binge eating under control somewhat. it helps me to plan ahead---i know this isnt always practical but if i plan out exactly what i'm going to eat for the day and i make sure that it's enough i find that i don't need to binge. I'm very much a person that appreciates order and i do very well in a structured setting, so if i plan out exactly what i'm going to eat and when for a couple days, i get used to the amount of food and type of food that i'm eating and no longer feel the urge to binge. Whew that was a long sentence...hope it made sense.

demodoll...i hope your daughter is doing well, i'll pray for you and your family. I'm 17 and i too have watched movies about bulimia and tried to purge, but thank goodness i was never successful. i wonder what it is about those movies that triggers in a teenager's mind that purging is okay to do...

"Honey, I've always said if your genitals are on the outside, you're hiding something on the inside!" ~ Karen Walker ...~*Whitney*~...

Posted By: reggia
Date Posted: July 21 2003 at 10:44pm
whoops, double post


Posted By: reggia
Date Posted: July 21 2003 at 10:45pm
For years, I couldn't understand how someone could overeat or binge. At that time, I could never force a single bite that I wasn't truly hungry for. However, yes, a however , after my 2nd child I found I had to eat alot faster and I was very hungry. At this time, I started the Fit for Life diet (which helped me lose the 40 lbs from pregnancy) and, surprising to me, began craving foods which led to bingeing. I'm talking whole bags of potato chips, half a cake, large servings of cookies. I believe that there must have been elements/minerals missing from my diet. So acting on that theory are two things that have been helpful for preventing the craving in the first place.

If salty foods are the craving, try eating celery more often as it is high in sodium. Maybe seafoods from the ocean would be helpful, too.

If it's sweet foods then make sure you're getting at least 2-3 servings of fruit each day. I found that taking L-glutamine helped the sugar cravings, too. Just be sure not to take for more than a few weeks at a time. I read that taking any amino acid for too long upsets the balance.


Posted By: Elissa
Date Posted: July 22 2003 at 7:01am
oh my god, reggia, I never even thought of that. I have not had the sugar craving for over a YEAR! I eat so much fruit, maybe even too much (though my sugar level is quite normal thank goodness).

I think this theory has a LOT of merit! This could be the reason I have not craved sugar at all. I used to eat whole bags of cookies, containers of ice cream, etc. I know that there is a psychological aspect too. But here we have a person who never had any type of eating disorder who came up with a good theory.

Now come up with a cure for the refined carb craving, and I'll love you forever!



Posted By: demodoll
Date Posted: July 22 2003 at 4:33pm
That is an interesting theory. Perhaps some kind of physical imbalance. Since this often first occurs in the teens (or after having a baby) I wonder if there is some sort of hormonal component involved. I remember once when I was about 15 I ate nine peaches while watching an episode of Star Trek. I cannot imagine doing that now.

"It is better to look marvelous than to feel marvelous" Billy Crystal

Posted By: Scarlet Ribbons
Date Posted: March 27 2004 at 12:59am
Hi, I've been throught this whole thing for years, and I've never completely gotten over it- I'll revert a few times when I get really stressed out, but one thing that has helped me was an article I read a little while ago. It said to judge your hunger on a scale from one to ten- one being absolutely starving, and 10 being completely full and bursting at the seams. You should try eat when you are at a 4, which would be slightly hungry, and eat until you are at a 5, being not hungry, and not full. That way, you don't over eat, and you don't starve yourself to the point to when you finally do eat, you just eat everything because you're so hungry.
Hope that helps!

Everything is a test to see what you
will do.

Posted By: Benji the Sausage
Date Posted: June 21 2004 at 7:35pm
ive never. really binged. for three years ive struggled with anorexia and bulimia. on and off. in the beginning i starved myself mostly, them moved on to throwing up. i just recently stopped that. even though i will do it occasionally. i dont binge either. if i eat a normal meal, i'll throw it up. i never eat until uncomfortably full. if im eating something healthy, i wont throw up, but if i have just a normal portion of a rich or fatty food I will.

so. no. i don't binge. and being that i have, for the past three years, spent most of my time eating very SMALL portions, i dont really understand how people could binge eat. but i do understand the problems with food at least, as mine have been equally as bad, just the opposite.

im 16 now. i started this when i was 13. just under 3 years ago.

i didn't really realize how long this has been going on. until yesterday a friend of mine who moved away two years ago moved back and came to visit, and complimented me on being thin. and said "remember back when you used to throw up everything?... that was really scary. I was worried" and i realized ive been having this problem for YEARS.

i dont think i'll ever eat a lot, or be particularly normal about this. im much better than i was. but this goes in cycles. i'll be fine for a while and it will come back. the first few times i thought i had kicked the habit of it but now ive realized it's damned impossible to beat.

BSL/Blonde/Chemically Treated (abused)
I swear by Redken Extreme and Shea Butter.

Posted By: kaylajean444
Date Posted: April 08 2005 at 1:24am

i have been trying to loose a few pounds, and i'll do good untill the evening but i guess i don't eat enough, and then i just give up and eat a ton.. feel terrible afterwards.. and i don't know how to stop!

Posted By: Kuroneko
Date Posted: April 10 2005 at 1:15am
You should probably try to eat small amounts of food maybe every four or five hours, so you're never hungry.  Carry around healthy snacks like an apple, baby carrots, celery sticks, a banana, just something good for you to snack on whenever you're hungry.  Oh, and carry around a water bottle, too, because water is also filling.  Hopefully if you can keep yourself from getting too hungry, you'll be less likely to binge. . . unless you eat on cravings.  The hunger is the easy part to take care of, really-- it's the cravings that kill me :-P .

More awesome than a manatee!

Posted By: Kalika
Date Posted: April 21 2005 at 7:45am

I am diagnosed with binge eating disorder and bulimia.  I would recommend overeaters anynomous, a nutritionest/dietician, doctor, anyone.  Bing eating IS an eating disorder, and there is help for it.

(edit: if your like me then overeaters any. may not be your best bet.  They stressed the spiritual/god thing entirely too much for my taste, and I dont believe just "hoping/praying/wishing" for something will make it happen.  I am not religious and therfor did not feel welcome) 

Posted By: eKatherine
Date Posted: April 21 2005 at 8:52am
For many people, the key is solving the problems in their lives that are causing the stress that led to bulimia in the first place. I suppose for some women that might involve a spiritual recovery program...

For me, the first step was getting rid of my nagging ex. Though it took years to get completely over it.

Posted By: Kalika
Date Posted: April 21 2005 at 3:32pm

mine used to grab my stomach and call me "fluffy"

I traded that one in for a newer model.

Posted By: Genie
Date Posted: April 21 2005 at 7:50pm

I've been in OVEREATERS ANONYMOUS for over 15 1/2 yrs... I am maintaining a 125 lb. wt loss.  Before OA, I gained and lost nearly 700 lbs.   Here's a few worthless weapons I used against my bingeing..... doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs, psychiatrists, nutritionists, fat farms, spas, resorts and cosmetic surgeon... all to no avail... I did not have to find out about nutrition, but with OA uncovered the causes and conditions that made me overeat/binge... 



Genie Aldrich

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