Getting Help for Binge Eating Disorder

by | Eating Disorder Recovery

Have you recently been diagnosed with binge eating disorder? Or maybe you haven’t been diagnosed, but struggle with binge eating behaviors. Getting help for binge eating disorder can be difficult. Especially if you don’t know where to look. Be proud of yourself for reading this blog and starting your search! This blog aims to discuss how you can find resources on getting help for binge eating disorder. As well as tips for navigating binge eating disorder recovery. 

 

1. You are not to blame. 

 

Before we discuss tips for getting help for binge eating disorder, it’s important to remember one thing. You are not to blame for your eating disorder. Binge eating disorder (BED) is a complex mental health illness. People struggling with this diagnosis require a lot of support. For instance, “just don’t eat” or “just stop eating” is not enough. Environmental, cultural and genetic factors play a role in the development of binge eating disorder. It’s not your fault. You are not to blame.

 

2. Bingeing is a survival mechanism

I can understand how bingeing feels “out of control”. How it feels like if you just didn’t eat certain foods, or were able to eat less, then you wouldn’t binge. However, remember that bingeing is a survival mechanism. Binge eating is often caused by restriction. Including the following. Restricting the amount of food throughout the day, restricting the types of food, or restricting emotions. So, when you have urges to binge, it’s very possible your body feels like it’s in survival mode. Your body then triggers a strong desire to eat. Our bodies can’t tell the difference between unintentionally restricting and intentionally restricting. Both have the same physical and emotional side effects. A binge eating disorder dietitian can support you in navigating the restrict/binge cycle. And how you can adequately fuel your body while also enjoying food. 

 

3. Find local support options 

You do not have to recover from your eating disorder alone! Consider looking for local support options when getting help for binge eating disorder. I would recommend working with a dietitian and a therapist. Some people also find support groups helpful. 

You can also check the NEDA Treatment Finder. The HAES Community Website. Or the ANAD treatment finder to find local options.

Courage to Nourish provides eating disorder nutrition therapy for clients in VA, DC, MD and PA. We have two physical offices in College Park and Columbia, MD. We can also work with clients in a few other states like Colorado and California. So please reach out if you’re looking for an eating disorder dietitian. We’d be happy to answer your questions, schedule an appointment, or direct you to other resources. 

If local support is tough to find, I’d head to our resources page and download our handout about helpful instagram accounts, podcasts and books. 

 

4. Work with a Health at Every Size © or HAES dietitian

When healing your relationship with food, an eating disorder dietitian can be a crucial resource. The dietitian’s role is to support you in finding a peaceful relationship with food. By providing gentle guidance about food and nutrition. I’d recommend working with a dietitian who aligns with HAES. A HAES eating disorder dietitian will aim to create a safe, non-judgmental space. As you explore your relationship with food, body and movement. In this space, you will focus less on weight goals and more on finding a deeper connection with your hunger and fullness cues. This can be a scary and difficult process. However, your dietitian will work alongside you each step of the way.

5. Learn about diet culture

 

What is diet culture? Diet culture is a system of beliefs that idolizes thinness. It also demonizes fatness, labels food and behaviors as good or bad. Lastly, it promotes health as a moral and cultural obligation. You can read more about diet culture by reading Christy Harrison’s blog. 

Once we learn about diet culture, we begin to understand how diet culture influences body image, food choices and exercise behaviors. Diet culture promotes restrictive eating habits, guilt surrounding food and body, rigid rules around exercise and shame if you don’t follow these rules. When trying to reduce bingeing and to form a positive relationship with food, it will be helpful to process the restriction, rules, and shame you have around eating. If you realize you engage in diet culture. That’s okay. We all grow up in diet culture and it takes time to identify and process how diet culture influences us. 

 

6. Your eating disorder is valid.

 

 

Eating disorders are represented in the media. They are often riddled with stereotypes. Reminder: your eating disorder is 100% valid. If food or body image or exercising is causing any sort of disrupting to your life, you deserve recovery. As well as feeling comfortable and confident in your relationship with food. 

If you read this blog, and any of the above resonates with you, please reach out. Courage to Nourish is a team of compassionate and knowledgeable dietitians who want to help. If you’re feeling hesitant, I totally understand. We offer 15 minute “discovery calls.” You can ask questions and get to know your dietitian before meeting with her. 

If you’re not ready to schedule an appointment, click here to head to our resources page. It could be helpful to browse a few recovery resources before taking the next step. 

Contact us today for more information about meeting with one of our dietitians. Also, sign up for our client or clinician newsletter!

Alex Raymond, RD, LD, CEDRD

Alex Raymond, RD, LD, CEDRD-S

Helping my clients cultivate meaningful connections and interests outside of their eating disorder is a true passion of mine. I like to think my clients and I are on a team to navigate recovery. I love working with high school and college students as well as athletes seeking to have a better relationship with exercise. I am a proud anti-diet dietitian and work with my clients through a Health At Every Size © and intuitive eating framework.

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