When it comes to treating those who suffer from Binge Eating Disorders (BED), there is a debate between two camps. Some believe that it is important to address the disorder with all its psychological underpinnings that form the core and root of the issues to which Binge Eaters struggle with incessantly. On the other hand, there are those who believe that it is vital to address the issue of obesity and have the Binge Eater undergo a behavioral weight-loss program that would directly address lifestyle issues surrounding eating / dietary behaviors, extensive exercise regimes, as well as eventually and indirectly attend to the underlying psychological issues in due time. As Kelly Brownell, PHD, a psychologist who heads the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders said, “If you’re not treating the weight, it’s like helping someone get rid of a hangnail and leaving the cancer.”He further added, “Binge eating is not of public health significance – eliminating it does not address all of the potential long-term sequelae of obesity such as hypertension, stroke, and heart attack.” Hence, when treating this illness of diverse approaches, it is important to treat the immediate health concern and prevent further future damage by addressing the underlying psychological issues of the disorder.
Treatment Options for Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
There are a number of treatment options available for Binge Eaters to overcome the problem of binge eating. They are as follows:
Behavioral Weight Loss
This intervention targets the obesity of Binge Eaters. It is a clinical intervention wherein Binge Eaters are put on a calorie-strict diet as well as active participation in physical exercise. Over time, weight loss is monitored alongside meal planning, based on nutritional value and the number of calorie intake per meal (for example, 800 kilocalories/kcal a day). A cautionary note: Behavioral weight loss needs tempered with especially if it leads to calorie-counting, bulimic, and or anorexic tendencies as a cross-addiction coping mechanism. Due care must be taken by qualified clinicians in this area of expertise.
Nutrition Counselling & Education
This intervention is designed to help restore normal eating patterns as well as build awareness around the importance of a balanced diet. This will help Binge Eaters plan their meals carefully based on nutritional requirement rather than on their desires to splurge. The difference between having a splurge or binge session as compared to nurturing oneself nutritionally will be appreciated and applied to form sober eating habits.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This is considered one of the most effective psychotherapeutic treatments for BED. Having awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and connecting it with the behaviors and habits of the disorder, has for many done wonders in changing the way they relate with food.
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
A study was done wherein patients had up to a 2-year remission rate with CBT alone. However, the stability of those who underwent CBT-guided IPT, wherein participants were given meaningful and empirical feedback by peers and or loved ones, were more sound than those who simply underwent CBT. This is because the evidence of their actions with regards to food could be seen in the plain light of concerned feedback by people who care for them.
Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
This therapy, which teaches Binge Eaters how to control and regulate emotions around their disorder, has been deemed to work in helping BED sufferers overcome this disorder.
BED or Binge Eating Disorder is a chronic disease based on compulsive food bingeing. As it is a chronic illness, there is no fast fix or cure. What is recommended is for Binge Eaters to change their relationship with life. Instead of seeing it as an opportunity for endless cycles of food splurges and despair, to replace it with meaningful relationships, healthy food choices, and a dynamically active lifestyle; seeking the highs, once attained in food, with the highs of simple living.
For an active binge eater, this may seem to be astoundingly difficult if not impossible to attain. Yet, there are many who have recovered from this illness by living a life free from the active obsession and compulsion that goes hand in hand with BED. How did they do this? They got the help they needed. BED is not something that one can cure or fix alone. Treatment is a necessary first step in this process of change.
At Solace Sabah, we guarantee a holistic and highly individualized treatment program based on your presenting binge eating problem. You or your loved one will be assessed with the best and latest, medical science can offer. We will treat all your physical problems that have resulted from BED. When you are physically well enough, you or your loved one will learn how to replace a BED-ridden lifestyle for one that exalts living for life!