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compulsive overeating


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My name is Allison and I lately I have been eating compulsively, and gaining weight very quickly. I have always had an obsession with food, looking at recipes and loving it. But I was always thin and I always restricted myself. THere was even a point at which was I was underweight this past year. But now I have gained all of that weight back in excessive amounts and if i continue down the path I am on, I will soon be overweight. I hate it because I feel like I can't stop eating--once I take one bite I just keep eating, and it doesn't even matter what I am eating. I hate it and I hate that I have gained weight and that I am bigger than I was before. I feel disgusted with myself and I feel gross and fat. I feel like I am in a tunnel and that there is no way out! I want to be able to eat normally and not feel guilty about eating, but to also be able to eat and stop when I am full. I hate that way I am right now---eating everything in sight and not being able to stop. Please give me advice on how to stop or how to feel better--how to get out of this tunnel of overeating that I am in! THanks!

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Lovetruth,

Welcome to our community.

I have a couple of reactions to what you have written:

First is to the self hate you experience as a result of gaining weight. That is a familiar symptom for someone who is binge eating but it is also a familier reaction for many women. Why hate yourself? The idea is to gain control of your eating and I will give you some suggestions.

Second it to the fact that you were very thin last year and that raises the question of whether or not you go back and forth between dieting and bingeing?? Dieting always leads to binge eating or over eating.

Third is the fact that I suspect that your thinking is an example of what we call "catastrophising" in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or of exaggerating the state of things way out of proportion. I get the sense that you tell yourself that you will become as big as a house unless you stop eating. I doubt that.

Fourth, I wonder what stresses you are under these days. Many of us engage in "emotional eating when we are upset or stressed about school, work, family or relationships. Are you engaging in "emotional eating?" What is happening in your life right now??

Getting Control: Some Suggestions:

1. It is recommended that we not go more than four hours in a row without eating something, even a tiny snack. However, this should be alternated with three basic meals:

2. Three meals/day, beginning with breakfast, then, tiny snacks between, like eating a couple of carrots, or almonds, something to take the hunger away and that is low in calories.

3. Refrain from dieting, it will just make you feel resentful and your body will want to make up for missed calories.

4. Lots of exercise, aerobic types such as jogging, running, bicycle, etc.

5. Do not drink alcohol or use drugs, these will make things worse. Limit coffee, if you drink coffee, to no more than two cups. Caffeine increase appetite.

If necessary, you can consult a nutritionist or there are lots of self help books.

What do you think and what suggestions do others have???


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  • 2 weeks later...


I think what Allan and JR have had to say is good information so I hope you will read it over carefully. You may also want to read over our Eating Disorders topic center which has sections on binge eating problems.

Like Allan, I wonder if something stressful has occurred in your life recently that may have precipitated your switch into a compulsive eating mode. Can you share with us a little more about what has been happening in your life?


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  • 4 weeks later...

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