Binge Eating Disorder Help

Pretty certain that I have Binge Eating Disorder. Would appreciate any tips for helping manage it, especially those of you have that have been able to keep it under control within the stressful IB environment

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Comments (17)

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 12:26am

For me it's therapy and seeing a psychiatrist that helped. What's your trigger? Did you have any past experiences that contributed to your BED?

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2021 - 12:51am

Not sure if I have a specific trigger. I usually keep track of calories and some weekends I end up eating absurd amounts of food because I feel an impulse to or I'm stressed. Almost always feel like shit after

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 10:24am

I deal with the same too. For a while I had to delete all food delivery apps (lol) and portion out the snacks so i don't go overboard. I also try to limit unhealthy foods at home so even during a binge I'd only eat healthier foods

Apr 5, 2021 - 1:52pm

Not sure if I have a specific trigger. I usually keep track of calories and some weekends I end up eating absurd amounts of food because I feel an impulse to or I'm stressed. Almost always feel like shit after

You have to identify your triggers and stressors to effectively deal with the underlying issues to effectively cope with them. If you don't take a step back and objectively identify the causes, it will be impossible to fix. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Apr 5, 2021 - 12:23pm

For me it's therapy and seeing a psychiatrist that helped. What's your trigger? Did you have any past experiences that contributed to your BED?

Yes, therapy would be the best solution

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Apr 5, 2021 - 11:28am

Really sorry you're going through this - used to have this problem too and know how difficult it can be.

My suggestion would be to try intuitive eating, the dietician Abbey Sharp has some really good YouTube videos which deal with this, but the general concept is:

  • never restrict anything so that you don't feel there are 'bad' foods which there's a shortage of and that you binge on when you finally have access to them. You need to get into a mindset when you can have the cookie if you want it, but youre able to actually assess you're body's needs to determine if you actually want the cookie (or are just bored)

-gentle nutrition - so making sure each meal has some protein, healthy fat, and carbs to keep you full and satiated (ie satisfied mentally). Esp when eating a food which might be classed as 'bad' try pairing this with a protein so that you feel more satiated quicker

Hope this helps a bit. Works for me most of the time (along with not keeping binge foods in the house) but no one's perfect and don't blame yourself for slipping up sometimes - it sounds like you're under a lot of pressure and are using food as a form of stress relief

Apr 5, 2021 - 11:28am

If you can, I would try to keep more high volume foods around and fewer calorically dense options. That way when you get the urge to binge you'll feel satiated sooner and from generally healthier options. Obviously a bandaid to the underlying issues/triggers that cause you to binge, but may help to stave off some of the health issues associated with binging in the meantime

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 5, 2021 - 2:55pm

Second this - also try going for a run/exercise when you feel like binging (although obviously not always possible if you're snowed under at work)

I have less of an urge to binge when I'm in the office or with friends bc am surrounded by other people and binging is something I'd do by myself

Apr 5, 2021 - 12:46pm

Not sure if you do this already, try some meditation (diaphragmatic breathing.) Maybe drinking more water as well. 

Most Helpful
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Apr 5, 2021 - 4:11pm

Can relate- I used to stress eat things like ice cream and other sweets. I also used to binge eat while watching netflix bc I was bored (was probably stressed too). Couple things you should do:

1) Don't even buy the foods that you binge. I'm guessing you're not binging eggs/chicken/steak etc. So only keep good food in the house. The only snack I eat anymore is fruit (handful of berries- cures sugar cravings) or 1 protein bar/day. That's it. No other snacks in my house. I think Americans snack more than any other culture anyway so not a bad thing to cut out. The longer you go without a binge session, the easier it is to tell yourself no next time you're craving one.

2) When you start craving your binge food, recognize what's triggering you. For me it was anxiety/stress. Food is just a cope at that point and doesn't help. Once you acknowledge your trigger, it gets easier over time to shut down your cravings. Focus on things you can control right now to alleviate some of the stress or anxiety. 

3) When you have a craving, chug a bunch of water. Most times, the craving will subside.

4) Plan your meals out for the week in advance. Log everything at the beginning of each day. That way, there's no room to accidentally eat too much. You check myfitnesspal and see exactly what you'll be eating for B/L/D and any snacks. No thinking, everything's on autodrive. 

5) No eating while watching TV. It's so easy to overeat while watching TV. It's mindless. It's scientifically proven that people eat more while watching TV. Don't do it. 

6) Do some sort of exercise each day. A 1-mile run takes 6-8min. There's circuits that take ~15-20 min. No excuse not to do the minimum. This will help curb cravings and your body will want healthy food. A person above said to go exercise when you feel like binging, obviously not the best long-term solution, but is definitely a good solution in the short-term to get you started.

Maybe set a goal, like trying to be ~12% bf with a good amount of muscle in 6 months. This way, you'll have a voice in your head telling you not to binge bc you want to achieve the bf target, but you also won't do a 180 and feel the need to starve yourself (would cause you to lose muscle).

7) I know it's hard to get sleep being in IB but try to get 6-7+ hrs. This might mean that you have to cut out netflix or something. It sucks but being sleep deprived causes you to have unhealthy cravings and less willpower.

Find ways to decrease your stress (sounds like that's your trigger). Meditate for 10 minutes every morning. Go for a 10-15 minute walk in the evening. Exercise more. Focus on the things you can control in your life and not the things you can't. Positive affirmations may help you as well. Don't write off things that sound silly or weird at first. They may work for you and you don't have to tell anyone else that you do them.

Lastly- good on you for creating this post and asking for help. It takes a lot to ask for help/admit you have a problem. Putting your ego aside and working on yourself is so good for your longterm health/growth as a person. Know you're not alone and I wish you the best.

Apr 8, 2021 - 10:52pm

I do everything that anon intern posted above. In addition, I also fast. 

When I know I'm not going to be stressed I take 2 days to fast to reset myself. Due to your field of work, it might be tough. If you can, try 36 hours and break the fast with a small meal and a glass of water. Avoid highly processed foods for the next day or two.

Go, Go, Excel

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2021 - 4:43am

Really doubt that this is a good way to help binge eating disorder, especially when you take into account that people with BED often get into a toxic undereating/ overeating pattern (eg. eating very little M-F, only to feel ravenous at the weekend and binge uncontrollably with an all-or-nothing mentality)

There's also very little scientific backing for any health benefits of fasting - obviously not eating is going to help you lose a bit of weight, but a significant proportion will be muscle mass / water weight, and it's possible you could become dangerously dehydrated / have electrolyte imbalances (not to mention just feeling generally awful during your fast which is definitely not going to improve your work)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Apr 9, 2021 - 4:45am

Edit: would like to add that if it works for you then good for you! But I'm not sure anyone should be advised to do this without seeing a doctor and/or a registered dietician first, especially if they have a history of disordered eating

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