How To Recover From Binge Eating Disorder

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If you think you may have an eating disorder it is important to seek advice from your GP or health professional. The information in this blog post is intended for information purposes only and is not a substitute for personalised clinical advice. 

Binge eating disorder table with food

Binge eating disorder is thought to affect 1.5% of women and 0.3% of men worldwide. It is one of the most common eating disorders. Binge eating can affect every aspect of your life.

I’m Dr Jenny Davis, a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in eating disorders and emotional eating.

You don’t have to struggle forever with food. You can recover from binge eating disorder. In this article I talk about what binge eating disorder is, how to understand your own triggers, and how to stop binge eating for good.

What is Binge Eating Disorder

Do I have binge eating disorder?

Binge eating disorder can be tricky to identify. It’s not always clear whether someone is struggling with emotional eating or binge eating disorder.

A psychological assessment by a health professional (e.g., practitioner psychologist, mental health nurse, psychiatrist) can help to unpick what you are experiencing.

The diagnostic criteria for binge eating disorder describe eating large amounts of food, over a short period of time, with a sense of having lost control of eating. Binge eating disorder differs from bulimia because people do not use compensatory behaviours (e.g., vomiting, laxatives).

People with binge eating disorder may also struggle with their body image, but this isn’t the case for everyone. Similarly, it’s common for people to find themselves stuck in a cycle of dieting and bingeing. But not everyone with binge eating disorder will be trying to diet.

Binge eating disorder warning signs

If you have binge eating disorder, you might notice some of these warning signs:

  • You feel stuck in a cycle of dieting and then overeating.
  • You feel extremely guilty after binge eating and try to hide it from other people.
  • You are constantly thinking about food, and this makes it hard to concentrate on daily life.
  • You binge eat to cope with difficult emotions such as sadness, guilt, or anxiety.
binge eating disorder warning signs red flag

Causes of binge eating disorder

We don’t know what exactly causes binge eating disorder, or why some people struggle with binge eating whilst others don’t. However, the research has highlighted several key areas.

There has been some emerging research into genetic factors, but the evidence is limited, and no specific genes have been implemented.

Research has suggested that people with binge-eating disorder are more likely to have difficulties with emotion regulation, impulsivity, and process delayed rewards less effectively. These factors may make someone more vulnerable to bingeing.

Societal pressures play a role in the development of binge eating disorder. Western cultures place a high emphasis on thinness and using dieting to control body weight. This can lead people to develop poor body image and dieting places people at a greater risk of binge-eating.

Difficult or traumatic life experiences may also play a role. For example, some people may binge eat as a way to cope with overwhelming negative emotions associated with traumatic memories.

On an individual level, the contributing factors will vary and be specific to the person and their life history. Usually there is a combination of factors at play, and no one cause can be identified.

Therapy for binge eating disorder

Cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders (CBT-ED) is the recommended first-line treatment for binge eating disorder. It is based on the theory that our thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and bodily sensations influence each other. CBT-ED can be delivered in various formats.

The NHS guidelines recommend starting with guided self-help. Guided self-help is usually 8-10, 30-minute sessions. The treatment follows a specific structure, using one of the evidence-based self-help books such as Overcoming Binge Eating or Getting Better Bite by Bite. The therapist sessions are an adjunct to the treatment, to help with motivation and problem solve any difficulties along the way.

CBT-T is a short form version of CBT-ED and the therapist and patient work jointly to help the patient recover from binge eating disorder. It’s 10 sessions (50 minutes) long. Because of this is not suitable for people who are underweight due to the time it takes to restore weight.

woman on a coach, binge eating disorder therapy session

Other therapy approaches

Some people find that they have tried CBT for binge eating but they continue to struggle. CBT is not the right fit for everyone and a different approach to therapy might be more appropriate.

Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) helps people to understand how their eating difficulty might have developed, including understanding how our brains have evolved in relation to food. CFT focusses on increasing self-compassion (or being kind to ourselves) and may be particularly helpful for people that struggle with self-criticism.

Schema therapy places emphasis on how early childhood experiences influence our beliefs and behavioural patterns in the present. Understanding these links can help us to learn what lies behind our actions (e.g. bingeing) and to look after ourselves in a healthy and compassionate way.

Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) is also used to treat binge eating disorder. It is helpful for people who feel their emotions very intensely and may binge as a way to distract themselves or soothe from difficult feelings. DBT aims to help people accept their emotions, understand their patterns, and develop new skills to manage intense emotions in positive ways.

How to recover from binge eating disorder

What causes binge eating?

We have talked about the different biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the development of binge-eating disorder. But what causes binge-eating itself?

Our evolution vs our environment

Our bodies have evolved for a very different world to the modern environment that we live in.

Our ancestors lived in a time where food was scarce and eating food whenever it was available was a successful strategy. We now have an abundance of food, much of which is ultra-processed and highly palatable.

Our brains did not evolve to be able to stop us eating too much food, because we didn’t need this ability. It’s no surprise that people tend to overeat in our modern food environment.

One response to this modern food environment has been the development of “diet culture”. The diet industry is worth billions and is full of incorrect messages and conflicting advice. About 90% of diets fail in the long term, meaning an individual’s weight increases again, often above their starting point.

Diet culture has lead thousands of people to believe that eating “too much” is morally wrong, and not being able to keep weight off is their personal failure. The reality is that it is our environment that is the problem, not us!  

Under-eating

Under-eating (usually because of a calorie restrictive diet) is one of the primary causes of binge-eating. When we eat less than our body needs our blood sugar drops and this triggers our brains to seek food. The longer we diet, the more likely we are to end up binge eating.

Food rules

Following strict rules about eating can also trigger a binge. Strict rules are hard to follow, and when we inevitably break them, it can cause a “stuff it” mindset.

For example, if we try to follow a rule that “I must not eat chocolate” but end up eating some at the end of the day, it can trigger a thought “well I’ve messed up anyway now so I might as well eat whatever”, leading to a binge.

Disinhibition

Disinhibition refers to having reduced self-control. This can be caused by a number of factors. Temporary factors include alcohol and recreational drug consumption. Disinhibition may also be part of a neurodevelopmental condition such as ADHD.

When we have reduced self-control, we are more likely to act impulsively and this can make us more vulnerable to binge eating.  

Emotions

Many people also notice they are more likely to binge when they are feeling sad, anxious, guilty, or experiencing other negative emotional states. Binge eating might be used as a coping mechanism, either to distract from difficult feelings or to try and self-soothe.

Whilst people may temporarily feel better whilst bingeing, negative emotions increase after binges (e.g., guilt, shame). Binge eating can prevent us from understanding the underlying causes of negative feelings and stop us from learning new coping skills.   

What is keeping your binge eating going?

We have discussed what binge eating disorder is, causes and triggers for binge-eating. It’s time to put these factors together to understand what keeps your binge eating going.

Maintenance cycles

There are several maintenance cycles that people can get trapped in when they have binge eating disorder. I have drawn out some of the most common loops:

Binge eating disorder weight concern maintenance cycle
Emotions binge maintenance cycle
Binge eating disorder body image maintenance cycle

Case studies

To bring this to life I have written two case examples, Sarah and Cheryl. At the end I have an included a drawn out example of how the maintenance loops interact in each example.

Case study: Sarah

Sarah is 34 and has struggled with binge eating disorder since she was 15. Sarah grew up in north London with her mum, dad, and brother Tim. Sarah’s dad was a runner and placed a lot of emphasis on his own physical fitness. Both her parents were warm and loving but didn’t have a good emotional vocabulary and struggled to talk to Sarah about the emotional ups and downs of adolescence.

Sarah’s school was highly academic, and she felt pressured to succeed at school, and later in her professional life. When Sarah was 13, she noticed her body shape was different to her close friends as her body progressed through puberty somewhat earlier than theirs.

When Sarah was 15, Sarah’s grandad died unexpectedly, and she remembers feeling very lonely at this time and not able to talk about her grief. At the same time, Sarah decided to go on a diet which initially ‘worked’ well and she lost 7lbs. She felt more confident in her body, but after 4 months of dieting she found it was harder and harder to control her eating.  

A few times a week, Sarah started binge eating in the evenings after dinner. She felt extremely guilty after this, like she had failed, and vowed to make up for it the next day by sticking to her diet ‘properly’. As time went by, Sarah noticed that she also binged when she felt lonely or sad. She always struggled to open up to others but felt comforted when she was eating, even if she felt worse afterwards.

Sarah’s binge eating has fluctuated over the years as has her weight. Now in her 30s Sarah feels like she has been in a constant battle with her weight, either dieting strictly or losing control and over-eating.

Sarah binge eating disorder formulation
Case study: Cheryl

Cheryl is 22 and was diagnosed with binge eating disorder 6 months ago. Cheryl had a very difficult upbringing. Her family lived in an economically disadvantaged area, and they experienced a lot of food insecurity.

Cheryl remembers that meals were chaotic, and she was often left to feed herself from a very young age. Her dad had mental health difficulties and struggled with alcohol dependence. Cheryl witnessed her father being verbally and physically aggressive whilst drunk.

Cheryl’s grandmother was kind and caring, and her home provided Cheryl with a safe haven when home was scary. Her grandmother was an excellent cook and usually showed her love and affection with food (e.g., baking cakes).

When Cheryl turned 18, she moved to university. She struggled moving away and often felt lonely and insecure. On days where she felt low, she would try to make herself feel better by eating cakes, biscuits and other sweet treats.

4 months into university Cheryl noticed her weight had increased. She started cutting back on food but after a few weeks she began binge eating in the evenings in her dorm. Cheryl felt very distressed by these binges and worried her weight would spiral out of control.

For the next 4 years Cheryl continued to binge with varying frequency. She noticed she binged when she very hungry, but also when she felt sad and lonely.

Shortly after graduation Cheryl met her new partner. It became hard to hide her binges from him and, after sharing with him what was happening, she reached out to her GP for support.

Cheryl binge eating disorder formulation

Understanding your own patterns: self-monitoring

Self-monitoring is a tool used in CBT to help people notice their own patterns in every-day life. It is a record of the foods eaten, time, place, and associated thoughts and feelings. This helps to build a picture of the loops that may be operating in your day-to-day life and provide you with information on how to make positive changes.

Self-monitoring is not used to count calories. It is also best done in ‘real-time’, in the moment. This is because human memory is poor, and we are likely to recall things incorrectly and overlook key factors.

Binge eating disorder self monitoring sheet

You can use a paper diary such as the one above, or you could consider using a dedicated app.

Weight

Interpreting weight

It turns out that weight fluctuates a lot more than most people realise. The number you see on the scale can change due to hydration levels, glucose stores, hormones, time of day and more.

Bathroom scales are also less accurate than most people believe. The number you see on the scale could vary by about 1kg between brands (i.e., you could weigh 80kg on one scale and 81kg on the other). Medically calibrated scales, like ones in hospitals, are highly accurate.

Given the number on the scale can vary due to a whole range of factors, it is important not to over-interpret small changes in weight. We can only make inferences about what is happening to our weight after we have about 4 weeks’ worth of information.

Weekly weighing

Weekly weighing is another tool used alongside self-monitoring. Many people who struggle with binge eating are very worried about their weight.

Because of this, some people weigh themselves very often (even multiples times a day). Other people avoid weighing themselves entirely. Or you might switch between the two.

Weighing yourself once a week allows you to have enough information about your weight to get an accurate picture of what is happening. But not so much as to be confusing (due to daily weight fluctuations), or to reinforce the fear that it is necessary to keep a strict eye on your weight.

Weekly weighing involves weighing yourself once a week, at a pre-planned time, usually a weekday morning. CBT-based therapies recommend plotting this onto a graph, such as the one below. The purpose of this is to allow you to see weigh trends over time, without a record many people overestimate changes in their weight due to anxiety about food and body size.

Binge eating disorder example weight graph

Set-point theory

Set-point theory tells us that our body weight has a natural range in which it wants to sit. For most of the population, their set-point will naturally lie (in the right environment) somewhere between a BMI of 20 and 25. There will also be some people whose natural set point might be a bit lower or a bit higher than this.

Our bodies use lots of mechanisms to try and keep our weight within our natural set-point. Whilst we can do things to keep our weight below this point, it’s highly likely that we would start to experience increased hunger, slowed metabolism, and preoccupation with food as our body uses these signals to try and get us to seek food.

Not aiming for weight loss

A quick note to say that, at this point in time, there is no evidence that therapy for binge-eating disorder will result in weight loss. It’s possible that if you are able to stop binge eating then your weight might reduce, but this should not be expected, nor be the primary aim.

It is not possible to diet and recover from binge-eating disorder at the same time. This is because under-eating and following food rules are both increase the likelihood of bingeing.

The first step is repairing your relationship with food. Next, if it is medically indicated, you can work on improving your health by reducing weight.

How to stop binge eating

Food

There are some general guidelines on food during binge eating recovery. Let’s cover those next.

Regular eating

We have discussed the main triggers for binge eating. Two of the main triggers are under-eating and food rules.

Eating regularly therefore gives us the best possible platform to make a full and lasting recovery from binge eating disorder. This is the most important step and research demonstrates that binges reduce significantly, or stop entirely once regular eating is established.

Aim to eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day. These should be spread evenly through-out the day. Don’t leave more than about 3-4 hours between a meal or snack, apart from overnight.

Below is an example meal structure. Don’t feel you have to stick to these timings, flex and adapt them to meet your own needs:

7am Breakfast

10am Snack

1pm Lunch

4pm Snack

7pm Dinner

9pm Snack

Meal planning

Meal planning can be a useful tool when you are getting going with regular eating. At the beginning of each day, spend a few minutes planning when you can have your meals and what you might eat.

For example, do you have a meeting over lunch time?  Plan an early lunch and shift your snack times around. Have you got the ingredients you need for your evening meal?

You might also want to use some example meal plans to help you structure your meals and plan portion sizes.

Food rules

Whilst you are recovering from binge eating disorder it can be helpful to plan in one ‘fun’ food each day. This can help you address food rules around avoiding particular foods.

For example, if you usually avoid eating chocolate, you might plan to include this as your afternoon snack.

Use your monitoring logs to identify any food rules you might be following and start to address them by letting go of these rules or adapting them to be more flexible.

Binge trigger foods

You might have specific foods you find more likely to trigger a binge (e.g., bread, crisps, ice-cream). Usually these foods are carbohydrate-based therefore effective at increasing blood sugar.

If you have started eating regularly and are including a range of complex carbohydrate foods in your diet, you may find that your old trigger foods do not trigger a binge anymore.

Try experimenting by including these foods in your diet. Strict food rules are known to increase the likelihood of bingeing. Therefore, it may be beneficial include small amounts of these foods in your diet to prevent over-consuming during binges.

If you find that these foods still trigger a binge, use your self-monitoring logs to understand any additional factors. Were you particularly hungry? Had you had a very stressful day? Were you feeling overwhelmed?  

After addressing any possible emotional links and after an extended period of regular eating and being binge-free, try again to incorporate trigger foods.

Eating socially

Eating socially might be particularly difficult if you have binge eating disorder. Eating is a huge part of social gatherings in almost all cultures. You probably want to be able to fully enjoy these occasions and the people you are with.

eating socially at a restaurant with binge eating disorder

As we already discussed, regular eating is key. Many people restrict their food intake before social events in anticipation of eating a large meal. But this will make it more difficult for you to eat in moderation when you do eat.

Continue with your planned meals and snacks and do not restrict ahead of time.

You may also wish to speak to a trusted friend or family member and let them know how you are doing. Having someone to touch base with and provide emotional support can be enormously helpful.

Consider planning an activity for after the meal. This will help you to urge surf until any urges to binge have subsided.

Gently redirect your attention to the people around you. Being present in the moment allows you to enjoy time with your loved ones.

This guide to managing Christmas dinner with binge eating disorder might be useful, and can be adapted for most occasions with social eating.

Emotional links

Emotion systems

Humans have a complex emotional world. Our emotions help to keep us safe and motivate us to act. Paul Gilbert developed an evolutionary model that describes three emotion systems that humans switch between:

The threat system’s purpose is to keep us safe. In our threat system we feel emotions such as anxiety, anger, and sadness.  

The drive system motivates us to act. Many people are in their drive system at work, or when planning and organising. In our drive system we feel focussed, driven and get a sense of achievement.

The soothing system is serves to help us relax, bond, and balance the threat and drive modes. Emotions associated with this system are feeling loved, safe, and content.

If our emotion systems are out of balance (e.g., too much threat and drive), this causes distress.

Food and our soothing system

Food and eating becomes connected with our soothing system from very early on. Infants are soothed by feeding and often feed to sleep. For many of us, we spend very little time in our soothing system.

As adults, food may become one of the few routes to activating our soothing system that we have. This is often why people notice they binge more when they are feeling stressed, anxious or sad.

Even if food might temporarily make you feel better, most people feel guilty afterwards and bounce immediately back into their threat system. This can become a vicious cycle of switching between threat (guilt about eating), drive (resolving to stick to diet), and attempting to soothe (binge).

If food is the only, or main, method you have to activate your soothing system, it can be helpful to explore alternative ways to soothe yourself.  

Managing distress differently: activating your soothing system

Developing self-compassion is an effective way of activating our soothing system. Instead of criticising ourselves, self-compassion allows us to acknowledge our pain in and non-judgemental and kind way.

We can also use our senses to activate our soothing system.

Try experimenting with different smells (e.g., lavender, almond). Does a particular smell remind you of positive and warm memories? Or leave help you relax?

Sound can also be a very effective way of activating our soothing system. Some people find audiobooks or meditations comforting. You could try sounds of nature (e.g. running water, rain, birds singing).

Textures and touch can also be very calming. Test out different activities to see what works for you. Common examples are: taking a warm bath, fluffy blanket, massage, hot water bottle, and fresh bed sheets.

You can use sight in several ways. You might have comforting photos, pictures or art accessible to you. You can also use your ‘minds eye’ to create a safe place soothing image in your head.

Try practicing activating your soothing system every day. As with any new skill, it will be easier to do this when you are not under pressure. The more you practice it in low pressure scenarios, the more easily accessible it will be when you have urges to binge.

Urge-surfing

Urge-surfing is a tool to help people “ride the wave” of urges to binge. Contrary to what most people think, urges to binge peak and then decrease over time. Even though it might feel like it, urges to binge do not indefinitely increase in intensity.

The aim of urge surfing is to delay bingeing to allow for this natural decrease in intensity to occur. Start by trying to delay by just 5 minutes, and slowly build up to about 30-60 minutes.

binge eating disorder urge surfing graph
Alternatives to binge eating

If you are experiencing very strong urges to binge it might be more effective to use distraction whilst delaying bingeing (rather than soothing).

Write a list of activities that you find very engaging and also readily accessible. If you need ideas take a look at this list of activities. Once you have your list, take some time to prep in advance anything you may need.

For example, if you put adult colouring on the list, do you need to purchase some new pens or books? If you enjoy walking in the countryside, do you need a decent raincoat or new boots so you can get out even in bad weather?

Problem solving

Some people find that developing their problem-solving strategies helps them to reduce binges. In his book Overcoming Binge Eating, Fairburn describes the seven-step strategy. These steps can also be used as a tool to analyse your monitoring logs when binges do happen.

  1. Identify the problem as early as possible
  2. Specify the problem accurately
  3. Consider as many solutions as possible
  4. Consider the implications for each solution
  5. Chose the best solution
  6. Act on the solution
  7. Review your problem solving.
Binge eating disorder problem solving self monitoring sheet
Trauma response

For some people, bingeing might be a response to specific trauma symptoms.

In addition to the attempts to soothe that we talked about above, bingeing can sometimes be a way to push away distressing memories and/or flashbacks.

If you have symptoms of PTSD you might want to seek a trauma-focussed therapy such as trauma-focussed CBT or EMDR.

Guilt after bingeing

Most people experience guilt after they binge. Research has found that the more we try and avoid our emotions, the worse we feel in the long run. Trying to escape guilt by dieting or exercising ultimately keeps you stuck in the cycle of restricting and bingeing.

Try to respond to yourself with kindness and keep putting one foot in front of the other on the way to recovery. In practice this might mean:

  1. Acknowledging your difficult feelings
  2. Validating them (recovery is hard!)
  3. Refocus your attention on activities that are meaningful for you.
  4. Use your monitoring sheet to analyse the binge and make plans for the future.
  5. Continue with regular eating.

In the same way that urges to binge peak in intensity and then reduce, if you avoid criticising yourself, your feelings of guilt after a binge will likely also peak and then reduce.

Body image

Many people looking to recover from binge-eating disorder also struggle with body image. We can think of body image as a spectrum. On one extreme we have body hatred and the other, loving your body.

As a first step, moving towards a neutral, middle-ground, position is a realistic goal for most people.

Children usually have a neutral relationship with their body. They don’t spend much time thinking about their appearance. What is important to them is how their body functions. Can they run, jump, play, hug, laugh?

Next, we’ll look at some steps to move towards this neutral relationship with your body:

Origins of your body image difficulties

What beliefs do you hold about your body? Many people with body image difficulties find that their sense of self-worth has become tangled up with their physical appearance.

How did people talk about weight and body shape when you were a child? What cultural messages do you remember hearing? Understanding the origins of these beliefs can help us critically examine them.

For example, if you had a parent that was very worried about their weight, you might have unintentionally learnt that physical appearance is highly important. We also receive cultural messages (e.g., diet culture) about body weight. For example, that very thin bodies are preferable.

Take a moment to reflect on the origins of your beliefs about body image. Do any of these beliefs need updating now you are an adult and have more knowledge and experience?

Identity pie chart

The identity pie chart is a tool from CBT to help us understand the factors we consider when evaluating our own self-worth. When someone has binge-eating disorder, usually a disproportionate amount of their self-worth comes from weight and body shape.

Where are you at currently? Write down a list of all the factors you think about when thinking about how you are doing as a person.

Now put these factors on a pie chart, what percentage does each factor take up? I’ve drawn an example below:

Binge eating disorder pie chart

Review your pie chart. Do you have a dominant ‘slice’? If one factor (e.g., weight or appearance) is dominant it can significantly impact your overall feeling of self-worth.

Next, think about how you would like your pie chart to look. What factors do you want to be most important to you? In my example, this person has decided they want to emphasise their family life, friends, and passion for animals much more than they are currently:

Balanced recovery identity pie chart

What actions can you take to get closer to your values? Do you want to spend more time with your family, or be more present when you are with them? Can you set time aside each week to spend on your passion?

Body checking

Have you noticed a change in your behaviour because of how you feel about your body? Body checking and body avoidance are common behaviours in people with body image difficulties.

Body checking covers any behaviours that involves surveying your body. Common body checking behaviours include: weighing yourself, checking the fit of clothes, checking in mirrors or any reflective surface, measuring your body.

People tend to body check to try and reassure themselves. But we know that in the long-run this maintains difficulties with body image. It unintentionally reinforces the belief that we need to be very conscious of our bodies and stops us from being able to fully immerse ourselves in daily life.

Use your monitoring sheets to note down any body checking behaviours you are doing during the day. Once you have a list, review this and think about which one interrupts your life the most.

Work on phasing body checking behaviours out. This may feel unnatural to begin with but should become easier over time.

Binge eating disorder body checking self monitoring sheet

Body avoidance

Body avoidance covers anything you might do to avoid seeing your body or avoid other people seeing your body.

Common examples include wearing baggy clothes, avoiding swimming, not going to events where you might have to ‘dress up’, and standing at the back of photos.

Body avoidance keeps body image difficulties going because it means you don’t get an accurate picture of how you actually look. Our brains tend to fill in the gaps based on our pre-existing beliefs.

So, if you believe your body is “too big”, and you avoid seeing your body as much as possible, you don’t get information on how your body does look, and your brain assumes the worst.

What have you been avoiding because of how you feel about your body? Again, make a list of all these things. Rate how anxious you feel about each of these and put them in order of most to least anxious.

You can try gradually working your way up the list. Each time you expose yourself to one of these situations, take some time to reflect on how anxious you feel. Does the anxiety last or does it decrease? Were you as anxious as you thought you’d be?

Body avoidance anxiety ladder

Binge eating relapse prevention plan

Putting together a binge-eating disorder relapse prevention plan is a key step in recovery.

A good relapse prevention plan will include warning signs, possible triggers, actions plans and sources of support.

I’ve drawn up an example relapse prevention plan below that you can use as a framework for your own individual plan:

Take a look at these factors below to help you fill in your own. These are just examples. Your own factors will be individual to you:

Early warning sign examples:

  • Increased thoughts about body image
  • Weighing yourself more often
  • Experiencing urges to binge
  • Missing snacks or meals
  • Changes to your mood

Late warning sign examples:

  • Bingeing starts again
  • Restricting food to compensate for binges
  • Very distressing emotions (e.g. anxiety, guilt)
  • Chaotic eating patterns

Action plan examples:

  • Reviewing meal plans
  • Practice self-compassion
  • Putting weighing scales out of sight
  • Speaking to GP
  • Prioritise meaningful activities
  • Spending time with family or friends
References

Fairburn, C. G. (2008). Cognitive behavior therapy and eating disorders. Guilford Press.

Goss, K. (2011). The Compassionate Mind Aproach to Beating Overeating. Robinson.

Simpson, E. S. S., & Smith, E. (2019). Schema Therapy for Eating Disorders. Taylor & Francis.

Targowski, K., Bank, S., Carter, O., Campbell, B. & Raykos, B. (2022). Break Free from ED. Perth, Western Australia: Centre for Clinical Interventions

Waller, G., Cordery, H., Corstorphine, E., Hinrichsen, H., Lawson, R., Mountford, V., & Russell, K. (2007). Cognitive behavioral therapy for eating disorders: A comprehensive treatment guide. Cambridge University Press.

Waller, G., Turner, H.M., Tatham, M., Mountford, V.A., & Wade, T.A. (2019). Brief Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Non- Underweight Patients: CBT-T for Eating Disorders. Routledge.

About

Welcome. I'm Dr Jenny Davis, a Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in eating disorders. I'm passionate about helping people recover and build a healthy relationship with food. 

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