treatment for binge eating

Looking into treatment for binge eating? If you've ever felt overwhelmed by strong urges to eat large amount of foods in a short period of time, even when you're not hungry, only to feel riddled with guilt and shame after it, you've probably engaged in binge eating. Binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder (explained below) can make you feel helpless, alone and like there's no end in sight. At The Wellness Workshop we have a deep understanding of, and experience in treating binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder, as well as a variety of support services which help you understand the underlying reasons for binge eating, and strategies that aid you in overcoming the problem. We believe that with the right treatment approach, compassionate care and our Health At Every Size and Non-Diet philosophies, you can go on to lead a normal, happy life free of binge-eating, like so many of our clients have done before.

what is binge eating?

Binge eating involves episodes of uncontrollable eating in a short period of time, usually followed by feelings of guilt, shame and loss of control. Binge eating is considered a pattern of disordered eating, and is a common symptom in eating disorders such as Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia. During a binge, a person is likely to consume large amounts of food even when not physically hungry, eat mindlessly and generally alone (away from others), eat until uncomfortably full and feel depressed or very guilty after. Binge eating is different to overeating - where a person may periodically have an extra helping of food or eat beyond satiety on a special occasion or holiday.

what is binge eating disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a recognised mental illness characterised by regular episodes of binge eating accompanied by feelings of loss of control, guilt, embarrassment and disgust (NEDC). Binge Eating Disorder is the most prevalent of all eating disorders in Australia affecting approximately 6% of our national population. It's believed both males and females experience Binge Eating Disorder equally, across a range of ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Sufferer's of BED don't engage in compensatory behaviour such as self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse or over exercising.

how is binge eating treated?

Binge eating, or regular episodes of binge eating, is the major characteristic used to diagnose Binge Eating Disorder, together with the presentation of guilt, shame and embarrassment after engaging in a binge. If a person's binges occur at least once per week for a period of more than 3 months, it may be possible that they are suffering with Binge Eating Disorder. Like most other eating disorders, Binge Eating Disorder can be treated using a range of different methods depending on the sufferer, their situation and the reasons for developing binge eating. To understand how Binge Eating Disorder is treated, it's important to first understand the symptoms of B.E.D as well as the warning signs and complications of the illness. The table below provides more information:

symptoms of b.e.d

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time

  • Feeling a sense of loss of control while eating

  • Feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing

  • Feeling distressed, anxious and depressed, particularly after a binge eating episode

  • Frequent episodes of binge eating

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Feeling lethargic

  • Feeling bloated

warning signs

  • Preoccupation with food, eating or body image

  • Sensitivity to conversations surrounding food, diet and body-image

  • Acting secretively or strangely around food

  • Eating alone away from others, or hiding food

  • Withdrawing from social activities, especially those involving food

  • Having a distorted body image

  • Dissatisfaction with one's self both physically and mentally

complications

  • Persons with B.E.D experience a higher mortality rate in comparison to the general population

  • Prone to unhealthy weight control behaviours such as extreme dieting 

  • Susceptible to Osteoarthritis, chronic kidney problems or kidney failure

  • Susceptible to high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol leading to increased risk of stroke, diabetes and heart disease

  • More likely to have one or more comorbid psychiatric conditions

TREATMENT options for binge eating

psychology

Psychological treatment seeks to understand the thoughts, emotions, behaviours, habits and observations of a patient, and how these interrelate and contribute to binge eating. Through psychotherapy, a patient may become more aware of how their mind works, and the reasons for their behaviour, making them more likely to minimise or control the triggers that contribute to their binge eating. Models for psychology adopted to treat Binge Eating Disorder patients include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.

intuitive eating

The Intuitive Eating Program, originally developed in 1995 by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch has proved particularly powerful in helping sufferers of binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder identify, understand and overcome their negative relationship with food. Through the adoption of the 10 step program, clients learn  how to regain trust in their bodies, make peace with food, develop effective coping mechanisms and eat mindfully towards satisfaction. The Wellness Workshop are proud advocates of the program, and offer one-on-one Intuitive Eating Coaching by both our Dietitian and Wellness Coach.

psychiatry

Psychiatric intervention may be effective for patients with Binge Eating Disorder, particularly if they are suffering with another illness or disorder such as depression, anxiety, psychosis or mood disorders.

 

Medications, such as SSRI's are usually used in conjunction with other forms of treatment and should be closely monitored by a registered Psychiatrist or General Practitioner.

self-help

Self-help​ strategies for binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder have become more widely accepted in the last decade, particularly with the emergence of smartphone applications like Recovery Record: Eating Disorder Management.

Generally speaking, self-help approaches involve the use of books and work-books, manuals, smartphone apps and web-based platforms  designed to help the sufferer understand, manage and overcome their issues. Guided self-help is considered to be much more effective than pure self-help however, as it has the additional benefit of the support of a professional or facilitator. The Wellness Workshop recommend a combination of both when treating Binge Eating Disorder or binge eating.

dietetics

Nutritional management provided by a registered Dietitian ensures patients suffering from Binge Eating Disorder have adequate amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in their diets to sustain normal bodily functions, as well as develop regular and adequate eating behaviours. Our Dietitians will also guide you in exploring the challenging feelings you have around food, food rules and rituals which may have contributed to the onset and continuation of binge eating, and understanding of the binge-starve cycle.

 hypnotherapy

Clinical hypnotherapy may be beneficial to sufferers of binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder who want to tap into their subconscious to identify and explore the underlying reasons for their strained relationship with food, as well as negative thought patterns, self-talk and old belief systems that are no longer serving them. Using various techniques, our Clinical Hypnotherapist Julie helps you build better coping strategies and improve self-confidence.

Hypnotherapy can also be used as an effective tool for increasing self-esteem and aiding cognitive re-framing; a psychological technique which allows you to see experiences from varying perspectives.

THE WELLNESS WORKSHOP advocates for

a health at every size approach when treating binge eating disorder

how can the wellness workshop team help me overcome my binge eating?

The Wellness Workshop offers a number of services to assist in the treatment and recovery of binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder, including adjusting to 'life after an eating disorder' and preventing relapse. The below provides an example of how our Practitioners do this.

branavie,  

dietitian (apd)

Our Dietitian Branavie can help treat both the physical and psychological aspects of your binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder through a personalised, paced, and gradual plan. 

Focus areas include:

  • Finding your normal eating routine

  • Understanding flexible eating

  • Helping you feel less stressed around food

  • Exploring the challenging feelings with food – fears, rules, rituals, and more

  • Understanding weight

  • Ensuring adequate amounts of vitamins & minerals

 

Branavie is also an Intuitive Eating Coach, having trained through the London Centre for Intuitive Eating, and a HAES registered provider. She can also work directly with the family or parents of an E.D sufferer if they're below the age of 18.

melani,

wellness coach

Melani founded The Wellness Workshop after suffering from Binge-Eating Disorder and Bulimia for 15 years. She has a deep understanding of the complexities, challenges and difficulties that come with suffering from binge eating and B.E.D and is passionate about helping others recover to go on and lead a normal life. 

Through Wellness Coaching and Intuitive Eating Coaching, Melani will help you understand the reasons behind your binge eating, develop strategies to deal with the triggers, and teach you effective coping mechanisms that assist with managing difficult emotions. You will also learn how to communicate better through NLP  (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and discover your unique beliefs, value systems and personality; separate to that of the eating disorder which you feel may have taken over your true self.

julie, clinical hypnotherapist

Julie has worked with clients from all walks of life including sufferers of addiction, trauma and phobias. 

Her ability to utilise hypnotherapy to gain access to your subconscious mind, can allow eating disorder patients to identify and explore the underlying reasons for initially developing an eating disorder. This is crucial when trying to prevent relapse, as well as develop new mechanisms to manage stress and difficult emotions.

Hypnotherapy can also be used as an effective tool for increasing self-esteem and aiding cognitive re-framing; a psychological technique which allows the client to see experiences/events/situations from varying perspectives.

Julie's experience in the health and fitness industries dates back 20+ years with some of Australia's largest and most succesful companies.

belinda, meditation teacher

For over a decade, Belinda has helped hundreds of clients restore their health and vitality through the historical practice of meditation and mindfulness. 

Often, when suffering from binge eating or Binge Eating Disorder, clients describe feeling a sense of detachment and mindlessness; almost an 'out of body' experience when engaging in binge eating. Meditation and mindfulness exercises can help Binge Eating Disorder sufferers relearn the process of being 'mindful' and fully aware of their physical and emotional state. This is called being 'present' in the moment and can assist in reducing the severity and frequency of binges, as well as minimise reactions to triggers and allow for reframing of negative thoughts in a more productive way.

Mindfulness meditation has also been proven to cultivate self-compassion.

Frequently asked TREATMENT FOR BINGE EATING questions

what should i do if i think i have BINGE eating disorder?

If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from Binge Eating Disorder, it's important you/they contact their General Practitioner first and book an appointment to explore binge eating treatment. You can also call us at The Wellness Workshop for further information, or for recommendations to a local GP that specialises in Eating Disorders.

The following symptoms are markers for Binge Eating Disorder in children or adults, and are considered warning signs:

  • Eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, on a frequent basis (at least once per week)

  • Feeling a sense of loss of control while eating

  • Feelings of shame, guilt and self-loathing

  • Feeling distressed, anxious and depressed, particularly after a binge eating episode

  • Rapid weight gain

  • Preoccupation with food, eating or body image

  • Sensitivity to conversations surrounding food, diet and body-image

  • Acting secretively or strangely around food

  • Eating alone away from others, or hiding food

  • Withdrawing from social activities, especially those involving food

  • Dissatisfaction with one's self both physically and mentally

what other support services can i explore?

If you're curious about support services other than conventional treatment to aid in the recovery of eating disorders, or have tried many forms of therapy with little improvement, The Wellness Workshop offers a range of options that might be suitable to you.

Wellness Coaching and Intuitive Eating Coaching can be particularly useful for sufferers of Binge Eating Disorder and Disordered Eating. Both allow the client to explore the psychological reasons and triggers that are fueling the disorder, while providing hands-on strategies to assist in dealing with overwhelming emotions, strained personal  relationships and poor body-image or low self-esteem. 

The Intuitive Eating Program, first developed by two American Dietitians has been proven to help free sufferers from yo-yo dieting and overcome their negative relationship with food using a 10 step approach that is now been tried and tested by millions across the globe. Both our Dietitians and Wellness Coach are trained and accredited to deliver the Intuitive Eating Program. You can also buy both the workbook and book from our store.

Does Medicare cover binge eating disorder treatment costs?

On November 1 2019, Medicare released new subsidies to support a model of evidence-based care for eligible patients living with an eating disorder. The below information summarises these subsidy payments as indicated by the NEDC (National Eating Disorders Collaboration):

Eligible patients will be able to receive a Medicare Rebate for:

  • the development of an Eating Disorder Plan (EDP) by a medical practitioner (including a General Practitioner, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician);

  • General Practitioner reviews of their progress against the treatment plan after every 10 sessions of psychological treatment;

  • specialist review by a Psychiatrist or Paediatrician after 20 sessions of psychological treatment;

  • up to 40 sessions of evidence-based eating disorder psychological treatment (in a 12 month period) with a suitably trained Clinical Psychologist, Registered Psychologist, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker or Accredited Mental Health Occupational Therapist

  • up to 20 dietetic services with an Accredited Practising Dietitian (in a 12 month period).

What are the risk factors for developing binge eating disorder?

The development of Binge Eating Disorder involves a combination of factors including psychological, sociocultural and genetic.

Risk factors include low self-esteem and poor body image, dieting, unhealthy weight control behaviours, parental and peer weight and shape related behaviours and high exposure to maintstream media, sociocultural ideals and weight discrimination.

what's the first step in getting treatment?

The first step to getting treatment for Binge Eating Disorder is booking an appointment with your GP. Your GP will then ask you a series of questions, usually in the form of a mental health questionnaire as well as conduct a physical examination (heart rate, blood pressure...etc) 

Alternatively, if you haven't been diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder by a qualified Medical Professional like a GP, but feel like binge eating is a problem for you, you can contact The Wellness Workshop directly for information and advice on which step to take first. We're more than happy to speak with you in confidence and answer any questions you might have.

HOW MUCH DOES treatment COST?

Depending on the type of binge eating treatment or support service you select, consultation costs may differ. See below for details: 

 

Dietetics & Nutrition Therapy

Initial 50 minute consultation: $99                 
Follow-Up 30 minute consultation: $60


* Medicare and private health rebates may be claimed for some services provided by a Dietitian. If you have an EDP (Eating Disorder Plan) you will be covered for 20 x sessions in a calendar year. If you have a private health policy with at least Medium Level Extras cover, usually it will cover Dietetics/Nutrition consultations for up to $400 per year.

Wellness Coaching

90 minute consultation: $135                  
60 minute consultation: $90

Intuitive Eating Coaching

90 minute consultation: $135                 

60 minute consultation: $90

30 minute consultation: $50

*Unless treated by a Dietitian where Dietetics & Nutrition Therapy rates & rebates apply

Clinical Hypnotherapy

Initial 1-3 hour consultation: $199

Follow up consultation: $119

Meditation & Mindfulness classes

Group classes from: $10

1-on-1 classes: by appointment only

how many sessions will i need to recover from binge eating?

The amount of sessions required to overcome binge eating and Binge Eating Disorder will depend on a number of factors including the severity of binges, duration of time you've suffered with disordered eating, and your psychological readiness for change. Every person is unique, therefore no two treatment plans look the same. The Wellness Workshop's Practitioners have assisted clients in overcoming their binge eating behaviours in as little as 2 sessions, and as much as 30 sessions in a calendar year.

For more information, or to chat with our Practice Manager to find out whether our binge eating, and Binge Eating Disorder treatment options and support services are right for you, please email us at info@thewellnessworkshop.com.au or call 03 9801 8711 for an obligation free private conversation. Appointments are available face-to-face, over the phone and using telehealth or Zoom video call technologies.

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BOOK A BINGE EATING TREATMENT APPOINTMENT

To book a consultation with one of our Practitioners, please click below, select the Practitioner and service, and fill in the booking form. Alternatively, you can also click the Contact Us button if you'd like more information and guidance about where to start with your binge eating or binge eating treatment.