Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a diagnosable eating disorder and it is more common than its counterparts, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, combined.   People who meet diagnostic criteria for BED experience frequent and recurrent episodes of binge eating.  To meet criteria for a diagnosis of BED, an episode of binge eating must include both of the following and these episodes must occur at least once per week for three months or more.

Binge eating disorder involves eating in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances.  It also involves a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating).

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Feeling unable to control what or how much you are eating

  • Eating much more rapidly than what is considered normal

  • Eating even when you aren't hungry 

  • Eating until you feel uncomfortably full or sick

  • Hiding or stocking up on food, to eat later in secret

  • Eating normally around others, but excessively when you are alone

  • Eating continuously throughout the day, with no planned mealtimes

Emotional Symptoms

  • Feeling tension, that is only relieved by eating

  • Embarrassment over how much you are eating

  • Feeling disconnected while bingeing, like you are not really there or you are  on auto-pilot

  • Never feeling satisfied, no matter how much you eat

  • Feeling guilty, ashamed, disgusted, or depressed after overeating

  • Desperation to control weight and eating habits