How Do I Get Help for Overeating?

Tara Barnett

Getting help for overeating can be difficult because many people find this problem embarrassing. Even so, it is absolutely essential for a person who regularly binges to get help, because this condition can be very dangerous if it is allowed to get out of hand. There are many private options that can help a person get over this compulsion to overeat, but support groups often provide inexpensive and long-term solutions. In order to get help for overeating, you must first commit to finding a source of assistance that works for you.

Compulsive overeaters suffer from mental problems.
Compulsive overeaters suffer from mental problems.

The most important thing to remember when trying to find help for overeating is that compulsive overeaters suffer from mental problems, which is not true for all people who overeat. In fact, many people who overeat simply out of habit actually respond well to traditional methods of reducing food consumption, such as dieting. If possible, a person should first try to find the strength to stop overeating from within. Making a commitment to a new lifestyle is difficult, but drastic measures that stop overeating can be much more intense than simply resolving to stop.

People who overeat should limit portion size instead of limiting foods they crave.
People who overeat should limit portion size instead of limiting foods they crave.

Among the many ways of getting help for overeating, support groups are possibly the most common. People who view their addiction to food as a major problem often band together to offer support to one another. Strategies proposed in these support groups include introducing accountability, dieting, and supportive friendship into a person's life. Support groups for this particular problem are often religious, but it is possible to find support that does not have a religious undertone. For people who are religious, the faith-based aspect of these support groups can actually be helpful when trying to overcome this disorder.

For many people, a better way to get help for overeating is to talk to a psychiatrist. People who overeat compulsively often have an emotional or psychological reason for doing so. Food may represent punishment or comfort, but in either case, the problem is not hunger or the way the food tastes. Getting to the root of the problem can help the person overcome overeating permanently.

In truly severe cases, surgical or medical intervention can be used to stop the problem of overeating, but these must be accompanied by therapy in order to be successful. For instance, stomach stapling and adjustable gastric band surgery are both solutions that can physically reduce the amount that a person can eat, but these do not change the compulsion that motivates overeating. Some people end up stretching out their shrunken stomachs because they compulsively force themselves to take in food even when it is painful. As such, it is not a good idea to seek purely surgical solutions to overeating.

Support groups may help people struggling with eating issues.
Support groups may help people struggling with eating issues.

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